On April 9, 2018, Perry Center Professors Boris Saavedra and Celina Realuyo participated as speakers in the international seminar “Threats and Challenges to Security in North America,” hosted by the National Autonomous University of Mexico’s Department of Political and Social Sciences (UNAM-FCPS) for over 325 students, academics, WJPC alumni, and professionals in Mexico City, Mexico.
The seminar was inaugurated by Dr. Alejandro Chanona, professor of research at UNAM-FCPS and Kara O’Ryan, head of the Perry Center Alumni and Educational Outreach Office.
The event opened with a presentation by Professor Realuyo about the convergence of organized crime and terrorism. Realuyo demonstrated how an increasingly interconnected world has allowed for networks to form alliances and easily move goods, information and money around the globe. She explained that as the scope of these groups’ activities and influence continues to grow, so does the threat to national and international security. Realuyo emphasized the importance of developing strategies and clear policy objectives to effectively counter criminal networks.
Professor Boris Saavedra followed with a presentation about the challenges of cybersecurity and the evolution of cybercrime. As technology continues to progress, criminal groups have found ways to take advantage of these advances, and a proliferation of cyber-attacks and data breaches have followed. Saavedra explained methods and tools used by cyber criminals, difficulties that countries have identifying and tracking perpetrators, and recommendations to protect against becoming a victim of these crimes. Professor Saavedra underscored the importance of strategies and policies to protect individuals and countries against these threats, and urged greater cooperation between military, governmental and civil society actors to develop and implement effective cybersecurity policies.
The event continued with a panel the covered a range of topics, including organized crime in Mexico, the controversial Homeland Security Law and security cooperation efforts between the United States of America and Mexico. Afterward the seminar concluded with a special “Women in Security” panel led by alumnae Roxana Juárez, Alicia Serrano, Mónica Méndez and Yadira Gálvez – all of whom shared their valuable experiences and expertise working in security. Yadira Gálvez stressed the importance of women’s equal and full participation in peace and security saying, “It is women and the gender perspective that are going to transform post-conflict and the logic of peace. We must empower women in political, social, and economic terms. We must be our own supporters and believe in ourselves so that we can break the glass ceiling together.”