Lethal Violence and Migration in Mexico: An Analysis of Internal and International Moves

Violencia homicida y migración en México: un análisis de la migración interna e internacional

Douglas Steven Massey, Jorge Durand, Karen A. Pren


Conectando tasas de homicidio municipales desde 1990 a 2018 con datos del Proyecto Mexicano de Migración, estimamos una serie de modelos multinomiales de tiempo discreto para evaluar el efecto de la violencia homicida sobre la probabilidad de migrar dentro de México o hacia Estados Unidos sin documentos. Las estimaciones indican que la tasa de homicidio predice negativamente la probabilidad de realizar un primer viaje a Estados Unidos, pero predice positivamente la probabilidad de hacer un primer viaje dentro de México. Entre los migrantes indocumentados que ya han realizado un primer viaje a Estados Unidos, la violencia mortal también predice negativamente la probabilidad de hacer un segundo viaje indocumentado. Entre los migrantes retornados que realizaron su primer viaje a un destino mexicano, las probabilidades de hacer un primer viaje indocumentado a Estados Unidos también están previstas negativamente por la tasa de homicidio municipal. La violencia en México no es un factor importante para motivar la migración indocumentada a Estados Unidos.

Palabras clave: violencia, migración indocumentada, migración interna, Estados Unidos, México.


Linking municipal-level homicide rates from 1990 through 2018 with data from the Mexican Migration Project, we estimate a series of multinomial discrete-time event history models to assess the effect that exposure to lethal violence has on the likelihood of migration within Mexico and to the U.S. without documents. Statistical estimates indicate that the homicide rate negatively predicts the probability of taking a first undocumented trip to the U.S. but positively predicts the likelihood of taking a first trip within Mexico. Among those undocumented migrants, who have already taken a first U.S. trip, lethal violence also negatively predicts the likelihood of taking a second undocumented trip. Among returned internal migrants whose first trip was to a Mexican destination, the odds of taking a first undocumented trip were also negatively predicted by the municipal homicide rate. Violence in Mexico is not a driver of undocumented migration to the U.S.

Keywords: violence, undocumented migration, internal migration, United States, Mexico.

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