Carlo Antonio Arze, a program director for the International Youth Foundation, will be the final speaker in Tarleton’s 2011-2012 Symposium Speaker Lecture Series. He will discuss the challenges facing youth in Ciudad Juarez, one of Mexico’s most violent and crime-ridden communities.

Arze’s presentation will be at 7:30 p.m. Wednesday in the Nursing Building, Room 107. The lecture will be followed by a reception. Attendance slips will be available.

In his current project, “Youth: Work Mexico,” Arze is working with local civil society groups in Ciudad Juarez to create safe spaces for disadvantaged young people, strengthen and expand after-school and summer programs, and prepare Mexican youth for viable futures through self or salaried employment.

Since January 2007, over 50,000 people have died due to drug-related violence in Mexico, with the largest influx of violence taking place along the U.S.-Mexican border. It’s all related to drugs, drug cartels, drug trafficking and weapons going to Mexico from the U.S. For a young person in Cuidad Juarez it’s virtually impossible to avoid some sort of recruitment into the narco-gangs, Arze says.

Arze will discuss the genesis of the violence in Ciudad Juarez delving briefly into Mexico’s history and leading up to this critical period where drug-related activities are having significant social and economic impacts on key border towns such as Juarez and Tijuana.