The Americas

Mexico sees 22 percent rise in murders in 2016

Mexico's government says homicides rose by 22 percent in 2016. It's the highest rate of increase since the height of the drug war.

Official statistics released by the Interior Department show that Mexico had 20,789 homicides in 2016, compared to 17,034 in 2015.

Some states saw murders rise by dizzying levels. Homicides in the Pacific coast state of Colima more than tripled, and in the Gulf coast state of Veracruz they more than doubled.

Security analyst Alejandro Hope said Friday the rate of increase is the highest since 2010.

Homicides largely fueled by drug violence peaked at 22,852 in 2011, and then declined, falling to 15,653 in 2014.