HomeNewsBriefWill Officials Finally Admit Scale of Mexico's Forced Displacement Crisis?
BRIEF

Will Officials Finally Admit Scale of Mexico's Forced Displacement Crisis?

DISPLACEMENT / 25 JUL 2019 BY ALEX PAPADOVASSILAKIS EN

New figures have revealed the full extent of how violence has displaced hundreds of thousands of Mexicans in the last decade, and how this national crisis has been ignored by successive administrations.

About 380,000 people were forcefully displaced in Mexico between 2009 and 2018 as a result of violence and organized crime, according to the head of the Internal Displacement Monitoring Centre (IDMC), Alexandra Bilak, El Universal reported.

Yet Bilak, who met with Mexican authorities earlier this week, believes the real amount may be significantly higher.

SEE ALSO: Coverage of Displacement

Indeed, a recent report from the Mexican Commission for the Defense and Promotion of Human Rights (Comisión Mexicana de Defensa y Promoción de los Derechos Humanos – CMDPDH) put the figure of displaced people at over 1.1 million, although its methodology counted anybody who moved from home because of violence.

After years of inaction, the Mexican government announced on July 23 that it is working on a new law to tackle forced internal displacement, according to an EFE report.

InSight Crime Analysis

The IDMC’s data is but one example of the numerous investigations and reports that have documented the magnitude of Mexico’s internal displacement crisis, as well as its relation to violence and organized crime. Though this information has long been available to Mexican authorities, the country’s government has thus far failed to pass any legislation to try and deal with the problem.

So far, the state’s failure to recognize the issue has left the country with no legal basis to devise a counterstrategy. Now, government legislation plans to reform its refugee support agency, the Mexican Refugee Commission (Comisión Mexicana de Ayuda a Refugiados – Comar), which currently only deals with foreign nationals, so that it is equipped to deal with internal cases of forced displacement.

However, the plan to expand Comar’s mandate may well stretch thin an organization already coping with vast numbers of people displaced from abroad. And aside from that one proposal, there is no clear information on what elements of the crisis the new legislation will address.

SEE ALSO: Mexico News and Profiles

In 2017, forced internal displacement affected over 20,000 people in at least nine states, stretching from the northern border regions plagued by clashes between cartels to the south of the country where indigenous communities suffer disproportionately from violence, according to the CMDPDH.

Data from the CMDPDH makes it clear that a wide range of violent causes can create displacement, including clashes between armed groups and the state, inter-gang violence, assassinations of political and social leaders, and fear of future violence.

Any initiative will need to improve the government’s ability to monitor the number of displaced people within the country, as there are currently no data or instruments which can precisely measure this phenomenon.

Potentially worsening the situation, Mexico is currently facing record high homicide rates. June 2019 was the deadliest month on record with 2,560 murders, resulting in a homicide rate of 22 per 100,000 people, a six percent year-on-year rise.

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.

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 / 2 AUG 2021

After a spate of attacks on oil platforms in the Gulf of Mexico this year, the shipping industry is demanding…

COLOMBIA / 22 DEC 2022

InSight Crime's GameChangers 2022 looks back at the most consequential criminal stories across Latin America this year.

CHAPITOS / 9 AUG 2022

Little clarity has followed the brazen assassination of a local police chief in northern Mexico.

About InSight Crime

THE ORGANIZATION

Escaping Barrio 18

27 JAN 2023

Last week, InSight Crime published an investigation charting the story of Desafío, a 28-year-old Barrio 18 gang member who is desperate to escape gang life. But there’s one problem: he’s…

THE ORGANIZATION

Europe Coverage Makes a Splash

20 JAN 2023

Last week, InSight Crime published an analysis of the role of Amsterdam’s Schiphol Airport as an arrival hub for cocaine and methamphetamine from Mexico.  The article was picked up by…

THE ORGANIZATION

World Looks to InSight Crime for Mexico Expertise

13 JAN 2023

Our coverage of the arrest of Chapitos’ co-founder Ovidio Guzmán López in Mexico has received worldwide attention.In the UK, outlets including The Independent and BBC…

THE ORGANIZATION

InSight Crime Shares Expertise with US State Department

16 DEC 2022

Last week, InSight Crime Co-founder Steven Dudley took part in the International Anti-Corruption Conference organized by the US State Department’s Bureau of Democracy, Human Rights, & Labor and…

THE ORGANIZATION

Immediate Response to US-Mexico Marijuana Investigation

9 DEC 2022

InSight Crime’s investigation into how the legalization of marijuana in many US states has changed Mexico’s criminal dynamics made a splash this week appearing on the front page of…