March 04, 2009

Drug Cartels Holding Mexico Hostage

Apropos of the post I wrote a couple of weeks ago about Cancun, the situation in Mexico is increasingly ominous.

David Reiff describes the situation thusly:

[The major Obama crisis predicted by Joe Biden] is located in Mexico, which is in freefall, its state institutions under threat as they have not been since at least the Cristero Uprising of the late 1920’s and possibly since the Mexican Revolution of 1910. While the Obama administration is obviously aware of what is happening south of the Rio Grande, the threat simply does not command the attention that its gravity requires.

The crisis consists in nothing less than an effort by the major drug cartels to tame and suborn the Mexican state, and not just in the strip along the United States border, though the epicentre of the crisis is there. Obviously, the cartels’ leaders do not have designs on Mexico’s presidential palace. But, through a policy of terror extending from Oaxaca in the south, through Acapulco on the Pacific coast, and up to the great border cities of Tijuana and Juarez (Mexico’s sixth and seventh most populous cities, respectively), they have made it abundantly clear that they are trying to achieve impunity.

Reiff notes that the cartels attempted to take over the Colombian government fifteen years ago, but were thwarted. Their chances of succeeding this time are much better. Imagine what it would do to have a true rogue criminal government south of the border for both ourselves and our Mexican neighbors. It would be like the mafia, only more ruthless.

As Reiff says, the threat could be as profound as any the Obama administration faces. And a real solution cannot be a military solution or a mindless building of a border fence. A real solution would involve figuring out how to help Mexico build an economy and a society that promoted the welfare of the Mexicans and legal systems that were robust and seen as incorruptible. For too long, the government in Mexico has been run by bribery and capricious standards which finally have created a system where the common person cannot trust the law, the military or the courts to be fair. No wonder the cartels with their ill-begotten wealth and vicious might are doing so well.

Posted by Mary at March 4, 2009 12:39 AM | Corruption & Graft | Technorati links |
Comments

You certainly have you finger on what the problem is in Mexico, Mary, but I can't see any solution to this. The corruption seems to be present at every level of government. How do you fight that, especially from another country? I have no idea.

Posted by: Cujo359 at March 7, 2009 02:15 AM