Thursday, July 12
9 - 10:30 a.m.
National Democratic Institute (NDI)
455 Massachusetts Avenue, NW, Eighth Floor
Washington, DC 20001
Citizen insecurity in Mexico and Central America, largely a result of drug trafficking and organized crime, has eroded public trust in institutions and threatens to undermine the region’s democracies. Government and civil society have responded with initiatives from military-backed law enforcement to violence prevention through social investment, but citizens in the region still perceive insecurity as the most pressing problem in their countries. Regional efforts, including NDI projects, have stressed an integrated approach and emphasized the need to engage diverse citizens in the process of developing more effective and responsive policies. Increasingly, the United States, Mexico, Colombia and local intergovernmental bodies such as the Central American Integration System (SICA) are becoming engaged. Given the recently elected president in Mexico, the new administration in Guatemala and upcoming elections in El Salvador and Honduras, what are the prospects for national and regional citizen security policy? And how can an emphasis on citizen engagement help address the region’s challenges?
- Eduardo Núñez directs NDI’s Central America citizen security programming in El Salvador, Guatemala and Honduras. The programs include international exchanges of best practices, designing and conducting courses on regional challenges and tools for making more effective policy and assisting municipal actors to develop and implement local violence prevention initiatives.
- Julian Quibell directs NDI’s Mexico programming, including citizen engagement on security and justice reform before and following elections, increasing voter access to accurate information related to citizen security and justice reforms and increasing candidate awareness and responsiveness to citizens regarding these issues.
- Keila Gonzalez, NDI program manager in Mexico and advisor for the Central America citizen security program, specializes in citizen security and oversees citizen outreach activities with municipal governments and provides training on advocacy skills and communications strategies for civil society.
Moderated by Jim Swigert, NDI regional director for Latin America and the Caribbean.
Note: While some panelists will speak in Spanish, simultaneous interpretation to English will be provided.