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After a lengthy effort to combat organized crime in Mexico, the mental and emotional damage caused by violence has inflicted a heavy toll on the population. Increasingly, people who have been victims themselves have emerged as the most powerful advocates for their rights as victims, especially justice before the law. While many groups help deal with the pain of loss, the need exists for a more dedicated effort to help institutionalize judicial reforms. This paper seeks to examine the composition of victims groups, their organizational structure and internal divisions, and helps shed light on a number of facets of this social movement.

This Working Paper is the product of a joint project on civic engagement and public security in Mexico coordinated by the Mexico Institute at the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars and the Justice in Mexico Project at the University of San Diego.

About the Author

Lauren Villagran

Mexico City-based journalist covering Latin America for The Christian Science Monitor, SmartPlanet, Next American City, and others.
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Mexico Institute

The Mexico Institute seeks to improve understanding, communication, and cooperation between Mexico and the United States by promoting original research, encouraging public discussion, and proposing policy options for enhancing the bilateral relationship. A binational Advisory Board, chaired by Luis Téllez and Earl Anthony Wayne, oversees the work of the Mexico Institute.   Read more

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