Drug-related killings rose 11 per cent in the first nine months of 2011, when 12,903 people were killed, compared to 11,583 in the same period of 2010, the office said.

The figures indicate that three-quarters of all homicides in Mexico are now linked to the drug war.

The Attorney General’s Office found one small consolation: “It’s the first year (since 2006) that the homicide rate increase has been lower compared to the previous years.”

There was a 70 per cent jumped in drug-related killings for the same nine-month period of 2010 compared to January-September 2009, when 6,815 deaths were recorded.