Mexico’s Security Crisis: What Lies Ahead for AMLO?

Inter-American Dialogue // Irene Estefanía González

On October 10, the Inter-American Dialogue hosted a discussion with the International Crisis Group based on their new report: “Building Peace in Mexico: Dilemmas Facing the López Obrador Government.” The discussion featured Ivan Briscoe and Falko Ernst from the International Crisis Group with Maureen Meyer from the Washington Office on Latin America as commentator and Michael Shifter from the Inter-American Dialogue as moderator. The conversation focused on the key findings of the report as well as areas in which it could be expanded.

Ivan Briscoe, director of the Latin America and Caribbean program at the International Crisis Group, began the conversation by discussing the current security climate in Mexico as well as political implications for the region. Falko Ernst, senior analyst for Mexico at the International Crisis Group, then turned to the report explaining how data was collected through on the ground interviews which resulted in a series of recommendations such as taking advantage of local knowledge, believing in truth commissions, and protecting junior officers from corrupt practices. Maureen Meyer, director for Mexico and migrant rights at WOLA, welcomed the results of the report but emphasized that international cooperation would also be needed to see change in Mexico’s security practices.

Michael Shifter recalled what López Obrador had said in a previous Dialogue event, that his strategy to combat insecurity was to lead by exemplary behavior as president. While this is needed, Ernst and Meyer added that the new government needs to be vigilant in prosecuting cases related to corruption.

The event concluded with a Q&A session that addressed concerns about local conflict de-escalation, justice inclusion in truth commissions, and the role of international law enforcement. Additional questions focused on the President-elect’s cabinet, the future of Mexico’s social policy, and the involvement of state and local governments in the fight against corruption. Meyer, Briscoe, and Ernst recommended that a gradual change to the country’s justice reform would be critical and emphasized the potential López Obrador has as a catalyst in the country. The conversation ended with an interesting observation from Briscoe that the topic of  US involvement with Mexico had not be raised and if that says anything about the future of the relationship between the two countries.

Watch the full recording of this event here