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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Publication | The Impact of Crime and Violence on Economic Sector Diversity

By Viridiana Rios, Mexico Institute Global Fellow
December 21, 2015, Harvard University

Abstract:

Literature has focused attention on identifying whether crime and violence impact growth via changes in economic factor accumulation, i.e. reducing labor supply or increasing capital costs. Yet, much little is known as to how crime and violence may affect how economic factors are allocated. Using a unique dataset created with a text-analysis algorithm of web content, this paper traces a decade of economic activity at the subnational level to show that increases in criminal presence and violent crime reduce economic diversification, increase sector concentration, and diminish economic complexity. An increase of 9.8% in the number of criminal organizations is enough to eliminate one economic sector. Similar effects can be felt if homicides rates increase by more than 22.5%, or if gang-related violence increases by 5.4%. By addressing the impact that crime has on the diversification of production factors, this paper takes current literature one step forward: It goes from exploring the effects of crime in the demand/supply of production factors, to analyzing its effects on economic composition.

Download the paper here.

Five Security Priorities for Mexico

1/27/2016 Viridiana Rios, The Expert Take

expert I (2)The Mexico Institute of The Wilson Center gathered a group of academics and experts on security issues, to discuss how Mexico’s security panorama has changed over the last year. The consensus is clear: Mexico’s violence issues are reviving. 

Homicides in Mexico increased by 11% during the last year, reversing the decline in violent crime that had started in 2012 (SNSP 2016). Mexico finished 2015 having about 46 homicides per day, 4 more than the 42 homicides per day that the country had in 2014. To put this number in perspective, from 2012 to 2014, on average, the total number of homicides has declined by about 2,400 every year, but in 2015 it increased by 1,360.

It is time for Mexico to take action. The last time that Mexico saw its homicide rate begin to tick up, rising from a low point in 2007, it took just three years for homicides to double (SNSP 2016). From 2007 to 2010, homicides increased from 10,253 to 20,680 in Mexico as a result of the fracture of large drug trafficking organizations into smaller rival ones. Mexico has still not fully recovered from such a spike in violence. The country is still 66% more violent than it was in 2007.

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VIDEO | Mexican Mayor Assassinated: Implications for the Debate Over the Organization of Police Forces

duncan wilson center trendingMexico Institute Director, Duncan Wood believes the assassination of Mayor Gisela Mota could have implications for the ongoing debate over how to organize Mexico’s police forces.

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Duncan Wood is the director of the Mexico Institute at the Wilson Center. Prior to this, he was a professor and the director of the International Relations Program at the Instituto Tecnologico Autonomo de Mexico (ITAM) in Mexico City for 17 years. He has been a member of the Mexican National Research System, an editorial advisor to both Reforma and El Universal newspapers, and is a member of the editorial board of Foreign Affairs Latinoamerica. In 2007, he was a non-resident Fulbright Fellow and, between 2007 and 2009, he was technical secretary of the Red Mexicana de Energia, a group of experts in the area of energy policy in Mexico. He has been a Senior Associate with the Simon Chair and the Americas Program at the Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS) in Washington, D.C. His research focuses on Mexican energy policy, including renewable energy, and North American relations. He studied in the UK and Canada, receiving his PhD in political studies from Queen’s University, Canada, and is a recipient of the Canadian Governor General’s Visit Award for contributions to the Mexico-Canada relationship.

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‘Perfect storm’ causing gasoline shortages in Mexico: analyst

7/6/15 via Platts

pemex21Pemex said Monday it has planned “additional volumes of gasoline imports in order to regularize supplies” in several states following what one analyst described as a “perfect storm” of shortages involving red tape and crime.

The state company traditionally prides itself in ensuring supplies of all fuels to industry and consumers. But long lines have formed in recent weeks at the pumps of the service stations that still have gasoline on sale.

The problems have arisen in at least half a dozen states, though not in Mexico City, with its population of 20 million.

Pemex cited several factors for the shortages, including a new billing system that has failed to register the orders made by service stations for new supplies.

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After years of drug wars, murders decline in Mexico

04/30/15 USA Today

gun - crime sceneMurders in Mexico fell for a third straight year in 2014 — the most pronounced declines occurring along the U.S. border — a sign the country is slowly stabilizing after gruesome drug wars. There were 15,649 people murdered in Mexico in 2014, a 13.8% reduction from the previous year and down from a peak of 22,480 in 2011, according to a report set to be released Thursday by the University of San Diego’s Justice in Mexico Project. The reductions were steeper along the U.S.-Mexican border. Five of the six Mexican states that border the USA reported a combined drop of 17.7% in the number of homicides. “These data really help to underscore that we’re talking about a sea change in violence,” said David Shirk, co-author of the report and director of the Justice in Mexico Project, a U.S.-based initiative to protect human rights south of the border. “You still have elevated levels of crime, so we still have a long way to go. But there is improvement, and we have to acknowledge that improvement and understand why it’s happening so we can try to further it.”

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Will Scandals In Mexico Dampen Investment?

11/25/14 Forbes

bridge with trafficThe past few months have been a difficult time for Mexico. In a recent article for the World Politics Review I explained, “Autumn has been a difficult season for Mexican President Enrique Pena Nieto. Public furor has erupted into sustained and sometimes violent protests over the disappearance of 43 students in the rural southwestern state of Guerrero. Long one of Mexico’s poorest, most crime-ridden and isolated states, Guerrero had not been a priority for Pena Nieto’s administration, which has focused tirelessly on promoting the image of a modern and efficient Mexico to foreign investors.”  Although 2014 has marked a number of successful economic reforms and an uptick in economic growth, Mexico’s autumn has been sullied by scandals.

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