By KELIN DILLON
Throughout the first three years of Mexican President Andrés Manuel López Obrador’s (AMLO) six-year term, more than 63,310 people in Mexico have been displaced from their homes due to violence across the country, said the Mexican Commission for the Defense and Promotion of Human Rights (CMDPDH) on Sunday, Feb. 27.
“Despite the fact that this is preliminary information, which will be reviewed and analyzed in more detail in the coming weeks for the preparation of our annual report, we are undoubtedly facing an increase in displacement caused by violence in the country,” said the CMDPDH.
According to data from the CMDPDH, violence has increased by 17 percent throughout AMLO’s administration compared to the same three-year time period of the previous presidential administration, where 53,991 people in total were displaced. Just in 2021, the CMDPDH documented 40 mass internal displacement events prompted by violence that affected at least 44,905 people across 10 states.
“The figures recorded in 2021 are the highest we have documented since 2016,” the CMDPDH went on to say. “In 2020, for example, there were 24 events of massive internal displacement caused by violence and 9,741 displaced people.”
While AMLO’s government has acknowledged the continual displacement of Mexican peoples, the administration has yet to take any steps to make a formal census on violence-caused displacement throughout the nation, while legislation to combat the issue – the General Law to Prevent, Address and Comprehensively Repair Internal Forced Displacement – has sat stagnant in the Mexican Senate since September 2020.
“It seems essential to us to legislate a constitutional reform in this matter so that the Senate has powers on the subject, because today what is happening is that illegal mining is generating internal displacement and we have to adapt,” said Senator Emilio Álvarez Icaza on Feb. 10, who has been urging his fellow senators for reforms on the issue and proposed the creation of a National Law for the Prevention, Protection, Generation of Durable Solutions and Sanctions. “If we don’t resolve this soon, we’re going to have an extraordinarily dangerous combination of drug traffickers and illegal mining.”
Based on figures from the CMDPDH, approximately 346,945 people were displaced by violence in Mexico between 2006 to December 2019, with the number increasing to 401,591 with statistics from López Obrador’s term taken into account.