Carlos Cruz founded the NGO Cauce Ciudadano (Citizen Channel) almost 15 years ago. Cauce is a network of community centers aimed at reducing youth violence in Mexico and opening platforms for change. His personal experiences as a victim of violence and abuse - as well as his inside look into the world of organized crime as a former ASA gang member - play a significant role in his work on violence prevention and continues to shape his activism. Carlos has been internationally recognized for proposing an innovative model to combat crime and violence among youth. With the help of volunteers, psychologists, medical doctors and other professionals, Cauce provides a series of workshops, therapy sessions and activities to combat addictions, reintegrate families, attempt to modify dangerous behaviors and prepare young Mexicans for employment. A core aspect of the program is that ex-gang leaders like Carlos work as mentors to connect with at-risk youth at a deeper personal level.
This presentation was presented during CDDRL's Program on Poverty and Governance's 2015 conference, "Educational and Entrepreneurial Initiatives to Support Youth in Places of Violence." The conference was held on April 28-29, 2015, at Stanford University.
For more information on the Program on Poverty and Governance, please visit: cddrl.fsi.stanford.edu/povgov.
For more information on Stanford's Center on Democracy, Development, and the Rule of Law, please visit: cddrl.fsi.stanford.edu.