Justice in Mexico, a research and public policy organization based at the University of San Diego, has released the second edition of Organized Crime and Violence in Mexico Report.  This study builds on 10 years of reports published by Justice in Mexico under the title Drug Violence in Mexico, compiling the most recent data and analysis of crime, violence, and rule of law in Mexico to help inform government officials, policy analysts, and the general public. In addition to homicide, the report has expanded the scope of past editions to provide insight regarding trends in crimes such as kidnapping, extortion, and robbery.

Key Takeaways From the 2020 Report:

  • The country’s public security challenges have evolved significantly due to diversification and proliferation of organized crime.
  • A defining statistic of crime in Mexico is the homicide rate, which rose to its highest recorded level in 2019. In 2019, the Executive Secretariat for the National Public Security System (Secretariado Ejecutivo del Sistema Nacional de Seguridad Pública) (SNSP) reported a nationwide total of 29,406 murder cases (including cases with multiple homicides), resulting in 34,588 individual victims (an average of 2,884 victims per month).
  • Although 2019 was the most violent year on record, the increase in intentional homicides has slowed.
  • In 2019, the number of cases of intentional injury in Mexico increased for the fourth straight year in a row.
  • The number of officially reported kidnappings in Mexico had slowly and steadily risen over the years but leveled off in 2018 and 2019 where there was a roughly 15% increase with 1,329 (2018) and 1,323 (2019).
  • Over the years, there has been a steady rise in officially reported cases of extortion from 5,072 cases in 2015 to nearly 8,500 cases in 2019.
  • In 2019, Mexico recorded its most violent year on record for women.
  • Cases classified as femicides grew from 411 in 2015 to 945 in 2019, representing an increase of approximately 130%.
  • Nearly half (45%) of all women in Mexico reported being victims of violence at the hands of their partner and 18% specified that they were victims of physical abuse.
  • The killings of high-profile targets such as mayors, local political figures police, military officers, and journalists have also increased.
  • 25 current, former, or aspiring mayors were assassinated in 2019. Statistics drawn from Justice in Mexico’s Memoria database suggest that mayors are 13 times more likely to be murdered than the average individual.
  • Memoria dataset includes 13 journalists and media workers killed in 2019.