"While the recent institutionalization of "self-defense" militias in the Mexican state of Michoacan has led to comparisons to Colombia's paramilitary groups, there are both strong and weak points in this comparison. A new report out by the Wilson Center's Latin American program, called "One Goal, Two Struggles: Confronting Crime and Violence in Mexico and Colombia," features input from a range of experts around the hemisphere on the security lessons from both countries."

The February 6, 2014 edition of The Pan-American Post's daily news briefings references the Latin American Program's new publication "One Goal, Two Struggles: Confronting Crime and Violence in Mexico and Colombia." The publication compiles contributions from international experts who address the utility of comparing Colombia and Mexico's experiences and strategy for combatting organized crime and violence. 

The blurb in The Pan-American Post mentions that there are strengths and weaknesses of the comparison. It then goes on to discuss Marta Lucía Ramírez de Rincón's analysis and her argument that both countries initially "misdiagnosed" their security crises. She also suggests that Mexico could benefit by classifying drug traffickers as terrorists.

Overall, the publication discusses the questions: What aspects of Colombia's strategy and tactics for fighting organized crime in its own territory offer useful lessons for Mexico? What might Colombia's steps and missteps offer by way of example or counter-example? What is unique about each case such that comparisons are misleading? What do current security challenges in Colombia suggest abou tthe threat posed by organized crime more generally?   

To read the publication, click here.