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DPE Tuesday Talk Series: Emily Acevedo, “Mexico’s Growing Public Security Threats: Treating the Problem, Not the Symptoms”

The Division of Politics & Economics invites the CGU community to attend this week’s Tuesday Lunch Talk featuring Emily Acevedo, PhD of California State University, Los Angeles. Lunch will be provided.

Talk Title:
Mexico’s Growing Public Security Threats: Treating the Problem, Not the Symptoms

Talk Description:
In the first half of 2016, Semáforo Delictivo and Lantia Consultores documented 9,615 homicides, and attributed 5,413 of those homicides to organized crime (Lohmuller, Insight Crime). What complicates this issue is not simply the increase in the number of homicides, but rather the wider net of victims/targets. More than 120 mayors and ex-mayors were murdered from 2005 to 2016, in addition to 44 relatives of sitting mayors killed during that time (El Universal). Between 2011 and 2012, roughly 1,258 girls and women were reported disappeared from the state of Mexico (Lakhani, Guardian). What is becoming increasingly clear is that Mexico’s criminal landscape has expanded beyond drug trafficking to include other criminal actors, and the type of crime perpetuated now includes political violence, extortion, femicide, kidnapping for ransom, oil siphoning, and disappearances. The persistence of violence that has only grown in scope and magnitude since 2000 has shattered citizens’ trust in Mexico’s institutions. Consequently, Mexicans have turned inward for protection, evident by the growing number of gated communities (Vilalta 2011), and the rise of self-defense forces (Afura-Heim and Espach 2013; Felbab-Brown 2015). Mexico’s security crisis not only threatens citizen security, but also poses a grave threat to the state itself. These growing threats to public security did not occur overnight, but rather were a direct outcome of political, social and economic changes that occurred as Mexico democratized. This talk will explore how the shift in criminal landscape emerged in response to Mexico’s changed environment, as well as account for why the Mexican government’s security strategies have proven ineffective at addressing these growing threats

Emily Acevedo is a native Californian, born and raised in Boyle Heights. She joined the Political Science department at CSULA in the Fall of 2008 and am also affiliated with the Latin American Studies Program.

She teaches a wide variety of courses in World Politics, Model United Nations, Foundation of Global Politics, International Poltiical Economy (undergraduate and graduate courses), Latin American Politics (undergraduate and graduate) and Central American & the Caribbean.

Emily Acevedo

More information about the DPE Tuesday Talk Series can be found here.