Violence in Mexico appears to have leveled off or declined in the past year, according to a new report by the Trans-Border Institute at the University of San Diego.

“Things are looking a bit better in Mexico,” said David Shirk, the institute’s director and one of the report’s authors. “Particularly in places like Tijuana and Ciudad Juarez, we can say violence has gone down.”

The report’s analysis suggests that Mexico could be turning a corner following a period of unprecedented violence as trafficking groups battled each other and government forces. It estimates that the total number of homicides in 2012 fell to “somewhere between 20,000 and 25,000” following a record high in 2011, when one Mexican government tally showed more than 27,000 killings

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