In this paper, I discuss several findings of my study of migrant
women, temporarily suspended in the “intersection” of
diametrically opposed processes: those posed by border enforcement
measures and those posed by transnational mobility.
A pressing issue that emerged from this research was
how close women come to encountering death as they sidestep
the border wall to cross without authorization into the
US. Their testimonies shed light on how the intersection of
contradictory processes contributes to a humanitarian crisis
on the US-Mexico border in which the likelihood of death is
March 26, 2008 Annual Convention of the International Studies Association // Penn State University
Paralleling the upward trend in global FDI flows to developing countries, Kimberly-Clark quadrupled its equity holdings in Brazilian and Mexican affiliates over the past decade. Concurrently, Kimberly-Clark made sizable investments in Colombia while this country was facing high levels of civil conflict. The firm’s latter decision is unexpected, given the conventional wisdom that ongoing conflict in the host translates into high costs for any investor. However, Kimberly-Clark is not alone in exposing some of its foreign affiliates to political violence risk, which raises the question: Why do certain investors avoid conflict countries while others continue to select these locations? Previous research assumes homogeneity in investors’ reactions to political violence risk and does not solve this puzzle. I recognize that firms are heterogeneous and identify the attributes that increase firms’ sensitivity to political violence. Firms with investments that rely preponderantly on physical assets, have higher costs for exit, and serve non-host markets perceive higher threats from political violence. Data from a new survey of foreign investors, which includes questions about attitudes towards political violence, support my predictions....
January 3, 2008 Military Review // United States Army Combined Arms Command
Organized crime syndicates are modern enemies of democracy that relentlessly engage in kidnapping and assassination of political figures, and traffic not only in addictive and lethal substances, but also increasingly in human beings. to create an environment conducive to success in their criminal interests, they engage in heinous acts intended to instill fear, promote corruption, and undermine democratic governance by undercutting confidence in government. they assassinate or intimidate political figures and pollute democratic processes through bribes and graft in cities along both sides of the U.S.-Mexican border. in the long term, such actions erode individual civil liberties in America and Mexico by undermining both governments’ abilities to maintain societies in which the full exercise of civil liberties is possible. this danger is ominously evident on the Mexican side of the border, where 86 percent of those responding to a poll in Mexico city in 2004 said they would support government restrictions of their civil
rights in order to dismantle organized crime, and another 67 percent said militarizing the police force would be the only way to accomplish this. These views suggest that an extremely unhealthy sociopolitical environment is evolving at America’s very doorstep. We should see this not as a collateral issue associated with the War on terrorism, but as a national security issue deserving of the same level of interest, concern, and resourcing as the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.
This article provides an ethnographic analysis of narco-terrorism, narcocorruption, and human trafficking in the northern states of Mexico, and an overview of Mexican organized crime and its destabilizing effect on Mexico’s attempts to create a functioning, uncorrupt democracy....
Crime rates indicate that Latin American cities are the most unsafe in the world: in the 1990s, 74.5% of inhabitants of major Latin American cities were victims of some kind of criminal act. Despite having only 8% of the world's population, Latin America registered 75% of the kidnappings in the world in 2003. This has made public safety one of the top concerns of Latin Americans today, second only to the economic situation. What is worse is that organised crime is making a qualitative leap towards xe2x80x98colonizing' private initiative and subordinating it to the criminal hierarchy. In the most visible example of this phenomenon, there were five continuous days (May 10-14) of attacks against police stations and public buildings in the state of Sxc3xa3o Paulo, accompanied by prison riots and hostage taking which, according to the Folha de Sxc3xa3o Paulo newspaper, caused 272 deaths, including 91 police officers. The assaults were carried out by one of the largest criminal groups in the continent: the Primeiro Comando da Capital (PCC), also known as the xe2x80x98Crime Party', which may have a xe2x80x98grassroots base' of half a million people. Brazil is now the world's second-largest consumer of cocaine and, according to WHO figures, has also become the country with the third-highest number of violent deaths, after Colombia and Russia, with an annual murder rate of 40 per 100,000 inhabitants, rising to 53 in the big cities....
