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Falko Ernst

Senior Analyst, Mexico

Crisis Group Role

Falko joined Crisis Group in July 2018 as Senior Analyst for Mexico. He is responsible for conducting research on the country's lethal conflict and the challenges the incoming president faces, particularly as concerns the country's many regional conflict settings and intra-institutional realities that underpin corruption and collusion by state actors. He provides field-based insights and recommendations, through reports and contributions to media, as to how these should be factored to make for sound security policy.

Areas of Expertise

  • Non-state armed groups
  • Organised crime
  • Criminal governance
  • Corruption
  • Latin America
  • Mexico

Professional Background

Falko has worked on criminal governance, organised crime-state-collusion, and new forms of conflict in Mexico and Latin America since 2010. As a PhD researcher in sociology at the University of Essex (UK), he lived in organised crime-controlled communities in Mexico. He went on to become a freelance researcher and author based in Mexico City, collaborating with Crisis Group, the Ford Foundation, the London School of Economics, and national and international media.

Prior to this, he worked as a research assistant in Germany's federal parliament in Berlin, and completed a masters degree in Latin American area studies at the University of Passau, Germany.

In The News

6 Jun 2019
Any blow to the Mexican economy will pour oil into the fire of conflict, accentuating reasons for people to flee, and undermining the deterrence effect of President Trump's anti-migratory policy. Twitter

Falko Ernst

Senior Analyst, Mexico

Latest Updates

Mexico’s Hydra-headed Crime War

It may seem that Mexico’s crime war, which has left over 100,000 dead in its wake, could not get any worse. But interviews with gunmen in deadly Tierra Caliente show that it can, as criminal organisations break into smaller and smaller parts, driving up the death toll.

Also available in Español

Mexico’s New Neutrality in the Venezuela Crisis

Bucking the U.S. and several large and influential Latin American states, Mexico has not recognised Juan Guaidó’s claim on Venezuela’s presidency, and has instead argued for negotiations to end the country’s crisis. As Crisis Group’s Senior Mexico Analyst Falko Ernst explains, this position is rooted in a new Mexican foreign policy doctrine.

Also available in Español
Q&A / Latin America & Caribbean

Mexico’s New President Squares Up to High Hopes for Peace

On 1 December, Andrés Manuel López Obrador will assume Mexico’s presidency. He won pledging to end a drug war that has killed tens of thousands. But, as Crisis Group’s Mexico Senior Analyst Falko Ernst argues, he faces formidable challenges that will make it hard for him to uphold his promises.

Also available in Español

The Life and Death of a Mexican Hitman

Researching how Mexico can uproot the scourge of organised crime, our Senior Analyst Falko Ernst befriends a doomed hitman on the run from his past. Talking to the sicario in the Michoacán underworld, he learns much about the deadly challenges the new government faces.