Mexico IDP Figures analysis

As of December 2014 IDMC estimates that there were at least 281,400 internally displaced people (IDPs) in Mexico.


This figure is the compilation of several displacement events across the country that forced people to flee their homes and communities as a result of criminal, political and religious violence, among others.

The security strategy pursued by former president Felipe Calderón meant to eradicate Drug Trade Organizations in Mexico as crime was soaring in the country as he took office in 2006. As a result of the Joint Military Operations with the local and federal polices, public insecurity became more acute and human rights violence, homicides, forced disappearances, extortion and other forms of non-lethal violence became rampant. According to a survey of Ciudad Juárez, in 2007-2010, 230,000 fled this city as a result of crime-related violence. Of these half cross the border to the United States, and the other became IDPs. In 2012 alone 24,000 fled Ciudad Juárez.

In addition, as a result of the competition between cartels for the control of the area called the Golden triangle – an area shared between the states of Chihuaha, Sinaloa and Durango -, violence soared there, displacing at least 30,000 persons in 11 of the 18 counties of Sinaloa.

Furthermore, religious and political violence, particularly among indigenous people, has also forced people to flee their homes, and up to 30,000 people are still leaving in protracted displacement in Chiapas as they were displaced during the Zapatista conflict in 1994-1995.

Finally, since 2011, ITAM-CMDPDH has systematically registered mass events of forced internal displacement and conducted field work in five states in which interviews were conducted and focal group discussions held. In the period 2011-December 2014 a total of 141 of such displacement occurred in 10 states of the country; 23 occurred in 2014, displacing 9,024 people.

The IDP figure (i.e. at least 281,400) does not include disaster-induced displacement which accounted for at least 158,300 IDPs as of December 2013. People were displaced as a result of floods, storm and landslide.

IDMC uses only the most credible accurate information available. Notwithstanding the caveats and limitations of the source information described above, IDMC believes this to be the best data and is grateful to the partners for sharing it.