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Country analysis

Mexico


Mexico has long been subject to widespread corruption and the effects of criminal drug-trafficking organizations (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 DTOs and internal fighting between DTOs. In recent years, criminal groups have become fragmented, making the violence increasingly localized and contributing to a rise in homicide rates.

Gang-related violence in Mexico compromises people’s livelihoods and security, especially among poorer communities. Civilians living in areas under cartel control are at constant risk of extortion, harassment, and forced displacement because of violence.

Mexico is a major transit country for migrants and asylum seekers travelling towards the US. The growing number of people in mixed movements in Mexico has overwhelmed southern and northern border areas, where humanitarian needs are increasing. By January 2024, Mexico received 598,900 Venezuelans on the move.

The country is subject to climatic hazards, including floods, landslides, droughts, wildfires, hurricanes, and tsunamis. Mexico is located along the so-called Pacific Ring of Fire, where 80% of the world’s seismic activity occurs, and almost all its territory is highly exposed to earthquake risk.

(InSight Crime 06/12/2022, Expansión política 18/06/2022, CBP accessed 05/10/2022, Milenio 31/12/2022, R4V 30/01/2024)

Mexico has long been subject to widespread corruption and the effects of criminal drug-trafficking organizations (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 DTOs and internal fighting between DTOs. In recent years, criminal groups have become fragmented, making the violence increasingly localized and contributing to a rise in homicide rates.

Gang-related violence in Mexico compromises people’s livelihoods and security, especially among poorer communities. Civilians living in areas under cartel control are at constant risk of extortion, harassment, and forced displacement because of violence.

Mexico is a major transit country for migrants and asylum seekers travelling towards the US. The growing number of people in mixed movements in Mexico has overwhelmed southern and northern border areas, where humanitarian needs are increasing. By January 2024, Mexico received 598,900 Venezuelans on the move.

The country is subject to climatic hazards, including floods, landslides, droughts, wildfires, hurricanes, and tsunamis. Mexico is located along the so-called Pacific Ring of Fire, where 80% of the world’s seismic activity occurs, and almost all its territory is highly exposed to earthquake risk.

(InSight Crime 06/12/2022, Expansión política 18/06/2022, CBP accessed 05/10/2022, Milenio 31/12/2022, R4V 30/01/2024)

Latest updates on country situation

01 November 2023

On 25 October 2023, Hurricane Otis struck Acapulco, Mexico, resulting in 48 fatalities and 30 missing individuals as at 11 November. The Category 5 hurricane caused severe flooding and landslides, devastating critical infrastructure, damaging 120 health facilities, 292 education facilities and over 270,000 homes with 50,000 destroyed. The storm damaged 80% of hotel infrastructure. The damage of roads and bridges caused communication breakdowns, aggravating the crisis by leaving a significant number of people without basic services.
(OCHA 11/11/2023, UNICEF 01/11/2023, OCHA 13/11/2023)

current crises
in Mexico


These crises have been identified through the INFORM Severity Index, a tool for measuring and comparing the severity of humanitarian crises globally.

Read more about the Index

MEX001 - Country Level

Last updated 28/12/2023


Drivers

Violence
Displacement

Crisis level

Country

Severity level

3 Medium

Access constraints

4.0

MEX002 - Criminal Violence

Last updated 28/12/2023


Drivers

Violence
Displacement

Crisis level

Country

Severity level

Access constraints

3.0

MEX003 - Mixed Migration

Last updated 28/12/2023


Drivers

Displacement

Crisis level

Country

Severity level

2.5 Medium

Access constraints

4.0

Analysis products
on Mexico

Mexico: Venezuelan people stranded in Mexico

03 November 2022

Mexico: Venezuelan people stranded in Mexico

DOCUMENT / PDF / 395 KB

On 12 October, the US Department of Homeland Security announced joint actions with Mexico to create a more orderly and safe immigration system for Venezuelans. This aims to reduce the number of people arriving at the southwestern US border. At the same time, the number of stranded people unlikely to reach their destination is increasing, and the response capacity is overwhelmed.

Mixed migration
Mexico: humanitarian situation of people on the move

21 October 2022

Mexico: humanitarian situation of people on the move

DOCUMENT / PDF / 2 MB

This report aims to give an overview of the situation of migrants and asylum seekers in these areas, as well as those in transit across the country. It includes the most immediate humanitarian needs, access constraints, and information gaps.

Mixed migration
Mexico: COVID-19 and Migration

01 September 2020

Mexico: COVID-19 and Migration

DOCUMENT / PDF / 293 KB

At the end of August, the number of recorded COVID-19 deaths in Mexico reached 60,000, making it the country with the third highest death toll in the world, after the United States and Brazil. The COVID-19 epidemic in Mexico is interacting with other crisis dynamics in the country. 

COVID-19Mixed migration
Mexico: Dengue fever

16 September 2019

Mexico: Dengue fever

DOCUMENT / PDF / 294 KB

Since the beginning of 2019, a regional epidemic cycle of dengue has broken out in Latin American and the Caribbean. According to the government, as of 2 September, Mexico has 11,600 confirmed cases of dengue, including 798 cases of severe dengue. However, the total number of probable cases is expected to be much higher by the end of 2019.

Health
Mexico: Migrant Caravan

31 October 2018

Mexico: Migrant Caravan

DOCUMENT / PDF / 403 KB

Since 13 October, several thousand migrants have left Honduras, El Salvador and Guatemala to form two large caravans and multiple smaller groups travelling by foot towards the United States border. At least 9,000 people have entered Mexican territory since 19 October. Protection concerns as well as urgent food, water, health and shelter needs have been reported.

Mixed migration
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