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View Diary: Calderon's Alternate Reality (26 comments)

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  •  Superb piece, David. (18+ / 0-)

    I hope people read it.
    The corruption comes from the top...and there is so much complicity on our side of the Rio Grande.

    Recently, all the top officials ( Mayor, police chief, more) from the town of Columbus, New Mexico were arrested for drug and gun running. The town may now be disincorporated.

    Tip of the iceberg.

    There is a little reason for hope...in Oaxaca, we recently elected a new Governor, Gabino Cue, whom I think is a good man...a first in my lifetime.

    And the movement led  by Javier Sicilia ( a hero of mine, too), is reason for some hope.

    But it must start at the top, for true change. And right now...that is NOT the case. A stolen Mexican presidential election was a sign of things to come...and they did.

    •  Irony abounds. (10+ / 0-)

      Columbus, NM, was the town overrun and burned by Pancho Villa and led to the execution of Pablo Lopez.  The town was sacked because the US put its support behind the then Mex. president instead of the revolution.

    •  I'm kinda sad to see Columbus go belly up (9+ / 0-)

      Both for reasons of history, as David Seth points out, but also because it shows again that the border is its own land, neither Mexico nor the US, and what happens on one side happens on the other.  Reminds me of that young woman who inherited the job of chief of police somewhere in Chihuahua, swore she would stick it out, but was forced to flee.  This endless war is certainly far worse and far more tragic for the Mexican side, but it squeezes a lot of life out of the US side too.

      I have no idea what the best policy should be for the US, let alone Mexico.  Decriminalizing marijuana would be a start, but much of the money comes from cocaine rather than pot.  Corruption is remarkably difficult to control once it is firmly established, short of a major revolution or complete change of government.  Even then it is difficult to control or reverse.  But at the same time I worry that the Pozoleros of this world, the Zetas etc will gradually grow strong enough that they will not just capture the state through corruption, but start to capture the state, period - as has been the case in parts of Michoacan.  I sense a war is not the best option, but in Calderon's defense, he seems to feel that walling off and creating federal enforcement structures that function almost like islands in the state is the only way to address the fact that the gangs and the Mexican government in most places cannot be easily separated.  I'm not sure that will work either, and once you have federal forces answering to the President and functioning independently... well, that's a risk Salvadorans know a thing or two about.

      Anyway I don't know what the solution is - other than what appears to be happening, which is mass public revulsion and rejection of the violence.  May that grow.

      And Oaxaca - maybe my favorite state in all of Mexico - may the new governor succeed in his efforts, and may Oaxaca avoid the violence.

      “If the misery of the poor be caused not by the laws of nature, but by our institutions, great is our sin.” Charles Darwin

      by ivorybill on Sun Oct 16, 2011 at 12:40:58 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

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