Drug Trafficking and Organized Crime in Mexico

When and Where

Wednesday, September 21, 2022 12:30 pm to 2:00 pm
CG 265
Canadiana Gallery
14 Queen's Park Crescent West, Toronto, ON M5S 3K9


Monica Serrano


About the Presentation
Many people today identify Mexico with criminal violence. Shocking stories appear almost every day in the news. But what lies behind the headlines? How did drug-trafficking originate in Mexico, and how has it   evolved? Above all what has been the role of a US driven international drug control regime in this evolution? This lecture will critically examine the relationship between drug prohibition and the evolution of illicit drug markets in Mexico. In doing so it will seek to provide an explanation for Mexico´s violent turn in the 21st Century. It will discuss the notion of organized crime in the Mexican context and identify current risks of state capture in both US driven punitive supply strategies and Mexico´s transition to democracy. It will finally offer some reflections on alternative scenarios for Mexico. 

About the Presenter
Monica Serrano is a Professor Researcher at the Center for International Studies at El Colegio de México, Senior Research Associate at the Center for International Studies at the University of Oxford, and Senior Fellow at the Ralph Bunch Institute of International Relations at the University of the City of New York. Between 1990 and 1998, he was Research Fellow and Honorary Fellow at the Institute of Latin American Studies at the University of London, where he coordinated a series on the political transition in Mexico. She has been a MacArthur Research Fellow at the Center for International Studies at the University of Oxford (1999-2002), associate researcher at the International Institute for Strategic Studies in London (1996) and Director of the Global Center for the Responsibility to Protect the City University of New York (2008-2011).

She is currently a member of the Advisory Council of the FRAME project on the internal and external human rights policies of the European Union. She is the editor of Global Governance journal and a member of the editorial board of Conflict, Security and Development and Global Responsibility to Protect magazines. He has also been a member of the editorial committee of the Foro Internacional (COLMEX), Politica y Gobierno (CIDE) and Global Governance.

Her lines of research deal with issues of Mexican politics, transnational crime, and international relations in Latin America, with an emphasis on security. She is the author of numerous academic articles, and the author, editor and co-author of several publications, including: Rallying to the R2P Cause: The International Politics of Human Rights (Routledge, 2014); After Oppression. Transitional Justice in Latin America and Eastern Europe (United Nations University Press, 2012); Mexico's Security Failure: Collapse into Criminal Violence (Routledge 2012); Seguridad Nacional y Seguridad Interior (El Colegio de México, 2010); Human Rights Regimes in the Americas (United Nations University Press, 2010); Regionalism and Governance in the Americas: A Continental Drift? (Palgrave 2005); Transnational Organized Crime and International Security: Business as Usual? (Lynne Rienner 2002 (translation by FCE 2005); the Canadian International Journal (2006) special issue on security in North America and the special issues of the International Forum on UN Peacekeeping Operations (vol. XLVII, No.187, 2007) and public order, violence and national security in Latin America (, Vol. XXXVIII, No.2, 1998).


A light lunch will be served at 12:00pm in the Centre Lounge
The talk will begin at 12:30pm in the Ericson Seminar Room (room 265)
Please note that the location does not have a working elevator. If you are a person with a disability and require accommodation, please contact us at crimsl.communications@utoronto.ca and we will do our best to make appropriate arrangements. 


Centre for Criminology and Sociolegal Studies, Latin American Studies program


14 Queen's Park Crescent West, Toronto, ON M5S 3K9