USD Studies Show Violence in Mexico is up, Concerns Rise about "Spillover" to U.S.

Professor David A. Shirk to testify tomorrow before Congress on the Issue

University of San Diego Professor David A. Shirk will testify before the House Appropriations subcommittee on Commerce, Justice, Science and Related Agencies regarding violence in Mexico related to drug-trafficking.  The hearing is scheduled to begin at 2 p.m. EST, March 24,  in Room 2359 of the Rayburn House Office Building on Capitol Hill and can be viewed live via webcast at
Professor Shirk’s remarks to the Members of Congress will convey that:

• While speculation that Mexico is unstable or about to collapse is exaggerated, extreme violence in Mexico between the cartels has escalated, especially in certain border states.
• Although calls to militarize the U.S. side of the border to stop drug-related crimes are unwarranted, the United States needs to redouble its efforts to address the southbound flow of weapons and cash.
• Greater efforts are needed to protect the integrity of U.S. law enforcement agencies along the border in order to reduce the risk of corruption.
• While kidnappings in U.S. border states appear to be increasing, it is more likely they are linked to immigrant smuggling than drug trafficking.
Professor Shirk is director of the Trans-Border Institute and assistant professor in the Department of Political Science and International Relations at the University of San Diego.  He received his Ph.D. in Political Science at the University of California, San Diego and was a fellow at the UC San Diego Center for U.S.- Mexican Studies from 1998-99 and 2001-2003.  He conducts research on Mexican politics, U.S.-Mexican relations, and a variety of policy issues along the U.S.-Mexican border.
As director of the Trans-Border Institute at USD, Professor Shirk also oversees the Justice in Mexico Project, a bi-national initiative involving scholars and experts conducting research on criminal justice and the rule of law in Mexico. He is the author of Mexico's New Politics: The PAN and Democratic Change and co-editor of Reforming the Administration of Justice in Mexico. The Trans-Border Institute recently collaborated with the Los Angeles Times for the special news report “Mexico Under Siege: The Drug War at Our Doorstep.” (
The Justice in Mexico Project is sponsored by The William and Flora Hewlett Foundation and The Tinker Foundation. The Trans-Border Institute forms part of the Joan B. Kroc School of Peace Studies (KSPS), which was formally inaugurated in 2007 at the University of San Diego. The school is home to a dialogue and discipline of scholars and practitioners immersed and educated in peace as philosophy, methodology, and creative act. It is currently the only school of its kind in the United States.
To arrange interviews with Professor Shirk while he’s in Washington, D.C., please contact Denise Ward of USD Media Relations at 619-260-4659 or by cell phone at 619-213-2820.


About the University of San Diego

The University of San Diego sets the standard for an engaged, contemporary Catholic university where innovative Changemakers confront humanity’s urgent challenges. With more than 8,000 students from 75 countries and 44 states, USD is the youngest independent institution on the U.S. News & World Report list of top 100 universities in the United States. USD’s eight academic divisions include the College of Arts and Sciences, the School of Business, the Shiley-Marcos School of Engineering, the School of Law, the School of Leadership and Education Sciences, the Hahn School of Nursing and Health Science, the Joan B. Kroc School of Peace Studies, and the Division of Professional and Continuing Education. USD recently concluded our successful $317M Leading Change: The Campaign for USD, which represented the most ambitious fundraising effort in the history of the university. In September 2016, USD introduced Envisioning 2024, a strategic plan that capitalizes on the university’s recent progress and aligns new strategic goals with current strengths to help shape a vision for the future as the university looks ahead to its 75th anniversary in the year 2024.