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The Two Amigos? What to Expect on U.S.-Mexico Security Cooperation


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U.S.-Mexico security cooperation has often been one of the most trying areas of the bilateral relationship. After several strained years, in late 2021 the U.S. and Mexico announced the Bicentennial Framework for Security, Public Health, and Safe Communities purportedly ushering a new era in U.S.-Mexico security cooperation. To what extent is the Bicentennial Framework a significant departure from previous bilateral efforts? Can it effectively address overdose deaths in the U.S. and high levels of violence in Mexico? How does the lawsuit by the Mexican government against U.S. gun manufacturers impact collaboration? This talk provides an overview of the current state of bilateral security cooperation and examines several risk scenarios for the coming years.

Hosted by:
Gladys McCormick
Jay and Debe Moskowitz Endowed Chair in Mexico-US Relations
Associate Dean of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion for the Maxwell School of Citizenship and Public Affairs

Cecilia Farfán Méndez is the Head of Security Research Programs at the Center for U.S.-Mexican Studies at the University of California San Diego. She leads the security research portfolio of the Center. She also is an affiliated researcher with the Center for Studies on Security, Intelligence, and Governance (CESIG) at the Instituto Tecnológico Autónomo de Mexico (ITAM) based in Mexico City. Farfán is an expert on organized crime and U.S.-Mexico Security Cooperation, and co-founded the Mexico Violence Resource Project, an online platform providing analysis and resources for journalists and policymakers on violence and organized crime in Mexico. Since 2020, she has co-chaired the Public Security and Public Health working group of the U.S.-Mexico Forum 2025 led by USMEX.

In addition to her formal academic initiatives, Farfán has consulted for the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime, the United States Institute of Peace, is a columnist for Mexico Today, member of the Global Initiative Against Transnational Organized Crime, the Urban Violence Research Network and is a member of the strategy committee for the Journal of Illicit Economies and Development.

Farfán received her doctorate in political science from UC Santa Barbara, her master’s degree in international affairs from Columbia University’s School of International and Public Affairs, and her bachelor’s in international relations from the Instituto Tecnológico Autónomo de México (ITAM). She has been a recipient of several research fellowships including the Fulbright Program, the UC Institute on Global Conflict and Cooperation and Mexico’s National Council on Science and Technology.


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MAX-Moynihan Institute of Global Affairs, MAX-Program on Latin America and the Caribbean


Havva Karakas-Keles


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Exterior of Maxwell in black and white when there was no Eggers building

We’re Turning 100!

To mark our centennial in the fall of 2024, the Maxwell School will hold special events and engagement opportunities to celebrate the many ways—across disciplines and borders—our community ever strives to, as the Oath says, “transmit this city not only not less, but greater, better and more beautiful than it was transmitted to us.”

Throughout the year leading up to the centennial, engagement opportunities will be held for our diverse, highly accomplished community that now boasts more than 38,500 alumni across the globe.