Violence and Security in Mexico and Implications for the United States: Frequently Asked Questions
Mexico has experienced elevated levels of violent crime for more than a decade. The national murder rate rose dramatically from 8.1 in 2007 to 22.6 in 2012 (an average more than 55 people per day, or two people every hour). After a brief lull in 2013-14, Mexico has seen a dramatic resurgence of violence, with homicides surging to record levels in 2017, 2018, and 2019. The preliminary figures reported by Mexico’s National Public Security System increased to a record 34,000 victims in 2019, up from the previous peaks of 33,341 victims in 2018 and the 28,734 in 2017. As a result, there has been a substantial increase in Mexico’s homicide rate to more than 30 murders per 100,000 in 2018, with a slightly higher rate expected when final figures for 2019 are reported. A series of particularly violent acts in late-2019—including the massacre of nine dual U.S.-Mexican nationals (three women and six children)—has caused growing concern about the rule of law and security in Mexico. This FAQ document provides brief explanations of these and related trends.
About the Authors
The Mexico Institute seeks to improve understanding, communication, and cooperation between Mexico and the United States by promoting original research, encouraging public discussion, and proposing policy options for enhancing the bilateral relationship. A binational Advisory Board, chaired by Luis Téllez and Earl Anthony Wayne, oversees the work of the Mexico Institute. Read more