• Crisis Severity ?
    0 Very low
    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



Rates of criminal violence and homicide have reached record highs in the last two years. With 36,476 recorded homicides, 2019 was the most violent year since recording began in 1997. As at the end of November, 32,759 murders had been reported in 2020. Since March 2020, criminal groups have taken advantage of diverted state attention over the COVID-19 pandemic to intensify activities and exert greater influence over the local population.?

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.?

Mexico is a transit country for migrants and asylum seekers travelling towards the US. Migrants are commonly subject to violence, rape, intimidation, extortion, and robbery by organised criminal gangs that operate across Mexico, particularly in the border states. The onset of the pandemic has worsened an already highly precarious situation for migrant populations at the US-Mexico border. An increasingly complex legal situation and COVID-19-related border closures mean many are forced to live in inadequate conditions in overcrowded shelters or on the streets 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. 

Gender Based Violence


Ten women are murdered every day in Mexico, the majority of them young women between 20 and 29 years old. In 2020, at least 940 women were murdered because they were women (femicide), roughly the same number as in 2019 (942). Prior to that was an increasing trend, with the number of femicide deaths rising steadily, from 411 in 2015 to 893 in 2018. The state of Mexico is the most dangerous state for women, with 150 cases of femicide registered in 2020, followed by Veracruz with 84 femicides, Nuevo León (67), Jalisco (66), and a high number in Mexico City (64). Government funded emergency care is available for survivors of gender-based violence who report injuries in state medical centres, but there is limited access to specialist secondary care in which psychosocial support and follow-up services are provided.?