Justice in Mexico released its most updated data on crime and violence in Mexico

Justice in Mexico, a research and public policy program based at the University of San Diego, created in 2016 a Data Center to make publicly available data and analysis to evaluate trends related to crime, violence, drug trafficking and organized crime in Mexico.

Updated data on crime and violence in Mexico.

Data used in the 2017 special report entitled, “Drug Violence in Mexico: Data and Analysis Through 2016,” and other datasets, such as the Justice barometer series are now available for download.


To visit the data click here: Visit the Data Center






Drug Violence in Mexico: Data and Analysis Through 2016

Drug Violence in Mexico 2017 report Cover

Drug Violence in Mexico: Data and Analysis Through 2016 (2017)

Justice in Mexico, a research and public policy program based at the University of San Diego, released its 2017 special report entitled, “Drug Violence in Mexico: Data and Analysis Through 2016.”

Drug Violence in Mexico (2017 Special Report)

Click here to download the full report. DOWNLOAD

Thanks to the generous funding of the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation, this is the project’s eight annual study on organized crime and violence in Mexico. As in previous years, this report compiles the latest available data and analysis to evaluate trends related to drug trafficking and organized crime in Mexico.

This year’s report builds on past findings and seeks to provide new insights into Mexico’s recent security situation. The authors find that after a decline in 2012-2014, homicides began to rise again in 2015 and jumped 20% in 2016, and the worsening of security conditions over the past two years has been a major setback for President Enrique Peña Nieto (2012-2018), who pledged to reduce violence dramatically during his administration.



Comparison of Homicide and Organized Crime Homicide Data for Various Sources, 1990 through 2016

Notably, the largest increases were registered in Colima with a 600% increase from 2015 to 2016, Nayarit (500% increase), and Zacatecas (405% increase), all of which have an important role in drug production or trafficking and are contested by rival organized crime groups. Meanwhile, several states registered noticeable decreases, including Querétaro with a 69% decrease in intentional homicides and Campeche with a 24% decrease. Authors also found that “El Chapo” Guzmán’s arrest and extradition appear to be partly fueling violence. What is particularly concerning about Mexico’s sudden increases in homicides in recent years is that much or most of this elevated violence appears to be attributable to “organized crime” groups, particularly those involved in drug trafficking. While there are important methodological problems with compiling data on organized crime-related killings, tallies produced over the past decade by government, media, academic, NGO, and consulting organizations suggest that roughly a third to half of all homicides in Mexico bear signs of organized crime-style violence, including the use of high-caliber automatic weapons, torture, dismemberment, and explicit messages involving organized-crime groups. In 2016, there was greater disparity in the estimated number of organized crime-style killings documented by some sources (6,325 according to Reforma newspaper and 10,967 according to Milenio), but the proportion of total homicides was at least 25% and perhaps greater than 40%.

The analysis in this report suggests that a significant portion of Mexico’s increases in violence in 2015 and 2016 were related to inter- and intra-organizational conflicts among rival drug traffickers in the wake of Guzmán’s re-arrest in 2016.


Authors believe that, as the U.S. President Donald Trump wants to push the Mexican government to reinvigorate its counter-narcotics efforts and also work to increase U.S. security measures along the 2,000 mile Southwest border, tensions between the two countries could undermine the close law enforcement and security cooperation achieved under the administrations of presidents George W. Bush (2000-2008) and Barack Obama (2008-2016).

“Drug Violence in Mexico: Data and Analysis Through 2016” was co-authored by Kimberly Heinle, Octavio Rodríguez Ferreira, and David A. Shirk.

Click here to download the full report. DOWNLOAD

II Simposium Internacional sobre sistemas de justicia orales adversariales

Thursday September 8, 2016


8 y 9 de Septiembre de 2016

Auditorio Ius Semper Loquitur

Facultad de Derecho

Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México

Oral Adversarial Skill-Building Immersion Seminar

8 de Septiembre de 2016

Ceremonia Inaugural

Panel: Derechos humanos y derechos civiles en México y Estados Unidos

Panel: Iniciativas cívicas para el impulso del sistema de justicia en México

9 de septiembre de 2016

Panel: Visiones criticas del sistema de justicia acusatorio

Panel: El nuevo sistema de justicia en marcha

Conferencia Magistral • Dr. José Ramón Cossío Díaz Ministro de la Suprema Corte de Justicia de la Nación


l644-unam-eps-logo-2500logo-fac-derechoUSD-2c-LogoJustice in Mexico logo










Criminal Procedure Reform in Mexico, 2008-2016


On October 8, 2015, Justice in Mexico launched a new report that provides a deep analysis of the current process of judicial reform in Mexico. The Criminal Procedure Reform in Mexico 2008-2016, by authors Octavio Rodríguez Ferreira and David A. Shirk, analyzes the process of implementing judicial reform in Mexico as well as the impacts of the reform on the federal and state level, as well as some of the past, present and future challenges to implementation efforts. Overall, the authors find that despite obstacles to the reform’s implementation, significant progress has been made and will continue in the years to come.

