Mexico, known for its rich history, vibrant culture, and picturesque landscapes, also confronts challenges related to crime and safety. With its complex interplay of socio-economic factors and its war against drug cartels, the crime rate in Mexico is a matter of both domestic and international concern. In this article, we aim to present an unbiased view based on available crime rates and statistics up to 2021.

Historical Context:

Crime in Mexico has seen ebbs and flows over the years, influenced largely by political instability, socio-economic disparities, and, more recently, the drug trade. The late 20th and early 21st century witnessed a surge in crime rates, primarily due to battles between drug cartels and law enforcement.

Overall Crime Rate:

As of 2021, Mexico’s homicide rate stood at around 29 per 100,000 inhabitants. While this rate is significantly higher than the global average, it’s essential to note that crime in Mexico is region-specific, with states like Colima, Guanajuato, and Baja California reporting higher figures than others.

Violent Crimes:

Mexico faces challenges with crimes such as homicides, kidnappings, and extortions:

  • Homicides: The country reported over 34,000 homicides in 2019, with many attributed to organized crime.
  • Kidnappings: Mexico has one of the highest kidnapping rates globally, with both high-profile and random kidnappings occurring. However, many cases go unreported due to fear of retaliation.
  • Extortions: This is a growing concern, with businesses, both large and small, being targets.

Drug-Related Crimes:

The war against drug cartels has been a significant contributor to Mexico’s crime rates. Cartels vie for control over lucrative drug trafficking routes leading to violent confrontations.

Petty Crimes:

Tourists in Mexico often face issues like pickpocketing, especially in crowded places and popular tourist destinations. However, the rate of such incidents is comparable to many other global tourist hubs.

Property Crimes:

Property crimes, including burglaries and car theft, have seen an increase in some regions. In 2019, there were about 250 car thefts reported daily.

Public Perception and Trust in Law Enforcement:

Distrust in police forces is relatively high in Mexico, stemming from corruption issues and their perceived inability to combat organized crime. This has led to the rise of community vigilante groups in some areas.

Government and Judicial Measures:

The Mexican government has launched numerous initiatives to curb crime, including deploying the military to combat cartels. Reforms in the judicial system, such as transitioning from a written to an oral adversarial system, aim to bring about transparency and efficiency.

Mexico’s crime rates, particularly regarding violent crimes, remain a challenge. However, it’s essential to understand these rates within their broader context of historical legacy, socio-economic disparities, and the drug trade’s complexities. Furthermore, while some regions in Mexico face higher crime rates, many parts of the country remain peaceful and thriving. It’s vital to approach the topic with nuance and a comprehensive understanding of regional variations.



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