Newton Fund Initiative and Mexico's National Council for Science and Technology (CONACYT)

Co-constructing Human Security in Mexico: A Methodology and Action Plan from Communities to the State

Funded by the Newton Fund Initiative and Mexico’s National Council for Science and Technology (CONACYT), this two-year research project aims at fostering constructive dialogue and collaboration between local communities, civil society actors, and public institutions on how to improve human security and quality of life in vulnerable communities of Tijuana (Baja California), Acapulco (Guerrero), Apatzingán (Michoacán) and Guadalupe (Nuevo Léon) in Mexico.

Albeit characterised by different security challenges, there are three general characteristics that make these localities pertinent sites to co-construct security provisions: i) high levels of violence and insecurity as manifested in homicide and victimisation rates, ii) the importance that organised crime has had in reconfiguring these localities’ security context and iii) the existence of alternative models of security provision articulated by different and diverse non-state actors.

By using a participatory and action oriented methodology, the project aims at building local human security agendas in each city, that not only diagnose the multiple challenges faced by these communities, but also contribute in developing new approaches on how to enhance human security on the ground, particularly among the poorest and most vulnerable groups. Building local human security agendas will also generate practical lessons around what effective security provision might look like in Mexico at the national level.

This project is the result of collaboration among scholars that share a strong commitment with security and violence issues in Latin America. It is based at the Latin American and Caribbean Centre at LSE and at ITAM - Instituto Tecnológico Autónomo de México and CIDE -Centro de Investigación y Docencia Económicas both in Mexico City

Our international research team builds on a methodology, developed by the Observatory of Human Security in Medellin with Prof. Pearce and Dr Abello-Colak, which has been used since 2011 to work with community researchers in Medellin with the support of the International Development Research Centre (IDRC) in Tegucigalpa with the support of OXFAM and TROCAIRE.

The research team includes academic, pracademic (practitioner-academics) and community researchers working on the ground in each of the following locations:

  • Tijuana
    Nohora Constanza Niño, Raquel Cortez, and Luis Flores
  • Acapulco
    Javiera Donoso, Raúl Barrera, and Miguel Albarrán
  • Guadalupe
    Juan Salgado, Paulina Badillo, Karely Samaniego, and Cristina Gallegos
  • Apatzingán
    Luz Paula Parra, Pavel Vallejo, Julio Franco, and Eduardo Pérez
  • Coordinating Team Mexico-UK
    Rafael Fernández de Castro, Jenny Pearce, Gema Santamaría, Cecilia Farfán, Catheryn Camacho, Alexandra Abello Colak