HomeNewsBriefOnly Syria, Iraq Have More Armed Conflict Deaths Than Mexico: Report
BRIEF

Only Syria, Iraq Have More Armed Conflict Deaths Than Mexico: Report

MEXICO / 25 MAY 2015 BY MICHAEL LOHMULLER EN

Despite the heavy use of soldiers to support public security, a recent study has ranked Mexico third worldwide in terms of armed conflict deaths, surpassed only by war-torn Syria and Iraq.

On May 20, the International Institute for Strategic Studies (IISS) released its most recent armed conflict survey. The study ranked Mexico third  worldwide in terms of the greatest number of people killed due to armed conflict, with 15,000 such deaths registered in 2014. Ranked first and second are Syria (70,000) and Iraq (18,000).

While there has been some debate over whether Mexico’s fight against drug trafficking organizations qualifies as an “armed conflict” under international law, the country is undeniably leaning heavily on its military to go after criminal groups. 

According to a new report from Mexico’s Secretariat of National Defense (SEDENA), there are currently 45,000 soldiers deployed throughout the country, conducting 1,500 security operations every day, reported El Universal.

According to El Universal, the SEDENA report states that soldiers need to stay on the streets fighting insecurity and organized crime “until the institutions responsible for this task are capable of performing their job, which they currently are not.”

Soldiers reportedly come under attack once every day on average, the SEDENA documents reportedly say. Since President Enrique Peña Nieto took office in December 2012, there have been 905 attacks against the military, with 58 soldiers killed and 298 injured. 

InSight Crime Analysis

When Mexican President Enrique Peña Nieto was sworn in, he vowed to reduce the military’s role in domestic security, a policy associated with his predecessor, Felipe Calderon. 

Instead, given the number of Mexican soldiers still deployed throughout the country, the Peña Nieto administration has clearly continued to rely heavily on the military — most recently sending them into the state of Jalisco.

Peña Nieto originally proposed creating a 40,000-troop gendarmerie to decrease this reliance on the military. However, progress on this front has been slow, with just 5,000 gendarmerie members beginning operations in June 2014.  

SEE ALSO: Mexico News and Profiles

Mexico’s use of the military in a domestic security role has consistently led to concerns over human rights abuses by soldiers. Critics point out this is inevitable, as soldiers aren’t trained to police a community, but to fight an enemy and control territory. However, the Mexican military has said that fewer soldiers are being accused of human rights violations. The SEDENA report viewed by El Universal also reportedly stated this, asserting that accusations of human rights abuses involving soldiers dropped 62 percent between 2012 and 2015. 

Nonetheless, even with the large numbers of soldiers on Mexico’s streets, the IISS study suggests the country still has a long way to go towards countering violence and improving security for its citizens.

Compartir icon icon icon

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.

Related Content

GUERREROS UNIDOS / 12 JUL 2016

The capture of an alleged local Knights Templar chief on the coast of Guerrero promises to bring down insecurity in…

HUMAN SMUGGLING / 24 NOV 2012

According to Mexico's National Commission on Human Rights (CNDH) — the only Mexican government entity that has released data on…

COLOMBIA / 8 FEB 2013

The 2012 list of the world’s most dangerous cities is again dominated by Latin America, and suggests violence is rising…

About InSight Crime

THE ORGANIZATION

We Have Updated Our Website

4 FEB 2021

Welcome to our new home page. We have revamped the site to create a better display and reader experience.

THE ORGANIZATION

InSight Crime Events – Border Crime: The Northern Triangle and Tri-Border Area

ARGENTINA / 25 JAN 2021

Through several rounds of extensive field investigations, our researchers have analyzed and mapped out the main illicit economies and criminal groups present in 39 border departments spread across the six countries of study – the Northern Triangle trio of Guatemala, Honduras, and El…

BRIEF

InSight Crime’s ‘Memo Fantasma’ Investigation Wins Simón Bolívar National Journalism Prize

COLOMBIA / 20 NOV 2020

The staff at InSight Crime was awarded the prestigious Simón Bolívar national journalism prize in Colombia for its two-year investigation into the drug trafficker known as “Memo Fantasma,” which was…

ANALYSIS

InSight Crime – From Uncovering Organized Crime to Finding What Works

COLOMBIA / 12 NOV 2020

This project began 10 years ago as an effort to address a problem: the lack of daily coverage, investigative stories and analysis of organized crime in the Americas. …

ANALYSIS

InSight Crime – Ten Years of Investigating Organized Crime in the Americas

FEATURED / 2 NOV 2020

In early 2009, Steven Dudley was in Medellín, Colombia. His assignment: speak to a jailed paramilitary leader in the Itagui prison, just south of the city. Following his interview inside…