• Crisis Severity ?
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    Very high 5
  • Impact ?
    0 Very low
    Very high 5
  • Humanitarian Conditions ?
    0 Very low
    Very high 5
  • Complexity ?
    0 Very low
    Very high 5
  • Access Constraints ?
    No constraints
    Extreme constraints



In June 2019, Mexico recorded 2,560 murders – its most violent month since recording began in 1997. Since the Mexican  government declared a “War on Drugs” in 2008, targeting Illicit drug trafficking organisations’ (DTOs) activities? there have been year by year increases in homicide rates throughout the country as a result of aggressive fighting between Mexican forces and DTOs. Current murder rates are triple the murder rate of 2007.? This violence has created a protection crisis. Since 2006, 150,000 homicides were recorded across Mexico; one-third to two-thirds of these are estimated attributable to DTO violence.? Additionally, 37,400 people have disappeared since the start of Mexico’s drug war in 2008?and violence has forced many to seek safety in other areas of Mexico and abroad.?

Violence has been concentrated in the major drug trafficking zones of Mexico’s northern, central, and Pacific states, which see fighting between national forces and DTOs and internal fighting between DTOs. In recent years criminal groups have fragmented, making the violence increasingly localised and sporadic.?

Mexico's conflict compromises livelihoods and security, especially among more vulnerable, poorer communities. DTO activities may undermine local economies? by lowering production, worker numbers, and salaries.  Civilians living in areas under cartel control may be subject to extortion, daily harassment, and forced displacement through violence.? Five of the six cities with the highest murder rates in the world are in Mexico; two (Tijuana, Ciudad Juarez) are 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. They are vulnerable to violence along Mexico’s migration routes as well, and many are targeted by criminal groups. ? An increasingly complex legal situation faced by migrants at the US-Mexican border means many are forced to live in inadequate conditions in border towns, where they are further exposed to criminal violence.?  

Latest Developments


No significant recent humanitarian developments. This crisis is being monitored by our analysis team.

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. 
  • Up to date figures on intentional homicide rates are currently unavailable.