After a record-breaking year in terms of violence and crime, the prospects of an improving situation remain very slim in Mexico. Murders have increased by 17 per cent between January and April 2018 over the same period in 2017, and the further fragmentation of the criminal underworld is threatening to maintain or even heighten the levels of violence. So-called narcomensajes – gruesome displays of corpses as a warning to rival cartels, the authorities and the population at large – have begun to re-emerge in several parts of the country, including in tourist centres such as Baja California Sur. Armed clashes continue to occur in previously relatively safe areas, and the death of a German tourist in Chiapas in April 2018 has once again highlighted the risks to which also foreigners are exposed in Mexico.

“Many agree that President Enrique Peña Nieto has repeated the errors of his predecessor, with potentially disastrous effects on security in Mexico”

The upcoming general elections on 01 July are not helping matters. Innumerable acts of aggression have occurred since the beginning of the electoral period, including targeted killings of over 100 political candidates. The Auswärtige Amt of Germany, among other foreign ministries, has warned of such violent incidents and their potential impact on uninvolved bystanders, apart from a risk of severe civil unrest in the run-up to the polls.

But the deterioration is not only a threat to travellers and expatriates. Business activities as a whole are feeling the adverse effects of rising crime and increasingly brazen criminal groups. In more dangerous areas of Mexico, several sites have been shut down indefinitely due to security concerns and extortion, among them mines, food distribution centres and bottling plants. Across the country, cargo theft on both highways and railways showed another surge in the first quarter of 2018, complicating logistics and ramping up costs for local and international businesses alike.

The only response of the government so far in the light of the security crisis has been expanding the powers of the military in terms of internal security, a move highly criticised by observers, including the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights. Critics say that the measures will lead to a further militarisation of the problem, accompanied by increasing violence and human rights abuses, and many agree that President Enrique Peña Nieto has repeated the errors of his predecessor, with potentially disastrous effects on security in Mexico.

Security Managers are asking the following questions:

  1. How is the security situation developing in my areas of interest?
  2. What are the threats and risks to my travellers and expatriates?
  3. How high are the risks to sites and business operations in my areas of interest?
  4. What measures can I take to protect our business interests?


Recommendations for Security Managers

  • Order our Management Advice to gain confidence in your decision making and to inform your superiors and staff on the situation in Mexico
  • Use the intuitive X-ASSIST Risk Map to gain an overview of the security situation
  • Set up a Favourite in the section X-ASSIST Global Events and receive automated alert e-mails on current security incidents
  • Register your travellers, expats and sites with the X-ASSIST Travel Monitor to ensure a 24/7 monitoring in real time

Do you have further questions?

Photo credit: Tomascastelazo | License: Creative Commons