Mexico

Overview:  CT cooperation between Mexico and the United States remained strong in 2022.  No credible evidence indicated that international terrorist groups established bases in Mexico, worked directly with Mexico-based transnational criminal organizations, or sent operatives via Mexico into the United States in 2022.  No one who gained entry to the United States through Mexico has ever carried out a terrorist attack in the United States.  However, the United States remains vigilant against individuals inspired by international terrorist groups possibly targeting U.S. interests or persons in Mexico.  The U.S. southern border also remains vulnerable to terrorist transit.  In 2022 the Government of Mexico (GOM) did not detain any individuals on the U.S. terrorism watchlist near the U.S. southern border. 

2022 Terrorist Incidents:  No reported terrorist incidents occurred in Mexico in 2022.  However, transnational criminal organizations expanded their use of explosives to target rivals, resulting in the killing of bystanders.  Several loosely organized, violent anarchist groups have used IEDs to target Mexican security forces and thus posed a domestic terror threat in 2022.

Legislation Law Enforcement and Border Security:  Mexico made no changes to its CT legislation in 2022.  The country lacks adequate laws prohibiting material support to terrorists, and relies on other countries to thwart potential threats.  U.S. law enforcement reported increased collaboration with the GOM in 2022 to identify potential CT threats among the growing number of third-country nationals transiting Mexico.  In 2022 the Secretariat of National Defense and Mexican National Guard coordinated border security and customs operations with U.S. law enforcement, and the GOM committed to modernize its ports of entry along the U.S. border.  The Center for National Intelligence in the Secretariat of Security and Citizen Protection was the lead agency for detecting, deterring, and preventing terrorist threats in 2022.  The Mexican Attorney General’s Office was the lead agency for investigating and prosecuting terrorism-related offenses.  Impunity and low prosecution rates for all crimes persisted. 

Countering Terrorism Finance:  Mexico is a member of FATF and GAFILAT (the Financial Action Task Force of Latin America), as well as a cooperating and supporting nation of the Caribbean Financial Action Task Force and an observer at MONEYVAL (the Committee of Experts on the Evaluation of Anti-Money Laundering Measures and the Financing of Terrorism).  Mexico’s FIU, the Financial Intelligence Unit-Mexico (UIF-Mexico) is a member of the Egmont Group.  In February the Mexican congress passed legislation granting UIF-Mexico authority to place individuals on its domestic sanctions list without a request from an international partner or judicial blocking order, bringing Mexico in line with FATF standards. 

For further information on money laundering and financial crimes, see the 2022 International Narcotics Control Strategy Report, Volume 2, Money Laundering and Financial Crimes.

Countering Violent Extremism:  Mexico took no action in 2022 to establish official CVE policies, initiatives, or programs. 

International and Regional Cooperation:  As a 2021-22 member of the UNSC, Mexico reiterated its commitment to counterterrorism efforts in 2022 at several UN discussions.  It argued that, rather than the UNSC alone, the UN General Assembly should play a leading role in preventing terrorism through development, improving living standards, and creating educational and employment opportunities.  Mexico supports the UN Global Counterterrorism Strategy and has underscored the need to combat arms trafficking to deprive terrorists of weapons.

Mexico is a member of the OAS Inter-American Committee Against Terrorism (CICTE).  In July, Mexico became CICTE chair.

On This Page

U.S. Department of State

The Lessons of 1989: Freedom and Our Future