By contrast, more than 6,000 people were killed in drug violence last year in Mexico -- much of it on the U.S. border.
There is, in short, an undeclared war going on along the American border with Mexico.
At least one American has died, and Border Patrol stations and crossings have closed temporarily, due to violent demonstrations on the Mexican side -- which some believe may in part be staged by drug traffickers seeking cover for their smuggling.
"The protesters have temporarily blocked border crossings in Reynosa, Nuevo Laredo, Matamoros and Ciudad JuÃ¡rez and shut down parts of Monterrey, a major industrial hub in the northeast," reported the New York Times .
Some Americans' penchant for using illegal drugs -- called a victimless crime by supporters -- is directly responsible for chaos and mass deaths on the border.
So is the Mexican government's ineptness and the American government's long-standing neglect of the problem.
It's gotten so bad that federal officials and colleges and universities are warning American students to be wary of going to Mexico for spring break.
"We're not necessarily telling students not to go, but we're going to certainly alert them," said one college administrator from Rhode Island.
Others, such as the University of Arizona at Tucson, are flatly telling students not to go to Mexico.
Another under-reported element of this story is the escalation of Mexican drug-gang violence in U.S. cities.
"This is organized crime," Arizona Attorney General Terry Goddard has been quoted. "The enemy we are combating is extremely well organized, extremely disciplined and extremely well trained."
Mexico City is the world leader in kidnappings for ransom.
Phoenix, Ariz., is now second.
"The bloodshed that is happening today in Mexico is eye-opening," writes CNN producer Ismael Estrada, who grew up on the border. "There has always been violence. It's the nature of doing illegal business in Mexico -- people die. But today is much different than anything I have ever seen.
"This is definitely not the Mexico I remember."
Mexican gangs allied with Los Angeles-based gangs have an increasing and bloody presence on U.S. streets and prisons far north of Arizona. Indeed, a sheriff's deputy was attacked and shot by three illegal aliens in West Columbia, S.C., on Feb. 8 in what authorities say was an attempted police assassination for gang initiation. A search of their house also revealed evidence of burglaries.
We're gratified that the national media are finally starting to report on the new Mexican War. The worst of it has been going on since at least the start of 2007. It's a tragedy that so many people have died, and a travesty that it has made such an attractive tourist destination so dicey. That's especially sad for those Mexicans and Americans who depend for their livelihoods on U.S. travel to sunny Mexico.
Our two governments must do everything in their power to win this war with the drug traffickers -- starting with the securing of the border.
Both our peoples are depending on it.