03 May 2017

On May 2, 2017, the Strauss Center-sponsored policy research project "Cartel Violence in Mexico: Assessing the Mexican Government's Response(s)" concluded with a student presentation to Mexico’s Consul General in Austin, Mr. Carlos González Gutierrez. Students briefed Mr. González on conclusions and policy recommendations they developed over the course of the academic year, and received useful feedback that will be incorporated into their final reports.

 

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This class led sixteen MA students at the LBJ School of Public Affairs to analyze and assess the Mexican federal government’s responses, over time, to the pervasive security challenges associated with organized criminal groups. The students had the opportunity to interview top security experts, including Alejandro Hope, Ana Maria Salazar, Amb. Antonio Garza, David Shirk, and Carlos González Gutiérrez (Mexico’s Consul General in Austin). The class also included trips to meet and interview government officials, civil society leaders, academics, and journalists working on the issue of security in Mexico through three different field trips to El Paso (Texas), Dilley (Texas), and Mexico City.

By the end of the academic year—and based on their independent research and interviews—the class generated a report to evaluate past policy responses and make recommendations for a policy path forward. The report is divided into four chapters, focusing on the overall security strategy, important domestic and international security issues, illicit economic markets, and civil society efforts. Within each chapter, the students identify the current policies, evaluate their effectiveness, and provide steps for a path forward to a safer and more secure Mexico. This report will be available online in upcoming weeks.

 

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