The book consists of seven short chapters. The first positions Mexico as a fundamental issue for the United States. The second delves into the origins of the country’s current situation and choices. The third analyzes the conundrum of the nation’s politics. The fourth describes the process of decentralization that overtook the country in recent decades and what that entails for decision making. The fifth explores the economy, where it comes from and how it has performed, as well as its current dilemmas. The sixth examines the issue of security and its complexity. The book ends with a few thoughts on the stakes and opportunities looking toward the future.
This summary was written by Christine Zaino, Program Associate, Latin American Program, Woodrow Wilson Center and Program Director Cynthia Arnson. It is based on the report, "Seguridad y Populismo Punitivo en América Latina: Lecciones Corroboradas, Constataciones Novedosas y Temas Emergentes," by Latin American Program consultants Carlos Basombrío and Lucía Dammert.
The report (in Spanish) summarizes the principal findings of a series of regional seminars held in Latin America and Washington, D.C., with the support of the Andean Development Corporation (Corporación Andina de Fomento, CAF).
Experts from El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, the Organization of American States, and the City of Los Angeles, California, discussed strategies for reducing youth violence.
En el marco de un proyecto sobre la seguridad ciudadana apoyado por la Corporación Andina de Fomento, el Programa Latinoamericano del Woodrow Wilson Center, junto con el Instituto de Defensa Legal en Lima, puso en discusión estos temas ante un grupo de expertos y autoridades del Perú, Colombia, Bolivia y Ecuador.
As part of a series of activities supported by the Andean Development Corporation (Corporación Andina de Fomento, CAF) the Woodrow Wilson Center’s Latin American Program and the Centro de Estudios Legales y Sociales (CELS) of Argentina sponsored a conference in Buenos Aires on citizen security in the Southern Cone.
What emerges in this publication is a nuanced portrait of the individuals who have been tasked with serving as the key link of the U.S. government with Mexico. Dolia Estévez's effort to bring their memories and their perspectives to light helps illuminate a little known part of the political relationship between the two countries. It also chronicles a changing relationship between these countries from "distant neighbors" to "intimate strangers," who are deeply dependent on one another and yet are only still getting to know one another well enough to manage the relationship.
This paper gives an overview of Mexico’s judicial reform process and where things stand now that the Peña Nieto government has assumed the presidency from Felipe Calderón. A key challenge in tracking the reform continues to be the unavailability of systematic data on institutional changes; Ingram’s paper highlights the weakness in data availability but his measures of reform progress also contribute to ameliorating this weakness.
To move forward, reforms must be ambitious. Simply reforming one institution in a sea of lawlessness leads nowhere; there must be a wide-ranging transformation of the political regime. Mexico's challenge is therefore to build modern, competent democratic institutions that are capable of engaging in good governance - only then will they be able to expand economic opportunity and restore economic growth.
In this report, we first survey the causes for the rise of violent crime in Mexico, and the Northern Triangle of Central America. We then look at the US policy response to date. We conclude by offering a few suggestions on how the US policy response could be significantly improved in the short and medium term to respond better to the underlying challenges that the countries of the region are facing, problems in which our own country is deeply implicated.