Gloomy About The Future Of Mexico...

by michoacan, Thursday, February 17, 2011, 13:52 (3944 days ago)

Organized crime seems to be winning. There are reports of violence coming from all over (thankfully Zihuatanejo has appeared to have escaped violence). The Army is pointing fingers at the federal police and the SSP is pointing right back. Wholesale prison escapes, even a US judge let a top murderer post bail of millions of dollars and walk free.

There are rumors circulating about many state governorships being hinged to organized crime and many so-called experts say it is only a short matter of time before one political faction starts knocking off another, all due to the alliances the politicos make with warring factions.

It is folly in many areas, a huge part of the country to drive a nice automobile, especially a newer SUV. I had always regarded Mex 57-D as being sort of exempt from criminal roadblocks but after a pair of ICE agents seemed to have been ambushed for their car and not because they were law enforcement types (this happened near San Luis Potosi), this really has disturbed me.

There is little doubt that organized crime has managed to infiltrate the top level of my state governorment's leadership. Ministereos Publicos are almost frozen with fear.

How in the world can beloved Mexico extract itself from this climate of fear? In my depression I fear the country may eventually declare martial law.

If anyone out there has any news that can help the black cloud hanging over my head to dissolve, I'd sure like to hear it.

Please take this post seriously. I really am in a funk over this.

Meanwhile I will say again, Zihuatanejo and region seems to have been able to avoid these problems. An island oasis that folks can go and be sure things are like they were ten years ago.

Thank You

paraquot your pot!

by Oeste Hermoso @, Zihuatanejo, Thursday, February 17, 2011, 17:44 (3944 days ago) @ michoacan

I am not sure why a Mexicano would look to English speaking people for a solution to the problem (however defined and that of course is the 1st step). The USA already told your country to crack down on illegal drugs and that doesn’t seem to help (Similar advice hasn’t worked in Afghanistan either). Why not do as the USA does and not as it says: legalize it! It’s not as if ‘bootlegger’s offspring’ springs to the lips of (US of) Americans when they hear the initials JFK, RFK and JFK Jr. There are precedents for this sort of thing.

As the recent events in the middle show, there are no easy answers when it comes to changing the political/cultural ways of a country. Marching in the square in Tehran, Mexico City or Kent Sate University will not necessarily lead to the same results it led to in Egypt.

Study and learn from other countries. Craft realistic solutions based on normative principles from la constitución mexicana.

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or instill some good values...

by NoName @, Vancouver Island, Friday, February 18, 2011, 11:55 (3943 days ago) @ Oeste Hermoso

Or we can help our kids find the right paths on their own journey through time, with violence well in the background.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ztVaqZajq-I

I probably inserted that entirely incorrectly, but there it is!

Perhaps Pray For The Best

by michoacan, Friday, February 18, 2011, 14:52 (3943 days ago) @ NoName

I do not understand how making drugs legal is going to stop sicarios from collecting protection money from residents and business owners. How would that stop balaceras where young customers celebrating someon'e dia de santo are massacred because the dueño of a disco failed to pay a halcone a weekly protection fee?

Mexicanos are not in danger because of marijuanos, they are in danger because ratones are operating in barrios and business districts. People are getting beat up or worse because of extortion and protection, they get a precious car stolen, go to he police and then a few nights later comes a knock on the door. Don't make trouble.

People who blame presidente Calderon for the troubles do not understand that because of how gangs operate drogistas are the least of their problems. Sicarios who kill for a car are all over Mexico.

Perhaps Pray For The Best

by LadyM in Zihua, Friday, February 18, 2011, 16:02 (3943 days ago) @ michoacan

You definitely have valid points. Not everything bad that happens can be blamed on drugs and the people responsible for selling or using them. Very good observation, IMO.

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Perhaps Stray From The Rest

by ZihuaRob ⌂ @, Zihuatanejo, México, Saturday, February 19, 2011, 08:52 (3942 days ago) @ michoacan

I do not understand how making drugs legal is going to stop sicarios from collecting protection money from residents and business owners.... People who blame presidente Calderon for the troubles do not understand that because of how gangs operate drogistas are the least of their problems. Sicarios who kill for a car are all over Mexico.

You're missing the big picture. Since Presidente Calderón launched the U.S. proxy war on drugs in Mexico it has tied up resources that could have been put to other much better uses. Mexicans have clamored for one major issue for the past couple of decades or so: la seguridad. But la seguridad has worsened in every aspect because resources are being wasted on narcos. Fighting narcos is the wrong strategy and has only resulted in all crime statistics going up. Remove the banned substances from the equation and take away some of their power and Mexico will have a much better chance of dealing with the organized crime gangs who will be greatly weakened by the loss of narco dinero. Of course making narcos into respectable businessmen in some instances could be another beneficial by-product, since it is not the laws of economics that make them criminals but outdated and failed laws of government.

