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Symp 13 DrugTraffic

The aim of this symposium is two-fold. First, Ms. June S. Beittel will provide a descriptive account of organized crime and drug trafficking organizations operating in Mexico. This part of the symposium is intended to provide a better understanding of the illicit drug trade in Mexico and the impact of Drug Trafficking Organizations on security conditions within Mexico.

The second portion of the symposium will be presented by Dr. David A. Shirk where he will examine the trends in violence and organized crime in Mexico through 2016. Dr. Shirk is an author of the March 2017 Justice in Mexico report titled, “Drug Violence in Mexico-Data and Analysis through 2016”. Part of the report analyzes the latest data analysis of trends to help better understand the facets implications, and possible remedies to the ongoing crisis of violence, corruption, and human rights violations associated with the war on drugs.


Dr. David A. Shirk, Department of Political Science and International Relations

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David A. Shirk is a professor in the Department of Political Science and International Relations at the University of San Diego, and director of the USD Master of Arts in International Relations program. He received his Ph.D. in Political Science from the University of California-San Diego, and conducts research on Mexican politics, U.S.-Mexican relations, and law enforcement and security along the U.S.-Mexican border. Dr. Shirk also teaches introductory courses on politics, and upper division courses on comparative politics, international political economy and security. He is also the director of "Justice in Mexico," a research and policy initiative on criminal justice and the rule of law in Mexico with over $6 million in support from the Hewlett, MacArthur, and Tinker Foundations, the U.S. Agency or International Development and the U.S. State Department. He has served as a consultant for the World Bank and various other international organizations. He has been a Resident Fellow and a Global Fellow at the Mexico Institute of the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars (2009-10; 2013-15), and a fellow at the Center for U.S.-Mexican Studies (1998-99; 2001-03). From 2003 to 2013, he was director of the Trans-Border Institute at the University of San Diego. Dr. Shirk has delivered testimony to both houses of the U.S. Congress, as well as numerous presentations to academic, military, law enforcement, and policy audiences. He has been an author and editor for several books, including Contemporary Mexican Politics (2015), Building Resilient Communities in Mexico: Civic Responses to Crime and Violence (2014), Reforma Judicial en México (2012), Shared Responsibility: U.S.-Mexico Policy Options for Combating Organized Crime (2010).

Download Powerpoints:  Section 1 and Section 2

Ms. June S. Beitell,
Analyst in Latin American Affairs; Congressional Research Service (CRS); U.S. Library of Congress

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Analyst in Latin American Affairs with CRS’s Foreign Affairs, Defense, and Trade Division. Her work concentrates on U.S. relations with Colombia, Ecuador, and Paraguay and she covers drug trafficking and organized crime in Mexico, corruption and efforts to combat it, climate and environment, and other political and economic issues in the region. Previously she directed outreach programs at George Washington University’s Elliott This endeavor is funded by DHS Science and Technology, Office of University Programs under the Borders, Trade, and Immigration Institute School of International Affairs and developed programs for local officials in the United States, on the U.S.-Mexico border, and in other countries during her tenure at the International City/County Management Association. She holds a B.A. in American Studies from the University of California at Santa Cruz, and an M.A. from Columbia University’s School of International and Public Affairs. She was a Public Affairs Fellow with the Coro Foundation in San Francisco, California. 

Download Powerpoint

Additional BTI Institute Powerpoint


Watch the Symposium Webcast

Part I: Drug Trafficking Organizations and Violence in Mexico by Ms. June S. Beittel
Part II: Drug Trafficking Organizations and Violence in Mexico by Dr. David Shirk


Drug Violence in Mexico April 2018
After-Action Report




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