Is Mexico About To Fall Apart? Brenda Walker Says Yes

[See
Allan Wall`s


Memo From Mexico: Is Mexico About to Fall Apart?
]

For a couple years now, I`ve been toting up the
unpleasant symptoms of

Mexico`s lurch toward failing statehood
from the
viewpoint of a concerned neighbor who lives next door to
a crack house. Now I read that VDARE.COM`s resident
Mexico expert Alan Wall thinks that I`m overstating the
problem.

Who should know better than Allan, since he lives in
Mexico and has written

expertly
and at length about

Mexican society
?

I read his

analysis
with interest because of my great respect
for his opinion. But still think I`m right—Mexico is a
lawless mess that`s getting worse and presents a near
and present danger to us Americans, who have unlucky
geography. [VDARE.COM
NOTE:
It was, of course, the Mexican
dictator


Porfirio Díaz
 who was


credited
 with saying "
Poor
Mexico,
so far from God and so close to the United
States"
, but the corollary is obvious.]

One crisis that doesn`t seem imminent is a

Pancho Villa
style revolution. I`ve never suggested
that scenario was likely. Marxicans clearly hoped that a
teachers` strike in Oaxaca in May would grow beyond a
leftist mini-insurrection into a national uprising. The

Oaxaca disturbance
has lasted several months and
shut down much of the central city. But it didn`t
spread.

A precedent occurred earlier in Chiapas, when

Subcomandante Marcos
tried to stir up a

revolution as NAFTA was implemented in 1994
. His
small army of disenfranchised Mayan Indians took over a
town or two, but that uprising remained localized also.

The Mexican meltdown is instead a 21st century
phenomenon in which non-state actors—the drug
cartels—acquire enough money and power to carve out
their own areas of control through private armies. Think

Somalia
meets

Colombia
.

In fact, the

Colombianization
of Mexico is an

accepted description
.  It describes

Mexico`s new status as the illegal drug hub
of the
hemisphere, with all the carnage and corruption that
designation implies.

"`The Mexican cartels are
the most dangerous trafficking organizations in the
world,` says one U.S. official in Mexico City who asked
not to be identified for security reasons. `They`ll kill
you for a dime, and they have everyone paid off and
scared to death.`”

 [Losing the War: A sharp spike in drug-related violence
has some analysts worrying about the `Colombianization`
of Mexico
, Newsweek 7/11/06].

Wars among the cartels are a
growing source of violence, wreaking economic
devastation on places like Nuevo Laredo, a border town
that has

lost 60 percent
of its American business in the last
two years.

At least 40 businesses have closed
in the town,
where firefights between cartels may include
rocket-propelled grenades and hundreds have been killed.

In August 2005, the

State Department closed down the US Embassy in Nuevo
Laredo
for a week to reassess security after a
shootout between drug gangs using machine guns, grenades
and a rocket launcher. During the previous month, the
city`s

police chief was gunned down
just hours after taking
office.

And even without the cartels, crime is worsening to
the point where average Mexicans feel threatened The
issue has become part of the political debate—Mexico
expert

George Grayson remarked
in November about el
Presidente
Calderon, "He knows it is imperative
that Mexican citizens feel that they are safe in their
own streets."

Mexico City is home to

"express kidnapping"
in which middle class
people are snatched and forced to give up their debit
card and pin number. As a result of kidnapping becoming
a more common form of rip-off, Mexico is

#2 worldwide in kidnappings
per capita.

In 2004, a stunning quarter million people rallied in

Mexico City
to protest the government`s inability to
stem the worsening crime wave. People carried pictures
of crime victims and demanded the death penalty be added
to Mexican jurisprudence.

From 1992 to 2002, Mexicans
reported at least 15,000 kidnappings—second only to
(guess who?) Colombia, according to the Inter-American
Development Bank.

March organizers said most violent crime goes
unreported, partly because of

police corruption
and the knowledge that nothing
will be done.

"We are afraid. We can`t go out onto the street
and the police do absolutely nothing to protect us,"

said Yolanda Tellez, 62, who is retired. [Mexicans
protest at soaring crime
, by Mary Jordan, The
Melbourne Age
, June 29, 2004]

When crime reaches a certain level,
it becomes an issue of national security. The Vice
President of Colombia, Francisco Santos, said as much in
September:

"Crime
is the biggest problem of the next decade," he said. "It
will hinder tourism, investment and threaten democracy."
[Violent
crime called `biggest threat` to Latin America
,
EuroToday
September 19, 2006]

Street gangs have proliferated throughout

Central America
in the 15 years since the end of
civil wars. Guatemala has called in United Nations crime
fighters, in an admission that its own police forces
cannot cope.