As it approaches its first presidential election in the post-PRI era, Mexico is at a crossroads: it could either consolidate democracy and proceed with needed reforms or fall back into a familiar state of crisis. Which way it goes will depend above all on the candidates of the three major political parties, who must rise above their short-term interests to further the nation's progress toward democratic stability.
Along the Mexican border, people generally try to avoid drug traffickers. We went looking for one.
With the help of a veteran journalist in Juarez, we meet Jose Lucio Hernandez, a former smuggler. Hernandez says he snuck drugs into Texas about 400 times by driving across the international port of entry between El Paso and Ciudad Juarez.
It is impossible to verify everything he says, but his rap sheet confirms he was in the business. Hernandez was sentenced to 18 months in federal prison after being busted on July 22, 2005 with 185 pounds of marijuana in El Paso. He boasts that he was good at what he did. Hernandez says he always made it across the border undetected. It was only when he lived in the United States that he got caught.
We meet Hernandez at a drug treatment center, where he was working as a volunteer. In his ballcap, polo shirt and blue jeans, Hernandez, 25, doesn’t look like the classic narco, the guy with a gold tooth and dark shades.
In the video, Hernandez says that he crossed the border daily. He would drive with dope right through U.S. immigration and customs. Agents often searched his car, looking for drugs in hidden cavities, but never found anything.
Hernandez laughs when asked if the government could ever stop drugs from entering the United States....
June 9, 2009 International Development Research Centre
Decentralization is often presented as a magic bullet for development and democracy, but has it truly given women a stronger voice, more control over resources, or greater access to public services? See how decentralization has brought some progress and where it has fallen short of its potential.
February 7, 2008 National Endowment for Democracy // Foreign Policy Association
Former President of Mexico Vicente Fox spoke to the New York Democracy Forum, a collaboration between the National Endowment for Democracy and the Foreign Policy Association, on "Mexico's Long Road to Democracy." In his remarks, President Fox spoke candidly on Mexican immigration to the U.S., his opposition to the wall being constructed along the U.S.-Mexico border, support for the strengthening of NAFTA and what he said was U.S. neglect of Latin America. Fox also called on the U.S. to renew its partnerships with Mexico, Canada and the rest of the region....
Sudanese Armed Forces (SAF) moved into North Sudan's South Kordofan state capital Kadugli at the start of the month, triggering large-scale fighting with Sudan People's Liberation Army (SPLA) units from the region. The UN reported heavy bombardment of villages by the SAF, widespread civilian casualties and at least 73,000 people forced to flee. It also accused the government of blocking aid deliveries and intimidating peacekeepers.
Violence spilled over into South Sudan, with several villages bombed by the North. On 28 June the government and the Sudan People's Liberation Movement (North) signed an agreement on political and security arrangements for South Kordofan and Blue Nile states.
In Afghanistan, a standoff between parliament and President Hamid Karzai threatens to deepen the country's political crisis.
Proposals by Senegal's ruling party to amend the constitution were condemned by opposition politicians as undemocratic and sparked unprecedented violent protests.
Myanmar/Burma saw its worst clashes since 2009, as fighting broke out between government forces and the Kachin ceasefire group. Tens of thousands have been displaced and some 20 reportedly killed.
In Mexico, a number of incidents highlighted the deterioration in security around Monterrey, the country's second city, industrial hub and capital of Nuevo León state.
In Venezuela, speculation about President Hugo Chávez's health intensified, leading to infighting within his ruling PSUV party and highlighting the country's lack of alternative leadership.
March 7, 2011 Forced Migration Review // University of Oxford // Refugee Studies Centre
Militia, freedom fighters, rebels, terrorists,
paramilitaries, revolutionaries, guerrillas, gangs,
quasi-state bodies... and many other labels. In this
issue of FMR we look at all of these, at actors defined
as being armed and being ‘non-state’ – that is to say,
without the full responsibilities and obligations of the
state. Some of these actors have ideological or political
aims; some aspire to hold territory and overthrow a
government; some could be called organised groups,
and for others that would stretch the reality. Their
objectives vary but all are in armed conflict with the
state and/or with each other. Such actors, deliberately or
otherwise, regularly cause the displacement of people.
