HomeNewsBrief160,000 Mexicans Displaced in 2011, Most by Drug Violence: UN
BRIEF

160,000 Mexicans Displaced in 2011, Most by Drug Violence: UN

MEXICO / 20 APR 2012 BY CHRISTOPHER LOOFT EN

A new report by the UN High Commissioner for Refugees says 160,000 people were internally displaced in Mexico last year, most of them as a result of the drug war, an often-overlooked dimension of the country's public security crisis.

The states that saw the highest rates of displacement were Chihuahua, Tamaulipas, Nuevo Leon, Durango, Sinaloa, Michoacan and Guerrero -- all among the worst hit by drug violence. The report estimates that 24,500 people fled Ciudad Juarez alone.

The report criticizes the Mexican government's response to the problem, noting that its military approach to organized crime does not include a strategy to deal with internal refugees.

The UN's High Commissioner for Refugees said in a press conference that the Mexican government had not recognised the existence of refugees displaced by the war on drugs, reports Frontera.

InSight Crime Analysis

Internal displacement is an impact of Mexico's drug war that is often overlooked. The Internal Displacement Monitoring Center said in a December 2011 report that refugees within the state of Chihuahua continued to face violence after uprooting, and that small business owners who fled to Veracruz from Chihuahua and Michoacan were still targeted by organized criminal groups there. The displaced have difficulty finding employment; in the central Mexican state of Queretaro, around 60 percent of job applications are reportedly made by refugees from the north.

In addition to internal displacement, Mexico's high rates of violence have forced people to flee abroad, leading more and more to seek asylum in the US. From 2006 to 2008 the number of Mexicans seeking asylum in the US as a result of violence increased 50-fold. The vast majority are turned away. In fiscal year 2010, less than 50 of Mexico's 3,231 asylum seekers were accepted, according to the US Department of Justice's statistics.

Still, despite the large number of people affected, Mexico has a long way to go before its level of displacement is anything like that of Colombia. Comparisons are often made between the two countries' struggles against drug trafficking. In the South American country, the internal conflict is thought to have displaced more than 10 percent of the population, compared to some 0.2 percent for Mexico.

share icon icon icon

Was this content helpful?

We want to sustain Latin America’s largest organized crime database, but in order to do so, we need resources.

DONATE

What are your thoughts? Click here to send InSight Crime your comments.

We encourage readers to copy and distribute our work for non-commercial purposes, with attribution to InSight Crime in the byline and links to the original at both the top and bottom of the article. Check the Creative Commons website for more details of how to share our work, and please send us an email if you use an article.

Tags

Was this content helpful?

We want to sustain Latin America’s largest organized crime database, but in order to do so, we need resources.

DONATE

Related Content

MEXICO / 21 SEP 2011

The bodies of 35 alleged Zetas members were left beneath an underpass in downtown Veracruz, south Mexico, in the latest…

COSTA RICA / 17 NOV 2014

Mexican drug cartels are reportedly arming gangs in Costa Rica with high-caliber weaponry, perhaps an indication that the Mexican criminals…

MEXICO / 8 SEP 2012

The Mexican government says the shooting of several CIA agents by Federal Police last month may have been an accident…

About InSight Crime

THE ORGANIZATION

Venezuela's Cocaine Revolution Met With Uproar

6 MAY 2022

On May 4, InSight Crime launched its latest investigation, Venezuela’s Cocaine Revolution¸ accompanied by a virtual panel on its findings. The takeaways from this three-year effort, including the fact that Venezuela…

THE ORGANIZATION

Venezuela Drug Trafficking Investigation and InDepth Gender Coverage

29 APR 2022

On May 4, InSight Crime will be publishing The Cocaine Revolution in Venezuela, a groundbreaking investigation into how the Venezuelan government regulates the cocaine trade in the country. An accompanying event,…

THE ORGANIZATION

InDepth Coverage of Juan Orlando Hernández

22 APR 2022

Ever since Juan Orlando Hernández was elected president of Honduras in 2014, InSight Crime has provided coverage of every twist and turn during his rollercoaster time in office, amid growing…

THE ORGANIZATION

Venezuela's Cocaine Revolution

15 APR 2022

On May 4th, InSight Crime will publish a groundbreaking investigation on drug trafficking in Venezuela. A product of three years of field research across the country, the study uncovers cocaine production in…

LA ORGANIZACIÓN

Widespread Coverage of InSight Crime MS13 Investigation

8 APR 2022

In a joint investigation with La Prensa Gráfica, InSight Crime recently revealed that four of the MS13’s foremost leaders had been quietly released from…