Narco violence has increased proportionately as their business has been disrupted and they must fight over routes and territories again and again. In other words, the failed war on drugs policy causes the very things it says it wishes to avoid: more chaos, violence and corruption. This was a lesson most US police departments learned decades ago when they used to go after users and street dealers, so they changed their tactics instead of wasting resources, though they are still wasting billions of dollars over a failed policy of fighting some pseudo-moral crusade instead of treating the problem as a health issue like alcoholism.

Gloomy About The Future Of Mexico...

by Scott ⌂, Mérida, Yucatán, Friday, February 18, 2011, 16:34 (3943 days ago) @ michoacan

The only hope for Mexico is if the people get fed up and the pendulum swings back after their experiment with neoliberalism, perhaps going as far as joining the "Pink Tide", but even just getting rid of the neocon sh*t disturbers and returning to some sort of covert management of the cartels by the government, as in the past. I have little expectation that things will even begin to improve until the current administration is history and the PRI is returned to power. By the time the 2012 election comes Mexico will have to do some serious soul searching and reflect on the failures and few successes of Calderon's offensive against the cartels during his sexenio. We already know Calderon's strategy, and it's not likely to change much between now and the end of his term. He wouldn't want to admit defeat, would he? The turning point will be after the 2012 election when the next administration comes to power. They will be able to modify the strategy. They probably wouldn't relax the militarization overnight, but slowly things might get better. Even if the PAN wins again, it would be a new administration, and they would probably reassess the strategy of their predecessors.

I don't know that they would want to declare martial law sometime in the not-so-distant future when they are gearing up for the 2012 election campaign. Calderon's strategy would look like a complete and utter failure if he launched his offensive against Michoacan just days after coming to power in 2006, and ended his term in 2012 with the country under martial law.

They could end this charade whenever they want by taking steps to legalize, sending the troops back to their barracks, showing some spine when it comes to dealing with the US government, and using their resources to fight real crime like kidnapping and extortion, not victimless moral crimes like the consumption, production or transportation of marijuana.

I'm coming to see it all as a complex, interwoven situation that at its core goes back to Mexico buying in to US (Washington Consensus) ideals back in the early 1990s with the negotiation of NAFTA for example, and now they are dealing with the results/consequences of that decision. They knew perfectly well that allowing in heavily subsidized US agricultural products duty free would wreck havoc in the Mexican countryside, but they thought that was an acceptable trade-off, that the campesinos would all go get jobs in maquiladoras along the border or something. It apparently didn't occur to anyone that these disaffected people would be just as likely to go work for the cartels. I don't think they're going to solve the drug issue now without addressing the other underlying root causes. Including what the hell would possess a person to do all those grotesque things that are going on, the Blog del Narco worthy things that I don't even feel comfortable repeating here.

Right next door to Mexico there is a nation that is so safe that the peacefulness of the countryside there must be almost inconceivable to the average Mexican and US American. Heavy handed tactics such as martial law can and do work if you don't mind living in a police state. I'd rather not but that means instead coming up with better, long-term and pragmatic solutions.

Gloomy About The Future Of Mexico...

by michoacan, Friday, February 18, 2011, 17:00 (3943 days ago) @ Scott

I still do not understand, señor scott. What you just wrote was if mota were to be legal all of the sicarios would stop collecting besos, stop taking automobiles and posessions, and stop threatening citizens who complain about being robbed by ratones that are affiliated with los zetas, sinaloenses, or CDG. Do the sicarios operate under a contract that would expire if Mexico were to make marihuana legal? Are you trying to say that grupos and gobernacion would reach some kind of agreement? Suddenly no more fear, no more ambusquedas de los niños, no mas abre su cartera? Explain how the killing would stop if you would please. How pueblos in Tamaulipas and Chihuahua will get their gente to return? The alternative to presidente calderon's war is to surrender to the grupos?

Gloomy About The Future Of Mexico...

by Scott ⌂, Mérida, Yucatán, Saturday, February 19, 2011, 01:10 (3942 days ago) @ michoacan

Do the sicarios operate under a contract that would expire if Mexico were to make marihuana legal? Are you trying to say that grupos and gobernacion would reach some kind of agreement?