This issue of FMR
focuses more on the consequences of their violence and
its effects on people, and suggests ways in which these
might be mitigated. The articles included here reflect the
views of civil society groups and individuals in regular
contact with non-state armed groups, of academics and
governments, and of organisations that have years of
experience in engaging – creatively and productively –
with non-state armed groups.
This issue also includes a range of articles discussing
subjects as varied as the labelling of migrants, solar
energy in camps, gang persecution, and scoring states’
performance in respect of the rights of refugees....
In recent years, Mexico's drug cartels have waged increasingly violent battles with one another as well as with the Mexican government. Upon taking office in December 2006, Mexican President Felipe Calderon deployed thousands of federal troops in an aggressive crackdown on drug-related violence. Yet death tolls continue to rise. There were more than 2,500 drug-related deaths in 2007, and the yearly toll rose to more than 4,000 by the end of 2008. Murders and street gun battles are only part of a more entrenched problem that includes corrupt police forces and a lackluster judiciary. Experts say recent police and judicial reforms are a step in the right direction, but such reforms will take time to implement. Meanwhile, increased and sustained cooperation from the United States is seen as necessary to stem drug-related violence....
Since taking office in December, Mexican President Felipe Calderon has deployed thousands of federal troops in an aggressive crackdown on drug-related violence. More than six months into the offensive, the number of drug-related deaths this year is set to surpass last year's 2,100 fatalities. But murders and street gun battles are only part of a more entrenched problem that includes corrupt police forces and a lackluster judiciary. Experts say police and judicial reforms, as well as increased cooperation from the United States, are necessary to stem drug-related violence in the long run....
Luis Echeverrxc3xada joined the faculty of the National Autonomous University of Mexico in 1947 and taught political theory. He rose through the ranks of the Institutional Revolutionary Party (PRI) and eventually became the Private Secretary of the party President, General Rodolfo Sxc3xa1nchez Taboada. Echeverrxc3xada was the Mexican Interior Secretary under President Gustavo Dxc3xadaz Ordaz between 1954 et 1970. He maintained a hard line against student protesters throughout all of 1968, at the time the Olympics were being held in Mexico City. He ordered the transfer of 15% of the Mexican military to the state of Guerrero to counter guerrilla groups operating there, and under Echeverrxc3xada's ministry, the air force allegedly used napalm against rural communities in Guerrero. Clashes between the government and the protesters culminated in the Tlatelolco massacre in October 1968. In 1970 he was elected President, a position he held until 1976. It was during his presidency that the Corpus Christi massacre occurred....
Luis Echeverrxc3xada rejoint en 1947 la faculté de l'Université Nationale Autonome de Mexico City oxc3xb9 il enseigne la théorie politique. Parallxc3xa8lement, il gravit rapidement les échelons de la hiérarchie au sein du Parti Révolutionnaire Institutionnel (PRI) pour finalement devenir le secrétaire privé du président du parti. De 1964 Ã 1970, il est Ministre de l'Intérieur sous la présidence de Gustavo Dxc3xadaz Ordaz. Tout au long de 1968, alors que se tiennent les Jeux Olympiques de Mexico City, il maintient une ligne dure Ã l'encontre des étudiants protestataires. Il ordonne le transfert de 15% des forces militaires mexicaines dans l'Etat de Guerrero afin de contrer les groupes de guérilleros qui s'y trouvent. Sous le ministxc3xa8re de Echeverrxc3xada, les forces aériennes auraient utilisés du napalm Ã l'encontre de communautés rurales de Guerrero. Les affrontements entre gouvernement et protestataires culminent dans le massacre de Tlatelolco d'octobre 1968. En 1970 il est élu Président et exerce cette fonction jusqu'en 1976. C'est sous sa présidence qu'a lieu le massacre du Corpus Christi....
