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Political situation Threats to internal security
At present, Mexico's democracy is still characterised by significant shortcomings in terms of the rule of law and legal certainty. The government under López Obrador is using a new strategy to fight corruption and address past abuses of human rights. It is evident that the government has embarked on reforms and initial steps in this policy area.
Corruption is widespread in Mexico's politics, administrative authorities and judiciary. One consequence is that very few perpetrators of crimes are prosecuted; estimates indicate an impunity rate of 98 per cent. In recent years Mexico has followed a downward trajectory on the Corruption Perceptions Index (CPI), which is published by the non-governmental organisation Transparency International. On the 2019 index it ranked 130th out of 180 countries (compared with 106th out of 177 countries in 2013).
The biggest threat to the country's internal security is posed by organised crime. Virtually the entire US drug market is supplied by Mexico. In parts of the country, armed groups that are controlled by the drug cartels have rendered the state monopoly on force null and void. The Mafia also exerts an influence on parts of the political apparatus, the private sector and the police. Each year the conflicts between government security forces and organised criminals, and between competing cartels, claim thousands of lives. Estimates are that in 2018 some 28,000 people were deliberately killed in Mexico. More than 35,000 people are classified as missing.
Journalists who report on corruption, the drug trade, or the links between politicians and organised crime put their lives at risk. The 2019 World Press Freedom Index compiled by the human rights organisation Reporters Without Borders ranks Mexico 144th out of 180 countries evaluated (compared with 153rd out of 179 in 2013).
Mexico is a transit country and increasingly also a recipient country for a growing number of refugees and migrants from central American countries trying to enter the US. The tense situation in the region along the border with the US is a major political and humanitarian challenge for the Mexican government.