The sicarios work for the white collar narcos, the ones living in nice houses in upper-middle class and luxury neighbourhoods in typical Mexican cities, and some that live out in the small towns. Living in Michoacan you must be familiar with them. The ones that are really clean, where the people are well behaved and no one drives around with "boom box cars" in the middle of the night. The sicarios are just random disposable guys working for a meagre salary, probably less than Canadian minimum wage. If the federal government weren't decapitating the top leadership of the cartels, there would be less power vacuums, and the cartel leadership wouldn't be forced to deploy their sicarios as often, if they were all forced to stick to their own territories a bit more and not cause too many local problems. In exchange for the government somewhat turning a blind eye to their business. In other words, the way it was before. And from there, begin to legalize. The sicarios aren't the people making the money, they're employees, otherwise known as enforcers. Generally speaking, the people actually getting rich aren't the ones killing each other in the streets. They're living quieter, more unassuming lives and yes I believe they would prefer as little drama as possible.

Also, at least part of the increase in common delinquency can be attributed to the loss of cartel authority in their territories, as they are attacked by both the federal government and their rivals, and splinter. Read the news carefully and you'll see it. Some of Mexico's safest cities were safe precisely because the local cartels were doing the policing of common crime. When you take out the top leadership and they begin to splinter, those cartel policing functions are lost and the rateros you complain of come out of the woodwork. I don't know much about the domestic situation in the US, but I've heard that the street crime in some of your cities such as Boston is also similarly controlled by the mafia.

The alternative to presidente calderon's war is to surrender to the grupos?

If marijuana were legal the cartel leadership could run their businesses legally and instead of hiring those sicarios to settle disputes, they could turn to the justice system, and compete through good old-fashioned market competition, not through superior firepower. When was the last time you heard of the executives of a North American alcohol or tobacco company hiring hitmen to kill their rivals? And I suggest using strong public education campaigns to warn about the harmful effects of recreational drugs and make them less attractive.

Gloomy About The Future Of Mexico...

by michoacan, Saturday, February 19, 2011, 11:13 (3942 days ago) @ Scott

But I thought many of the killings are over amfetaminas and heroin. If it were only over mota then this would be easy to fix. In michoacan la familia for instance handles amfetaminas. If mota were made legal would it not drive los carteles to something else that still is not illegal? The only thing I can say is no matter what the people of mexico are in for a long and sad wait for security and justice. Thank you all.

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The Future Of the World...

by ZihuaRob ⌂ @, Zihuatanejo, México, Saturday, February 19, 2011, 12:01 (3942 days ago) @ michoacan

The killings are over territorial control for the movement of mostly intoxicants. This was not a problem until the federal government upset the balance. I believe Zihuatanejo enjoys the relative peace and tranquility it does because someone powerful is firmly in control of this area, but if a dispute were to occur because of government intervention, then we could easily end up like Acapulco.

Yes, even speed and smack should be legal because there is a multi-billion dollar a year demand for them in the USA, and keeping them illegal only ensures there will be a black market controlled by violent criminals (Prohibition Lesson #1). But as long as a majority of sheeple cling to the idea that it is okay to impose their morality on others, there will be growing conflict and chaos. Just like you're seeing in the Middle East: the longer the lid is kept on a pressure cooker with a fire burning under it the greater the eventual explosion. You've got to allow folks to burn off that steam, whether it be with a joint, a drink, a syringe or a pill.

The Future Of the World...

by Gringo Viejo @, Kansas/Zihuatanejo, Sunday, February 20, 2011, 14:15 (3941 days ago) @ ZihuaRob

Glad to see you open the subject about the Middle East. Our "Leaders" who think they can impose democracy on a society (aka Vietnam, Irag, etc) should take a close look. Democracy comes from within, not from being imposed by external moralists.

Do you think we (USA)will ever learn that we can't be the world's policeman and impose our social values on others. They have to do it themselves. Much better to stay home and police ourselves----

Hell, our politicians can't even see that 57 cents of every federal dollar spent is borrowed money and 58 cents of every dollar goes out in the form of checks to individuals. How long do they think this can go on? We have more than enough problems at home without trying to be the second coming of the Roman Empire.

MAY DAY! MAY DAY! I'm going donw in flames!

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The heck with the middle East

by Zmon01 @, Sunday, February 20, 2011, 14:43 (3941 days ago) @ Gringo Viejo

Look what's happening in your own "back yard". Gov.Scott Walker and his outsider influence (the Koch brothers). Now that is squashing democracy!!! Bring the Democratic Party down, so our nation will be run by dictators? ;-)

Gloomy About The Future Of Mexico...

by Scott ⌂, Mérida, Yucatán, Saturday, February 19, 2011, 18:23 (3942 days ago) @ michoacan

The bad guys can try and sell whatever they want, but if there were no demand, it wouldn't matter. I suggest that Mexico only apply equal force against suppliers that US Americans are willing to tolerate against consumers in the US. It is morally wrong for your country to fight, encourage and/or finance these proxy wars outside of your own borders when you are not willing to accept the same consequences of your policies at home.

