A total of 26,037 homicides were registered in Mexico in 2012, down 4.31 percent from the previous year, the National Institute of Statistics and Geography, or INEGI, said.

The figure works out to a homicide rate of 22 per 100,000 residents last year, with Chihuahua and Guerrero states registering the highest homicide rates, with 77 per 100,000 residents, while Aguascalientes and Yucatan states had the lowest, with four per 100,000 residents and two per 100,000 residents, respectively.

Chihuahua's homicide rate nevertheless was 39 percent lower than in 2011, the INEGI said.

Mexico registered a total of 10,452 homicides in 2006; 8,867 homicides in 2007; 14,006 homicides in 2008; 19,803 homicides in 2009; 25,757 homicides in 2010; and 27,213 homicides in 2011, the INEGI said.

The homicide figures were calculated using vital statistics provided by Mexico's states, the INEGI said. EFE