The security situation in Mexico remains unstable. There are currently at least four ongoing instances of armed conflicts with non-state armed groups.1 Due to this ongoing violence, the country also suffers from high levels of weapons and ammunition trafficking.2 In addition, the country also suffers from a small degree of landmines due to its ongoing armed conflicts.3
MAG and UNLIREC are on the ground to help with the through-life management of ammunition by working with the Mexican Ministry of Defence. Efforts have included the provision of equipment to destroy weapons and ammunition, training Mexican forces in the destruction of ammunition, regional training sessions with national forces on preventing the diversion of ammunition, developing regional and national mechanisms to regulate weapons and ammunition, and sharing best practices on ammunition management.4
1“Non-International Armed Conflicts in Mexico.” Rulac. Accessed June 22, 2022. https://www.rulac.org/browse/conflicts/non-international-armed-conflict-in-mexico#collapse2accord.
2“Guns in Mexico.” Gun Law and Policy: Firearms and armed violence, country by country. Accessed June 22, 2022. https://www.gunpolicy.org/firearms/region/mexico.
3“Mexico: Soldiers to Remove Land Mines Planted by Cartels.” Deutsche Welle, February 19, 2022. https://www.dw.com/en/mexico-soldiers-to-remove-land-mines-planted-by-cartels/a-60839983.
4See AMAP Dataset.
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Since the beginning of data collection in 1979 by the Small Arms Survey, two accidental explosions were reported in Mexico.
Table. 1 Accidental explosions in Mexico (1979-2021)
San Antonio de Las Palmas
Source: Small Arms Survey. n.d. Unplanned Explosions at Munitions Sites (UEMS). Database.
Cases of diversion
Various cases of diversion have been reported since 2000 in Mexico.
Table 2: Cases of diversion of arms, ammunition, and explosives in Mexico since 2000
San Luis de la Paz
Gunmen hijacked two trucks hauling more than 7 million rounds of ammunition. Most of the ammunition was for small firearms, such as .22- and .40-caliber pistols, but a significant portion of the bullets were for high-powered weapons, including AR-15 and M-16 rifles.
Two armed men stole 10 guns (likely pistols) from a police station in a suburb of Mexico City.
Gunmen broke into a police complex and stole at least 40 automatic rifles and 23 handguns.
800 guns were lost or stolen from local police stations (637 handguns and 163 long arms).
Source: Radwin, Max. “Mexico Is on Alert after 7 Million Bullets Were Stolen in a Massive Heist.” Business Insider, June 15, 2021. https://www.businessinsider.com/mexico-on-alert-after-7-million-bullets-stolen-in-heist-2021-6?r=US&IR=T. Bonello, Deborah. “Mexico's Public Security Lost 13,000 Weapons in 10 Years.” InSight Crime, June 7, 2016. https://insightcrime.org/news/brief/mexico-public-security-lost-13-000-weapons-in-10-years/. Betz, Bradford. “Armed Men Storm Mexican Police Station, Tie up Officer and Steal Guns.” Fox News, February 5, 2020. https://www.foxnews.com/world/armed-men-tie-up-officer-steal-10-police-guns-in-mexico. “Gunmen Steal Weapons from Police Complex in Mexico.” Taiwan News, September 28, 2010. https://www.taiwannews.com.tw/en/news/1387516.
Insufficient information on the disposal of ammunition in Mexico.
No needs have been reported for Mexico.
Source: PoA Report 2020, Mexico. Please note that PoA reports focus on SALW and not specifically on ammunition. https://unoda-poa.s3.amazonaws.com/reports/MEX-Spanish-984-SUBMITTED.pdf