On August 7, 2017, The Global Initiative hosted its first Resilience Dialogues in Culiacan, the capital of Sinaloa, Mexico. These dialogues were conceived as a series of events designed to integrate the local perspectives of communities that are most affected by organized crime into the discussions shaping the global policies in development, peace and security.

Sinaloa is located on the western coast of Mexico. The state has a long history with trafficking industries, due to its geo-strategic location—on the Pacific coast and in proximity to the US.  It is also where the famous Sinaloa Cartel leader Joaquin El Chapo Guzman, now extradited to the US, began his global drug-trafficking industry.

Despite Sinaloa´s long struggles with corruption and violence, the state has also engendered a number of grassroots initiatives responding to a number of threats and disruptions associated to drug trafficking. These are entirely civilian-organized movements that have spontaneously formed to address different problems affecting the communities, and related to the prevalence of organized crime.

In 2016, the GI started to document these initiatives in Sinaloa. The intention was to begin to identify key actors and organizations reflecting the relentless commitment of these communities to thrive, despite the constant negative forces affecting their peace.

Thereafter, the #GIresilience Project was created, not only to highlight the courageous and inspiring work of these communities, but with the over-arching goal to incubate, develop and replicate their successful resilience-based practices. The ultimate aim of the #GIresilience Project is to create a global network of resilient communities to counter and mitigate the effects of criminal networks.

The Resilience Dialogues in Sinaloa is the first action-oriented programme under the #GIresilience Project. They are intended to touch base with civilian actors on issues that have prompted self-organization and collective action in societies affected by organized crime. Other Resilience Dialogues will take place in different cities accross the globe.

In Culiacan, leaders of different civil society organizations, collectives and other groups, covering a wide range of agendas and issues gathered for a three-day event. On day one, GI representatives initiated a workshop on the concept of ‘resilience’, with the community leaders. On day two, the dialogues focused on women. This focus was motivated by the prominent role of women, as instigators and beneficiaries, of many of the resilience-based initiatives. Therefore, it was essential to synergize efforts and frameworks with the perceptions of the local women.

Finally, on day three, participants attended a community arts festival co-facilitated by the local collective Recuper-Arte, working in the rehabilitation of public spaces in marginalised neighbourhoods to offer arts and education programmes to children. They serve as an alternative to the narco-culture— subculture emanating from organized crime— offering new role models for children.

The Dialogues were also an opportunity for the GI to undertake participatory action research and evaluate the response mechanisms of the different organizations and initiatives. The main findings and following recommendations of the Resilience Dialogues will be compiled in an upcoming report. The first report of the #GIresilience Project will be published in September 5th and it will present five cases studied of Resilience in Sinaloa.