Quite simply, what`s going on in
Mexico fits the definition of a

failed state
. The combination of factors—growing
corruption and crime, lessened competence in Mexico
City, the rearrangement of Mexican geography into cartel
fiefdoms with the uptick in narco-influence (see

map
)—have merged to lessen government power.

Inability to enforce the law and preserve order over
territory is one definition of a failed state. That`s
exactly the situation in Mexico.

The new Presidente, Felipe Calderon,

took office
December 1, albeit under inglorious
circumstances as he hurriedly

took his oath
among brawling opposition legislators
[video]
who sought to prevent his swearing in.

But one of his first major acts has been to send
6,000 troops to Michoacan to round up traffickers. He
also plans similar military incursions in other areas.
Calderon appears to be made of sterner stuff than his
predecessor. But it remains to be seen how much the
military deployment is for the cameras.

Let`s consider some other symptoms of the Mexico
malaise.

  • Cartels have consistently beaten back
    police and the Mexican army when the government has
    attempted to reassert its authority. El Presidente

    Vicente Fox sent troops
    into

    Nuevo Laredo
    June 13, 2005, but when the military
    was pulled out in late July, the city was "more
    violent"
    than when they went in.

Regions that once were free of narco-violence,
particularly

tourist areas
that bring in needed cash, are now
free-fire zones. Once glamorous Acapulco is now called

Narcapulco
, because the drug gangsters have moved in
with little opposition.

Cartels have taken a style cue from al Qaeda and are
now using beheadings to terrorize the police and
populace. In April, gangsters from one drug gang

decapitated the commander
of a special strike force
and one of his agents in the resort city. Police cannot
protect their own men, much less the civilians entrusted
to their care.

  • A poll last spring revealed that

    half of Mexicans
    believe their country is on the
    brink of chaos, that "50 percent of respondents
    feared the government was on the brink of losing
    control."
    Part of the reason was the decreased sense
    of personal safety that average Mexicans felt due to the
    violence and corruption they see in their communities.

Falling revenues for the government

oil monopoly Pemex
mean decreased tax receipts and
less money to deal with Mexico`s many real needs in
education, health care and infrastructure. (A systemic
source of Mexican enfeeblement is the critically

low level of taxation generally
, particularly from
the rich,

who pay zip
.)

In a country where the underground untaxed economy is
enormous, there`s a

popular saying
among wealthy Mexicans: "If you`re
paying taxes, you have the wrong accountant."

It`s unsurprising then that Mexico raises less
revenue through taxation than nearly any other Latin
American country,

just 12 percent
of GDP, which is one reason why the
nation`s enormous wealth is not better utilized. By
comparison, the United States takes in 25-28 percent of
its GDP in taxes. Even

Brazil taxes itself at twice the Mexican rate
.

Finally, let`s consider the daily crisis of Mexico
that`s before our eyes. Millions are fleeing

Latin America`s wealthiest nation
to work in
America, where they are despised and exploited.
Twenty-five million Mexicans are already here, and

46 percent of those still living in Mexico would leave

if they could, according to a 2005 Pew poll.

Not only is Mexico a failing state, it`s also a
failing society. The country should be a paradise. It
has valuable resources, great natural beauty, an ideal
location and hard-working people. Its

elite
do very well indeed.

What it doesn`t have is an aversion to corruption.
While many Americans live their entire lives without
paying a single bribe,

mordida
[bribery] is

endemic in Mexico
. Such attitudes lead to dishonest
police and politicians. Add a permissive attitude about
crime, where

smugglers are romanticized
 in

song
, and you have a perfect atmosphere for
narcotopia.

How much worse can it get? The issue of law and order
in Mexico in the near term hinges on how serious
Calderon is about cracking down on the cartels—and
whether he can bring meaningful force to bear given the
corruption of the army and police.

Somalia
and

Colombia
really are the possible models over the
long term since cartels are not unlike

warlord organizations
.

The cartels have virtually unlimited money, and
Mexico City is taxing soda pop to raise funds. Increased
instability from organized crime will only encourage
millions more to abandon the sinking ship and go north,
since we know few Mexicans care to stand and fight for
their country.

Bottom line: Mexico has an immense problem. Which
means the U.S. does, too.

Brenda
Walker [
email
her
] her lives in northern
California and writes frequently on her websites


LimitsToGrowth.org
and

ImmigrationsHumanCost.org
that
multiculturalism is a failed ideology, particularly so
for women.