In 2008 the Mexican Congress approved an eight-year process to improve the criminal justice system, in a reform known as the New Criminal Justice System (Nuevo Sistema de Justicia Penal, NSJP). The NSJP will replace the traditional mixed inquisitorial justice system with a more efficient adversarial model. The new system will be operational throughout the country by June 18, 2016.

Final Countdown for Implementation of the judicial reform

The authors find that state level implementation efforts were fairly limited up until 2013, and many states are still behind in the process considering the June 2016 deadline. This raises concerns about whether it is realistic that all states will meet the deadline, especially considering that only a little over half the municipalities in Mexico were in judicial districts operating under the new system as of mid-2015. Futhermore, the authors report that federal implementation of NSJP has been a much slower process plagued by delays and insufficient resources that took more than six years to officially begin. The authors note that although the Federal Judiciary Council (Consejo de la Judicatura Federal, CJF) developed a well-structured master plan that outlines three phases of implementation, it will be necessary to modify this plan in light recent challenges to the reform’s full dissemination throughout Mexico. However, the CFJ projects that by 2016 there will be at least one operating center in all of Mexico’s states.

The authors also find that the Peña Nieto administration has taken a more active role in the implementation of the new system in comparison to the previous administration. The Ministry of the Interior (Secretaría de Gobernación, SEGOB), responsible for the ensuring the implementation of judicial reforms, is working through the Technical Secretariat (Secretaría Técnica, SETEC) in order to augment incentives for states to continue the reform efforts. In 2014 and 2015 SETEC’s funding to Mexican states increased by more than four million dollars in comparison to the Calderon administration. Moreover, while there has been a vast amount of support for the judicial reforms across party lines in Mexico, there must also be continued collaboration between federal and state governments in order to preserve the progress of the NSJP.

The new oral, adversarial procedures in Mexico will involve a period of adjustment and learning, but in light of the significant progress made and to be made in the near future, there may be a diminishing emphasis on the NSJP as the sense of urgency diminishes in the years to come. As such, the authors put forth three policy recommendations that will help sustain its progress as well as support and evaluate the system: a) institutionalization of the change; b) professionalization of the judicial sector; and c) monitoring judicial system performance over the long term. As the reforms will be instituted across all thirty-two states, it is important to solidify the changes associated with the reform in order to avoid discord between the unitary and federal models. The new system outlines a series of checks and balances that regulate members of the judicial system, and it is therefore vital that there is sufficient funding to continue training programs for court officials. Finally, the progress of the reforms must be monitored over the long term in order to allow for the necessary policy and administrative adjustments in the justice system.

The Criminal Procedure Reform in Mexico 2008-2016 is the third special report by Justice in Mexico on judicial reform. The study was made possible thanks to the generous support of the MacArthur Foundation and through the work of the Oral Advocacy Skill-Building Immersion Seminar (OASIS) project funded by the U.S. State Department’s Bureau of Narcotics and Law Enforcement (INL) as part of the Mérida Initiative.

To read the full report, click here.

Violence and Citizen Participation in Mexico

How do citizens cope politically with violence? In the face of rising insecurity, Mexican citizens, particularly victims, have poured into the streets to demand an end to violence and ask for peace and justice. However, as organized crime groups attempt to influence local elections and target political candidates and public officials, citizens have not felt equally encouraged to cast ballots on election day.

Elections in Mexico, as well as in other Latin American countries such as Brazil and Guatemala, have been marked by criminal violence. Voters, public officials, and candidates alike have been threatened or attacked by organized crime groups. It is, therefore, important to examine how violence shapes various forms of participation. This paper seeks to provide a broad view of political participation in the midst of Mexico’s current security crisis, with the goal of understanding the effects of violence on civic activism.



Violence and Citizen Participation in Mexico: From the Polls to the Streets

By Sandra Ley

This paper is a continuation of the series Building Resilient Communities in Mexico: Civic Responses to Crime and Violence, a multiyear effort by the Mexico Institute at the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars and Justice in Mexico at the University of San Diego to analyze the obstacles to and opportunities for improving citizen security in Mexico.