Organized Crime | Wilson Center

Organized Crime

Policing Democracy: Overcoming Obstacles to Citizen Security in Latin America

Latin America’s crime rates are astonishing by any standard—the region’s homicide rate is the world’s highest. This crisis continually traps governments between the need for comprehensive reform and the public demand for immediate action, usually meaning iron-fisted police tactics harking back to the repressive pre-1980s dictatorships.

"What's the Matter with Mexico: Drugs, Dinosaurs, and Dithering"

In wide-ranging and sustained criticism of the Mexican political class, columnist Denise Dresser struck an ominous tone for the future of Mexico, warning of a continuation of "corporatism, clientelism, and impunity." Dresser was addressing a public forum held April 12 at the Woodrow Wilson Center, in a talk cosponsored by the Wilson Center Mexico Institute and the Inter-American Dialogue. It was the latest installment in the Mexico Institute's Diálogos con México/Dialogues with Mexico speaker series.

Crime and Violence in Central America

The dimensions of the citizen security crisis in Central America cannot be understated.  Fifteen to twenty years after the end of brutal armed conflicts in the region, levels of criminal violence in Central America exceed levels of violence during the wars.  As the United Nations Development Program (UNDP) and others have noted, the seven countries of Central America—Belize, Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, Nicaragua, and Panama—suffer from the highest levels o

'A Shared Responsibility: Counternarcotics and Citizen Security in the Americas': Cynthia Arnson Testifies before the Senate Foreign Affairs Sub-Committee on the Western Hemisphere, Peace Corps and Global Narcotics Affairs

Latin American Program Director Cynthia Arnson testified before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee Subcommittee on the Western Hemisphere, Peace Corps and Global Narcotics Affairs at the March 31 hearing "A Shared Responsibility— Citizen Security and Counter-Narcotics Initiatives in the Americas." Her prepared remarks are here.

Mr. Chairman and Members of the Subcommittee:

Obama Administration Relations with Central America: A Conversation with Seven U.S. Ambassadors

"Central America is in the news a lot these days, often for the wrong reasons," Cynthia Arnson, director of the Latin American Program at the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars, noted in her introduction to "Obama Administration Relations with Central America: A Conversation with Seven U.S. Ambassadors." Organized crime has flourished while the robust economic recovery enjoyed by South America has bypassed Central America and Mexico; meanwhile, the region's proximity to the United States has spotlighted immigration and trade issues.

Op-ed: How 2011 could be better for Mexico

The Dallas Morning News

No doubt about it, 2010 was not a good year for Mexico. After setting new records for cartel-related violence, it’s hard to imagine 2011 could be much worse. While reversing this trend will be extremely difficult, here are three things the Mexican and U.S. governments can do to help make this a better year for Mexico and, by extension, the United States.

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