Visualization of the Week: Mapping Mexico’s drug war

Diego Valle-Jones' interactive map illustrates the toll of Mexico's drug war.

Diego Valle-Jones has created a powerful interactive map of the ongoing drug war in Mexico.

The interactive map lets you compare homicides and drug-related homicides, with the option to examine marijuana, opium, and drug-lab-related homicides. If you click on a bubble, you can see the number of murders over time, dating back to 2004. Important events are highlighted on that time line. You can also draw a shape on the map to look at a particular region.

Map of the drug war in Mexico
Click to see the full interactive version of “Map of the Drug War in Mexico.”

Valle-Jones writes:

“To unclutter the map and following the lead of the paper Trafficking Networks and the Mexican Drug War by Melissa Dell, I decided to only show the optimal highways (according to my own data and Google Directions) to reach the US border ports from the municipalities with the highest drug plant eradication between 1994 and 2003 and the highest 2d density estimate of drug labs based on newspaper reports of seizures. The map is a work in progress and is still missing the cocaine routes, but hopefully I’ll be able to add them shortly.”

The data can be exported to CSV, and the source code is available on Github.

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