President Donald Trump has falsely claimed that Mexico is the "number one most dangerous country in the world", based on several reports showing that places including Venezuela, Syria and Yemen are more unsafe.
Mexico is ranked 22nd on Global Peace Index’s list of world’s most dangerous countries for 2017. The top 10 perilous countries are Syria, Afghanistan, Iraq, South Sudan, Yemen, Somalia, Libya, Sudan, Central African Republic and Ukraine.
Produced by the Institute for Economics and Peace, an Australia-based global think tank, the index measures the relative position of nations’ and regions’ peacefulness.
Mexico is also not included on the World Economic Forum’s list of top 20 most dangerous countries in the world.
Last April, the group released its Travel and Tourism Competitiveness Report, which includes a ranking of how safe countries are for tourists. The top five most dangerous countries are Nigeria, Pakistan, El Salvador, Yemen and Colombia.
In an ostensible effort to justify why the US needed to build a wall along its southern border, Mr Trump last year made the claim on Twitter that “Mexico was just ranked the second deadliest country in the world, after only Syria.”
“Drug trade is largely the cause,” he tweeted in June. “We will BUILD THE WALL!”
Mr Trump was believed to be citing a report from the International Institute for Strategic Studies that was published in May. The British think tank, which produces an annual armed conflict survey, said that in 2016, Mexico’s “intentional homicide total” of 23,000 deaths was “second only to Syria”.
But the authors later withdrew the report, admitting to “a methodological flaw.”
Mexico was just ranked the second deadliest country in the world, after only Syria. Drug trade is largely the cause. We will BUILD THE WALL!— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) June 22, 2017
On Thursday, Mr Trump went a step further than his June tweet, writing that "we need the Wall to help stop the massive inflow of drugs from Mexico, now rated the number one most dangerous country in the world."
We need the Wall for the safety and security of our country. We need the Wall to help stop the massive inflow of drugs from Mexico, now rated the number one most dangerous country in the world. If there is no Wall, there is no Deal!— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) January 18, 2018
Mr Trump and Republicans are currently trying to negotiate an immigration deal with Democrats that would protect some 780,000 young immigrants from deportation. The President added in his tweet that there would be no such deal without a wall.
There is no question that Mexico saw a sharp incline in its homicide rate last year, primarily as a result of the drug war. But based on recent reports, it is still incorrect to argue that Mexico is the most deadly nation.
However, Mexico still followed Brazil in the number of cities from each country on the list.
Brazil had 19, while eight of the most violent cities were in Mexico. Seven were in Venezuela, which is facing its own political crisis that led to violence and fierce anti-government protests last year.