The impact of violence in Mexico cost the country an estimated 4.6 trillion pesos ($230 billion) last year. This figure is equivalent to a cost of 35,700 pesos ($1,988) per citizen, according to the Mexico Peace Index 2023.
This represents 18.3% of the country's Gross Domestic Product (GDP).
Esp Mpi 2023 Web by Verónica Silveri
The study is conducted by the Institute for Economics and Peace and is the only one worldwide that measures the impact of violence in terms of GDP.
Increased homicides and less foreign investment
According to the report, between 2015 and 2022, the increase in homicides led to a loss of $16 billion in foreign investment. Despite this, murders decreased 7.9% last year. However, the number of deaths "remains high." Carlos Juárez, IEP's Mexico country director, said at the presentation of the study:
Despite these improvements, the homicide rate remains high at 24.5 deaths per 100,000 inhabitants.
The "homicidal violence against police, journalists and activists" also continued to grow last year. The country is the deadliest place in the world to be an environmental activist, and is for the fourth consecutive year the most dangerous country for journalists among countries not at war. It ranks second worldwide overall, only surpassed by Ukraine.
Nine of the top 10 cities for homicide rate are in Mexico
The economic impact of violence in Mexico reflects the reality of life on the streets. Last year, the country became the nucleus of global crime. According to the 2022 ranking of the 50 most violent cities in the world, nine of the top 10 cities for homicide rate per 100,000 inhabitants in 2022 were in Mexico:
- Colima: with 181.94 homicides per 100,000 inhabitants (181.94/100,000).
- Zamora: 177.73/100,000.
- Obregon City: 138.23/100,000.
- Zacatecas: 134.62/100,000.
- Tijuana: 105.12/100,000.
- Celaya: 99.64/100,000.
- Uruapan: 78.26/100,000.
- New Orleans, USA: the only city not in Mexico, 70.56/100,000.
- Juarez: 67.69/100,000.
- Acapulco: 65.55/100,000.
Ranking 2022 de Las 50 Ciud... by La Silla Vacía
AMLO blind and deaf, but not mute
Despite the fact that homicide figures indicate Mexico is one of the most dangerous countries in the world, President Andrés Manuel López Obrador (AMLO) has repeated on several occasions that the country is not immersed in a crisis of violence and murder.
In August 2022, AMLO declared that there was "no major problem" with Mexico's safety, even though he knew that cartels and organized crime groups terrorize citizens daily:
I do not know if there is a connection or a black hand, if this has been organized, if it has been articulated, but what I have no doubt about is that our opponents, the conservatives, do help in this propaganda.
In March, the Biden administration warned Americans not to travel to Mexico because of high crime. AMLO responded with controversial statements in which he said that his country was safer than the United States:
Mexico is safer than the United States. There is no problem to travel safely in Mexico. But this is also known by U.S. citizens and, of course, by our fellow countrymen who are there, they are well informed.