Enrique Betancourt is no stranger to working in violent urban contexts.
When the murder rate in Ciudad Juarez, a Mexican city bordering the Unites State, was skyrocketing, and with the drug war in full force, President Felipe Calderón sent a team in to help stop the violence. Betancourt, an official in the Mexican government’s Ministry of Urban Development, was one of them.
Trained in architecture and urban design, he learned that peacebuilding in cities requires understanding their “ecology” and targeting places, behaviors, demographics as well as times of the year and times of the week.
After witnessing a drop in Cuidad Juarez’s murder rate, Betancourt joined the President’s Office and eventually became the executive director for the National Center for Crime Prevention.
After the end of the Calderon administration, Betancourt went on to become a Yale World Fellow and is now director of the Violence and Crime Prevention Initiative at Chemonics.
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