Long-simmering social tensions in Mexico are threatening to boil over as failing neoliberal reforms to the country’s formerly nationalized gas sector are compounded by open corruption, stagnant standards of living, and rampant inflation.
The U.S. media has remained mostly mute on the situation in Mexico, even as the unfolding civil unrest has closed the U.S.-Mexico border in San Diego, California, several times in the past week. Ongoing “gasolinazo” protests in Mexico over a 20 percent rise is gas prices have led to over 400 arrests, 250 looted stores, and six deaths. Roads are being blockaded, borders closed, and government buildings are being sacked. Protests have remained relatively peaceful overall, except for several isolated violent acts, which activists have blamed on government infiltrators.
The few mainstream news reports that have covered the situation blame rising gas prices but fail to examine several other factors that are pushing Mexico to the brink of revolution.
The narco-state, or as Mexican activists say, “el narco-gobiero,” is a term used to describe the open corruption between the Mexican government and drug cartels. The narco-state has been in the headlines lately over the kidnapping and presumed murder of 43 Ayotzinapa students in Iguala, Guerrero, in 2014. This has been a source of continuous anti-government protests ever since.
Though the kidnappings remain officially unsolved, members of the Guerrero Unidos drug cartel have admitted to colluding with local police forces to silence the student activists. Twenty police officers have been arrested in association with the kidnapping. Former Iguala police chief Felipe Flores has been arrested and “accused of offenses including organized crime and kidnapping the students,” the AP reports. The corruption apparently goes all the way to the top, as federal authorities say former Iguala mayor José Luis Abarca personally ordered the kidnappings.
One Mexican activist who wished to remain anonymous told Anti-Media that “a lot of people think it’s only the gasoline prices, but the price of gas is just the straw that broke the camel’s back. It all started with Ayotzinapa.”
Much like the U.S., the Mexican government is susceptible to corporate influence. It just so happens that the most influential corporate entities in Mexico are drug cartels — and it’s hard for the government to reign in entities that fund and infiltrate it. Similar to the phenomenon of “regulatory capture,” the Mexican government is at least partially funded and co-opted by drug cartels. This festering problem is an underlying factor in the current civil unrest in Mexico.
NAFTA was a contentious issue in the 2016 U.S. presidential election, but it’s just as controversial in Mexico, if not more so. The grand 1994 “free trade” scheme, signed into law by Bill Clinton, saw a dramatic redesign of both the U.S. and Mexican economic landscapes. Corn farmers, long a vital factor in Mexico’s peasant farming economy, were wiped out by low-priced corn subsidized by the U.S. government, which immediately flooded Mexican markets after NAFTA was passed. The Mexican immigration crisis at the U.S.’ southern border soon followed.
Meanwhile, manufacturing plants soon began moving into Mexico from the U.S. to take advantage of extremely cheap labor — leaving many workers in the U.S. out of a job. American agricultural corporations like Driscoll’s have recently come under fire for employing slave-like labor conditions to produce boutique organic fruit for U.S. consumers. Protests for workers rights in Mexico, which recently raised its minimum wage to 80 pesos (~$4) per day, are often met with heavy-handed police crackdowns.
Incoming President Trump has capitalized on two issues caused by NAFTA — the immigration crisis and outsourcing of U.S. jobs — and his reactionary protectionist economic policies will undoubtedly make Mexico’s predicament even worse.
Mexico’s nationalized oil conglomerate, Pemex, has been plagued by falling production for years. Corruption, which is inherent to state-run institutions, has condemned Mexico’s gas industry to inefficiency and stalled innovation. Theft has become a widespread issue, and oil workers were recently caught red-handed siphoning gas directly out of pipelines.
Dear Sharon: The evidence can be found in many places
Socialism kinda works until the free stuff isn't free.
There is NO SUCH THING AS "FREE STUFF"! Only question is who pays for it!!!
"OPM" (Other People's Money) is the essence of how the government stays in business! Steal from those that have and buy the votes of those to whom they give the "Free Stuff"!
Of course you are right! But, doesn't that beg the question, "So, how do we stop it?"
In my opinion, there is NO WAY to stop it, UNLESS we achieve a Convention of States to draft, and ultimately ratify, appropriate amendments to restore the Original Intent of the Constitution as envisioned by the Founders.
Please check out "NUMBER SEVEN" of my proposed amendments that I hope to have introduced into Convention in the event we achieve a COS. They are in the attachment below in case you are interested.
If you like them, join the Convention of States Movement and lobby your State Legislators for a Convention of States Resolution in your State. It really, truly is up to us -- and you!
As usual Oren, you have my unwavering support of the Convention of States as the only true long term measure to STEM, REVERSE, CLEANSE, AND REBOUNDRY the federal government of the rancorous cancer of overbearing centralization. Mr. Trump has great dynamics and enthusiasm to tear into the insulated, self-serving beltway interests and the cozy ties to theIr K street walkers serving in Congress and in the bureaucracies. But he is just one man with a maximum of eight years to subdue the over 100 years old leviathan. Frankly, David had a better deal with Goliath.
Mr. Trumps potential and possibilities ought to be explored here. Airing ideas, ideals, and beliefs to discover the best possible courses of action is what forums are beneficially about (and not just for venting spleens). But we should not be distracted from the long view, for the sake of eight years that progressives believe they may bide time and weather for their next window of opportunity to further transform.
The twin assassins of individual rights, freedoms, and liberties, the Federal Intelligence Survaillance Act, and the Patriot Act were seditiously issued by Congressional murder contracts with the Constitutions supremacy in government restraint as the target. They are why there is virtually no Fourth Amendment individual right of privacy in todays USA (only the anonymity of the herd). These travesties were willingly voted for by Congressional officeholders, some who are in Congress now!
Check out Napolitanos piece. He brings it! :
(I have personally squatted better patriots than Loretta Lynch; and better looking too)
Mr. Trump can perhaps briefly forestall the systematic wholesale rape of Americans freedoms, but not vanquish the foes. They will always be with us. WE THE PEOPLE are our own self-defined and self-justified champions of individual rights, freedoms, and liberties.granted by God. Faliure to contend becomes our earned epitaph, if we do not.
- SOCIALISM MUST DIE -
YOU HAVE MY UNWAVERING AWE! You said, "...STEM, REVERSE, CLEANSE, AND REBOUNDRY...". Sir, I could not have said it better -- and I think I am pretty good at cutting a phrase. For that, I thank you!
I am not naïve; I know that Trump is what he is; a rude, crude, lewd, dude -- I get it!
BUT, he his what he is and is all we have at this point. Let's use it! Patton was also considered to be crude, BUT HE GOT THE DAMNED JOB DONE! For his efforts, he was murdered and we all know it. Strange, isn't it, that there are no monuments to Patton, the man who almost single-handedly won WWII in Europe?
All I ask of fellow Patriots -- ALL I ASK -- is that they take a stand!
In the end we all have only two choices: Die on our feet, fighting like MEN or die on our knees, begging for mercy from the merciless.
Actually, sounds like the Clinton's & the Demon-craps are in charge of the state-run institutions in Mexico these days! We'll need a WALL real soon to keep those maggots South of the border!
Why is the Mexican government partially funded by drug producers? So that the law enforcers won't enforce the drug laws.
Why is there so much profit to be made in selling drugs? Because drugs are illegal in America.
Prices on the black market are generally higher than on the free market. This is because those who deal in the black market have to employ their own police force, and the risk of going too jail pushes up the price.
Obviously, the anti-drug laws have caused this. Didn't we learn this lesson with Prohibition?
Isn't the solution equally obvious?