Trip Report: UN Security Roundtable


On Thursday, November 14 and Friday, November 15, I participated in a private workshop hosted by the United Nations Office of Drug Control Policy (UNODC) at the the Centro de Investigación y Docencia Económicas (CIDE). Other experts invited to the roundtable included Raul Benitez (UNAM), Jorge Chabat (CIDE), Leondardo Curzio (CIDE), Stephen Dudley (, Douglas Farah (IBI Consultants), Viridiana Rios (Harvard University), Brig. General Oscar Naranjo Trujillo, and Phil Williams (University of Pittsburgh). The purpose of the meeting was to provide an assessment of the major security challenges facing Mexico in the world today, and gain perspective on the threats that may lie ahead. The discussion included a wide ranging examination of both domestic and international security threats and vulnerabilities, including the problem of trans-national organized crime, climatic change, institutional weakness, and cyber threats. The discussion of internal security threats—and especially violence—from drug trafficking loomed large in the discussion. As one participant pointed out, Latin America has 8% of the world’s population, but produces 33% of the world’s murders; and Mexico contributes more than its fair share of those murders. Among the key factors that several participants pointed out was the need for stronger institutions to combat crime and procure the administration of justice in states that are relatively weak, or have weakly developed criminal justice sectors.