If you want to quash the drug trade then you must apply equal sanctions on both the supply and demand sides of the equation. If you're not willing to unleash the US military in your own country, set up check points in your own country, have the military go around searching marginalized peoples homes door to door, and set aside civil and human rights concerns to go after the consumers with full force, then I think Mexico should say screw you, and not do it themselves either on the supply side. You're not going to beat the cartels by relaxing drug enforcement on the demand side (relaxing marijuana laws, relaxing prison terms for drug offences due to overcrowding and budget issues, etc) while attacking the supply side. It only makes it more profitable for the cartels as demand increases and supply decreases as all the small suppliers are taken out. The ruthless ones left standing make a fortune because of the artificially manipulated equilibrium price of the drugs where the quantity of drugs supplied isn't any lower than it was to begin with.

If you're not willing to do what it takes to quash demand in your own country, then legalize it. Trying to quash the drug trade abroad while not doing what it takes at home is immoral.

Gloomy About The Future Of Mexico...

by Craig Scheiner, Saturday, February 19, 2011, 18:48 (3942 days ago) @ Scott

The poster Michoacan is the only one who really seems to get it here, IMHO. Rob gets it once in a while, but never when drug legalization is part of the topic. This problem is not endemic to Mexico. It happens everywhere there is corruption and a governmental power vacuum. Drug cartels aren't the cause; they are just one of the results Michoacan posts about. Now and then Rob talks to the problem: a corrupt political system, no law enforcement to speak of, things being run by money and corrupt power; a population, including Rob, who says the killers aren't killing me, just other drug dealers, so just leave them alone and they'll leave you alone. But they aren't leaving the everyday people of Mexico alone, as Michoacan points out. It's rampant lawlessness, from the boom-box cars Rob complains about, to raping environmentally "protected" places to build another time-share project, and everything else up to the kidnappings and killings.

Blaming the President of Mexico, or weed smokers in the US for Mexico's corruption and crime ridden problems is utterly ridiculous. Both the problems and solutions are the responsibilities of Mexicans.

Just an observation from another tourist. But what do I know?

Craig

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Where blame lays

by ZihuaRob ⌂ @, Zihuatanejo, México, Saturday, February 19, 2011, 19:54 (3942 days ago) @ Craig Scheiner

Corruption in Mexico and the US proxy war on drugs being fought in Mexico to meet US demand are completely separate issues. Mexico never had much of a problem with narcos, except a periferal one, because they were generating much needed money and filling a vacuum the government and our economy didn't otherwise fill. Narcos have long been considered heroes and benevolent benefactors in parts of Mexico. Don't confuse narcos with the rest of the country's security problems. Since Calderón began playing your war on drugs game, every crime statistic in the country has gone up, and that is all going to change as soon as the PRI wins the next presidential election.

Scott is right on. The US duplicitous and failed policy towards banned intoxicants is the core of the problem. US folks talk about narco violence spilling over into the USA, while we see the problem as exactly the opposite: the US narco violence has spilled over into Mexico.

Please don't measure Mexico using a US yardstick. We have a culture of tolerance. Several intoxicants banned in the USA have long been accepted here in Mexico and were only made illegal here under US pressure.

Our problems with lawlessness and corruption are only made worse by Mexico allowing itself to be dragged into trying to play the US's game. My goodness, your so-called elected representatives won't even consider the issue of banning military firearms or any other meaningful steps to curtail the endless supply of arms sold in the USA and entering Mexico to be used by violent criminals. Wouldn't want to hurt any US businesses now would we?! The USA long ago gave up on controlling street dealers. To the contrary, for the past 25 years or so the USA has glorified violent street dealer culture!

So don't mix apples and mangos. You're only making excuses to support a failed policy and avoid taking responsible action. If collectively you're too stubborn to admit the lessons of Prohibition then woe unto you.

STOP THE WAR ON DRUGS

Where blame lays

by Craig Scheiner, Saturday, February 19, 2011, 23:14 (3941 days ago) @ ZihuaRob

Rob,

You so succinctly reinforced my point - once again denying responsibility for your own behavior. Not you personally, but certain of your countrymen and the results of their institutionalized corruption. Again, your position is, "It's not our fault."

Well, amigo - it is your fault (as a nation) because it is your choice, and your responsibility. Everyone is responsible for his behavior, including Mexicans. Why don't you try supporting the efforts your federal government is doing to get rid of the killers and criminals on your side of the border for a change?