December 19, 2006 George Washington University // National Security Archive
Mexican authorities released a groundbreaking report over the weekend on the government's use of violent repression to crush its opponents during the 1960s-80s. The report by the Office of Special Prosecutor Ignacio Carrillo Prieto, named by President Vicente Fox in 2002 to investigate past human rights crimes, accuses three Mexican presidents of a sustained policy of violence targeting armed guerrillas and student protesters alike, including the use of "massacres, forced disappearance, systematic torture, and genocide." The report makes clear that the abuses were not the work of individual military units or renegade officers, but official practice under Presidents Dxc3xadaz Ordaz (1964-1970), Echeverrxc3xada (1970-1976) and Lxc3xb3pez Portillo (1976-1982)....
January 4, 2011 Foreign Policy Magazine // International Crisis Group
Across the globe today, you'll find almost three dozen raging conflicts, from the valleys of Afghanistan to the jungles of the Democratic Republic of the Congo to the streets of Kashmir. But what are the next crises that might erupt in 2011? Here are a few worrisome spots that make our list. [Captions provided by International Crisis Group]
On Aug. 3, the U.S. Consulate in Juarez, Mexico, reopened after being closed for four days. On July 29, the consulate had announced in a warden message that it would be closed July 30 and would remain closed until a review of the consulate’s security posture could be completed.
The closure appears to be linked to a message found on July 15, signed by La Linea, the enforcement arm of the Juarez cartel. This message was discovered at the scene shortly after a small improvised explosive device (IED) in a car was used in a well-coordinated ambush against federal police agents in Juarez, killing two agents. In the message, La Linea claimed credit for the attack and demanded that the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) and FBI investigate and remove the head of Chihuahua State Police Intelligence (CIPOL), who the message said is working with the Sinaloa Federation and its leader, Joaquin “El Chapo” Guzman Loera. The message threatened that if the intelligence official was not removed by July 30, La Linea would deploy a car bomb with 100 kilograms of high explosives in Juarez.
The deadline has now passed without incident and the consulate has reopened. Examining this chain of events provides some valuable insights into the security of U.S. diplomatic facilities as well as the current state of events in Juarez, a city that in recent years has experienced levels of violence normally associated with an active war zone....
April 7, 2010 International Relations and Security Network
The recent split between two former allies in Mexico's criminal underworld has torn open a new chapter of violence in northern Mexico that has already tinged Monterrey and threatens to spread down the border line. Between February and March, the number of homicides in Matamoros and Reynosa, two cities under siege in northern Mexico, surpassed 2009 totals. Police in the area, who only show up after the shooting has stopped, have recovered 50 abandoned trucks full of bullet holes and blood. Meanwhile, payments of $500 a month keep local journalists quiet and motivated to influence their colleagues to do the same. Those who speak out disappear.
Northern Mexico is deeply embroiled in Mexico’s ongoing violence, and as cartel members deal death to their rivals, the media blackout fuels rumor and fear - a perfect storm of misinformation allowing Mexico's newest cartel rivals to engage in a battle for control over some of Mexico's most lucrative criminal turf. The latest fronts are the northeastern states of Tamaulipas and Nuevo Leon in northeastern Mexico, nestled up against Texas.
Intense violence continues to rock these states as factions within Mexico’s criminal underworld battle for primacy. The tectonic shift between former allied cartels Los Zetas and the Gulf Cartel fuels battlefront intensity. As a result, gunmen contest northern and border cities, including Monterrey, Matamoros, Reynosa and Nuevo Laredo in a battle of ‘all against all.’...
February 1, 2010 International Relations and Security Network
Mexican Federal Police arrested four members of the Sinaloa Federation, killing a fifth, in a shootout on 27 January after anonymous informants tipped the police to armed men seen entering and exiting a house in the state of Chihuahua. Such sporadic shootouts and arrests are now commonplace in Mexico, but the arrest of members of the Sinaloa Federation, it seems, remains a rare event.
According to analysts, Mexican authorities have made 53,174 drug-related arrests, with only 941 of those arrests - some 1.7 percent - pertaining to the Sinaloa Federation, believed to still be under the control of one man: Joaquin ‘El Chapo’ Guzman.
Mexican security analyst and economist Edgardo Buscaglia took these numbers a step further in a 7 January interview with The Economist, noting that, "the government's strategy is to focus on the weakest groups, so that the organized crime market will consolidate itself around Sinaloa."
