Mexico recorded a slight improvement in peacefulness of 0.9%. This is the third straight year of progress; however, this follows four years of steep declines.

Produced 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, produced by IEP every year since 2007.

  • 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.

According to this year’s report, Mexico recorded a slight improvement in peacefulness of 0.9%. This is the third straight year of progress; however, this follows four years of steep declines. In 2022, seventeen states improved, while 15 deteriorated.

Last year saw heightened competition, particularly between the two dominant cartels, Jalisco New Generation and Sinaloa, fighting for U.S. distribution channels and local control. Mexico’s criminal landscape continues to evolve due to the dwindling U.S. illicit marijuana market. Organized crime increasingly engages in extortion, domestic drug sales, and synthetic opioid fentanyl production and trafficking.

Yucatán remains the most peaceful state in Mexico, followed by Tlaxcala and Chiapas, while Colima is ranked as the country’s least peaceful state. More than half of all homicide cases take place in just seven states — Guanajuato, Baja California, the state of México, Michoacán, Jalisco, Chihuahua and Sonora.

Since 2015, there has been a surge in the number of homicides tied to organized crime. Between 68% to 80% of all homicides are now estimated to be linked to organized crime groups, up from an estimated 44% in 2015. Over the past eight years, the annual count of organized crime-related homicides rose dramatically from approximately 8,000, to over 23,500. 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 2022, costing the country’s economy 4.6 trillion pesos (US$230 billion), or 18% of its GDP. This figure is equivalent to 35,705 pesos for each Mexican citizen, more than double the average Mexican worker’s monthly paycheck.

Mexico’s government has reduced spending on domestic security and military operations. Mexico suffers from widespread impunity, increases in unsolved cases and a significant number of individuals with detention without a sentence.

Over the past eight years, homicides with firearms have increased substantially and are the leading cause of both male and female homicides in Mexico. From 2015 to 2022, the percentage of male homicides resulting from firearms rose from 61% to 72%, while the proportion of firearm-related female homicides rose from 38% to 60%.

The surge in violence against security forces, journalists, and social activists also underscores the ongoing challenges. In 2022, the country witnessed the killing of 403 police officers and 13 journalists. This tally ranks Mexico as the world’s second deadliest country for the press, behind Ukraine. The plight of environmental activists is no less challenging, with a record 54 fatalities in 2021.

This year’s MPI underscores the persistent challenges posed by organized crime despite overall improvements in peacefulness. “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,” said Carlos Juarez, Mexico Program Director, IEP. “There is a need for increased investment in the judicial system, and continued efforts to address corruption, enhance governance, and promote sustainable peace”.

Mexico’s socio-economic resilience, as tracked by the Positive Peace Index (PPI), has slipped by 3.1% since 2009. In a global comparison, Mexico stands at 76th out of 163 countries on the PPI, in contrast to its 137th 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 2023

Identificación y medición de los factores que impulsan la paz.

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