Prosecutors Say Gunmen Kidnapped Reporter in Southern Mexico

2/08/16 The Associated Press

Palacio_de_Gobierno_del_Estado_de_Veracruz_04MEXICO CITY — A reporter was dragged from her home by armed assailants before dawn Monday in southern Mexico and had not been seen since, authorities said.

Crime-beat reporter Anabel Flores Salazar was kidnapped in the Gulf coast state of Veracruz at about 2 a.m.

The Veracruz state prosecutor’s office said police were looking for her. The kidnapping took place near the city of Orizaba, where she worked for a local newspaper.

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[Video] Former Mexican Governor Detained in Spain

1/19/2016 Wilson Center Trending

viri wilson center trending

It’s been a good week for Mexican law and order. Following the recent capture of El Chapo, comes the news that Former Mexican Governor Moreira has been detained in Spain as part of an ongoing money-laundering investigation. Wilson Fellow Viridiana Rios provides analysis.

Watch the Video. 

Viridiana Rios, a Global Fellow with the Wilson Center’s Mexico Institute, is an expert in Mexico’s subnational economy, citizen security and rule of law. She analyzes labor markets, productivity, and development indicators at Mexico, and disentangles how violence, conflict, rule of law, and corruption have affected them. Her career has taken her from positions as public officer and applied researcher, to entrepreneur and journalist. As a public officer, Viridiana has served as adviser to Mexico’s Minister of Finance, and to Mexican President’s Spokesman. As a researcher, she has worked with the Guggenheim Foundation of New York City, the United Nations, USAID, The World Bank, The Center for US-Mexico Studies at the University of California in San Diego, the Trans-border Institute at the University of San Diego, and Mexico’s ministries of social development (SEDESOL), education (SEP), and security (SNSP). In a more entreprenuerial gig, Viridiana directed México ¿Cómo Vamos?, a start-up think tank specialized in translating academic knowledge to the language of policy makers and the press. Finally, as journalist, she has a weekly column at Excélsior, a Mexican national newspaper.

Watch the Video.

Join us for our Third Annual Mexico Security Review

WHEN: Thursday, January 21, 9:00am-1:00pm

WHERE: 6th Floor, Woodrow Wilson Center

Click to RSVP.

A live webcast will be available here

Mexico faced major security challenges in 2015. Homicides ticked upward for the first time since 2011, and Joaquín “El Chapo” Guzmán’s escape from a maximum-security prison was a major embarrassment. An OAS-linked group of independent experts examined the disappearance of 43 students in Guerrero and found major discrepancies with the official version. 2016 has started off with good news for the government with the recapture of “El Chapo,”  and this year is also the deadline for Mexico to complete the transition to an adversarial justice system.

The Wilson Center’s Mexico Institute is pleased to invite you to its third annual Mexican security review. The forum will provide a careful examination of Mexico’s security landscape in 2015 and 2016. What does the recapture of El Chapo mean for Mexico’s security in 2016? How will the Peña Nieto administration continue to build on his recapture, and what will the new justice system mean for fighting crime and criminal networks?

Please join us for presentations featuring leading Mexican and U.S. security analysts and researchers, and representatives from the Mexican government.


Duncan Wood
Director, Mexico Institute, Wilson Center

Ambassador Miguel E. Basáñez
Ambassador of Mexico to the U.S.

Panel I: Overview of 2015 and Trends in 2016

Alejandro Hope

Editor, Security and Justice, El Daily Post

David Shirk
Professor, University of San Diego
Director, Justice in Mexico Project
Global Fellow, Wilson Center

Viridiana Rios
Fellow, Wilson Center

Eric L. Olson
Associate Director, Latin American Program &
Senior Advisor to the Mexico Institute, Wilson Center

Duncan Wood
Director, Mexico Institute, Wilson Center

Panel II: Reforming the Criminal Justice System

Keynote: Mtro. Rommel Moreno Manjarrez
Head of the Special Department for the Implementation of the Adversarial Criminal Justice System,
Office of the Attorney General (PGR)

