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Every year, an estimated 500,000 people flee violence and poverty in their countries and enter Mexico with the hope of reaching the United States.

In Mexico, these people are systematically exposed to further episodes of violence. We have been working with migrants and refugees in Mexico since 2012. Our teams work on Mexico’s southern and northern borders, and at various key locations in between, offering medical, psychological and social support to migrants and refugees along the perilous migration route from South and Central America to the United States. 

In Mexico City, we have a comprehensive care centre where we provide specialised multidisciplinary care to migrants, refugees and Mexican people who have been victims of extreme violence and torture. We also provide counselling and mental health services to migrants and refugees outside the Commission for Refugee Assistance (COMAR). 

MSF has repeatedly denounced the repressive policies of the U.S. and Mexican governments based on criminalisation, persecution, detention and deportation in order to contain migratory flows to the northern border. These policies push migrants into the hands of criminal gangs who extort them.

Our activities in 2023 in Mexico

Data and information from the International Activity Report 2023.

MSF in Mexico in 2023 Médecins Sans Frontières runs medical and mental health care projects across Mexico, focusing on migrants and victims of violence. In 2023, we also assisted the response to Hurricane Otis in Acapulco.
Mexico IAR map 2023

In May, the United States introduced legislative changes that severely restrict access to asylum, which had a significant impact on the number of people who ended up stranded at Mexico's northern border during 2023.

Migrants continue to live in dire conditions, with little access to protection, shelter, water and sanitation, or medical care. Furthermore, many of them have been traumatised by exposure to violence, including sexual assaults, during their journeys. Despite this, Mexico recorded an unprecedented number of migrants last year, as both a transit and a destination country.

Through mobile and fixed clinics, our teams delivered medical and mental health services across the country, including in the capital, Mexico City, prioritising minors and women travelling alone, and victims of direct violence.

We also launched emergency responses in Viva México and Juchitán, Oaxaca state, and Arriaga, Chiapas state, when thousands of migrants arrived at the southern border. We provided them with basic healthcare, mental health support and clean drinking water.

In Reynosa and Matamoros, more than 5,000 people were stranded in informal camps, with limited access to drinking water, health services or protection. Our teams adapted activities according to their changing needs, distributing items such as blankets, warm clothing and thermal sleeping mats when the weather turned cold, as well as food.

In our multidisciplinary care centre in Mexico City, we provided a complete package of care for survivors of extreme violence and torture, including medical treatment, mental health and social support. We also had teams based at the Mexican Commission for Refugee Assistance building, the northern bus terminal – where people were taking refuge – and six shelters in the city.

In November, we sent teams to assist people affected by Hurricane Otis in Acapulco and other nearby municipalities in Guerrero state. We conducted medical and mental health consultations and health promotion activities to detect and prevent the spread of diseases.


In 2023
Reynosa Mexico Caring for migrants and deportees_ENG

Reynosa, Mexico: Caring for migrants and deportees

The situation in Reynosa, through the eyes of MSF and the people we assist

MSF has worked in Reynosa since 2017 treating victims of violence in the city, and more recently providing mental and medical care to migrants and deportees

Forced to leave their home countries because of gang violence and poverty, people on the move are increasingly prevented from reaching the US to ask for asylum.

Instead, they find themselves trapped at the border in areas of rampant violence, waiting to cross in deplorable humanitarian conditions.

Our teams have documented a pattern of violent displacement, persecution, sexual violence and forced repatriation. It’s a violence that starts in the country of origin and is replicated along their journeys through Mexico.

Access to mental healthcare/ "I am not a criminal" (ENG)

"I'm not a criminal"

"I'm not a criminal"

"I fled Honduras because the gangs wanted to recruit me and I refused."

The story of 17-year-old José* is representative of many of the young patients we care for in our projects in Tegucigalpa and Choloma, in Honduras, and Reynosa, Mexico.

Central American migration

People fleeing put at risk through dangerous government migration policies

Voices from the Field 26 Mar 2019
Central American migration

“I want a normal life for my son”

Voices from the Field 18 Dec 2018
Central American migration

US asylum restrictions are deepening Mexican border crisis

Press Release 13 Dec 2018
Desperate journey: Fleeing invisible wars in Central America

Tending deep wounds in Mexico

Voices from the Field 29 Oct 2018
Desperate journey: Fleeing invisible wars in Central America
Central American migration

"Leaving the country to seek asylum is often the only option for survival"

Interview 29 Oct 2018
Guerrero (Mexico): Under  siege

Mobile teams respond to escalating violence and trauma in Guerrero state

Project Update 26 Oct 2018
Mexico Migrants Report 2017

Abductions and violence, the price to pay to cross Mexico

Project Update 3 Sep 2018
VOT project Athens
Mental health

Visible and invisible wounds – MSF treats survivors of torture

Voices from the Field 26 Jun 2018
Migrants and Refugees in Mexico shelters

An unsafe country for thousands of refugees fleeing violence in Central America

Press Release 20 Jun 2018

Contact us

Acapulco Sexual Violence
MSF Mexico

Fernando Montes de Oca 56
Col. Condesa, 06140
Del. Cuauhtémoc, Ciudad de Mexico