The new alliance between the GI-TOC and MVRP will expand public knowledge and understanding of transnational organized crime dynamics while challenging traditional notions of violence. It will contribute to public policy research and dialogue on citizen security in Mexico and the United States.

The data and analysis collected through the MVRP will be used to strengthen the work of GI-TOC’s civil society observatories and programmes in Latin America. Investigations and programmatic collaborations will involve local researchers in Mexico to understand effective community-led responses to organized crime and violence. In addition to highlighting how transnational organized crime violence plays out in local dynamics, it will foreground local contexts to a global network of experts and civil society actors. Last year there were more than 35,000 murders in Mexico, marking the third straight year the country has experienced a homicide rate above 25 per 100,000. This epidemic of violence is the result of ongoing conflicts between organized criminal groups, militarized security policy, and a crisis in the rule of law. Fifteen years after the country’s drug war began, we have few answers about how to end it.

“Mexico is a key country to understand the transnational dynamics of organized crime. It is also a great place to learn about resilience and community responses to crime. This partnership will help us further our dialogues with the different actors engaged in countering violence and its effects on local communities.” Mark Shaw, Director, GI-TOC

“To develop new policy approaches to crime and violence, we need to think creatively and work collaboratively. That’s what this partnership is about: expanding our ability to have deep discussions about security issues in Mexico and to make those ideas accessible to the public and relevant to policymakers.”  Michael Lettieri and Cecilia Farfán-Méndez, co-founders of the Mexico Violence Resource Project

GI-TOC’s support will allow MVRP to expand data collection and mapping efforts, launch new investigations, and build partnerships with local researchers within Mexico. These efforts will help shed light on the dynamics of violence in places that are difficult for outsiders to understand.

MVRP is one of the first sources of in-depth, inclusive and evidence-driven analyses on crime and violence in the region. With this collaboration GI-TOC and San Diego’s Center for US- Mexican Studies will be able to go beyond research and academia to work with non-state actors in diverse roles. Photographers, artists and civil society activists will provide their perspectives on violence and resilience in Mexico. These perspectives are critical as they challenge the longstanding and almost exclusive narrative of drug trafficking in organized crime.

Find out more:

Mexico Violence Resource Project, click here

For further questions please contact Ana Castro (GI-TOC) or Michael Lettieri (MVRP)

About the Global Initiative

The Global Initiative Against Transnational Organized Crime is a network of professionals working on the frontlines of the fight against the illicit economy and criminal actors. Through a network of global civil society observatories on the illicit economy, we monitor evolving trends and work to build the evidence basis for policy action, disseminate the expertise of our Network and catalyze multisectoral and holistic responses across a range of crime types. With the Global Initiative’s Resilience Fund, we support community activists and local NGOs working in areas where crime governance is critically undermining people’s safety, security, and life chances.

About the Mexico Violence Resource Project

The Mexico Violence Resource Project is housed at UC San Diego’s Center for U.S.-Mexican Studies and is a sister initiative of the Noria Research Mexico & Central America Program and the Repositorio de Violencia y Paz at El Colegio de México. The project was founded in 2020 by Cecilia Farfán-Mendez and Michael Lettieri with the goal of bringing together researchers, policymakers, journalists, and activists for thoughtful discussions around the topic of crime and violence in Mexico.