Innovating ideas to overcome violence

October 13, 2010

Here are some excerpts to a recent blog from the U.S. Department of State’s blog.

In April 2010, the Mexican Secretariat of Public Safety (SSP) took over responsibility for security in Juarez, and now 4,500 federal police officers attempt to keep peace on the city streets. In spite of this, the homicide rate in Juarez so far this year is on pace to exceed the devastating rate witnessed in 2009.

So how can we get our arms around this situation, and work with our partner Mexico to help provide a safe environment for their citizens to study, work and raise their families?

There is no single and simple answer, but one ingredient we know is the key — helping Mexican citizens take an active and effective role in their own security.


In my role as Senior Advisor for Innovation, I have led a team over the last year to explore how we can use technology to help overcome the challenge of personal security risk in the current emergency line in Juarez. Mobile phone penetration is extremely high in Juarez: approximately 80 percent of the population has a cell phone. We saw an opportunity to draw in the people of Juarez to be part of a positive change in their communities through mobile technology.


Our end goal is to support our Mexican partners in creating a safer, more productive Juarez. Our strategy involves multiple components. One absolutely critical element is engaging the people of Mexico through mobile technology to be part of this positive change.