Murder Mexico
The body of a muerderd woman lies on the crime scene in the Renaissance City neighborhood in the touristic city of Acapulco, Guerrero state, Mexico on October 12, 2017. According to newspaper reports so far this year at least 70 women have been killed in the state of Guerrero. Francisco Robles/AFP/GETTY

The number of murders in Mexico hit an all-time high this year — in the first 11 months of the year a total of 23,101 murder investigations were opened. The number topped the 22,409 registered murders for 2011 for the highest total since modern records have been kept.

Mexican President Enrique Peña Nieto promised to curb violence in the country when he took office in 2012. In his first two years in office murders went down, but have risen steadily ever since. The new murder totals were published in a government report Friday night. The figures have been kept since 1997.

Mexico has a population of 127.5 million people, and its murder rates are lower than they were in 2011 when the population was 119.1 million, according to the World Bank. This year the murder rate was 18.7 per 100,000 people versus 19.4 per 100,000 in 2011 under former president Felipe Calderon.

The murder rate in several other countries in the region was much higher, according to the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime. In 2015, the last year of which data was available, El Salvador had a murder rate of 108.6 people per 100,000, Honduras was 63.7, Venezuela was 57.1 and the U.S. Virgin Islands was 52.6. The total number of murders in Mexico were much higher than these other countries — El Salvador had 6,656 murders in 2015. For total murders, the only countries that beat Mexico were Brazil which had 55,527 murders in 2015 and India which had 41,623 in 2014.

The United States 2015 murder rate was 4.8 and Canada’s was 1.6.

The high number of murders could have a serious impact on Nieto’s centrist party, the Institutional Revolutionary Party. Niteo is term-limited and can not run again in 2018.

Current front runner, Andres Manuel López Obrador, the left-leaning former mayor of Mexico City floated the idea of amnesty for gangs as a way to reduce violence, but the idea isn’t popular in Mexico. A poll showed less than a quarter of Mexicans supported it, while two-thirds opposed it.

“There can be dialogue with everyone. There needs to be dialogue and there needs to be a push to end the war and guarantee peace. Things can't go on as before,” said López Obrador Friday at a campaign stop.