Mexico

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

Criminal violence remained high, govt efforts to push through legislation extending military control over policing met resistance, and opposition against electoral reform mounted.

Lethal violence remained high. In central Guanajuato state, unknown assailants 6 Nov killed mother looking for her missing son in Abasolo city, becoming fifth volunteer search activist to be murdered this year. Also in Guanajuato, arrest of a Santa Rosa de Lima cartel leader sparked wave of violence, leaving nine dead in Apaseo el Alto municipality. In Tarimoro municipality, unknown gunmen 22 Nov shot dead four family members of local police officer. In central Zacatecas department, unknown gunmen 24 Nov shot dead National Guard coordinator José Silvestre Urzúa in Pinos municipality. In eastern Veracruz state, unknown assailants 22 Nov killed journalist Pedro Pablo Kumul in regional capital Xalapa. In central Tamaulipas state, shoot-out following arrest of criminal leader 28 Nov prompted schools and public transport to shut down. In central Jalisco state, unknown gunmen 29 Nov shot dead two civilians in their home in Tlajomulco de Zúñiga municipality.

Govt efforts to deepen militarisation of public security faced headwinds. Senate 9 Nov approved constitutional reform allowing armed forces to continue performing domestic law enforcement duties until 2028, after consent of over 20 state legislatures. Still, govt’s efforts to militarise public security stalled after federal judges in Guanajuato city and Mexico City 15 Nov granted provisional suspension against integration of National Guard into ministry of defence, arguing that initiative violates constitution; planned integration had prompted criticism from civil society observers who accused President López Obrador of breaking campaign promise to keep National Guard a civilian institution.

Proposed electoral reforms sparked backlash. López Obrador’s proposed electoral reforms, which envisage an overhaul of National Electoral Institute (INE) and reduction in number of legislators in Congress and Senate, prompted thousands 13 Nov to protest in over 16 states amid fears reforms could threaten independence and impartiality of electoral system. Despite these calls, López Obrador sought to advance proposals, with Chamber of Deputies 28 Nov approving reform in first debate. Meanwhile, López Obrador 27 Nov led march in Mexico City in response to opposition protests.

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In The News

21 Apr 2022
Every group [in Mexico] I've ever talked to claims that they don't extort, kidnap or kill innocent people... These claims are, from my experience, never free of contradic... CNS

Falko Ernst

Senior Analyst, Mexico
14 Mar 2022
There is no category in international law for the violence and conflict that’s plaguing Mexico, and especially Michoacán. Vice

Falko Ernst

Senior Analyst, Mexico
4 Mar 2022
There is always an element of negotiation when you use [violence] against the state. InSight Crime

Falko Ernst

Senior Analyst, Mexico
31 Jan 2022
What makes such a wave of journalist killings [in Mexico] possible is that criminal interests … are almost never properly investigated or punished. The Guardian

Falko Ernst

Senior Analyst, Mexico
1 Jul 2021
The problem in Mexico is still being reduced by most as a turf war between cartels, while it is more of an internal violent conflict. The New Humanitarian

Falko Ernst

Senior Analyst, Mexico
8 Dec 2020
Cartels’ brand names fade away eventually. [But] all of those [other] networks stay in place. The Guardian

Falko Ernst

Senior Analyst, Mexico

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Falko Ernst

Senior Analyst, Mexico
Falko Ernst

Angélica Ospina-Escobar

Gender Fellow, Mexico
Angélica Ospina-Escobar

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