Crisis Severity The severity score from 1 to 5 is based on 31 indicators aggregated into 3 pillars (impact, conditions, and complexity)0 Very lowVery high 5
Impact This measures the impact of the crisis itself, in terms of the scope of its geographical, and human effects.4.60 Very lowVery high 5
Humanitarian Conditions This measures the conditions and status of the people affected, including info about the distribution of severity.0 Very lowVery high 5
Complexity This measures the complexity of the crisis, in terms of factors that affect its mitigation or resolution.3.90 Very lowVery high 5
Access Constraints This measures the level of humanitarian access constraints.3.0No constraintsExtreme constraints
Humanitarian Access Overview
Mexico: COVID-19 and Migration
Mexico has long been subject to widespread corruption and the effects of criminal drug-trafficking organisations (DTOs). Violence has been concentrated in the major drug trafficking zones of Mexico’s northern, central, and Pacific states, which experience both fighting between national forces and drug trafficking organisations (DTOs) and internal fighting between DTOs. In recent years, criminal groups have fragmented, making the violence increasingly localised and contributing to increased homicide rates.?
Gang-related violence in Mexico compromises livelihoods and security, especially among more vulnerable and poorer communities. Studies have shown that DTO activities and high rates of drug-related homicides undermine local economies by lowering production, which in turn reduces both the number of workers and salaries. Civilians living in areas under cartel control may be subject to extortion, daily harassment, and forced displacement through violence. Four of the six cities with the highest murder rates in the world are in Mexico including Tijuana, which is located along the US-Mexico border where many migrants and asylum seekers reside.?
Mexico is a major transit country for migrants and asylum seekers travelling towards the US. It has many migration routes throughout the country and houses many migrants and asylum seekers along its northern border.
The country is subject to climatic events including floods, landslides, droughts, wildfires, hurricanes and tsunamis. Mexico is located along the so-called “fire belt”, where 80% of the world’s seismic activity occurs, and almost all its territory is highly exposed to earthquake risk. The high population density of its capital, Mexico City, and of states like Veracruz, Jalisco, and Puebla, coupled with this exposure have placed Mexico as one of the highest at-risk nations in Latin America. ?
No significant recent humanitarian developments. This crisis is being monitored by our analysis team.
Mexico presents access constraints in areas where drug trafficking organisations (DTOs or cartels) are present. Violence is concentrated in the major drug trafficking zones of Mexico’s central, northern, and Pacific states, with fighting between national forces and DTOs, as well as internal fighting between DTOs. Gang-related violence compromises livelihoods and security and limits humanitarian access for both the population in need – especially in more vulnerable and poorer communities – and humanitarian organisations. In recent years, criminal groups have fragmented, making violence increasingly localised and preventing communities from moving freely and accessing services and aid. Mexico is also a major transit country for migrants and asylum seekers travelling towards the US from Central America. Many of them remain stranded at the border, waiting to cross, and have limited access to shelter and health services. Mexico is subject to climatic events, including floods, landslides, droughts, wildfires, hurricanes, and tsunamis. The country is located along the Ring of Fire, where 80% of the world’s seismic activity occurs, and almost all its territory is highly exposed to earthquake risk. Areas affected by climatic events or earthquakes experience severe disruption of road infrastructure, which limit physical access to affected areas and people in need.
Read more in the latest ACAPS Humanitarian Access Overview.
Information Gaps & Needs
- Mexico does not currently have a Global Crisis Severity Index score due to a lack of recent data on current humanitarian and protection needs in the country.
Impact of COVID-19
A rapid increase in COVID-19 cases at the start of 2021 has resulted in high rates of occupation of hospital beds, reaching 85% in Mexico City. There were nearly 108,000 new cases during the first ten days of January, including a daily record of 16,105 cases on 9 January. The increase is also driving up the death toll. As at 22 January, the country had the fourth highest number of COVID-19 deaths in the world, with 144,371 deaths.?
The pandemic has worsened an already highly precarious situation for migrant populations. The Trump administration closed the Mexico-US border to migrants and refugees during the pandemic, leaving thousands stranded on the Mexican side of the border with their right to asylum denied. Dozens of shelters for migrants in northern Mexico closed or reduced operations in December 2020 and January 2021 because of COVID-19 outbreaks in the shelters.?