NarcoData: The 40 year-history of drug cartels in Mexico

10/27/2015 El Daily Post

narcodataNarcoData is a data journalism project in which Animal Politico and El Daily Post explain the evolution and growth of organized crime in Mexico.

There are nine active cartels in Mexico, a country threatened by violence.

Drug cartel leaders become the stuff of legend…Organized crime in Mexico is disproportionately large and its framework is difficult to understand because the cartels don’t just participate in the rapidly growing drugs market, they also sponsor dozens of criminal cells that extort and terrorize the public.

Animal Politico identified the need to explain the growth of organized crime and created NarcoData — an interactive website that offers an in-depth study of the past four decades of organized crime in Mexico — so that our readers can more easily understand how it has evolved.

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UPCOMING OFFSITE EVENT: Investigating the Disappearance of the 43 Students in Mexico

the_week_that_was_from_latin_america_and_caribbean_40482081WHEN: Wednesday, October 21, 9:30am-11:00am

WHERE: Rayburn House Office Building 2255, Washington, DC 20515

Click here to RSVP.

The Office of Congressman Alan Lowenthal, the Washington Office on Latin America (WOLA), and the Mexico Institute of the Woodrow Wilson Center for International Scholars are pleased to invite you to a briefing on:

Investigating the Disappearance of the 43 Students in Mexico

The September 26, 2014 enforced disappearance of 43 students in the southern Mexican city of Iguala profoundly shook Mexican society and shocked the international community. Massive street protests ensued, and the case was front-page news for months. However, more than a year later, much remains unknown about this case.

Through an agreement with the Mexican government and the families of the disappeared students, the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights (the human rights body of the Organization of American States) appointed a group of international experts to provide technical assistance to the Mexican government in its investigation of this case. After six months of painstaking review of the case files and dozens of interviews with witnesses, victims, and the accused, the experts produced an extensive report that illustrated major holes in the government’s investigation of the case and provided recommendations for lines of investigation that need to be pursued as the case moves forward.

Please join us for a briefing on the work and report of the experts, including a discussion of the current status of the investigation and implications for U.S. cooperation with Mexico.

Featuring the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights-Appointed Group of Experts:

Claudia Paz y Paz (Guatemala)

Carlos Martín Beristain (Spain)

Angela Buitrago (Colombia)

Alejandro Valencia Villa (Colombia)

Moderated by
Eric Olson
Associate Director, Latin American Program, Wilson Center
Senior Advisor, Mexico Institute, Wilson Center

With opening remarks by
Congressman Alan Lowenthal

And closing remarks by
Maureen Meyer
Senior Associate for Mexico and Migrant Rights, WOLA

Rayburn House Office Building 2255
Washington, D.C. 20515

The event will be held in Spanish and English; simultaneous interpretation will be provided.

Click here to RSVP.

SMU Tower Center launches unique research program for policy-based analysis of Texas-Mexico relationship

9/8/2015 Southern Methodist University

DALLAS (SMU) – SMU’s John Goodwin Tower Center for Political Studies is launching an ambitious new program to research and promote policy-based discussion on the economic, political and social ties between Mexico and Texas.

The program is made possible through a $1 million gift from GRUMA-Mission Foods, a Mexican corporation with global reach headquartered in Dallas.  The program is designed to elevate the frequently fractured conversations about and between Texas and Mexico, creating a platform that examines shared issues through a policy lens. Plans include:

  • Texas-Mexico research, grants, reports, and white papers
  • Binational and bilingual annual conferences
  • Academic seminars and public forums

“Economics, energy, migration, culture, human capital, internet technology and cyber security are obvious topics for study, but the door is open,” said Juan Antonio González Moreno, Chairman and CEO of GRUMA. “We found in this program a tremendous opportunity to build a foundation for what should become the primary think tank on Texas-Mexico relations.” The list of potential topics is open to almost anything that impacts the relationship between Texas and Mexico.

PHONE EVENT: The Escape of El Chapo Guzmán and the Struggle Against Organized Crime

Exclusive Dial-In Event:

ElChapoWHEN: Wednesday, July 22 at 9:30am


Toll Free #: 888-947-9018
Conference #: 1-517-308-9006
Conference Passcode: 13304

Click here to RSVP.

On Saturday, July 11, around 9 p.m., drug kingpin Joaquín Guzmán Loera, better known as “El Chapo” Guzmán, escaped, for the second time, from a maximum security prison in Mexico.

The Mexico Institute is delighted to present a dial-in event in which expert analysts will offer their take on the broader implications of this escape on the future of Mexico and the U.S.-Mexico security relationship. The event will address four specific questions:

1. How damaging is the escape for the credibility of the Mexican government’s struggle against organized crime?

2. What steps is the government taking to try to recapture El Chapo, and what elements are missing from that effort?

3. How does El Chapo’s escape impact on the panorama of organized crime in Mexico? Will we see a resurgent Sinaloa Cartel now that its leader is free?

4. What impact will the escape have on bilateral relations with the U.S., on trust levels between security agencies, and the ongoing debate over extradition?

Join us BY PHONE for a discussion of this current event, the response by both governments, and the meaning of El Chapo’s escape for Mexico’s international image, with Mexico security experts Duncan Wood, Alejandro Hope, Steven Dudley, and Eric L. Olson.


Alejandro Hope
Director de Política de Seguridad, IMCO

Steven Dudley
Co-Director, InSight Crime

Eric L. Olson
Associate Director, Latin American Program, Wilson Center


Duncan Wood
Director, Mexico Institute, Wilson Center

Click here to RSVP.

Mexico deploys thousands to hunt down Joaquin Guzman

07/17/15 BBC

Photo by Flickr user Thraxil
Photo by Flickr user Thraxil

Mexico says it has stepped up its search for drug lord Joaquin Guzman, who escaped from jail on Saturday. The Interior Ministry said it had deployed almost 10,000 police and 48 dogs to track down the fugitive leader of the Sinaloa cartel. Mexico is also co-operating with neighboring Guatemala and the United States to increase border controls. Guzman’s escape from a top-security jail through a 1.5km-long tunnel is a major embarrassment for officials. It is the second time the drug cartel leader has escaped from a top-security Mexican jail.

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Why Mining Companies Struggle with Security in Mexico

7/3/15 Stratfor Global Intelligence 

MiningGuerrero state has a significant number of productive mines, many of which exploit the rich seam of gold that runs through the region. Unfortunately, as interim Guerrero state Gov. Rogelio Ortega emphasized June 26, the preponderance of mineral extraction companies provides numerous targets for rampant criminal activity, much of which goes unrecorded. The governor urged mining companies to report all crimes perpetrated against them and to invest in public security instead of making extortion payments, often as high as $100,000 per month.

Ortega’s statement highlights a common problem: large multinational firms operating in Mexico are hesitant to report security issues to authorities, particularly in regard to kidnapping and extortion. It also serves as a reminder of the weak rule of law throughout most of Guerrero state that continues to challenge multinational corporations operating there.

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Law Will Let Some Foreign Agents Carry Weapons in Mexico

Reuters, 4/23/2015

youth with handgunMexico’s congress approved on Thursday a reform that lets some foreign agents carry arms inside the country, a significant change in a nation that has historically said the practice would violate its sovereignty.

Under the law, foreign customs and migration agents will be allowed to carry guns in previously established zones. Also, foreign leaders or heads of state will be able to enter Mexico with armed security details.

Officials say the presence of foreign agents in Mexico will speed up the joint inspection process and facilitate the flow of goods and people across borders. They also say foreign customs and migration agents at times need guns to guarantee their security given the problems of drug and human trafficking.

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