Mexico recorded a slight improvement in peacefulness of 1.4%. This is the fourth straight year of progress; however, this follows steep decline in peacefulness between 2015 and 2019.

Produced annually by the Institute for Economics & Peace (IEP), the Mexico Peace Index provides a comprehensive measure of peacefulness in Mexico, including trends, analysis and estimates of the economic impact of violence in the country. The MPI is based on the Global Peace Index, the world’s leading measure of global peacefulness.

  • Mexico’s peacefulness improved by 1.4 percent in 2023, with all five indicators of the MPI registering modest improvements.
  • The homicide rate decreased by 5.3% in 2023, marking the fourth straight year of improvement. However, homicides continue to be a significant concern, with more than 30,500 victims last year.
  • Despite recent improvements, peace in Mexico has deteriorated by 14.4% since 2015, with organized crime and homicide rates notably higher than nine years ago.
  • Yucatán remained the most peaceful state in Mexico, while Colima was the least peaceful. Colima recorded the highest homicide rate on record in 2023, with 111 homicides per 100,000 people.
  • The economic impact of violence in Mexico was estimated to be 4.9 trillion pesos (US$245 billion), equivalent to 19.8% of Mexico’s GDP.
  • Organized crime groups increasingly rely on extortion, retail drug sales and trafficking of synthetic opioids like fentanyl to replace the declining markets for illicit marijuana and heroin in the U.S.
  • The volume of seizures of fentanyl at the Mexico-US border rose 900% between 2019 and 2023.
  • Police in Mexico face extreme levels of violence. It is nearly four times more deadly to be a police officer than to be a member of the general public.
  • Amid rising political polarization, politically motivated violence has increased in the past three years. There were more than 170 killings of politicians, government officials and their family members in 2023, the highest number on record.

According to this year’s report, Mexico recorded a 1.4% improvement in peacefulness. This is the fourth straight year of progress, though this follows steep declines in peacefulness between 2015 and 2019. In 2023, 15 states improved, while 17 deteriorated.

Mexico’s criminal landscape continues to evolve due to the dwindling market for illicit marijuana and heroin in the United States. Organized crime increasingly engages in extortion, domestic drug sales, and the production and trafficking of the synthetic opioid fentanyl, which is cheap to produce, highly addictive, and deadly. The volume of seizures of fentanyl at the Mexico-US border rose tenfold between 2019 and 2023.

Yucatán remained the most peaceful state in Mexico for the seventh year in a row, followed by Tlaxcala and Chiapas. Despite Chiapas’s high ranking, this year’s report details how the growing infiltration of organized crime groups has raised levels of violence in the state, particularly in areas along the border with Guatemala. Combined with the record levels of unauthorized international migrants entering the state, this dynamic has fed heightened instability, driving mass displacements, human trafficking, and forced recruitment of both locals and migrants.

Colima ranked as the country’s least peaceful state for the second year in a row. Colima had the country’s highest homicide rate on record last year, with 111 deaths per 100,000, surpassing the previous record it established in 2022. Colima City had the highest homicide rate of any major municipality in the country.

Since 2015, there has been a surge in the number of homicides tied to organized crime. Over the past nine years, the annual count of organized crime-related homicides rose dramatically, from approximately 8,000, to about 20,000. The number of homicides not associated with organized crime remained relatively constant during the same period.

The impact of violence came with a hefty price tag in 2023, costing the country’s economy 4.9 trillion pesos (US$245 billion), or 19.8% of its GDP. This figure is equivalent to 37,430 pesos for each Mexican citizen, more than double the average Mexican worker’s monthly salary.

Over the past nine years, homicides with firearms have increased substantially and are the leading cause of both male and female homicides in Mexico. In 2023, 70.2% of homicides were committed with a gun, the highest rate on record.

Since 2018, more than 2,600 police officers have been killed in Mexico. This equates to an average annual police homicide rate of 96.8 killings per 100,000 officers, nearly four times the rate for the general public. Guanajuato has recorded the most police officers killed, while Zacatecas has had the highest rate of officer killings.

Against a backdrop of long-term increases in political polarization in Mexico, there has been a rise in political violence events in the past three years. In 2023, more than 170 politicians, government officials and their family members were killed, the highest number on record. Most political violence targets political figures operating at the municipal level, and Guerrero has recorded the most political violence events of any state since 2018.

While we are encouraged by the signs of progress, we recognize the need for a comprehensive approach to address the complex dynamics of organized crime, violence, and socio-economic resilience. There is a need for increased investment in the judicial system, and continued efforts to address corruption, enhance governance, and promote sustainable peace.
– Carlos Juarez, Mexico Program Director, IEP

This year’s MPI underscores the persistent challenges posed by organized crime despite overall improvements in peacefulness. Mexico’s socio-economic resilience, as tracked by the Positive Peace Index (PPI), has slipped by 3.7% in the past decade. In a global comparison, Mexico stands at 85th out of 163 countries on the PPI, in contrast to its 136th rank on the Global Peace Index. This indicates that, despite the ongoing public security crisis, the country possesses the social infrastructure needed to move towards a more sustainable form of peace.


Índice de Paz de México 2024

Identificación y medición de los factores que impulsan la paz.

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