Saturday, July 4

Mexican gang criminality worsens in new ways

"They’re not just fighting over drug routes, or distribution points, but increasingly over Mexico’s natural resources. That’s been going on for a while, but the situation is increasingly out of control.”

“Perhaps drug organizations no longer threaten the state, at least not the way they once did ... But they do threaten millions of Mexicans in a much more direct way. The old narco model is dead, that of the Santa Claus figure who generated jobs, infrastructure improvements and were seen as OK by local authorities as long as they all shared the profits and society was left alone. These days, extortions, kidnappings are at epidemic proportions."

"May was the worst month for violence since since October 2013 ... and 2015 appears on track to surpass the estimated 20,000 drug-related homicides in 2014."

“The real question is why do we continue to elect these rats and tolerate this mess? When will we learn?”

The quotes are from Alfredo Corchado's July 3 report from the Mexico Bureau at The Dallas Morning News, As Mexico takes down kingpins, pace of killings only accelerates.

This is a very important report. It's doubly important because the information Corchado passes along from a slew of experts has been suppressed on the national news level in the United States.  It's also suppressed by Mexico's government:

“The style, form, narrative is different from Calderón, but the outcome is the same,” said Luis Astorga, an expert on organized crime at Mexico’s National Autonomous University, or UNAM, and author of What Did You Want Me To Do? — an expression once used by Calderón.
“The big difference is that under Peña Nieto, there is more control of information and less transparency for the public.”
“The bottom line in all of this,” said James Creechan, a sociologist in Toronto and author of the coming book Encyclopedia of Mexican Cartels, “is a vacuum of data useful for measuring the impact of the drug war.”
The lack of information frustrates U.S. officials, who complain of a lack of intelligence-sharing with their Mexican counterparts.
“They want to keep us in the dark,” one senior U.S. official said.
Yet enough intelligence is being shared by various state governments in Mexico to be greatly alarming.  

See also Reuters June 4 report on Mexico's June midterm elections, Mexico murders blight elections as government fails on security; at least 7 candidates were murdered -- a female mayoral candidate was beheaded -- with 20 others forced out of electoral campaigns because of death threats, and at least 9 officials murdered in different parts of the country.
"These are the dirtiest elections since the advent of democracy in Mexico," Said Raul Benitez, a security expert at the National Autonomous University of Mexico.
And see Alfred Corchado's May 31/June 1 report on the violence-filled election campaign -- and the increasing desperation of Mexican citizens about their government:
Fifty percent of eligible voters are expected to turn out, but that number is considered low for Mexico, where voters are losing faith in the main political parties, said analyst Jaime Rivera, a political scientist at the University of Michoacán in Morelia.
“Voters believe less and less in political parties, but they still want to believe in their institutions” said Rivera, who is also a state electoral adviser.
Peña Nieto and his PRI party were voted in three years ago in large part because of concerns over violence. But those concerns remain intact as public opinion has soured on every political party, including the conservative National Action Party, the left-leaning Party of the Democratic Revolution, as well as the PRI and the president himself. All have been tainted with allegations of corruption.
In a February poll by Reforma, some 85 percent said they don’t trust Peña Nieto, and 60 percent say corruption has increased since he took office. The president has been questioned over houses built for his family by a government contractor.
Still, analysts expect the PRI to keep the upper hand in these elections as it turns out its large base.
That's what happened. See Reuters June 13 report on the election results:
Mexico's ruling party and its allies in the lower house of Congress extended their slim majority in last weekend's elections, according to a preliminary estimate from the National Electoral Institute (INE).
And this deeply ironic observation in the report:
Pena Nieto is not expected to rely on Congress as much in his last three years, having fulfilled the bulk of his main legislative pledges, including measures to end the state oil and gas monopoly and open up the telecoms sector to competition.
The system of government in Mexico is broken. Its judicial system is broken. Its law enforcement institutions are broken.  The political system is broken.  Its society is under siege; the only order is provided by thousands of Mexican troops who patrol the streets in key cities and by vigilante groups.
But by gum Peña Nieto has made foreign investors happy.

