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Was President Trump Wrong To Call Mexico "Second Deadliest Country" Behind Syria?

First Posted: Jun 23, 2017 02:04 PM EDT
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President Donald Trump believes that we must build his proposed border wall because drug fueled violence makes Mexico the "second deadliest country" in the world behind Syria, per a Thursday night tweet.

What Trump is most likely referring to in his tweet is a study conducted by International Institute for Strategic Studies, that found that 23,000 in Mexico have died as a result of drug cartel violence and intimidation in 2016. According to the IISS, the death rates in the asymmetric conflict between cartels and police forces at the state and federal levels known as the Mexican Drug War has reached "a level akin to armed conflict."

But this is where facts get murky, the way Donald Trump likes it. Can these murders be used to justify the building of a border wall? Where is the line between murder victims and casualties of a war? Is it fair to label what's happening in Mexico as a conflict on par with situations in Syria, Ukraine or Congo?


According to the IISS report, Mexico's 23,000 intentional homicides put it well below Syria's 50,000 and a report compiled by the Mexican federal government disputes that all 23,000 intentional homicides were drug cartel-related. This is not to downplay the violent crime in Mexico, six Mexican cities were on this list of the 50 Most Dangerous Cities In The World.

A trend is evident from that list, mainly the presence so many Latin American countries experiencing similar stories of political corruption and economic upheaval. However, Mexico's murder rates put it firmly in the middle of the pack of it's neighbors in the Western Hemisphere.

President Trump continues to glacially move forward with his agenda of taking away healthcare from the opioid-ravaged American citizens who would need it most and still plans to somehow charge Mexico for his border wall.

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