When Americans think about the deadliest countries in the world, the first thoughts that might come to mind are places like Syria and Iraq.
Syria is the most deadly country in the world with over 50,000 fatalities in 2016 alone, and Iraq is the third most deadly with 17,000 estimated deaths.
But the number two most dangerous country is Mexico. In 2016, according to the International Institute for Strategic Studies, there were more than 23,000 fatalities in Mexico.
According to CNN:
“The wars in Iraq and Afghanistan claimed 17,000 and 16,000 lives respectively in 2016, although in lethality they were surpassed by conflicts in Mexico and Central America, which have received much less attention from the media and the international community,” said Anastasia Voronkova, the editor of the survey.
Voronkova said the number of homicides rose in 22 of Mexico’s 32 states during 2016 and the rivalries between cartels increased in violence.
“It is noteworthy that the largest rises in fatalities were registered in states that were key battlegrounds for control between competing, increasingly fragmented cartels,” she said.
“The violence grew worse as the cartels expanded the territorial reach of their campaigns, seeking to ‘cleanse’ areas of rivals in their efforts to secure a monopoly on drug-trafficking routes and other criminal assets.”
While Mexico remains very deadly, there are still areas that are frequented by tourists each year. For example, 35 million tourists visited Mexico last year, in 2016 — the same year it ranked the 2nd most violent country in the world.
But Independent Journal Review wanted to know more about the violent side of things. We spoke to a source in U.S.-Mexico border security and intelligence about the report.
The source, on the condition of anonymity, said:
“I had a person from Mexico once tell me that for each body found, there are two more that nobody finds. Mexico is and has been the number one deadliest country for more than a decade. The official numbers reported are lower than reality.
If people knew what was happening inside of Mexico, they would have called for a border wall and big gate long before now.
There has been an influx of Middle Easterners into Mexico. They have caught Middle Easterners with Mexican names at the border. They change their names, they marry Mexican nationals. They grow roots in Mexico, and help the cartels acquire weapons they couldn’t otherwise get. These individuals are using it as a country to develop and spread the word for terrorism.”
“It’s very, very bad. The corruption in Mexico isn’t just fragmented either, it’s at the highest levels of government,” according to the source.