Is there a way out of the nightmare?  Not until Mexicans wake up to the fact that industrialized remittances are killers of democratic societies. The billions of dollars in remittance payments provide just enough money to allow elected governments to keep avoiding the kind of reforms that bring in decent governance.

It would be cold comfort, I know, but Mexicans who look on helplessly are not alone in the nightmare.  In June the United Nations released a report documenting that democracy is collapsing and authoritarianism is on the rise in more than 96 of its 193 member nations.  You can trace the rise of state-sanctioned remittances starting in 2004 and concomitant decline in democracy during the past decade.

Pandora's Box. They opened Pandora's Box when they industrialized remittances.



bdoran said...

"Pandora's Box. They opened Pandora's Box when they industrialized remittances."

No Pandora was always beyond the borders, beckoning. We opened the door to Pandora not the box called remittances.

One also cannot overlook that the American is rising against the Latin. I mean Meso-American. The tension never left but the Spanish are losing their grip.

Pundita said...

Astute observation about Meso-Americans. And I like that term better than native or indigenous. Did you see this quote in Corchado's article on the election campaign --
"The head of Mexico’s National Electoral Institute, Lorenzo Cordova Vianello, is in trouble after an illegally recorded audio of him ridiculing indigenous people was leaked online."

But don't discount the role that industrialized remittances have played. I made a stink about it in 2005 in a post I titled, "Why Vicente Fox is going straight to hell." I might as well have been yelling about the weather on Pluto.

I also asked, maybe in that post or a subsequent one that same year, what was going to happen to the Mexicans who became dependent on remittances sent from relatives working in the USA when the American economy took a dive. The answer came soon enouogh. Many of them were left with no choice but to work for the cartels.

Hu Jintao, Tony Blair, Fox and the World Bank-IMF put pressure on Bush to along with the G8 plan to work remittance payments into government policy. And the big financial institutions that stood to profit most from the huge officially sanctioned remittance transfers added their voices. Bush, who had been against the plan, finally caved.

It was the beginning of the end for fledgling democracies across much of the 'developing' world.

So America didn't just beckon; Mexicans were shoved by successive Mexican regimes to go work in America -- and send remittances back home. This doled out just enough to prevent mass starvation. It also castrated the impetus to revolt against corrupt and inhumane governance. Same thing happened in China and many other parts of the world.

The question that haunted me in 2005 was whether the Mexican government's part in encouraging Mexicans to leave wasn't a kind of ethnic cleansing by stealth. I began to work toward the question a few years ago in a post that asked about the extent of racism in Mexico. There was precious little about the issue in English language reports.

Then I clammed up and turned my back on the question. I was hampered by my lack of Spanish. I couldn't find enough on the internet in the English language to indicate whether Latino prejudice against Meso-Americans was entrenched at state and federal government levels in Mexico. And I couldn't find statistics or even informed estimates about the ethnic makeup of Mexican immigrants to the USA since remittance payments had been sanctioned by Mexico's government.

It has struck me since reading Corchado's reports that the question should be reopened. Terrible things are happening in Mexico. But the American national news media, and the American government in collusion with Mexico's, have been hiding from the American public just how terrible things are.

bdoran said...

"Bush, who had been against the plan, finally caved. " Here we have the man in sum.

There is discernible even to outsiders tension between ruling Latins and vast misruled Meso-Americans, really Indians is better word. If you study for instance the history of what is now Mexico one sees that it's one taking wolves by the throat conquest after another indeed the Spanish are the longest lived of all the Empires. That's the danger the Latins [very, very White] are perched atop.

As for them cleansing undesirables by shipping them North that's an old game and ancient really - see Greeks colonizing ancient Mediterranean world, the Americas and for that matter southern states bused their welfare cases to NYC when John Lindsay openly courted the welfare vote coming to NYC. An Ancient technique of rule.

Yes there's a lot of money involved but it's past that. They know they can take us - not certain but certainly possible - and they're really by instinct going for the biggest treasure chest in History that is North America. Clearly we aren't defending our legacy so why should we keep it? In particular as our rule of the world is not only failing but clearly mad.