Upcoming Event! Book Event: Prayers for the Stolen, A Discussion of Violence against Women in Mexico

WHEN: Thursday, October 8, 4:00-5:30pm

WHERE: Woodrow Wilson Center, Washington, DC

Click here to RSVP. 

“Beguiling, and even crazily enchanting…Prayers for the Stolen gives us words for what we haven’t had words for before, like something translated from a dream in a secret language.” – New York Times Book Review

A New York Times Book Review’s Editors Choice, Prayers for the Stolen has brought to light the scale of abduction of young girls into sex slavery in Mexico. Clement will be reading from and discussing Prayers for the Stolen, the result of ten years of research, which included interviews with women of drug traffickers, girls and women in rural communities and prisoners in Mexico City’s Santa Martha jail. An illuminating and affecting portrait of women in rural Mexico, and a stunning exploration of the hidden consequences of the drug war, Prayers for the Stolen is an unforgettable story of friendship, family, and determination.

The Mexico Institute and Politics and Prose are pleased to invite you to a talk by author Jennifer Clement on the writing of her book Prayers for the Stolen.

Jennifer Clement is a leading chronicler of contemporary Mexico. Her work has been translated into 24 languages and has garnered international acclaim such as the New York Times Editor’s Choice, the NEA Fellowship for Literature, the UK’s Canongate Prize, France’s Gran Prix des Lectrices Lyceenes de ELLE, the PEN/Faulkner Prize shortlist, and the Sara Curry Humanitarian Award. Clement is a Santa Maddalena Fellow and member of Mexico’s prestigious “Sistema Nacional de Creadores”. As president of PEN Mexico, her work focused on the disappearance and killing of journalists.

Keynote Speaker
Jennifer Clement, Author, Prayers for the Stolen

Moderator
Andrew Selee, Executive Vice President, Wilson Center

Click here to RSVP.

How America’s War On Drugs Unintentionally Aids Mexican Drug Cartels

7/6/15 Huffington Post

drug dog sniffing suitcaseAs the United States government and vigilante groups continue to fight Mexican drug cartels with little direction, experts say there are unintentional consequences from the current war on drugs.

Sanho Tree, the director of the Drug Policy Project at the Institute for Policy Studies, explained to HuffPost Live’s Marc Lamont Hill on Tuesday that the U.S. government’s drug war has been “an exercise in futility.” The prohibition of these drugs, Tree said, has only increased their value.

“Things like cocaine, heroine, marijuana — these are minimally-processed agricultural commodities,” Tree said. “They’re very easy to produce, these drugs. They’re very cheap to produce. There’s no reason they should be worth this kind of money that people are willing to kill, and torture and massacre over.”

Read more…

‘The Cartel’ Is Your Annual Reminder that the War on Drugs Isn’t Over

6/26/15 Newsweek

Mexican_drug_cartels_2008Sitting across from crime novelist Don Winslow, I’m finding it hard to reconcile this soft-spoken, bespectacled man of 61 with the scene I keep replaying in my head: a drug kingpin throwing two children off a bridge to send a message to a rival. I’ve had nightmares about this scene.

The kingpin is Adán Barrera, heir to a Mexico-based international drug syndicate and a main character in Winslow’s 2005 novel, The Power of the Dog, which documented the birth of the Drug Enforcement Administration and its much-maligned War on Drugs. In The Cartel, the hefty sequel that came out in June, Winslow revisits that war and America’s role in it, while Barrera revives his longtime enmity with DEA maverick Art Keller—the so-called “Border Lord”—and everyone from local dope boys to corrupt police officers to prostitutes-turned-traffickers gets caught up in their blood feud, or killed. Often both.

Read more…

Ciudad Juárez, a Border City Known for Killing, Gets Back to Living

The New York Times, 12/14/2013

cuidad juarezWith violence down to a quarter of its peak, Ciudad Juárez, a perennial symbol of drug war devastation, is experiencing what many here describe as a boom. New restaurants pop up weekly, a few with a hipster groove. Schools and homes in some neighborhoods are gradually filling again, while new nightclubs throb on weekends with wall-to-wall teenagers and 20-somethings who insist on reclaiming the freedom to work and play without being consumed by worry.

Critics here fear that the changes are merely cosmetic, and there is still disagreement over what, exactly, has led to the drastic drop in violence. Some attribute it to an aggressive detention policy by the police; others say the worst killers have died or fled, or that the Sinaloa drug cartel has simply defeated its rivals, leaving a peace of sorts that could quickly be undone.

Read more….

Chicago’s Heroin Problem: City’s Open-Air Drug Markets’ Surprising Connection To Mexican Drug Cartels (Video)

The Huffington Post, 12/12/2013

chicagoIn a Wednesday panel on HuffPost Live, Reader reporter Mick Dumke, Bloomberg reporter John Lippert and Chicago Recovery Alliance director Dan Bigg spoke on the Windy City’s heroin “open-air” heroin markets on the city’s West Side and its connection to the powerful Sinaloa Mexican drug cartel and its kingpin, “Public Enemy Number 1” El Chapo Guzman.

Read more…

The Majority Of Mexico’s Prisons Are Controlled By Inmates

The Business Insider 11/19/2013

prisonViolence has increased in Mexico’s prisons and the majority are controlled by inmates, the National Human Rights Commission said.The commission found in an annual report that 65 of the country’s 101 most populated prisons were under the control of convicts in 2012, a 4.3 percent increase from 2011.

Read more…

Mexico City Mulls Legal Marijuana Clubs

The Huffington Post, 9/6/2013

marijuana leafThe Mexico City council is considering the legalization of cannabis plants and the creation of private marijuana smoking “clubs” as it mulls controversial legislation to liberalize consumption, lawmakers said.

The capital hosted a three-day forum on drug policy amid a growing debate in Latin America over the course of the region’s deadly struggle against narcotrafficking, with President Enrique Pena Nieto taking a stance against legalization.

Read more…