Journal of Immigrant and Minority Health

, Volume 16, Issue 1, pp 53–59 | Cite as

Migrants Suffering Violence While in Transit Through Mexico: Factors Associated with the Decision to Continue or Turn Back

  • Edson Servan-Mori
  • Rene Leyva-FloresEmail author
  • Cesar Infante Xibille
  • Pilar Torres-Pereda
  • Rodrigo Garcia-Cerde
Original Paper


To identify and analyze the factors associated with the decision of migrants suffering violence while in transit through Mexico, to continue on their trip or turn back. Cross-sectional study combining quantitative and qualitative analyses. Socio-demographic and health characteristics, as well as types of violence and factors associated with the decision to continue on the trip, were explored for 862 migrants. 35 migrants were interviewed to explore their perceptions of migration, socioeconomic and political situations in their countries of origin, risks, violence experienced, and the decision to continue on their trip. Of the 862 migrants, 21.1 % experienced violence during their transit through Mexico towards the USA. Of these, 88.5 % decided to continue on their journey. This decision was positively associated with age (OR = 1.075, p < 0.05), number of children (OR = 3.161, p < 0.10), homicide rate in the country of origin (OR = 1.043, p < 0.10) and proximity to the northern border. No differences were observed by sex, schooling, days in transit and the presence of health problems. The decision to continue the journey to the United States was related to structural factors in the countries of origin, rather than risks in transit. It is necessary to implement mechanisms to promote and protect the human rights of migrants during their whole journey (origin, transit and destination).


International migration Structural violence Human rights Mexico 



The authors will like to thank the Migrants’ shelters who participated in this study and the migrants who voluntarily shared their testimonies and experiences.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  • Edson Servan-Mori
    • 1
  • Rene Leyva-Flores
    • 2
    Email author
  • Cesar Infante Xibille
    • 2
  • Pilar Torres-Pereda
    • 2
  • Rodrigo Garcia-Cerde
    • 2
  1. 1.Centre for Evaluation and Survey ResearchNational Institute of Public HealthCuernavacaMexico
  2. 2.Centre for Health Systems ResearchNational Institute of Public HealthCuernavacaMexico

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