UC San Diego Conference Tries To Find New Solutions To 'War On Drugs'

Friday, February 9, 2018
By City News Service
Credit: Photo courtesy Customs & Border Protection.
Above: Customs and Border Patrol officials find 25 pounds of methamphetamine smuggled from Mexico in a Mercedes tire in February, 2010.

A conference focused on finding new solutions to the problem of drugs flowing across the country's southern border kicks off Friday morning at UC San Diego.

"Rethinking the War on Drugs and U.S.-Mexico Security Cooperation" will feature speakers discussing transnational and local challenges and offering solutions for policymakers in the two countries.

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"The cooperation of the U.S. and Mexico is more critical now than ever," said Rafael Fernandez de Castro, director of the Center for U.S.-Mexican Studies at UCSD. "In recent months, the U.S. has publicly embraced unilateral policies to cross-border challenges while Mexico has de-prioritized security issues. As the two countries have turned away from bilateral cooperation, the complex and region-wide factors driving and exacerbating the U.S and Mexico's most pressing security issues have continued unabated."

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Speakers include economists, journalists, government officials from both countries and academics.

Dan Restrepo, a former White House advisor on Latin America, will lead a panel focused on violence related to the drug trade.

Sandra Dibble of the San Diego Union-Tribune, California Deputy Attorney General Anthony DaSilva and Nimbe Duran of the Mexico Interior Ministry will be among the panelists discussing the resurgence of violence in Tijuana.

Other topics include the opioid addiction crisis in the U.S. and building a new regional security framework.