Mexico: Sikh actor barred from flying to US ‘because of turban’

2/09/16 BBC News

airportA Sikh actor has claimed he was barred from boarding an Aeromexico plane because of his turban.

Indian-American Waris Ahluwalia, who is also a designer, said he was prevented from boarding after he refused to remove his turban in public.

The incident happened during additional security checks before a flight from Mexico City to New York.

Aeromexico said it had complied with security protocols and it regretted any “inconvenience”.

He posted a picture of the ticket on his Instagram account. It carried an “SSSS” stamp, an acronym for Secondary Security Screening Selection, an airport measure that selects passengers for additional screening. The selection is said to be random.

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Murder Rate Climbs In Mexico, Even As The Government Celebrates El Chapo’s Recapture

1/21/2016 The Huffington Post

Intentional homicides in Mexico rose nearly 8 percent last year to 18,650, reversing a steady decline in the number of killings that authorities had trumpeted as evidence of improving security.

The data, released Wednesday by Mexico’s Secretariat of the Executive, seemed to validate those who have doubted the progress of security under President Enrique Peña Nieto, who this month has been celebrating the recapture of famed drug lord Joaquín “El Chapo” Guzmán Loera.

“2015 was not a good year,” former Mexican intelligence official Alejandro Hope said Thursday during a conference at the Woodrow Wilson Center. “At the current rate, there will be more homicides under Peña Nieto than under [previous President Felipe] Calderón.”

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This article mentions the Mexico Institute’s event “Mexico Security Review 2016: Assessing the Outlook for the Rule of Law.” Watch the video of the event 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] U.S.-Mexico Cooperation in Drug War

1/17/2016 Washington Journal, C-SPAN

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Duncan Wood talked to C-SPAN’s Washington Journal about the recapture of Mexican drug lord Joaquin “El Chapo” Guzman and its implications for U.S.-Mexican cooperation in future anti-drug trafficking efforts.

Watch the Video.

[Video] Former Mexican Governor Detained in Spain

1/19/2016 Wilson Center Trending

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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

[Video] “El Chapo” Recaptured in Mexico

dw wilson center nowMexico Institute Director, Duncan Wood discusses the capture of the drug lord, Joaquín “El Chapo” Guzmán, and the larger issues surrounding his arrest. That’s the focus of this edition of  Wilson Center NOW.

Watch the video.