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Mexico’s judicial institutions are no match for widespread corruption and powerful transnational cartels that dominate parts of the country. Years of an over-militarised “war on drugs” and proliferating criminal rackets have destabilised the country and its neighbours, forcing thousands of refugees and migrants to risk their lives fleeing through Mexico from “Northern Triangle” neighbours like Honduras, El Salvador and Guatemala. Crisis Group focuses on addressing transnational crime, high-level corruption, trafficking and migration, with a special emphasis on the effect these have on children, women and other vulnerable groups. Our aim is to provide a more comprehensive and sub-regional understanding of the challenges to security posed by globalised criminal networks, local gangs and an elusive rule of law.

CrisisWatch Mexico

Deteriorated Situation

Tensions increased with U.S. after President Trump 25 Jan signed executive order for construction of wall along border and insisted Mexico would pay: President Peña Nieto cancelled planned meeting with Trump amid public outrage. Month also saw widespread social unrest over increased petrol prices, venting high levels of public discontent at corruption in political establishment, lack of economic opportunity and violent crime; at least six killed as protests turned violent, thousands arrested. Protests followed 27 Dec decision to liberalise fuel market and scrap state subsidies leading to 14-20% petrol price increases. Thousands protested 12 Jan in Baja California state against price increases and privatisation of water law. Protests ongoing in Mexico City and around twenty states. Further fuel price provisionally slated by Secretariat of Finance and Public Credit for 4 Feb. Congress continued to debate new Internal Security Law, designed to provide legal framework for military’s legitimate use of force in operations related to combating organised crime, corruption, terrorism and other crimes. Violence involving organised criminal groups continued, particularly in Michoacán state. Authorities early Jan arrested “El Duende”, presumed head of “Los Viagras” cartel, and senior leader “Jorge C. El Mecánico”. In Quintana Roo state, five killed in shootout during music festival in Playa del Carmen resort 17 Jan; “Old School Zetas” faction claimed responsibility. At least ten armed people attacked state’s prosecutor’s office in north of Cancún same day; three attackers and a police officer killed.

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Reports & Briefings

Disappeared: Justice Denied in Mexico’s Guerrero State

Also available in Español

Back from the Brink: Saving Ciudad Juárez

Also available in Español
Justice at the Barrel of a Gun: Vigilante Militias in Mexico

Justice at the Barrel of a Gun: Vigilante Militias in Mexico

Also available in Español
Peña Nieto’s Challenge: Criminal Cartels and Rule of Law in Mexico

Peña Nieto’s Challenge: Criminal Cartels and Rule of Law in Mexico

Also available in Español

In The News

9 Nov 2016
México tendrá que encontrar una forma de relacionarse con el futuro gobierno de Trump, algo complicado y difícil para una economía que no ha logrado despegar realmente, ni cubrir todas las necesidades de su población Deutsche Welle

Ivan Briscoe

Program Director, Latin America and Caribbean

Latest Updates

We Don’t Need A Wall To Manage Migration From Mexico

Deportations from Mexico and the U.S. will not stop Central Americans fleeing poverty and violence. Instead of building a wall, the U.S. should help Mexico provide safe, secure reception areas on its southern border for Central American migrants.

Originally published in Miami Herald

Our People

Froylán Enciso

Senior Analyst, Mexico