Updated on 23 January 2020
Mexico continues to experience high levels of violence throughout 2019. Below are statistics regarding homicide victims and missing persons in Mexico as well as security along the US-Mexico border. The statistics provide a good reminder that with a good plan and the right procedures you can travel, but that Mexico is still a very dangerous place.
Homicides in Mexico in 2019
There were 34,582 homicide victims in Mexico in 2019 – that’s an average of 95 people per day. 2019 saw the highest number of victims since record keeping began in 1997. In 2018, there were 33,743 homicide victims.
The city with the most homicide victims in 2019 is Tijuana with 2,208 victims, down from 2,518 in 2018. The states that reported the most victims in 2019 were Guanajuato (3,540), Baja California (3,359), Chihuahua (2,882), State of Mexico (2,856) and Jalisco (2,672).
In the first 13 months of the government of Andrés Manuel López Obrador, 873 clandestine graves with 1,124 bodies were discovered. Of those, 395 were identified.
The largest number of clandestine graves were located in the states of Sinaloa (144), Colima (115), Veracruz (108), Sonora (90) and Jalisco (75), which together account for nearly 61% of the total number of graves.
The states in which more bodies have been located are Sinaloa (252), Jalisco (213), Colima (146), Sonora (143) and Chihuahua (71), which account for 73% of the total.
At the end of 2019, 9,164 cases of missing persons were filed of which 5,184 have not located and 3,980 were located, many of which were found dead.
Source: U.S. State Department U.S. Travel Recommendations
Customs and Border Protection agents apprehended or refused entry to fewer people at the U.S.-Mexico border in December than in the previous month. A decrease of 5% in December, with 40,620 enforcement actions, from 42,651 in November, marks the seventh consecutive month of decline. The agency says 32,858 individuals were apprehended crossing the border illegally and 7,762 were deemed inadmissible at legal ports of entry.
As of a report released on 27 December 2019, the total authorized number of US troops at the southern border is still 5,500, according to a September authorization from the Defense Secretary. So far, that number has hovered around 5,000, split between active-duty and National Guard troops.
In mid-2019, Mexico deployed around 15,000 troops (including military and National Guard members) to its northern border and 6,500 National Guard troops to its southern border. On 18 January, Mexico deployed another 500 soldiers to stem the flow of a migrant caravan of around 3,000 Central Americans entering at its southern border.
Due to the increase in troops along both sides of the border and increased security measures, delays should be expected.