By Vladimir Hernandez
The number of police deaths in Mexico in incidents involving organised crime has jumped 50% this year, according to official statistics.
Going after drugs gangs has been dangerous for police
At least 61 police officers have been killed in Mexico since the year began.
The increase in police deaths follows a crackdown on drug-related violence by the Mexican government.
One of the most violent areas, according to government reports, was the northern Nuevo Leon state, which registered a quarter of the deaths.
Only last Sunday in Monterrey, the main city in the state, three police officers were shot dead after stopping a car for a routine check.
Signs of torture
It is not just the figures that have shocked Mexicans, but also the way many of these security officers have been killed.
Most of the victims had several bullet wounds and were shot with high calibre rifles.
Some of them were even found bearing signs of torture.
For many, it is the brutal nature of the police deaths which reflect the escalation of violence in the country.
Officials believe all 61 policemen died in incidents involving organised crime or drug-related violence.
The government argues that this response from criminal groups shows that the crackdown announced last year by President Felipe Calderon is having an effect.