Crime, poverty and conflicts trigger exodus in Mexico

According to figures released by the Mexican Commission for the Defense and Promotion of Human Rights (CMDPDH) at least 281,418 Mexicans are victims of forced internal displacement, including 9,000 cases last year.
05/07/2015
10:25
Katia Torres
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The violence of organized crime, extreme poverty and political and religious conflicts, among other factors, have led to an exodus of Mexicans. Most of them have gone to the United States, while others have fled their communities and moved to other states in Mexico. 

According to figures released by the Mexican Commission for the Defense and Promotion of Human Rights (CMDPDH) at least 281,418 Mexicans are victims of forced internal displacement, including 9,000 cases last year. 

The organization says that 89,859 correspond to cases of mass displacement, i.e., when 10 or more families flee their communities simultaneously out of fear due to a direct and immediate threat or because they have been victims of human rights violations. 

Chihuahua, Michoacán, Nuevo León, Sinaloa, Tamaulipas, Sonora and Veracruz have been worst-affected. However, Chiapas, Guerrero and Oaxaca also have a considerable number of displaced people due to conflicts between indigenous communities or of religious or political nature. 

According to the Internal Displacement Monitoring Centre (IDMC) Mexico has the highest rate of displacement in the region along with El Salvador, Honduras and Guatemala. 

A report published in December 2013 by IDMC added that "around 25,000 people are still living in protracted displacement in Chiapas state as a result of armed conflict that took place there in the early 1990s."

The report quoted a 2010 government survey that revealed that more than one in every 100 families has at least one member who changed their residence in fear of their physical wellbeing. 

In the presentation of the book "Forced internal displacement in Mexico. An approach for reflection and analysis" published by the Center for Research and Higher Studies in Social Anthropology (CIESAS), El Colegio de Sonora and the Senate in 2013, Senator Alejandro Robledo Aburto Zoe denounced the absence of public policies to address this phenomenon and the void in laws, and called to establish a legal framework on the issue. 

Laura Rubio, researcher at the Mexican Autonomous Institute of Technology (ITAM) says that the figures released by the CMDPDH are conservative. The scholar, who documented the phenomenon in her book "Internal displacement induced by violence: a global experience" published in 2015, says that even though 281,000 cases have been documented, a quantitative national study is required to gauge the true size of the phenomenon.

 

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