Craig

Where blame lays

by Scott ⌂, Mérida, Yucatán, Sunday, February 20, 2011, 19:14 (3941 days ago) @ Craig Scheiner

I do not agree with your assessment of who is responsible. You are reifying the nation-state and blaming that abstract social construct, rather than considering who, in a very real sense, is responsible for the current situation. Blaming the "nation" for their own problems is showing a complete disregard for the historical, social and transnational factors at play here. How is it reasonable to collectively blame the citizens of a country for the decisions of their government when there is effectively no functional democratic system in place, or only a very weak one? Remember Mexico was ruled by what's been called the "perfect dictatorship" for 71 years. How is a destitute peasant in the Montaña region of Guerrero, for example, responsible for the actions of a corrupt, ruling elite, or the decisions of Harvard educated technocrats like Calderon? They live in completely different worlds.

Or what are you suggesting, exactly? That it is their collective responsibility to finish the revolution? Or just to have faith that those corrupt institutions and the ruling classes that control them are acting in the best interests of the "country", and not their own?

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Where blame lays

by ZihuaRob ⌂ @, Zihuatanejo, México, Sunday, February 20, 2011, 22:35 (3941 days ago) @ Craig Scheiner

No, Craig, I didn't reinforce any point that you attempted to make. You choose to overlook the reality and instead adhere to the propagandist position that's been drummed into you. The whole issue of banned popular intoxicants in the world's largest market for those substances is based on lies and special interests and prejudice. Mexico's cartel leaders could just as easily be legitimate businessmen except for erroneous laws based on a failed policy. Mexico has a different set of priorities than the USA, and frankly, the USA's "war on drugs" is simply not one of them. In Mexico there is little popular support for the current path our president has embarked upon that strays from dealing with our core problems of public security, which has only worsened while battling cartels instead of the rest of the criminal element who affects our population much more directly. To put it simply, we have bigger fish to fry.

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Were you out smoking an unt during>

by Zmon01 @, Saturday, February 19, 2011, 20:55 (3942 days ago) @ Craig Scheiner

Econ.101? If there wasn't a demand, there is NO need for supply. Sorry, but IT IS our fault. Legalize!:smoking:

Gloomy About The Future Of Mexico...

by Scott ⌂, Mérida, Yucatán, Saturday, February 19, 2011, 22:35 (3942 days ago) @ Craig Scheiner

I'm pretty confident about my perceptions of the situation. It's damn near impossible to keep up with the constantly changing alliances, changes in leadership hierarchy, and every single event that occurs, but overall I think I've got a pretty good grasp of the big picture.

Just an observation from another tourist. But what do I know?

You probably know a lot about video production. If you shared something about that subject with us based on your knowledge and experience, I'd probably defer to you and respect your opinion. In the same way that I would think that someone who lived in Michoacan/Guerrero for six years and is about 3/4 of the way through a degree in International Studies with a particular interest in Latin America might have a slightly deeper understanding of the situation in Mexico right now than you do.

Gloomy About The Future Of Mexico...

by Craig Scheiner, Sunday, February 20, 2011, 00:51 (3941 days ago) @ Scott

Scott posted, I would think that someone who lived in Michoacan/Guerrero for six years and is about 3/4 of the way through a degree in International Studies with a particular interest in Latin America might have a slightly deeper understanding of the situation in Mexico right now than you do.

I don't know who the scholar is you are referring to, but let me make my position so clear that even a scholar and a webmaster should have a difficult time disagreeing with it:

You can only believe Mexican individuals are not responsible for their criminal behavior if you think individual Mexican politicians who solicit and accept bribes are not corrupt and individual Mexican men with guns who intentionally kill people are not murderers. But they are corrupt and they are murderers, aren't they?

People in the United States cannot force Mexicans to commit these acts. It is the choice of individual Mexicans and they are responsible for their behavior and decisions the same as everyone else.

Wow. I'm surprised anyone needs this explained.

Craig

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Gloomy About The Future Of Mexico...

by frostbite ⌂ @, Hamilton MT, Sunday, February 20, 2011, 12:03 (3941 days ago) @ Craig Scheiner

"People in the US cannot force Mexicans to commit these acts". True enough, but it is stupid laws in the US that create a situation that criminal Mexicans - and others - are more than happy to take advantage of.

Gloomy About The Future Of Mexico...

by Craig Scheiner, Sunday, February 20, 2011, 13:43 (3941 days ago) @ frostbite

> "People in the US cannot force Mexicans to commit these acts". True enough, but it is stupid laws in the US that create a situation that criminal Mexicans - and others - are more than happy to take advantage of.

Absolutely agreed. To the detriment of the rest of us.

