Mexico disputes Trump's 'second deadliest country in the world' claim

Mexican officials said the two countries "must be able to move beyond finger-pointing"

Mexico disputes Trump's 'second deadliest country in the world' claim

Picture by: Sipa USA/SIPA USA/PA Images

Mexico's government has responded to Donald Trump after the US president called it the second deadliest country in the world after Syria.

In a tweet last night, President Trump also reiterated his plans to build a border wall between the two countries.

Mexico's foreign ministry has now disputed the claim, saying that the recent rise in homicides was significantly lower than those of several other Latin American countries that were not ranked in a recent report (which did indeed rank Mexico as second only to Syria).

The report by the International Institute for Strategic Studies (IISS), however, only includes countries considered to be conflict zones - with Mexico’s battle with criminal cartels categorised as such. Mexican officials have disputed the report's findings.

UN figures cited by Mexico show that the number of homicides in the country - recorded as 26,037 in 2012 - is the highest in Central America.

However, given the country's larger population, the figures also show a homicide rate (per capita) that is significantly lower than a number of other countries in the region, such as Honduras and Belize. 

In a statement, Mexican officials argue: "Illicit drug trade is indeed the most important cause of violence in Mexico and drug trafficking is costing thousands of lives both in Mexico and the US.

"However, as has been repeatedly stated by the US government itself, drug trafficking is a shared problem that will end only by addressing its root causes: high demand for drugs in the US and supply from Mexico (and other countries)."

The statement adds: "In order to be effective, we must be able to move beyond finger-pointing. We look forward to continue working with the US government against drug trafficking based on the principles of shared responsibility, teamwork, and trust."

Mexico has repeatedly rejected any prospect of paying for the border wall, as President Trump has claimed they will.

Former Mexican president Vicente Fox - who has established himself as one of the most outspoken cross-border critics of President Trump - took to Twitter to criticise the US leader's latest remarks: