U.S.-MEXICO FUTURES FORUM: Silver or Lead: Confronting the Business of Violence


Doctoral candidate Wendy Muse Sinek reports on the “Security” session of the Futures Forum that was kicked off by presenters Amalia García Medina, Governor of Zacatecas, and Shannon O’Neil, Fellow for Latin American Studies at the Council on Foreign Relations.

Mexico is fast becoming one of the world’s most violent countries. In 2008, the United States military issued a Joint Operating Environment Report that paired Mexico with Pakistan and suggested that both states were “failing” and susceptible to rapid collapse. While many analysts, both in Mexico and elsewhere, strongly dispute this claim, the situation is undeniably grim. According to a 2009 report published by Mexico’s Citizen Council for Public Security and Justice, the murder rate has increased four-fold in Mexico over the past two years, and as of September 2009, Ciudad Juárez was found to be more dangerous than either Medellín or Baghdad. Today, drug trafficking gangs routinely battle with President Calderón’s federal troops. Mexican citizens find themselves caught in the crossfire, and Americans worry that violence will spill across the border and into their front yards.

Wendy Muse Sinek
Publication date: 
August 20, 2009
Publication type: 
Berkeley Review of Latin American Studies Article