Craig

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Gloomy About The Future Of Mexico...

by ZihuaRob ⌂ @, Zihuatanejo, México, Sunday, February 20, 2011, 22:49 (3940 days ago) @ Craig Scheiner

You certainly have no trouble overlooking your own share of criminal gangs and corrupt politicians and your own political system that is so beholding to special interests as to render it incapable of rescinding failed policies as to render the entire system inert and incapable of any meaningful progress. Do I hear the pot calling the kettle black?
:spank:

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Things not what they seem

by ZihuaRob ⌂ @, Zihuatanejo, México, Saturday, February 19, 2011, 21:35 (3942 days ago) @ michoacan

I had always regarded Mex 57-D as being sort of exempt from criminal roadblocks but after a pair of ICE agents seemed to have been ambushed for their car and not because they were law enforcement types (this happened near San Luis Potosi), this really has disturbed me.

Oh, I don't believe they were were shot at by carjackers. I suspect they were involved in something undercover, and a leak either in the US or the Mexican government tipped off the hitmen. Don't assume the fault is with the Mexicans and never assume things are what they appear to be in the multi-billion dollar business that is both the narco trade AND the "war on drugs". The survivor said they told the attackers they were diplomats, while they have been clearly identified as ICE agents. ICE agents aren't diplomats, so what's with the ruse?

But the part that gets me is they were driving an armored vehicle but the guy rolled down the window to talk with gunmen carrying AK-47's? I'm pretty sure that is NOT S-O-P.

Things not what they seem

by michoacan, Sunday, February 20, 2011, 03:09 (3941 days ago) @ ZihuaRob

Pero, what can be done about sicarios out collecting besos and threatening children because adults at some business do not pay protection? This is not about drugs at all, if a halcone does not collect his weekly due then someone dies and that someone is frequently a customer or innocent.

It appears that the automobile that those two gringo cops were in cost perhaps one million mexican pesos. Sicarios cannot purchase or have cars armored in mexico easily any more. The PGR is auditing the businesses who armor the cars. These cars are coveted. So they are targets. Those agents were probably not set up at all, they were chosen by a halcone and ambushed by sicarios only for the car.

I can hear the protests "You aren't supposed to rob me, drugs are legal now".

Forgive me for not understanding some of you.

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Things not what they seem

by ZihuaRob ⌂ @, Zihuatanejo, México, Sunday, February 20, 2011, 23:05 (3940 days ago) @ michoacan

Forgive me if I seem repetitious, but perhaps you aren't intentionally ignoring my statements elsewhere in this thread that if law enforcement and the military weren't distracted fighting the proxy US "war on drugs" it would (a) free up their resources to deal with criminals that affect citizens more directly than the cartels do, and (b) it would reduce by at least half the financial resources of criminals who currently rely on the trade of banned intoxicants thus reducing their ability to corrupt public servants and purchase arms from the USA.

Things not what they seem

by Craig Scheiner, Sunday, February 20, 2011, 13:49 (3941 days ago) @ ZihuaRob


[quote]But the part that gets me is they were driving an armored vehicle but the guy rolled down the window to talk with gunmen carrying AK-47's? I'm pretty sure that is NOT S-O-P.[/quote]


He didn't roll down the window. They were attacked. These armored SUVs are built so the window rolls partially down automatically when the vehicle is in a accident so the occupants can escape. An armored vehicle can trap people in as well as keep people out.

Craig

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Things not what they seem

by ZihuaRob ⌂ @, Zihuatanejo, México, Sunday, February 20, 2011, 22:54 (3940 days ago) @ Craig Scheiner

Gee, Craig, you must be hearing a different version of the survivor's testimony than is being reported here in Mexico. Every account I've heard states he said he rolled down the window to speak with them. The vehicle was simply forced off the road. It wasn't in an "accident".

Things not what they seem

by Craig Scheiner, Sunday, February 20, 2011, 23:56 (3940 days ago) @ ZihuaRob

The version I posted is what was reported in either the Wall St. Journal or NYT. I don't recall which I read it in.

Weed and narcotics are illegal to possess to some degree or another in every country in the world. It's not just the United States. For accuracies' sake you might write "the world's failed policy" instead of the "United States' failed policy." Of course, you aren't responsible for what you write. The US is.

Craig

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Things not what they seem

by ZihuaRob ⌂ @, Zihuatanejo, México, Monday, February 21, 2011, 08:57 (3940 days ago) @ Craig Scheiner

Terrific, Craig, the official coverup is already underway.

The rest of the world is a big place and your comment a little too general, and the part of it that concerns Mexico is the multi-billion dollar a year market in the USA: source of the narco violence. Check your map, Brainiac!

[image]

Things not what they seem

by Craig Scheiner, Monday, February 21, 2011, 14:21 (3940 days ago) @ ZihuaRob

[image]

> The rest of the world is a big place and your comment a little too general, and the part of it that concerns Mexico is the multi-billion dollar a year market in the USA: source of the narco violence. Check your map, Brainiac!

