UPCOMING EVENT | The State of Security in Mexico

security_lockWHEN: Friday, February 3, 8:45am-1:00pm

WHERE: 6th Floor Auditorium, Wilson Center, Washington, DC

Click to RSVP

Homicides appear to have increased significantly in parts of Mexico during 2016. By one calculation, organized crime related homicides increased roughly 49 percent between 2015 and 2016. October was the most violent month in nearly four years, and after two years of decline, 2016 roughly matched the homicide rate for 2013. Moreover, major cities like Tijuana and Ciudad Juarez that had experienced a decrease in homocides since 2012 saw a significant uptick. What is driving this troubling tren and what kinds of innovative programs are being implemented to reduce violence or prevent it altogether? Please join our panel of experts for a discussion about these and other questions.

Welcome

Duncan Wood, Director, Mexico Institute, Wilson Center

The Current State of U.S. Mexico Security Cooperation and Future Prospects 

Eric L. Olson, Senior Advisor to the Mexico Institute for Security Policy and Associate Director of the Wilson Center’s Latin American Program

Duncan Wood, Director, Mexico Institute, Wilson Center

Panel I: What is Driving the Increase in Homicides in Mexico

Moderator: Clare Seelke, Specialist in Latin American Affairs, Congressional Research Service

Overview: David Shirk, Professor & Director, Justice in Mexico Project, University of San Diego

The Case of Tijuana: Octavio Rodriguez, Program Coordinator, Justice in Mexico Project, University of San Diego

The Case of Tamaulipas: Guadalupe Correa-Cabrera, Associate Professor, University of Texas Rio Grande Valley & Fellow, Woodrow Wilson Center

The Case of Ciudad Juarez: Alfredo Corchado, Journalist

The Case of Guerrero, Chris Kyle, Professor of Anthropology, University of Alabama at Birmingham

Panel II: Promising Experiences in Violence Reduction

Moderator: Eric L. Olson, Senior Advisor to the Mexico Institute for Security Policy and Associate Director of the Wilson Center’s Latin American Program

Is violence reduction possible?  What’s the evidence? : Enrique Betancourt, Director of Violence and Crime Prevention Initiative, Chemonics International

A Public Health Approach to Reducing Violence: Brent Decker, Chief Program Officer, Cure Violence

Building Community Resilience Through Investing in Young Leaders: Carlos Cruz, Founder, Cauce Ciudadano, A.C

Reintegration of Young People in Conflict with the Law: Mercedes Castañeda Gomez Mont,  Director of Youth Program & Co-Founder, Reinserta Un Mexicano, A.C

Click to RSVP

The only two powerful cartels left’: rivals clash in Mexico’s murder capital

The Guardian 11/28/16 

drug warStanding guard at the scene of the crime, the two police officers surveyed the shattered glass and bullet-pocked bodywork of the Mercedes Benz hatchback and offered their analysis. “It’s an eye for an eye,” said one, repeating a phrase often heard in this coastal city, about 200 miles south-west of Guadalajara. “It’s two groups getting even with each other.” As the officers spoke, a group of children kicked a football just beyond the yellow crime scene tape, and customers wandered unperturbed in and out of a row of shops. But only an hour before gunmen on a motorcycle had opened fire on the car which crashed into the side of a health clinic; miraculously the two occupants survived.

Read more… 

The deadly roadside blunder that helped bring down one of Mexico’s most vicious cartels

11/12/16 Business Insider 

Border patrol agent by Flickr user °FlorianIn February 2011, during the heights of cartel-related violence in northeast Mexico, gunmen from the brutal Zetas cartel accidentally targeted two US agents driving through the area — a lethal mistake that would spur a crippling crackdown on the Zetas and its operators.

Special Agent Victor Avila and Jaime Zapata, an Immigration and Customs Enforcement agent attached to the US embassy in Mexico City, were headed south through the state of San Luis Potosi on Highway 57 — which runs through what was Zetas territory — on February 15, 2011.

Read more… 

“In Mexico’s murder capital, signs of gold rush are emerging”

10/23/2016 Chicago Tribune 

In Mexico’s Guerrero state, a lot is hidden in the dirt, secrets both gruesome and wonderful.

The unmarked graves that dot the rolling hillsides give Guerrero its moniker as Mexico’s murder capital. But there’s gold here, too — lots of gold.

Toronto-based Torex Gold Resources opened its first mine earlier this year, representing a rare victory in Mexico’s efforts to fuel economic growth in a state ravaged by drug gangs fighting over the opium crops that feed U.S. heroin habits. Two other Canadian miners, Timmins Gold and Minaurum Gold, have plans to explore and develop their own sites. In a region with very little going for it, local officials and workers hope the trio of investments could be the start of something bigger.

Read more… 

“Mexico’s bloodshed keeps getting worse — homicides hit a new high for the 3rd month in a row”

10/21/2016 Business Insider

The grisly accounting continues in Mexico, as homicides hit a new high for the year in September — the third month in a row in to lodge such a record.

Nationwide, there were 2,187 homicide victims in September, exceeding the 2,155 of August and the 2,098 recorded in July. July was the first time the number of homicide victims was over 2,000 since the government began releasing that statistic at the start of 2014.

Read more… 

Report says Mexico state officials ignored massacre

10/9/16 The Washington Post

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 Mexican drug gang bosses furious at suspected turncoats sent commandos aided by local police to seize dozens — perhaps hundreds — of people, murder them and dispose of their bodies in a town near the Texas border, yet state and federal officials ignored the massacre for years, according to a government-backed report released Sunday.

The long delay in the investigation makes it impossible to determine just how many people were killed in the town of Allende in 2011, according to the report sponsored by the federal Executive Commission for Attention to Victims. The Coahuila state file lists 42 missing people related to the case. But a Zeta drug gang member told a U.S. court in 2013 that 300 died, though it was not clear if all the deaths occurred in the same incident.

A witness testified that many of the bodies of victims were incinerated to the point of making identification of remains almost impossible. The report written by Sergio Aguayo, a human rights activist and academic at the elite College of Mexico, is based on testimony gathered by Mexican prosecutors, government and independent human rights organizations, as well as U.S. records.

Read more…

Mexico’s former president doesn’t want to talk about the bloody drug war he helped start

4/10/16 Business Insider

Felipe_Calderon,_World_Economic_Forum_2009_Annual_Meeting.jpg

Former Mexican President Felipe Calderon left office almost four years ago, but during his six-year term he presided over one of the most violent periods in modern Mexican history. Taking office in 2006, Calderon initiated a military-backed crackdown on organized crime that led to peaks in violence between 2010 and 2012. Calderon left office in 2012, and homicide rates have fallen and risen again under his successor, Enrique Peña Nieto.
 Read more…

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