Organized Crime

Soaring Homicide Rates in Mexico: Understanding the Crisis and Proposing Solutions

It is no surprise that crime, insecurity, and corruption are top issues in this year’s presidential campaign. Last year set a modern day record for homicides in Mexico – over 29,000. Why are homicides soaring in Mexico once again and, more importantly, what are the prospects for the future? Are there any new ideas for reducing homicides and increasing security in Mexico? What are Mexico’s presidential candidates proposing?

Join us for a discussion with leading experts on crime, violence, and security in Mexico.

POLICY BRIEF | Governance and Organized Crime in Brazil: Proposal for Interagency Cooperation to Prevent and Repress Corruption through Financial Intelligence

Four years after the Lava Jato corruption scandal first became public, exposing the largest known corruption scheme in Brazil's history, the country is still in the midst of ongoing (and multiplying) investigations. The scale of the problem has exposed Brazil's lack of a cohesive, strategic institutional model for responding to and preventing corruption.

Infographic | Why are Homicides Increasing in Mexico?

The Act of Disappearing in Mexico

In Mexico today, an individual vanishes – a daughter walking home from school, a husband returning from work, a young man out with his friends for the night – and no one seems to care. Their loved ones file the requisite paperwork, asking for an investigation, but no one else has noticed. This experience is multiplied by tens of thousands as the country recently surpassed 30,000 missing people, not to mention the more than 100,000 dead, since the Drug War was declared in 2006. How did disappearing become normal?

Los Zetas Inc.: Criminal Corporations, Energy, and Civil War in Mexico

The rapid growth of organized crime in Mexico and the government's response to it have driven an unprecedented rise in violence and impelled major structural economic changes, including the recent passage of energy reform. Los Zetas Inc. asserts that these phenomena are a direct and intended result of the emergence of the brutal Zetas criminal organization in the Mexican border state of Tamaulipas.

Los Zetas Inc.: Criminal Corporations, Energy, and Civil War in Mexico

Los Zetas where once Mexico's most feared criminal organization dominating important smuggling routes from Central America into the United States. Their success was based in part on a business model that combined brute strength and predatory business practices. Join us for a discussion with the author of a new book, Los Zetas, Inc.: Criminal Corporations, Energy, and Civil War in Mexico and a panel of experts on the nature of criminal enterprise and the challenges of controlling illicit economies. 

Taking Stock of Mexico's Security Landscape

The Wilson Center's Mexico Institute invites you to attend its fifth annual Mexican security review. The forum will provide a careful examination of security challenges in Mexico, featuring presentations from leading policy analysts, including David Shirk, Viridiana Rios, Matthew Ingram, and others. Of particular interest will be a review of 2017 and a discussion of trends in 2018, including establishing new bonds in U.S.-Mexico military-to-military relations and strengthening the rule of law in Mexico.

'Examining the Effectiveness of the Kingpin Designation Act in the Western Hemisphere': Eric Olson Testifies before the House Foreign Affairs Subcommittee on Western Hemisphere

On November 8, 2017, Eric L. Olson, Deputy Director of the Latin American Program and Senior Advisor to the Mexico Institute, testified before the Subcommittee on Western Hemisphere of the House Committee on Foreign Affairs. He discussed the effectiveness of the Kingpin Designation Act of 1999 to fight organized crime networks and illicit financing in the Western Hemisphere.

The War on Drugs: The Narco States of North America

Too many Americans are dying from trafficked illegal drugs, and too many Mexicans are dying from violence related to the criminal gangs that traffic drugs. That is the unfortunate summary of a shared problem: Mexican organized crime groups help feed U.S. demand for illegal drugs, and in turn, many billions of U.S. dollars feed the violence and corruption which the criminal groups spawn in Mexico.

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