Mexico | Wilson Center


Mexico's National Guard: When Police are Not Enough

"Mexico's security services appear to be trapped in an operational impasse that highlights the need for profound institutional redesign, which will lead, yet again, to the creation of a new security force. AMLO’s administration is not the first (and likely not the last) to launch a complete restructuring of the security apparatus in what appears to be an unending search for the ideal security force.

Countering the Evolving Drug Trade in the Americas

The illicit drug trade in the Americas has been evolving and expanding from plant-based narcotics like cocaine, heroin and marijuana to potent synthetic substances like fentanyl and methamphetamine. Since the 1980’s, the U.S. war on drugs focused on countering cocaine trafficking that made the Colombian and Mexican cartels immensely wealthy and powerful. Over the past decade, U.S.

Violence and Security in Mexico and Implications for the United States: Frequently Asked Questions

Mexico has experienced elevated levels of violent crime for more than a decade. The national murder rate rose dramatically from 8.1 in 2007 to 22.6 in 2012 (an average more than 55 people per day, or two people every hour). After a brief lull in 2013-14, Mexico has seen a dramatic resurgence of violence, with homicides surging to record levels in 2017, 2018, and 2019. The preliminary figures reported by Mexico’s National Public Security System increased to a record 34,000 victims in 2019, up from the previous peaks of 33,341 victims in 2018 and the 28,734 in 2017.

The Relationship

There is no border as complex and diverse as that separating Mexico from the U.S. It would be easy to simplify it, rationalize it as a merely commercial matter. The reality comprises an enormous diversity, complexity and multiplicity. The boundary with the U.S. includes legal and illegal crossing points, drugs, contraband, persons, ideas, goods, services and disputes. An old saying from the Mexican side of the region held that “if it fits through the bridge, it can pass”.

Eighth Annual U.S.-Mexico Security Conference: Taking Stock of Mexico's Security Landscape One Year On

The Wilson Center's Mexico Institute was pleased to host its eighth annual Mexican security review. The forum examined the pressing security challenges Mexico faces, such as the record number of homicides in 2019, and how it plans to respond. Other topics covered included efforts to fight corruption and impunity; trends in security and migration enforcement on Mexico's southern border; the status of U.S.-Mexico security cooperation; and how illegal drug markets are evolving in Mexico and the United States.

Report Launch | North America 2.0: A Workforce Development Agenda

The Wilson Center's Mexico Institute was pleased to host a report launch for North America 2.0: A Workforce Development Agenda. The report details challenges the three countries face in preparing their labor forces for "The Future of Work" and proposes a framework for North America to move forward in addressing these issues.

North America 2.0: A Workforce Development Agenda

As new technology reshapes workplaces and jobs across North America, the United States, Mexico, and Canada need to reinvent the ways that they educate, train, and re-skill their workforces.  With Mexico and Canada now the United States’ two largest economic partners, more than ever the three countries need to work together to effectively and equitably manage the massive transformations ahead in the skills needed by tomorrow’s employees.

“He Who Warns You Can’t Betray You”? U.S.-Mexico Relations and the Limits of AMLO’s Fourth Transformation

“El que avisa no traiciona” (He who warns you can´t betray you) is a motto that Mexicans are using a lot these days when they discuss the policies of their president, Andrés Manuel López Obrador (AMLO). For even when his decisions seem impetuous or improvised, there are very few things he does that he hasn’t announced at some point in the recent past.

Blind Hits in the Security Strategy?

Children's parties in Mexico are usually celebrated with a piñata that the  blinfolded children hit with a stick. That's where the expression blind hits comes from. Because they are disoriented by the lack of vision, children turn around looking for the object they must hit until the sweets contained in it burst out. Hence the expression. This one applies in other contexts. In public policy, for example, blind hits are said to occur when initiatives are launched without fully understanding the public problem to be solved.

AMLO at One Year

Through the first year of his presidency, AMLO has had a high approval rating and has amassed considerable discretionary powers. However, during his first year Mexico has also faced immigration challenges, trade negotiations, a slowing economy, and rising levels of violence in the country. As Mexican President Andrés Manuel López Obrador concludes his first year in office, our experts have provided analysis on the achievements and struggles of the first year of the López Obrador administration. Explore our resources below.