The headline reads “If Monterey Falls, Mexico Falls“.
I’m not exactly sure what they mean by “Falls“. If it means that the government can no longer contain violent drug cartels, hasn’t that point already been passed?
(Cross posted at Hell in a Handbasket.)
11 thoughts on “The End Of Mexico?”
Mexico is like Russian. Order and governments come and go but the people, and the heart remain. Things got really, really bad during the 1912 revolution but the nation (in the original sense of the word) perseveres.
More over, the formal organization, that which is defined by laws and formal rules, doesn’t actually run much of Mexico. Informal, organic organization based on family and patronage runs most things and is relatively robust compared to the formal, on paper organization.
The formal organization may well, “fall” in the sense that the formal civil institutions move from weakly effective (compared to the US) to completely ineffective. However, I don’t what big a difference that will make for most Mexicans or the US.
I think the best thing that might come from civil disorder would be the arming of the Mexican populace. Mexico evolved out of a Aristocrat-Peasant culture in which the vast majority of the population have historically been forbidden weapons. This has allowed the corrupt armed minority to control the minority for centuries. More guns in the hands of ordinary Mexicans would solve a lot of that.
Of course, the transition might not be pleasant.
I think they might mean the point when the local governments become utterly subverted and corrupted by the power of drug gangs.
Well, the drug gangs are moving into the big cities, the centers of political power and (legitimate) commerce. If Mexico can’t even stop them where there is so much at stake for Mexican elites, the narco takeover is inevitable.
Brett Stephens, in the WSJ, disagrees.
Why would the drug cartels want to take over the Mexican state? They would then be responsible for running a government with all its quirks and responsibilities, like providing public goods and services throughout Mexico. It seems to me they would be better off, and making more money, if they just weaken the Mexican state to the point where the drug cartels can go about their business without the state waging a war against them. The Mexican government can govern, except in the carles areas of operation, and the drug gangs can concentrate on making money via their criminal activities.
If from time to time the drug gangs have to sacrifice a few of their members to a government “crackdown” on drug activity to placate Uncle Sam, well, that would be part of doing business. This was the attitude when the PRI ran Mexico. And this is probably what the drug cartels goals are.
It would seem so, but the state under Calderón has declared total war on the cartels. For better or for worse, that means that the state and the narcos can no longer coexist indefinitely: For the cartels to exercise effective control over an area, state control has to collapse first.
It’s only a matter of time until one of the narco-terrorist leaders decides he’d like to wear the uniform of El Presidente.
Calderone will depart the presidency in 2012 and his successor could very well call off or greatly scale back the war on the cartels, especially if the PRI candidate wins. A drug cartel capo might want to wear the uniform of el Presidente, but he would more than likely find out he bit off more than he could chew and his successot at the head of the cartel would laugh all the way to the bank..
The paramilitary leader of a drug cartel may find that emulating Chavez or Castro is beyond his capabilities, and certainly sardonic laughter by his co-conspirators is a likely response.
Mexican history is replete with wise bandits rationally calculating their chances to increase their power and prestige in the service of their vanity and avarice, then rejecting absurd or impossible ambitions. And certainly no patriotic Mexican would dare to dream the dark nightmare of Mexican revolution and civil war. Such bloody phantoms belong to the past. The natural moderation of the Mexican spirit is admired around the world and is why Mexico enjoys the wealth, stability and prosperity it does today.
The last round of bandito-terrorist-revolutionary violence in Mexico led to a Mexican civil war in my mother’s lifetime. The Zetas and Zapitistas rule are the natural successors to the PRI.
“Calderone will depart the presidency in 2012 and his successor could very well call off or greatly scale back the war on the cartels”
I’d rather hope we’d join them. I’m tired of losing the drug war. Can we fight for real this time?
“. . .Can we fight for real this time?” Given the rampant PC of our elites, I would imagine the rules of engagement would be pretty much like they are in Iraq and Afghanistan. Having said that, I would be delighted to be proven wrong.
Wow, it’s almost like Prohibition doesn’t work or something.
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