The U.S. military says Mexico’s drug war puts it at risk of sudden collapse.

This is from the magazine, The Week—which I think is a great publication. It is dated 2009, but I saw this topic revisited today on MSNBC, and it’s still a possibility.

Violence in Tijuana: What is the United States’ responsibility?

(AP)

A new Pentagon study “concludes that Mexico is at risk of becoming a failed state,” said Joel Kurtzman in The Wall Street Journal, thanks to its ongoing “vicious drug war.” The violence and corruption are so bad that Mexico, like Pakistan, could see a “wholesale collapse of civil government.” President Felipe Calderón, “to his credit,” has sent 45,000 troops and 5,000 federal police to fight the drug traffickers, but the U.S. needs to do more, too.

The U.S. has already pledged $1.4 billion to “professionalize Mexico’s military and civil forces,” said Investor’s Business Daily in an editorial. But “in an era of big bailouts,” we can give more. We should also prepare “a military surge” to protect our southern border. “A collapsed state will bring millions of Mexicans spilling over our border,” probably including criminals, so this is more than a Mexican problem.

“To paraphrase an old saying, Mexico’s closest ally in this pursuit, the United States, also happens to be its worst enemy,” said Raul Yzaguirre in Arizona’s Tucson Citizen. Mexico’s drug lords are winning only because of America’s “huge demand for drugs” and easy supply of powerful weapons. Until the U.S. curbs its addiction problem, “the killing in Mexico will continue.”

Worse, while Mexico and Colombia “bleed themselves to death fighting ‘wars on drugs’ driven by the United States,” said Mexico’s La Jornada in an editorial (via WorldMeets.us), the U.S. “political class” focuses on “persecuting” Latino immigrants and profiting from the “voluminous trafficking in weapons.” So when the Bush administration talks of a Pakistan-like “failed state” in Mexico, it does so “with obvious exaggeration and bad faith.”

No, “I’d bet money,” said Rod Dreher in Beliefnet, that President-elect Obama “will have to fully militarize the US-Mexico border before he leaves office.” And he might even have to “invade Mexico” to “fight the narcotraffickers and prop up the government.” The only questions are how and when.

Mexican President Felipe Calderon has repudiated the premise that Mexico is at risk of becoming a failed state. He also blames the US for its production and sales of guns, as well as for our large market for drugs. “To say that Mexico is a failed state is absolutely false,” Calderon said. “I have not lost any part _ any single part _ of Mexican territory.”

Calderon, a Harvard-educated conservative, said smuggling cannot be eliminated as long as Americans continue to use drugs, but hopes he can beat back the cartels by 2012 to a point that the army and federal police can withdraw and leave the problem in the hands of local law enforcement. He declined to give a specific timeline for winning the war against drug gangs. But then, how could he? By all estimates, he us doing an heroic job, considering that the cartels have infiltrated local governments and police.

If Mexico fails—and I really don’t know at which point that becomes a reality, or even how that is officially determined—it has huge and serious implications for illegal immigration. I wondered if anyone has thoughts or more information about this.

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bito
Member

Just watched a Republican Rep say that the latest shootings were not drug or gang related. Please, Sir, If you are asked to go on the TeeVee to comment on something, read some news!

Mexico arrests suspect in Ciudad Juarez shooting attack on party
The man tells reporters that assailants targeted the high-school party because members of a rival trafficking group were said to be in attendance.

http://www.latimes.com/news/nation-and-world/la-fg-mexico-arrest3-2010feb03,0,7871373.story

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javaz
Member

Well, at least they got one of the gunmen, only 23 more to find, according to the article.

As for the Republican Rep – typical ignorance and pathetically out of touch.

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javaz
Member

My brain is taxed from replying to your other article, and then replying to Nellie’s, but I promise to read this tomorrow and give it the thought it deserves and then hopefully have a comment!
(whatever happened to K7? He’d love all this lately and hope he is okay.)

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Khirad
Member

I know how that is. I’ve been putting off her other articles for the same reason.

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bito
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Cher, Living in the Tucson, AZ area there is rarely a day that goes by without news on the deaths in Mexico and the border. The border area that is the most active for apprehensions and drugs is known as “The Tucson Sector. This sector runs from the border of Califonia (skipping Yuma) to the New Mexico border.

This is a link to a very good LA Times site that is full of information.

Worth a look. It may amaze!
Mexico Under Siege The drug war at our doorstep!

http://projects.latimes.com/mexico-drug-war/#/its-a-war

If you want to follow what has been going on in Mexico, this is a must read

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javaz
Member

Excellent site, B’ito, and frightening.
I wonder what can be done to stop the violence.

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bito
Member

Yes it is. The LA Times has done a good job of tracking the story over the last few years. You can click that site and check it almost daily for a new story on the violence.

