Seeking to improve understanding, communication, and cooperation between Mexico and the United States by promoting original research, encouraging public discussion, and proposing policy options for enhancing the bilateral relationship.
Jesús Morones, the owner of a candy shop in El Salto, a rugged industrial area on the southeastern fringe of the Guadalajara metropolitan area, says he’s been robbed at gunpoint eight times.
“Last time they beat me and locked me and my family in here for 10 minutes while they took what they wanted. They were looking for money but they even took a box of chocolates to snack on afterwards,” he says. “My son was crying and one of the bastards even grabbed my wife’s buttocks.”
In September 2014, 43 students from the Rural Teachers’ College in Ayotzinapa were forcibly disappeared in Iguala, Guerrero in southern Mexico. In the aftermath of this event, the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights, the Mexican government, and the representatives of the victims’ families created an Interdisciplinary Group of Independent Experts (GIEI, by its initials in Spanish) to provide technical assistance and follow-up measures to the Mexican government in the investigation. The GIEI presented its final report on April 24, 2016.
Please join the Wilson Center’s Mexico Institute and the Washington Office on Latin America (WOLA) for a conversation with four of the experts of the GIEI to discuss the main findings of their investigation, what their work demonstrated about Mexico’s criminal justice system, and how the investigation into the disappearance of the 43 students can move forward after their departure from Mexico. The Experts will be joined by a legal representative of the students’ families.
Interdisciplinary Group of Independent Experts
Carlos Martín Beristain (Spain)
Angela Buitrago (Colombia)
Francisco Cox Vial (Chile)
Claudia Paz y Paz (Guatemala)
Senior Associate for Mexico and Migrant Rights
Washington Office on Latin America (WOLA)
Miguel Agustín Pro Juárez Human Rights Center
Eric L. Olson
Associate Director, Latin American Program,
Senior Advisor, Mexico Institute, Wilson Center
Mr. Guerrero Chapa had just finished shopping for shoes with his wife, but moments later the 43-year-old Mexican lawyer was dead, struck by multiple shots from a 9-millimeter pistol. The gunman and an accomplice drove away, the brief early evening encounter caught on a surveillance camera.
The 2013 slaying stunned this upscale North Texas city of 29,000, which hadn’t seen a murder since 1999. But that wasn’t all: the man killed was allegedly a prominent member of Mexico’s Gulf Cartel drug trafficking organization, according to U.S. federal officials. His assassination brought that country’s drug war to the doorsteps of the serene American neighborhood where the Guerrero Chapas lived.
[…]”Spillover violence…is not widespread,” said Christopher Wilson, deputy director of the Mexico Institute at the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars.
Based on 2014 FBI crime data, Mr. Wilson calculated that the murder rate in U.S. border states with Mexico was 4.4 per 100,000 residents, less than the national average of 4.5 per 100,000 residents.
Mexico Institute Global Fellow, Viridiana Rios is studying the impact of violence on Mexico’s economy and has come to some surprising conclusions. It appears that in some cases crime does pay. She discusses economic winners and losers in this edition of Wilson Center NOW.
This article identifies 10 punctual policy recommendations for reducing violence and containing crime in Mexico. Each of these recommendations were drawn from the results of “What works in reducing community violence,” USAID’s latest study, and by comparing it with evidence and analysis of violence-reducing strategies in Mexico. The goal is to push Mexico’s violence reduction efforts back on track, particularly now that murder rates have once again begun to rise.
Mexico is more violent now than a year ago. In 2015, murder rates were up at least 11% from the prior year, a sharp contrast with previous years when, since at least 2012, murder rates had diminished consistently.
Though violence prevention programs are quite common, more and better information is urgently needed to guide social investment targeted at reducing community violence. That is why this new report and the conversation about it hosted by theWilson Center’s Mexico Institute and Latin American Program in Washington, D.C. is so important. In the report, Harvard professors Thomas Abt and Christopher Winship did what many had tried before: analyzed decades of empirical evidence to identify the most effective policies to reduce violence.
By Viridiana Rios, Mexico Institute Global Fellow
December 21, 2015, Harvard University
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.