What is Mexico Peace Index?

The Mexico Peace Index (MPI) provides a comprehensive measure of peacefulness in Mexico, including trends, analysis and estimates of the economic impact of violence on the country. The MPI is based on the Global Peace Index, the world’s leading measure of global peacefulness, produced by Institute for Economics and Peace (IEP) every year since 2007.

This report also includes examples of the practical application of Positive Peace in Mexico at the national, state and local level.

Improving peacefulness in Mexico requires broader strategies that include addressing corruption and building effective institutions that are trusted by the public. In order to address elevated levels of violence, a holistic, integrated public security and peacebuilding framework is needed

The MPI report provides evidence for policy makers, business leaders and civil society organizations to help develop new and broader peacebuilding solutions for Mexico.

Download the 2023 Mexico Peace Report

Get data, insight and state by state peace rankings.

Key Trends in Mexico Peace Index 2023 report

• A total of 17 Mexican states recorded improvements in peacefulness, while 15 states deteriorated.

• Organized crime groups increasingly rely on extortion, retail drug sales and trafficking of synthetic opioids to replace the declining illicit marijuana market in the U.S.

• The homicide rate decreased by 7.9% in 2022, marking the largest drop in eight years. However, homicides continue to be a significant concern, with more than 30,000 victims last year.

• The economic impact of violence in Mexico was estimated to be 4.6 trillion pesos (US$230 billion), equivalent to 18.3% of Mexico’s GDP.

• Despite recent improvements, peace in Mexico has deteriorated by 15% since 2015, with violent and organized crime notably higher than eight years ago.

• The organized crime rate reached its highest recorded level in 2022, with 167 crimes per 100,000 people, driven by extortion and retail drug crimes.

• Organized criminal activity continues to be the main driver of homicides and gun violence in Mexico. Up to 80% of homicides are associated with organized crime.

• Yucatán remained the most peaceful state in Mexico, while Colima was the least peaceful. Colima also had the highest homicide rate, largely due to conflicts between criminal groups.

• Violence against security forces, journalists, and social activists increased in 2022. Mexico was the second deadliest country for journalists, with 13 killed last year, behind only Ukraine.

Key Trends in Mexico Peace Index 2022 report

Mexico’s peacefulness has deteriorated by 17.1 percent over the last seven years. However, in the past two years, peacefulness in the country has improved by 3.6 percent.

• Public health measures and stay-at-home orders implemented in response to the COVID-19 pandemic coincided with some of these improvements, with a large reduction in opportunistic crimes recorded in 2020.

• Despite some positive gains, many crime indicators are still much higher today than in 2015. The national homicide rate has nearly doubled from 15.1 deaths per 100,000 people in 2015 to 26.6 in 2021.

• Over two-thirds of homicides since 2015 have been the result of gun violence. In 2021, 71.3 percent of male homicides and 56.8 percent of female homicides were committed with a firearm.

• The organized crime rate has deteriorated by 48.1 percent since 2015, attributed mainly to a sharp increase in retail drug crimes of 139 percent.

• In recent years, shifts in the organized criminal landscape have been characterized by the rapid and violent territorial expansion of certain larger cartels, proliferation of smaller crime groups and diversification of criminal activity.

• Organized crime continues to drive high levels of homicides in Mexico. The states that recorded the largest deteriorations in their homicide rates were home to ongoing conflicts between cartels. Fatalities attributed to cartel conflicts rose from 669 in 2006 to over 16,000 in 2020.

• The violent crime rate increased by 16.2 percent from 2015 to 2021, driven by widespread deteriorations in the rates of family violence and sexual assault.

• With the exception of 2020, the detention without a sentence indicator has improved in each of the past seven years. There were roughly 79,000 detainees without a sentence in 2021, compared to 80,330 in 2015.

• Zacatecas recorded the largest overall deterioration in peacefulness between 2015 and 2021, followed by Guanajuato, Colima, Baja California and Michoacán.

• Sinaloa has experienced the largest overall improvement over the last seven years, followed by Tamaulipas, Guerrero, Coahuila and Yucatán.

• In 2021, over 44,000 people in Mexico were internally displaced by violence in mass displacement events. This is more than twice as many as in 2016, the next highest year on record.

• In 2021, the economic impact of violence in Mexico was 4.92 trillion pesos (US$243 billion), equivalent to 20.8 percent of the country’s GDP.

Mexico’s spending on domestic security and the justice system in 2021 was equal to 0.63 percent of GDP, the least of any Latin American country or member of the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD).


Key Trends in Mexico Peace Index 2021 report

• In 2020, Mexico’s peacefulness improved by 3.5 percent, after four years of successive deteriorations.

• Mexico’s homicide rate was 27.8 per 100,000 people, a 1.3 percent decrease compared to 2019.

• Yucatán remains the most peaceful state, followed by Tlaxcala, Chiapas, Campeche and Nayarit.

• For the third consecutive year, Baja California is the least peaceful state in Mexico, followed by Colima, Zacatecas, Chihuahua and Guanajuato.

• Violence against security services has been increasing, with 524 police officers killed in 2020, a 17.5 percent rise from the previous year.

• Political assassinations are also on the rise, with at least 139 politicians, government officials and candidates killed between September 2020 and March 2021


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