Mexico's Organized Crime Evolution: Why We Should Care

On Thursday, October 6, the Strauss Center welcomes Dr. Tony Payan, the Françoise and Edward Djerejian Fellow for Mexico Studies and Director of the Center for the United States and Mexico at Rice University’s Baker Institute for Public Policy, for a talk on “The Evolving Nature of Organized Crime in Mexico and Why We Should Care.” This talk is part of our Brumley Speaker Series.

In this conversation, Dr. Payan will discuss how Mexico’s struggle with elevated levels of violence and crime has diverted attention from understanding the drastic changes in the nature and character of Mexico’s criminal organizations, with detrimental consequences for not only Mexico, but the United States as well. Payan will argue that, although it is important to examine crime and violence in Mexico today from a quantitative standpoint, it is essential to also analyze how and why criminal organizations have changed in recent years from large, hierarchical organizations primarily dedicated to drug trafficking to networks of sophisticated, vicious groups creating chaos in Mexico’s society and endangering its institutions. According to Payan, the role that these organizations play within the United States in the fentanyl crisis, as well as immigration and human trafficking, shows that Washington, D.C. can not hesitate to address what is happening on the ground south of the border.

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