At your suggestion I checked a Map, Rob. Here's what our maps reveal (your map too).

"...multi-billion dollar a year market in the USA" Our (yours and mine) maps show the market is the USA. That's the country immediately north of the US/Mexican border.

" ...source of the narco violence." Our (yours and mine) maps show the source of the violence, about 35,000 killed now, to be Mexico. That's the country just south of the US/Mexican border.

Brainiac

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Things not what they seem

by ZihuaRob ⌂ @, Zihuatanejo, México, Monday, February 21, 2011, 18:05 (3940 days ago) @ Craig Scheiner

You have a severe case of ethnocentric stutter: you keep repeating the same exculpatory US propaganda. So because thousands die in another country, no matter the cause, the USA is to be exonerated of responsibility. Uh huh. Sure.

The USA creates the market, creates the demand, sells the weapons to BOTH sides, and budgets billions to public servants so they can justify their jobs. Then they practically give the Colombian market to the Mexicans on a silver platter. Do you even keep statistics on the people who die in the USA in narco-related violence? Is it possible to even cite a reliable figure? Is it possible more dope dealers kill each other off on your side of the border? You know, the street gangs and the bikers et al. I believe folks stopped counting them decades ago. Hardly even make back page news any more. Doesn't mean they stopped killing each other. Some law enforcment website probably has some "stats". I'd guess the 10-year average makes Mexico look like Disneyland in comparison.

And ever since Ollie North got busted and took the fall live on CNN it became undeniable that the even US gov't deals in banned intoxicants AND arms smuggling. Oops!

Now many states have relaxed their laws and the common attitude at least towards pot is much more permissive, so why IS there a "war on drugs" and why DO Mexican cartels even need to bother smuggling pot into the USA anymore? Whose interests are really being served? (Hint: It was NEVER a public health issue.)

Do you also sleep at the wheel when you drive? :kicknuts:

Things not what they seem

by Craig Scheiner, Monday, February 21, 2011, 18:48 (3940 days ago) @ ZihuaRob

Try as you might Rob, no matter how many times you try to change the subject, you cannot wiggle out of this absolute fact: everyone is responsible for his own personal choices and behavior. That includes you, me, and every Mexican druggie who murders someone, and every corrupt Mexican politician who demands a bribe.

Nobody in the United States, including everyone in the US government, or anywhere else in the world, is responsible for the decisions and crimes that Mexican drug killers and corrupt Mexican politicians commit.

There is nothing you can claim that will make that fact untrue.

Craig, or Brainiac, whichever you prefer.

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Things not what they seem

by ZihuaRob ⌂ @, Zihuatanejo, México, Monday, February 21, 2011, 19:26 (3940 days ago) @ Craig Scheiner

Well Craig, philosophy about self-responsibility is real nice to debate in the classroom, but in the real world it is at best a half truth. There are causes and there are effects. There is nature and there is nurture. And there are rose-colored glasses and there is clarity. Try taking yours off.

Guess who ran one of the most violent cartels Mexico has ever seen? The one that began all the "creative" mutilations you hear and read so much about being copied now by others following his footsteps. One of the USA's very own.

Wouldn't be surprised if he was on the US payroll like Osama was.

Things not what they seem

by Craig Scheiner, Monday, February 21, 2011, 19:44 (3940 days ago) @ ZihuaRob

I don't believe you don't get it, Rob. I don't think anyone who's been following this thinks you don't get it either. I think it just sticks in your craw to hard to admit it when you are wrong.

Craig

Things not what they seem

by Scott ⌂, Mérida, Yucatán, Monday, February 21, 2011, 12:28 (3940 days ago) @ Craig Scheiner

The U.S. government was instrumental in leading the original crusade against narcotics and marijuana and was the ringleader in pushing for international treaties incorporating the prohibitionist approach beginning a hundred or so years ago. These international treaties now shape the overall framework of prohibition in most countries.

Every country in the world didn't independently come to the same conclusion that marijuana and other narcotics should be prohibited and treated the way they are, as a criminal issue rather than a public health issue. These things have been negotiated by treaty and there is strong pressure for countries to adopt the treaties and abide by them. You can't deny that the U.S. government is extremely influential when it comes to negotiating these things.

For example, a few years ago the Government of Canada studied the issue of marijuana, and in a very insightful report recommended that it be legalized. They conclude that normal usage of marijuana isn't any more harmful than the social costs of prohibition (if at all), and that the government should instead aim to prevent at-risk behaviour, such as smoking more than 1 gram / day, through non-criminal prevention strategies. But it isn't legal. It isn't that easy. We have international obligations. And, at the risk of offending your sense of patriotism again, the U.S. government threatens to effectively shut down the border, or at least severely hinder the free flow of goods and people across it, searching every single car for example, if it were legalized.

