Iraqi civilian deaths v Latin American body count

I’m not going to say these are fully comparable, but it does make me wonder why we hear so much about Iraq and relatively little (to nothing) about Mexico, Colombia and the other Latin-American countries’ War On Drugs-related deaths.

Iraq: between 106.000 and 116.000 civilian deaths between 2003 and now. Roundabout 12.000 deaths a year, tailing off recently.

Mexico: around 220.000 deaths since 1990; or 50.000 deaths since 2006. Pretty much exactly 10.000 a year, constant even over last 5 years (if not rising, to over 15.000 in 2010 according to this source).

Colombia: around 450.000 (!) deaths since 1990. Astonishing. Colombia does have a larger population 46 million; Iraq’s is around 30 million. Mexico is quite a bit bigger at over 110 million (all from Wikipedia).

The questions that I have then, are: why don’t we hear much more about the carnage going on in Latin America (fortunately the local leaders are starting to push back against the US); does it not bother the US that actually more people are getting killed on their doorstep than in that far-away country; and will the US ever learn not to try and fight costly holy wars against what it perceives to be evils, and instead turn to more cost-effective – more effective full stop, really – ways of dealing with their problems? I’m not holding my breath.