Mexico’s state institutions have been bedevilled for decades by widespread corruption and powerful transnational criminal organisations. Crime and the “war on drugs” have destabilised the country and fuelled violence; meanwhile, thousands of refugees and migrants flee through Mexico from similar volatility in Central America. Crisis Group focuses on addressing criminal violence, institutional corruption, trafficking and migration. Our aim is to help solve challenges to security posed by global criminal networks, local armed groups and the elusiveness of state rule.

CrisisWatch Mexico

Unchanged Situation

Tensions ran high in lead-up to June elections as corruption allegations mounted, criminal violence continued, and Mexico severed ties with Ecuador following embassy raid. 

Former chief justice dismissed corruption allegations as politically motivated. Supreme Court 12 April announced investigation into former Chief Justice Arturo Zaldívar, who stepped down from his position late 2023 to join campaign of ruling MORENA party’s presidential candidate Claudia Sheinbaum; court alleged Zaldívar pressured judges to vote in favour of govt during his four-year stint as Chief Justice. Zaldívar 16 April announced he would take legal action against his successor Norma Piña for using court for political purposes and electoral interference. Meanwhile, MORENA leader Mario Delgado 16 April said his party would bring charges against opposition candidate Xóchitl Gálvez for alleged corruption. Sheinbaum and Gálvez 28 April accused each other of belonging to “narco parties” during presidential debate.

Violence persisted at high levels. Political violence continued to intensify in run-up to elections. Notably, unknown gunmen 1 April shot dead MORENA mayoral candidate outside Celaya city (Guanajuato state). Criminal violence also continued, particularly in Chiapas and Michoacán states. Notably, security forces 15 April clashed with alleged members of Sinaloa Cartel in Acapetahua municipality (Chiapas); fighting between Jalisco New Generation Cartel (CJNG) and armed self-defence groups over territory along border between Michoacán and Colima states displaced hundreds; and alleged CJNG members 23 April killed four in Centro Municipality, Tabasco state. Meanwhile, International Organization for Migration 12 April reported that number of irregular migration cases in Mexico had risen by 77% in 2023 compared with 2022, and that violence against migrants had escalated. 

Police in Ecuador stormed Mexican embassy, prompting Mexico to sever ties. Authorities in Ecuador 5 April forced their way into Mexican embassy in capital Quito and arrested Ecuador’s former VP Jorge Glas, who had been awaiting response to his political asylum request. Mexico 6 April severed diplomatic ties with Ecuador, while international community condemned incursion. Mexico 11 April brought charges before International Court of Justice, requesting that it suspend Ecuador’s UN membership.

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In The News

17 Մայիս 2024
Criminal violence [in Mexico] has become much more difficult to resolve today than six years ago. ... You can't expect a quick fix to the situation, it's too deeply ingra... AP

Falko Ernst

Senior Analyst, Mexico

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Falko Ernst

Senior Analyst, Mexico
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