After a spike in violent crime during the last Mexican administration, President Enrique Peña Nieto entered office determined to shift his country’s security strategy. The previous focus on capturing drug kingpins and using the military in domestic security operations had left citizens both fearful and vulnerable to violence. In response, security experts and political leaders in Mexico have spent several months preparing and launching a new approach.
On June 24, the Foreign Policy at Brookings Latin America Initiative hosted a panel to explore this shift in strategy and implications for what have been historic levels of cooperation between the U.S. and Mexico. Minister for Special Affairs Ariel Moutsatsos presented the Government of Mexico’s current strategy followed by a panel discussion. Panelists included Alan Bersin, assistant secretary of international affairs at the U.S. Department of Homeland Security and Eduardo Guerrero Gutiérrez, partner at Lantía Consultores in Mexico City and contributor of the security chapter in a new Brookings book, The End of Nostalgia: Mexico Confronts the Challenges of Global Competition (2013). Ambassador Eduardo Medina Mora commented upon the discussion. Brookings Nonresident Senior Fellow Diana Villiers Negroponte moderated the discussion.