HomeNewsBriefMexico Institute: Restoring Mexico’s International Reputation

Mexico Institute: Restoring Mexico’s International Reputation


The Woodrow Wilson Center for Scholars' Mexico Institute working paper on how media reports focus on the security aspects of Mexico, particularly organized crime, at the expense of economic indicators that might paint a different picture of the situation in that country. This paper is an effort to, as the title puts it, restore Mexico's reputation and alter the way in which policy makers view the country.

An extract from the text:

Mounting casualties from the war on crime and relentless political conflicts have made it virtually impossible for policy makers to focus their energies on policies to resolve Mexico’s structural problems. With little else to talk or write about Mexican and American pundits and reporters are obsessively focused on corruption, the drug wars and the migration of undocumented workers to the United States.

All of these issues are real but they are not the only news about Mexico that is worth writing about. So much attention focused on these issues has damaged Mexico’s reputation, creating the perception that the country is overrun by violent criminals that destroy lives and properties on a whim. Policy makers have been influenced by the change in perceptions. For many decision makers in the U.S. Mexico has become primarily a security problem; the country is no longer perceived as a key business prospect.

If the conventional wisdom about Mexico were accurate, key policy decision-makers’ time would be saved by delegating economic and political decisions to lower level bureaucrats and functionaries so as to focus energies exclusively on organized crime, corruption and undocumented aliens. But the reality about Mexico is far more nuanced and subtle than the prevailing caricature conveys.

Read the full paper here (pdf).

share icon icon icon

Was this content helpful?

We want to sustain Latin America’s largest organized crime database, but in order to do so, we need resources.


What are your thoughts? Click here to send InSight Crime your comments.

We encourage readers to copy and distribute our work for non-commercial purposes, with attribution to InSight Crime in the byline and links to the original at both the top and bottom of the article. Check the Creative Commons website for more details of how to share our work, and please send us an email if you use an article.

Was this content helpful?

We want to sustain Latin America’s largest organized crime database, but in order to do so, we need resources.


Related Content

HEROIN / 24 JUN 2019

Tension is brewing among small farmers in a notorious poppy-growing region in Mexico over delivery delays of a government subsidized…


A vigilante militia has become involved in a hostage standoff with an organized crime network in southwest Mexico, as the…

MEXICO / 30 SEP 2020

A federal prison that housed some of Mexico’s most powerful crime bosses will shut down, marking the end for a…

About InSight Crime


Venezuela Drug Trafficking Investigation and InDepth Gender Coverage

29 APR 2022

On May 4, InSight Crime will be publishing The Cocaine Revolution in Venezuela, a groundbreaking investigation into how the Venezuelan government regulates the cocaine trade in the country. An accompanying event,…


InDepth Coverage of Juan Orlando Hernández

22 APR 2022

Ever since Juan Orlando Hernández was elected president of Honduras in 2014, InSight Crime has provided coverage of every twist and turn during his rollercoaster time in office, amid growing…


Venezuela's Cocaine Revolution

15 APR 2022

On May 4th, InSight Crime will publish a groundbreaking investigation on drug trafficking in Venezuela. A product of three years of field research across the country, the study uncovers cocaine production in…


Widespread Coverage of InSight Crime MS13 Investigation

8 APR 2022

In a joint investigation with La Prensa Gráfica, InSight Crime recently revealed that four of the MS13’s foremost leaders had been quietly released from…


Informing US State Department and European Union

1 APR 2022

InSight Crime Co-director McDermott briefed the US State Department and other international players on the presence of Colombian guerrillas in Venezuela and the implication this has for both nations.  McDermott…