After nearly 20 years of ‘reformist’ measures, the police in Mexico continues to be an ineffective, unreliable, and ‘far from citizen’ institution. The efforts made so far have faded amongst political interests and agendas; multidimensional frameworks out-dated at both conceptual and interagency levels; short-sighted competition for resources; evaluation and performance monitors that are handicapped by bureaucratic inaction; and weak transparency and accountability that perpetuate the opacity in which the police operate. In this context, the agenda of external police oversight is still at a rudimentary stage. However, there are several initiatives that have managed to push the issue to the frontier of new knowledge and promising practices. This paper outlines the experiences and challenges of—as well as the lessons learned by—the Institute for Security and Democracy (Insyde) A.C., one of the most recognised think tanks in Mexico.