Tuesday, January 21, 2014

Mexico’s July 2012 Elections

article from July 2, 2012
By Jamie Douglas

Mexico just held elections this past Sunday, July 1. There are no surprises in the outcome. The PRI, which ruled the country for about seven decades, is back in power after sitting out two terms, during which the opposition parties managed to throw the country into a civil-war-like chaos that has so far cost the lives of over 55,000 people, turning a formerly happy, laissez faire population into a bunch of paranoiacs, removing the happy face of Mexico to be replaced by daily graphic images of the victims of Reagan’s war on drugs, something that was happily adopted by (soon to be former) President Felipe Cálderon.

Large areas of the country have no security to speak of, as the billions of dollars in illicit drug money have corrupted all the law enforcement agencies. Like other Latin American nations, the experiment with a more democratic administration was short lived. Cálderon’s pig headed approach to the problem, to please his North American overlords, allowed the former dictators from the PRI, which spent three generations robbing the country of its very soul, to return to the helm of the Aztec nation, unfortunately, justifiably so, as the two main opposition parties have failed miserably in their stewardship of the great nation.

Cálderon was so intent on winning the unwinnable war against the narco-terrorists that he failed to prepare his nation for the looming economic downturn. Mexico has become an economic giant, thanks to NAFTA, and the wealth and income distribution was improving. From a few maquiladoras along the US border, it has gained worldwide clout as a manufacturer of quality goods. From Ford to Volkswagen to Chrysler, Nissan and Honda, along with European and Chinese manufacturers, everyone realized that by having factories in Mexico, it would grant them easy access to the US and Canadian markets, as well as opening the door to exports to the rest of Latin America.

The last two years have seen a marked slowdown in the GNP, exports and employment. Instead of focusing on his nation’s growing internal business problems, Cálderon followed the road to self-destruction by continuing his alliance with the DEA, ICE, the FBI and the Obama administration’s guidance in general, practically giving up the sovereignty of his nation in order to continue to receive massive military and law-enforcement aid from his northern neighbors. It is, of course, those very same northern neighbors that make it possible, with their fanatical pro-gun stance, to supply the gangsters with the latest in weaponry.

It is no wonder that the PRI will once again rule the mighty nation south of the border, but one can only hope that common sense will prevail and this race to the bottom against the narcos will cease. The slaughter in the neighbor nation must stop! I am not sure that legalization is the answer, but one thing is certain: The current approach is not working!

The problem was created by the huge demand for cocaine and heroin, and more recently, methamphetamine. The only way to reduce the violence in Mexico is to reduce the demand of the consumer nations. That goal will not be accomplished by the current approach, to criminalize the users and small-time dealers. The US has more people in prison than any other nation in the world, and many are there because of relatively smalltime offenses such as possession and distribution of small amounts of these drugs. The prison industry is being privatized (Ronald Reagan’s dream) and huge profits are being made by the US Prison Corporation, Wackenhut and several others that have direct connections to Congress.

Presently, those in charge of moving the large quantities of drugs to the US, Canada and Europe, as well as Australasia, are sitting on billions of dollars worth of cash, which corrupts virtually all law enforcement efforts. Fifty-five thousand people in Mexico alone have died, along with untold others from Argentina to Guatemala. The result is that today, there are more cheaper and more potent drugs entering the consumer nations, and they are being consumed in ever-larger quantities. What is the answer to that? If you have it, please send it to President Obama and Eric Holder. They could use some new ideas.

Jamie Douglas
Expat in the Land of Tannat

[Image of Mexican President-elect Enrique Peña Nieto via Wikipedia]

I encourage you to write me at cruzansailor [at] gmail [dot] com with any questions or suggestions you may have. Disclaimer: I am not in any travel-related business. My advice is based on my own experiences and is free of charge (Donations welcome). It is always my pleasure to act as a beneficial counselor to those who are seekers of the next adventure.