Drug cartel violence in Mexico has increased dramatically since 2007, and its impact of the violence has been enormous. Yet one impact that has gone understudied and has not been acknowledged sufficiently is the forced displacement of populations. This study aims to filling this gap. Firstly, it documents an empirical link between drug cartel violence and forced displacement at the national level, distinguishing it from economic migration and where possible identifying patterns of displacement. Using a variety of quantitative and qualitative methods, and a range of sources including the latest national census, survey data and information gathered through interviews, it finds strong evidence that drug cartel violence is causing forced displacement in the worst-affected states of Baja California, Chihuahua, Coahuila, Durango, Guerrero, Michoacán, Nuevo León, San Luis Potosí, Sinaloa,Sonora, Tamaulipas y Veracruz. Secondly, it identifies and describes the vulnerabilities of those affected, focusing on access to the basic necessities of life and livelihood opportunities in places of displacement, and housing, land and property rights. Thirdly, it maps government responses at both the federal and state level.
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