2019 was the most violent year on record in Mexico

331.- MEXICimagesAccording to a government statistics report from the country’s National System for Public Safety published in January 2020, Mexico recorded more than 330,000 crimes in 2019. The crimes include 52,000 homicides, of which 34,852 were intentional.

Mexico, a country with a population of 127 million, recorded 27 homicides for every 100,000 inhabitants in 2019.

The homicide statistics are the highest since recording began. Mexico began gathering official data on the topic in 1997. It reveals that the country’s homicide figures have increased by 2.7% in comparison to 2018. The months of June, July and August, with more than 3,000 murders per month, was the most violent period of the year and also when the government took the controversial decision to deploy the National Guard.

However, the report did give some cause for optimism; during the last four months of the year, no month recorded more than 3,000 homicides. Considering there were 9,182 homicides between June and September, this can be taken as a positive.

The rise in violence coincides with an increase in femicides; 1,006 women were killed in 2019. This figure is an increase on the 912 femicides recorded in 2018.

By state and number of assassinations, Guanajuato, the scene of many confrontations between cartels, was top of the list with 3,540 killings. It was followed by Baja California and the State of Mexico, home to the country’s capital city. The most violent state by crime rate is the small Pacific state of Colima, which has less than one million inhabitants. Its 760 homicides resulted in 107 assassinations for every 100,000 inhabitants, putting it at the top of the tragic leader board and surpassing El Salvador’s rate of 62 per 100,000.

The statistical study presented by the Ministry of Public Security also shows an increase in the number of victims for the five priority crimes, which are murder, femicide, kidnapping (which rose from 1,559 incidences in 2018 to 1,614 incidences in 2019), extortion (a 29% increase to 8,523 victims) and finally people trafficking, which rose by 12.6% to 644 victims in 2019.

Furthermore, the report draws attention to widespread violence throughout the country, contradicting the argument of those who defend the logic of regional or focused dynamics. The state of Sonora saw its homicide figures increase by 57%, Hidalgo by 49% and Aguascalientes by 32%. Other states, like Coahuila, Chihuahua, Campeche, Nuevo León, Oaxaca and Jalisco also saw notable increases in their homicides rates.


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