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Police Reform in Mexico: A Sensible Solution to the Violence

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As violence linked to organized crime in Mexico continues to mount and spending on a militarized approach to public security challenges expands, reports of human rights violations by members of the security forces are increasing. Policymakers in the United States and Mexico need to ask some hard questions about how to curb drug-related violence more effectively while respecting human rights. One answer includes a focus on improving and increasing accountability over police forces rather than drawing military forces into local law enforcement.

On September 17, 2009 LAWGEF joined with the Washington Office on Latin America and the Mexico Institute at the Woodrow Wilson Center to tackle these questions as part of a forum regarding police reform in Mexico.

Researchers and public officials who have spent years exploring these issues participated in this our discussion: Edgar Mohar, former Secretary of Citizen Security of the state of Querétaro; Juan Salgado, Associate Professor at the Center for Economic Research and Education (CIDE) in Mexico City; and Daniel Sabet, Visiting Professor at Georgetown University’s Edmund A. Walsh of Foreign Service. These experts, each bringing to light different issues based on their personal expertise, discussed ways to professionalize state and municipal police forces. This included a special focus on increasing citizen oversight of police.

Click here to watch their presentations at the Wilson Center and link to their PowerPoint presentations.

Click here to read our summary of the points covered.