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The security situation in Mexico remains unstable. The country has been involved in at least four conflicts against non-state armed groups.1 Due to this situation and ongoing violence, the country also suffers from high levels of weapons and ammunition trafficking,2 as well as low levels of landmines.3

The Mines Advisory Group (MAG) and the UN Regional Centre for Peace, Disarmament and Development in Latin America and the Caribbean (UNLIREC) are working on the ground to support the through-life management of ammunition, in collaboration with the Mexican Ministry of Defence. Efforts have included providing equipment to destroy weapons and ammunition, training Mexican forces in the destruction of ammunition, organising 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

“Non-International Armed Conflicts in Mexico,” Rule of Law in Armed Conflicts Project (RULAC), Geneva Academy of International Humanitarian Law and Human Rights, updated June 22, 2022,

2 Philip Alpers and Miles Lovell, Mexico – Gun Facts, Figures and the Law (, Sydney School of Public Health, University of Sydney, 2022),

“Mexico: Soldiers to Remove Land Mines Planted by Cartels,” Deutsche Welle, February 19, 2022,

“Ammunition Management Activity Platform (A-MAP),” GICHD, 2022,

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Further information

Accidental explosions

Since the Small Arms Survey began collecting data in 1979, two accidental explosions have been reported in Mexico.

Table 1. Accidental explosions in Mexico (1979–2021)

Year Location Owner/manager Deaths Injuries



0 0

San Antonio de Las Palmas


2 4

Source: “Unplanned Explosions at Munitions Sites (UEMS) Database,” Small Arms Survey, updated December 15, 2021,

Cases of diversion

Several cases of diversion have been reported since 2009 in Mexico.

Table 2. Cases of diversion of arms, ammunition and explosives in Mexico since 2009

Year Location Description

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-calibre pistols, but a significant portion of the bullets were for high-powered weapons, including AR-15 and M-16 rifles.


Mexico City

Two armed men stole 10 guns (likely pistols) from a police station in a suburb of Mexico City.


Chihuahua City

Gunmen broke into a police complex and stole at least 40 automatic rifles and 23 handguns.


Mexico City

800 guns were lost or stolen from local police stations (637 handguns and 163 long arms).

Source: Max Radwin, “Mexico Is on Alert after 7 Million Bullets Were Stolen in a Massive Heist,” Business Insider, June 15, 2021,;  Deborah Bonello, “Mexico's Public Security Lost 13,000 Weapons in 10 Years,” InSight Crime, June 7, 2016,; Bradford Betz, “Armed Men Storm Mexican Police Station, Tie up Officer and Steal Guns,” Fox News, February 5, 2020,; “Gunmen Steal Weapons from Police Complex in Mexico,” Taiwan News, September 28, 2010.


Insufficient information on the disposal of ammunition in Mexico.



No needs have been reported for Mexico.

Source: Mexico, National Report on the Implementation of the Programme of Action on Small Arms and Light Weapons (PoA) and the International Tracing Instrument (ITI) (New York: Permanent Mission of Mexico to the UN, 2020),

Published Date: Wednesday 15 of November 2023