Woodrow Wilson Center

The Wilson Center, chartered by Congress as the official memorial to President Woodrow Wilson, is the nation’s key non-partisan policy forum for tackling global issues through independent research and open dialogue to inform actionable ideas for Congress, the Administration and the broader policy community.

Ronald Reagan Building and International Trade Center One Woodrow Wilson Plaza - 1300 Pennsylvania Ave., NW, Washington, DC 20004-3027 T 202-691-4000
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Infographic | Five Security Priorities for Mexico

To improve security and reduce crime, Mexico must focus its policy efforts on five priority areas. This infographic by The Mexico Institute of The Wilson Center presents 5 security priorities for Mexico. First, build citizen trust in law enforcement institutions. Second, fully implement a police reform.Third, bring the judicial reform to life. It is not enough to just “implement” it on paper. Fourth, implement non-politicized crime prevention policies and test their impacts. Fifth, further develop security coordination with the United States. 

Access the infographic by kindly following the link: Five Security Priorities for Mexico



An Update on the Colombian Peace Process with U.S. Special Envoy Bernard Aronson

Interview with U.S. Special Envoy Bernard Aronson, following the announcement that the Colombian government and the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC) had reached major breakthroughs on the outstanding issues in the peace process negotiations (transitional justice, disarmament, and a timetable for signing a final agreement). He provides context on how agreement was reached and what comes next.

More on: An Update on the Colombian Peace Process with U.S Special Envoy Bernard Aronson 


Policy and Research Papers

The unregulated and threatening growth of private security in Latin America and the Caribbean

In this article, Adam Blackwell, current Secretary for Multidimensional Security at the Organisation of American States (OAS), discusses the problems associated with private security firms throughout Latin America and the Caribbean (LAC), especially in Honduras. In his paper, Blackwell posits several recommendations, including the establishment of legal frameworks outlining the responsibilities of both governments and the industry specifically related to the licensing of private security companies, expansion of social protection for workers in the sector, and the introduction of entry requirements and training guidelines. Furthermore, Blackwell argues that citizens and businesses must be informed about the capabilities and limitations of security services, while the oversight capacity of the police and courts must improve to combat the impunity currently enjoyed by the industry itself.

The article can be downloaded here.


Confronting Drugs, Crime, and Warfare in Africa

Insurgents, corruption, and weak governance have made Africa a hub for clandestine narcotics shipments to Europe. Drug profits have helped fuel the continent’s wars, including the bloodshed caused by al-Qaeda–linked militants. Better governance is the key to stopping this vicious trade, but several new direct actions by the United States can also help. 

Paper available here: Confronting Drugs, Crime, and Warfare in Africa


Mexico's Reforms and the Prospects for Growth


Over the course of the last 30 years, Mexico has diversified its commercial and industrial policies. Greater emphasis has been placed on liberalisation, openness, and increasing the role of the private sector in the economy. 

Between 2012 and 2014, an extraordinary set of structural reforms were approved by the Mexican Congress. The reforms were founded on a strong political consensus regarding the need for change.

The recent comprehensive reform agenda was propelled by a political mechanism negotiated by the Federal Government. It is divided into 5 categories (democratic governance; transparency, accountability, and the fight against corruption; rights and liberties; security and justice; economic growth, employment, and competitiveness) and focuses on 95 initiatives.

Mexico is now in a highly complicated phase: implementation. The great challenge for the country is to translate changes in the law into actionable public policies with clear results for the majority of the population.

The major challenges for the implementation of the reforms will be the fight against inertia, corruption, inefficient and excessive bureaucracy, low labour productivity, and low confidence in authorities. On the positive side, the country has an important demographic dividend, abundant natural resources, and a diversified production base, which could be the drivers that translate the reforms into a stable and higher rate of economic growth. Thus, the main task is to translate the successful approval process of the reforms into an equally successful process of implementation.

For full access to the paper on Mexico's Reforms and the Prospects for Growth, kindly follow the link.


Wilson Perspectives: Combatting Corruption

Corruption comes in many forms — bribery, theft, bureaucratic arbitrariness — which inevitably affect all layers of society. “Grand corruption,” and ways to confront it, was the subject of Judge Mark Wolf’s February 3, 2016, lecture kicking off the Wilson Center’s Rule of Law Initiative, which highlights legal developments inside individual countries and other major international law issues. Judge Wolf’s lecture was followed by a lively and informative discussion in which Governor John Engler from the Business Roundtable was a key participant.

The Wilson Center and the Business Roundtable share a common interest in highlighting the problem of corruption. The fight against corruption equally engages the public and private sectors. It knows no borders. It further adds cost to doing business while undermining U.S. and global competitiveness. Therefore, this collection of essays provides a series of snapshots of how specific countries, international institutions, business, environmental NGOs, and women’s groups are confronting (or not confronting, as the case may be) corruption. This succinct, up-to-date assessment underscores the stakes involved, and what might be done, to overcome such deep-rooted and entrenched corrupt practices.

For full access to the compilation of articles on Wilson Perspectives: Combatting Corruption, kindly follow the link.


What Works in Reducing Community Violence: Spotlight on Central America and Mexico

The Wilson Center’s Latin American Program is pleased to launch an innovative report from Harvard’s Kennedy School that identifies promising strategies for reducing community violence and suggests how evidenced-informed policy options might be adapted to high violence areas in Mexico and Central America. 

For full access to the report on What Works in Reducing Community Violence: Spotlight on Central America and Mexico, kindly follow the link. 


Other Documents

How to Reduce Violence in Guerrero

Guerrero is one of the most violent and dangerous states in Mexico. According to the last data published by the Executive Secretariat of the National Public Security System (SESNSP), Guerrero had the second-highest rate of intentional homicide in the country for 2014, with 1,394 intentional homicides taking place between January and November of 2014. Guerrero's crime rate for 2013 is a matter of great concern, especially when taking non-reported crimes into account. Specifically, the 2014 ENVIPE survey estimates that 1,198,471 crimes took place in 2013, with 26 percent of Guerrero's inhabitants being victims of crime at least once. The state's dangerous conditions are adversely affecting inhabitant's safety: 78.9 percent of persons residing in Guerrero feel unsafe living there. One of the most pressing issues for the state's security situation may very well be that the authorities responsible for law enforcement are part of the problem rather than part of the solution.

Full article available here: https://www.wilsoncenter.org/publication/how-to-reduce-violence-guerrero

Other Document