Mexico: End Drug War & Redirect Funds to Regional Development?

This webinar looks at Mexico’s recently released regional development plan, that Mexican President López Obrador (AMLO) says will create jobs and opportunities for young people and other potential migrants to remain home in their own communities in southern Mexico, Guatemala, Honduras and El Salvador.

We will discuss the related topic of the drug war and whether AMLO’s rejection of the of the “Merida Initiative (the U.S. funded counter narcotics program at the center of the U.S. backed “war on drugs”) represents a paradigm shift in a conflict that has spawned 120,000 murders and 40,000 more disappeared.

Things are moving fast – highlighted by Trump’s recent threat of tariffs on all Mexico goods. Tonight’s webinar is a chance to get up-to-speed by listening to and posing question to some of Global Exchange’s best allies on both sides of the border:

Laura Carlsen, journalist and director of the America’s program. She will assess the importance of Mexico’s rejection of the Mérida Initiative, new regional job creation plans and what the U.S. response may look like.

Zara Snapp, Co-founder of Instituto RIA. Zarah will share a close up view of the marijuana regulatory process in Mexico’s Congress — a process she closely accompanies.

Armando Gudiño, veteran drug war opponent from the Los Angeles office of Drug Policy Alliance. He will talk about California’s leadership toward ending the drug war and why we should support Mexico’s reform initiatives.

Bill Hing, Professor of Immigration Law at USF and founder of the Immigrant Legal Resource Center. Bill will describe the importance of immigrant labor to the U.S. and the region and why targeted development strategies bring benefits. He will also talk about how drug war criminalization hurts immigrants and why/how that can change.

Ted Lewis of Global Exchange will moderate the event.


Last week we hosted another expert webinar “The Border, Migration & Our US-Mexico Future”.

The webinar was a great antidote to the misinformation and hate being spewed by President Trump and is still available for you to watch and share with your circles.

Nora Phillips, Legal Director of Al Otro Lado; Carlos Heredia, Researcher for CIDE in Mexico City; Daniella Burgi-Palomi, of the LAWG, and; Marco Castillo, US–Mexico Platform Co-director of Global Exchange/Iipsoculta; focus on the issues behind the rhetoric with almost painful intensity.

Amidst all the confrontation and complexity or immigration it is ever more important for us to get informed about how to actively defend the fundamental human rights of immigrants and their families even as we advocate for economic development and human security policies that guarantee their “right to stay home”.

What is happening at the border right now? Is the fight over the wall a distraction from more important issues? How can we respond to those in need? What can Mexico’s government do? How do we talk about these issues in ways that convince our neighbors and political representatives to uphold humanity, not political expediency? These are the issues our panelist tackle.