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Roundtable: Authoritarianism in Mexico. Political and criminal violence against journalists and activists

Thursday 14 April 2016
Van Wijkplaats
Van Wijkplaats 2
2311 BX Leiden

Since the early 2000s—particularly after the launch of the war on drugs in 2006—Mexico has experienced a dramatic increase in different forms of violence against journalists, community leaders, and (international) human rights activists, contributing to Mexico’s current reputation as the country with the most missing journalists, according to international NGO Article 19.

Unfortunately, violence shapes many aspects of public life and democracy in Mexico. Despite the important steps taken toward making political authorities accountable and processes transparent, there has been considerable backlash. Authorities of all political stripes, as well as organized crime, threaten and intimidate citizens as they participate in political life. Such violence from officials and criminals in blocking democratic processes raises urgent questions about political authority in Mexico.

How do political institutions in Mexico respond to political dissidence and protest? How should the international community respond? Exploring those questions will help us analyze the quality and content of democracy, while aiding us measure the impact of criminal organizations on Mexican political life.

In order to begin a constructive dialogue on this, a roundtable will be held, with the participation of scholars and specialists on Mexico and political science, and members from international NGOs.


Laura Baas (SiPaz, Mexico)
Dr. Manuel May (Leiden University)
Jos Bartman (University of Amsterdam)
Prof. dr. Ruud Koole (Leiden University)

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