Stopping the violence? Jobs that pay?
It is not just about the drugs, these gangs are into extortion, kidnapping, human smuggling and the culture of pride, glory and power.

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javaz
Member

Have you read about the kidnappings in the valley?
Mexican Americans, most times affluent business owners, are kidnapped, and then their families are contacted and they must pay ransom?

Doesn’t the Phoenix area hold the record for kidnappings in the country?

And most of the kidnappings are by Mexican criminal groups or the Mexican mafia.

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bito
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javaz
Member

Oh yeah, home invasions are another big thing in the Phoenix valley, and nearly every home invasion involves gangs and drugs, but occasionally they invade homes to steal guns.
Not too long ago there was a story about an older man in Scottsdale whose home was invaded, and they beat that poor man and he played dead.
They stole his guns, as he was a collector, so odds are the gang that busted into his home was aware of his hobby.

And then there was the story about a family being held in their home and being forced to bust the foundation in a closet and dig their own graves.
I forget how that was discovered, and the family is okay, but it had something to do with drugs, too, and the family wasn’t innocent.

It’s all very frightening.

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Khirad
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What’s the current status of Nogales? They keep on issuing warnings then stepping them back over time, I lose track. Puerto Pe

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bito
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Khirad, I heard an ad on KJLL from a dentist in Nogales. You park your car stateside, they come and pick you up in an armored SUV, take you across and repeat to get you back! He is advertising this service!

Talked to an friend the other day about the “shopping loop”, that one used to do. (up one street down the other)
He said there is now only the one street and the other street is vacant and boarded up. One does NOT go down that street.

I think I will skip Nogales.

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javaz
Member

Yup.
This is a topic close to home, as we have abductions in the valley, and so many ruthless murders happening from Mexican drug cartels.
They’re even worse than al queda when it comes to torture while their victims are still alive.
It’s something that needs to be addressed somehow, but I’ve a headache from thinking too much already so will reply tomorrow.
LOL

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escribacat
Member

I am skeptical of this “failed state” danger. Mexico still has a huge tourist industry and expat community that has not been noticeably impacted by the gang wars. My idea of a “failed state” implies a notable danger to foreign visitors. I’ve got friends who live down there now and I asked them a year or so ago if the gang wars were impacting them. They said no.

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bito
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E’cat, when you say “down there.” Where, what location/city/town/state, are you speaking of?

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escribacat
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They live in an expat enclave at on Lake Chapala — Aijijic. Near Guadalajara. Many, many retired yanks live there.

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nellie
Member

Is this another argument for legalization?

I don’t see how we can continue to allow this kind of violence and instability continue because we are stuck in a 1920s prohibition mindset.

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escribacat
Member

I don’t know the statistics but it’s not just pot coming in from Mexico. A lot of crystal meth comes from there too and they have well organized gangs that target specific “markets” such as inner cities and reservations.

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Pepe Lepew
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Fresno once boasted of being the “meth capital of the world.”

I don’t think there is a meth capital anymore. I think it was more or less invented in Oakland.

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escribacat
Member

There was a long article in the Denver Post a couple years ago about the meth coming into the Wind River Reservation in Wyoming (Arapaho and Shoshone). It had been targeted by a Mexican gang and was having a significant impact on the reservation.

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Khirad
Member

Marijuana accounts for 60% of their profits alone.

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Khirad
Member

Don’t forget about the steep decline in Mexican oil production as its vast Cantarell field reaches the end of the road, and the state oil company struggles to get its act together to develop new sources. Petroleum exporting accounts for 40 percent of the Mexican economy.

I honestly didn’t kow that. I knew it was a big part of the economy, but not that big.

I saw an article, which is probably dated in terms of cartel leaders, but was color coded in terms of turf controlled by which cartel and players. This is the best I can come to replicating it: http://projects.latimes.com/mexico-drug-war/#/interactive-map

It is odd that people, myself included, think of what is happening in lands far away in different terms than what is increasingly becoming downright terrorism. Last I heard was 272 deaths in Ju

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AdLib
Admin

What always gets me is the type of delusion that The Media promotes by saying things like:

Until the U.S. curbs its addiction problem,

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Pepe Lepew
Member

Ahhh, Monterrey! 🙁

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KQµårk 死神
Member

If? I think Mexico is pretty much a failed state already. It’s corruption is almost as bad as Afghanistan’s now.

The US is to blame for the proliferation of weapons in Mexico because of our ridiculously lenient gun laws. But I don’t buy that the US is at fault for demanding illicit drugs, save for not legalizing marijuana. Most western countries have populations that demand illicit drugs.

As for this being the next big national security crisis for the US I think the probability of that is relatively low.

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