Layda Negrete
Coordinator, Quality of Justice Project, México Evalúa

Octavio Rodriguez
Program Coordinator, Justice in Mexico Project, University of San Diego

Matthew Ingram
Assistant Professor, Department of Political Science, University at Albany, SUNY

Eric L. Olson
Associate Director, Latin American Program &
Senior Advisor to the Mexico Institute, Wilson Center

Click to RSVP

Mexico’s Governing Party Vows to Stop Using Neuromarketing to Study Voters

11/11/2015 The New York Times

9085212846_3cb274caea_bThe leader of Mexico’s governing party has said that it will stop hiring neuroscience consultants to register voters’ brain waves and read their facial expressions, responding to a political outcry over its use of the tools of neuromarketing to shape its campaign and governing messages.

Manlio Fabio Beltrones, a longtime political boss who in August became leader of the governing party, the Institutional Revolutionary Party, said last week after The New York Times reported on the methods that the party would stick to tried and trusted campaign tools, like polls and political intuition, “the old-fashioned way,” in its future campaigns.

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Mexico: Old Left Party PRD Seeks Coalition in Next Elections

11/3/2015 TeleSur TV

PRDThe proposal has been criticized as a desperate attempt by the party to not lose out to an emerging left-wing rival. The Party of the Democratic Revolution (PRD) proposed Tuesday to create a coalition of left-wing forces for the 2016 state elections, a move that comes as the part is expected to lose many positions to a more recent and progressive leftist party.

In an open letter to the country’s left-wing forces, the party argued that unity was crucial to address the violence, corruption, and organized crime that have seriously damaged the rule of law in Mexico.

The authors pointed to the fact that left-leaning factions represented over 30 percent of the votes in the 2006, 2012 and 2015 elections.

“We believe that the social and political conditions demand a large electoral coalition able to govern, in which would converge political parties, social organizations and citizens,” stated the party, calling for dialogue with Morena, Movimiento Ciudadano, and the Partido del Trabajo.

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New Report on Judicial Reform by Justice in Mexico

justice in mexico logoBy David A. Shirk and Octavio Rodriguez Ferreira, Justice in Mexico

October 8, 2015

On October 8, 2015, Justice in Mexico launched a new report that provides a deep analysis of the current process of judicial reform in Mexico. The Criminal Procedure Reform in Mexico 2008-2016, by authors Octavio Rodríguez Ferreira and David A. Shirk, analyzes the process of implementing judicial reform in Mexico as well as the impacts of the reform on the federal and state level, as well as some of the past, present and future challenges to implementation efforts. Overall, the authors find that despite obstacles to the reform’s implementation, significant progress has been made and will continue in the years to come.

In 2008 the Mexican Congress approved an eight-year process to improve the criminal justice system, in a reform known as the New Criminal Justice System (Nuevo Sistema de Justicia Penal, NSJP). The NSJP will replace the traditional mixed inquisitorial justice system with a more efficient adversarial model. The new system will be operational throughout the country by June 18, 2016.

Read the report…

Publication: Mexico’s Moment: The 2012 Presidential Transition

10/2015  by Robert Joyce – Innovation for Successful Societies, Princeton University

Mexico’s 2012 presidential transition tested the durability of the country’s democracy. Outgoing president Felipe Calderón ceded power to longtime political opponents. The new president, Enrique Peña Nieto, had to gather information on government programs, select a Cabinet and top aides, and set priorities—with no guarantee of significant cooperation from his predecessor’s administration. But to the surprise of some Mexicans, Calderón ordered his staff to cooperate by gathering and organizing information to brief their incoming counterparts. The process the two leaders put in place ensured an effective handover and helped pave the way for a landmark political deal early in Peña Nieto’s term. The 2012 transition, only the second between opposing parties in eight decades, followed steps other countries could find helpful for ensuring the continuity of core government functions during transfers of power.

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