Organized Crime, Violence Spurs Largest Exodus of Mexican Families in Modern history

Some 180,000 Mexican migrants, traveling in family groups, crossed the border into the U.S. over the 12 months ending in October, four times more than the previous year and a fifth of the 868,000 migrants of all nationalities traveling in family groups, Daina Beth Solomon and Laura Gottesdiener report for Reuters. Migration experts say that the numbers represent the largest exodus of Mexican families in modern history, the majority of whom are being forced from their homes by the expansion of organized crime group violence into previously calm parts of the country.

Survey data from the Kino Border Initiative, a large migrant shelter and resource center in Nogales, Sonora, found that some 88 percent of the Mexicans who passed through Kino this year said they were seeking to escape violence. In 2017, it was the opposite: 87 percent of the 7,148 respondents to the Kino survey said they were migrating for economic reasons, with only 2 percent citing violence. A 2022 survey by the U.N.’s International Organization for Migration of more than 500 Mexicans who relocated to northern Mexico, nearly all of whom planned to enter the U.S., found that 90 percent had fled violence, extortion, armed clashes or organized crime.


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