Mexico’s state institutions have been bedevilled for decades by widespread corruption and powerful transnational criminal organisations. Crime and the “war on drugs” have destabilised the country and fuelled violence; meanwhile, thousands of refugees and migrants flee through Mexico from similar volatility in Central America. Crisis Group focuses on addressing criminal violence, institutional corruption, trafficking and migration. Our aim is to help solve challenges to security posed by global criminal networks, local armed groups and the elusiveness of state rule.

CrisisWatch Mexico

Unchanged Situation

Criminal violence displaced thousands as rival groups vied for territory, authorities brought charges against soldiers accused of extrajudicial killing and ruling party began preparations for 2024 presidential poll.

Rampant insecurity displaced thousands. After 1,500 security forces late May deployed to Chiapas state (south) amid fighting between groups associated with Sinaloa and Jalisco cartels, National Guard 1 June said situation was under control; activists, however, continued to warn that Chiapas is on brink of civil war as hostilities displaced hundreds. In Michoacán state (west), fighting from 9 June onward between Jalisco and Knights Templar criminal groups over territory in Apatzingán municipality displaced at least 1,000; gunmen 29 June killed former self-defence group leader Hipólita Mora in La Ruana town, with reports Jalisco cartel may be responsible. In Sinaloa state (west), supposed Sinaloa cartel members 11 June killed two soldiers during confrontation in Culiacán municipality. Insecurity expected to escalate as 2024 elections edge closer.

Soldiers accused of extrajudicial killing in Tamaulipas. Ministry of Defence 10 June announced charges against 16 soldiers after media outlets 6 June released video showing soldiers apparently extrajudicially killing five alleged unarmed gang members in Nuevo Laredo city, Tamaulipas state (north) in May. López Obrador 7 June said “apparent execution” and other such cases would no longer go unpunished under his govt. Govt 26 June announced arrest of former head of federal anti-kidnapping unit over 2014 disappearance of 43 students from Ayotzinapa teacher’s college.

Election preparations heated up. Ruling MORENA party 11 June approved rules for process to select candidate for June 2024 presidential election. Six candidates have registered for participation and left their current posts for campaign 19 June-16 Aug; vote will take place 28 Aug-3 Sept. In what many considered test ahead of presidential poll, MORENA’s candidate 4 June won governorship of State of Mexico (centre), which opposition PRI had controlled for 94 years; PRI defeated MORENA in Coahuila state (north). Meanwhile, Supreme Court 22 June overturned key part of MORENA’s sweeping electoral bill.

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Falko Ernst

Senior Analyst, Mexico
Falko Ernst

Angélica Ospina-Escobar

Gender Fellow, Mexico
Angélica Ospina-Escobar

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