I don't understand why so many people deny the far-reaching influence of your government. They meddle in the domestic affairs of damn near every country in the world, and you are probably blissfully unaware of 99.9% of what they do outside your own borders.

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Things not what they seem

by ZihuaRob ⌂ @, Zihuatanejo, México, Monday, February 21, 2011, 12:49 (3940 days ago) @ Scott

I'm going to have to install a "Like" button.

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Very well said, amigo. :worthy:

Yes, whenever other countries try to do anything the US government doesn't like, instead of respectful diplomacy, the usual recourse has been heavy-handed tactics such as threats to deny aid, restrict travel, rescind funding or impose economic sanctions.

How long has Cuba been suffering a criminal embargo? Meanwhile the USA is "good buddies" with more repressive regimes in places like Saudi Arabia, Israel, and Egypt, not to mention the ones the USA itself imposed such as former regimes in Iran and Chile.

My how the USA has strayed... :-(

Time out...

by Harry, Monday, February 21, 2011, 15:41 (3940 days ago) @ ZihuaRob

Meanwhile the USA is "good buddies" with more repressive regimes in places like Saudi Arabia, Israel, and Egypt, not to mention the ones the USA itself imposed such as former regimes in Iran and Chile.

Rob, I wish you wouldn't lump Israel in as a just another "repressive" regime. The place is reasonably democratic compared to its neighbors and considering the existential threats it faces daily; and has a free press, courts uncontrolled by the government, treats women, gays and minorities on a level similar to most Western democracies, and has been attempting to negotiate a 2 state solution with the people in the Palestinian territories.

Things not what they seem

by Craig Scheiner, Monday, February 21, 2011, 14:27 (3940 days ago) @ Scott

Scott, I agree with both you and Rob that drugs should be legalized.

I see you are no longer claiming the US is responsible for the criminal behavior of Mexican killers and kidnappers; Mexicans are. Good. That's all my point ever was. Perhaps some day Rob will quit pretending he doesn't understand that too. Ahhh, PC.

Craig

Things not what they seem

by Scott ⌂, Mérida, Yucatán, Monday, February 21, 2011, 23:49 (3939 days ago) @ Craig Scheiner

Not quite. I essentially agree with Rob. Except that I don't tend to see things in terms of states. I'd rather focus on the system, its structure, and the social actors involved, across (socially constructed) borders. I don't blame the "U.S.", because what does that even mean? Every U.S. citizen? The government? Both?

But I most certainly recognize the interplay between the military-industrial complex and the drug war in Mexico, for example. In my mind it is all interconnected. But I also believe that the "system" is very complex and probably damn near impossible for any single person to fully comprehend. The average naive voter or citizen can't necessarily be held responsible for what they don't understand, products of a system that doesn't encourage that broad understanding anymore, but rather very specialized knowledge in whatever will "get you a good job". How many people in the U.S. even know that Argentina is accusing the U.S. government right now of importing undeclared weapons, drugs and spy equipment into their country? Not too many I bet. So are they at fault for what your government did? Tough question. On some philosophical level I guess they are, if you truly believe you are a democracy. In that case, then you do share blame. But, in reality, I think most Americans are good people, they're just ignorant about what their government does in their name. The ones who do share the blame, however, are those who know what is going on or have a pretty good idea, and choose to remain wilfully ignorant or turn a blind eye. But when the corruption is so institutionally entrenched, when the system itself is so corrupted, there comes a point when you can't blame the average person for what they have no control over.

So the "US" is not responsible for a drug war murder in Mexico. However, there are most definitely actors within the U.S. who share responsibility for enticing both the drug lords and the government to fight this war. They directly or indirectly place a weapon in the hands of each, and then sit back and watch them duke it out, laughing all the way to the bank afterwards. Not the "US", but rather certain elements within the government and arms industry.

Here is a little analogy to help clarify my point of view with respect to responsibility. Say you go find a bum somewhere. Just for sh*ts and giggles, you dangle $500 in front of him and tell him he can have it, all he has to do is go beat someone up. He goes and does it, gives some good kicks and punches to some random stranger who you really have no connection with, it was just for your personal amusement. He comes back, collects his $500, and goes on his merry way. Who was responsible for the act of violence that took place?

The bum was definitely responsible, he should go to jail. But you were also jointly responsible, because without your enticement, without you dangling a relatively large sum of money in front of a destitute person, that act of violence otherwise would not have taken place. It doesn't matter that you were largely disassociated from what happened, and didn't know the victim. You are still jointly responsible, and should probably go to jail as well. But, I wouldn't blame every single person in California for your actions.