He also added an interesting twist: "[The government] is hoping to negotiate a decrease in violence with that one group."...
December 10, 2009 International Relations and Security Network
The Texan Department of Public Safety has begun warning parents that Mexican cartels are actively recruiting teens from the US state bordering Mexico to work as mules and assassins; but in actual fact, this has been going on for over a decade. When Laredo police finally arrested teenage assassin Roalio Reta in 2005, he was 17 and had been working as a hit man for Mexican organized crime in Texas since he was 13, when he killed his first victim.
Reta’s case has been widely covered by US media outlets, which point to the ongoing threat of a spillover effect of Mexican violence into US cities and states.
Texas is one of the most vulnerable states, with border cities such as El Paso and Laredo just across a thin line from some of the historically most violent Mexican cities.
Many in Texas were not surprised when on 17 November the state’s Department of Public Safety (DPS) cited the Rosalio Reta case when warning Texan parents that Mexican cartels were actively recruiting their teenagers.
According to one DPS spokesperson, Tela Mange, who spoke with The Monitor daily from McAllen, Texas, Mexican cartels are directly recruiting young people from Texan communities to act as smugglers, and in some cases, assassins.
Some members of law enforcement, however, were immediately skeptical. Sheriff Guadelupe Treviño of Hidalgo County, Texas, remarked that he’d “never heard of this,” adding that he’d “really like to see anecdotal evidence that supports this allegation.”
Yet while the reality of teen recruitment across Texas fluctuates according to geography and proximity to the border, there remains a solid record of teen recruiting in at least two border cities – Laredo and El Paso – where the tendency for teen recruits to handle smuggling duties remains fairly constant, and the case of one non-gang-affiliated teen acting as a hired assassin for Mexican patrones appears to be more the exception than a statewide trend....
The Security and Prosperity Partnership of North America (SPP) was launched in March of 2005 as a trilateral effort to increase security and enhance prosperity among the United States, Canada and Mexico through greater cooperation and information sharing.
Peacebuild, in collaboration with the Department of Foreign Affairs and International Trade Canada (DFAIT) convened the third in a series of six workshops on peacebuilding and conflict prevention policy issues on 31st May 2011 in the CANADEM conference room in Ottawa. The purpose of the workshop series is to exchange current information and analysis among expert civil society practitioners, academics and Government of Canada officials aimed at developing policy and programming options to respond to new developments and emerging trends.
This workshop examined the dynamics of peace and conflict, including drug violence and crime, in Latin America. This policy brief provides a synopsis of the findings and analysis from discussion and the papers presented during the event, highlighting key recommendations to improve prevention and responses to conflict and crime that emerged from the workshop....
Femicide, the killing of women by men because they are
women, is a worldwide phenomenon. Victims of femicide are
often mutilated, raped and tortured before their deaths. These
acts of extreme violence are most likely to occur in
environments where every day forms of violence are accepted,
and impunity is facilitated by the government’s refusal to deal
with the problem. Femicide is considered to be the most
extreme form of misogynistic violence, one which stems from
the violation of human rights of women in the public and
private sphere. In Mexico, particularly on the Mexico-US
border, the killing of women first made international headlines
in 1993, as a growing number of female bodies started to
emerge at the outskirts of Ciudad Juárez. Since then, the
number of femicides continues to rise despite international
pressure and government-led initiatives. In 2007, for example,
the federal government promulgated a law that sought to
prevent all forms of violence against women, La Ley General
de Acceso a las Mujeres a una Vida Libre de Violence. Four
years after the passing of the law, the levels of gender-based violence remain the same, while the number of femicides
continues to increase, rendering the law inoperable. From
1993 to 2005, approximately 370 women were killed in
Ciudad Juárez and Chihuahua City....
Colombia currently accounts for the vast bulk of cocaine produced in
Latin America. In 2009, the country produced 270 metric tons (MT)
of cocaine, making it the principal supplier for both the United States
and the worldwide market. Besides Colombia, Peru and Bolivia constitute
two additional important sources of cocaine in Latin America.
