Drug cartels in Mexico were making headlines throughout 2010 for the brutal drug war that has raged unabated since 2006. Officials estimate that 13,000 were violently killed in the war in the entire year, showing a jump in the 2009 figure of 9,600. Tragically, most of these figures represent innocent civilians and bystanders. The death toll since 2006 is estimated to be upwards of 26,000.

President Felipe Calderon has been waging this war on the top drug cartels since early 2006. According to Jason Beaubien, investigative reporter for NPR News, he has been enjoying nominal success. He managed to neutralize the Beltran Leyva brothers south of Mexico City in the town of Guerrero, and he captured one of the leaders of the La Familia cartel.

Earlier in 2010 Mexican drug cartels massacred 72 migrants in a lone ranch in Tamaulipas. In the same town the leader of the electoral race for governor, Rodolfo Torre, was gunned down along with his staff in broad daylight.

Beaubien’s view of the war is bleak: “…if you look at some places like Ciudad Juarez, right across from El Paso, Texas, more than 3000 people were killed in a city of about a million and a half people in 2010. So, things continue just to get more deadly in this drug war of President Calderon’s.”

Beaubien said that the violence is “going to just continue to get worse” and that “there’s no sign that the violence is letting up right now. And I think at least into the early part of 2011, that’s going to continue.”