In 2009, these two countries generated enough base material to respectively
yield 225 and 195 MT of refined product.
Between 60 and 65 percent of all Latin American cocaine is trafficked
to the United States, the bulk of which is smuggled via the eastern
Pacific/Central American corridor. The remainder is sent through
the Caribbean island chain, with the Dominican Republic, Puerto
Rico, and Haiti acting as the main transshipment hubs. In both cases,
Mexico serves as the main point of entry to mainland America, presently
accounting for the vast majority of all illicit drug imports to the
June 15, 2011 United States Senate Caucus on International Narcotics Control
This report urges Congress and the Administration to strengthen firearms laws to stem drug-relating violence, citing report that 70% of weapons recovered in Mexico originated from the United States.
Firearms are trafficked from the United States to Mexico and into the hands
of the country’s drug trafficking organizations. Congress has been virtually
moribund while powerful Mexican drug trafficking organizations continue to gain
unfettered access to military-style firearms coming from the United States.
In a June 2009 report, the Government Accountability Office stated that
around 87 percent of firearms seized by Mexican authorities and traced over the
previous five years originated in the United States.
In a June 9, 2011 response to an inquiry from Senator Feinstein, Bureau of
Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) Acting Director Kenneth
Melson stated that of the 29,284 firearms recovered in Mexico in 2009 and 2010
and submitted to the ATF National Tracing Center, 20,504 were United Statessourced.
A country of origin for the remaining firearms could not be determined
by ATF. A copy of this letter and the request letter from Senator Feinstein are
attached in the report appendix.
In 2009, according to tracing data from the ATF, the most frequently
recovered caliber of firearms in Mexico included .223 caliber, 7.62 mm, 9 mm, .22
caliber and 5.7 mm. Other than the .22 caliber, these firearms are the most
commonly found assault rifle and assault pistol calibers in the United States.
Firearms recovered in Mexico overwhelmingly come from the Southwest
border. The Government Accountability Office found that between Fiscal Year
2004 and 2008, approximately 70 percent of firearms traced in Mexico to an
original owner in the United States came from Texas (39 percent), California (20
percent), and Arizona (10 percent)....
Russia and Mexico, two of the world’s most murderous countries for the press, are heading in different directions in combating deadly anti-press violence, the Committee to Protect Journalists has found in its newly updated Impunity Index. The index, which calculates unsolved journalist murders as a percentage of each country’s population, found improvement in Russia as journalist murders ebbed and prosecutors obtained two high-profile convictions. But deadly anti-press violence continued to climb in Mexico, where authorities appear powerless in bringing killers to justice.
Colombia continued a years-long pattern of improvement, CPJ’s index found, while conditions in Bangladesh reflected a slight upturn. But the countries at the top of the index—Iraq, Somalia, and the Philippines—showed either no improvement or even worsening records. Iraq, with an impunity rating three times worse than that of any other nation, is ranked first for the fourth straight year. Although crossfire and other conflict-related deaths have dropped in Iraq in recent years, the targeted killings of journalists spiked in 2010.
“The findings of the 2011 Impunity Index lay bare the stark choices that governments face: Either address the issue of violence against journalists head-on or see murders continue and self-censorship spread,” said CPJ Executive Director Joel Simon. “Convictions in Russia are a hopeful sign after years of indifference and denial. But Mexico’s situation is deeply troubling, with violence spiking as the government promises action but fails to deliver.”
CPJ’s annual Impunity Index, first published in 2008, identifies countries where journalists are murdered regularly and governments fail to solve the crimes. For this latest index, CPJ examined journalist murders that occurred between January 1, 2001 through December 31, 2010, and that remain unsolved. Only the 13 nations with five or more unsolved cases are included on the index. Cases are considered unsolved when no convictions have been obtained.
Impunity is a key indicator in assessing levels of press freedom and free expression in nations worldwide. CPJ research shows that deadly, unpunished violence against journalists often leads to vast self-censorship in the rest of the press corps. From Somalia to Mexico, CPJ has found that journalists avoid sensitive topics, leave the profession, or flee their homeland to escape violent retribution....