Blog dedicated to reporting on Mexican drug cartels
on the border line between the US and Mexico

Sunday, April 10, 2011

Negotiate with the "Narcos"?

Pactar con el narco
José GilOlmos/Proceso

Trust me

There is not a single location in our country without the presence of organized crime. It is seen in the children and youths that are so easily recruited as halcones (lookouts/spies) or sicarios (assassins), or in the entire families who turn their homes into small narcotienditas, outlets where, day and night, addicts from all walks of life go to purchase their drugs.

We also see it in the countryside, where the farmer prefers to sow opium poppy or marijuana instead of corn, and in the cities, where criminals are able to block thoroughfares and avenues.

Organized criminal groups have made Mexico their territory and they compete every day for the plazas (lucrative territories), just like large corporations. Only instead of ad “spots” and marketing, they use machine guns, grenades, bombs and all types of weapons to mark their territory with logos of fear (hangings, mutilations, etc.), creating an empire of terror.

If you spread a map of the nation on the table and use a color to identify each of the major organized crime groups - the Gulf Cartel, Sinaloa, Juarez, Zetas, Beltranes, La Familia, and Valencia - we would see how each one of them dominates a region, and sometimes the colors are mixed or blended in certain areas that are the most contested, such as Ciudad Juarez, Acapulco, Reynosa, Cuernavaca, Torreón, among others, either because they are areas of drug production or profitable consumption markets or because they are the best routes for transit.

Following the classic pattern of the capitalist model, the Mexican drug trafficker, just like the Italian and U.S. Mafias, has evolved slowly. Drug producers and traffickers have now moved into the smuggling of immigrants, children and women, arms, clothes, cars, music and movies. They have also branched out onto prostitution, kidnapping, extortion and even the collection of “taxes”.

The expansion of these groups has made crime an industry that generates up to 30 billion U.S. dollars annually, according to figures from El Colegio de la Frontera Norte. These funds undoubtedly inject dynamism into the economy.

It is no accident nor a mistake, then, that Forbes magazine has included Joaquin Guzman Loera, El Chapo, in its list of the richest men in the world, because in reality the Sinaloa cartel is one of the leading participants in the generation of capital, the economic model based on the free movement of goods worldwide.

It is no accident that youth who do not have many employment or educational opportunities, or expectations of personal and social progress, see the figure of the drug lord as a successful model. “It is better to live 20 years with money, women and cars, than 60 years old, sick and poor,” is the idea that has permeated many of the young Mexicans who are recruited by organized crime.

Poverty, unemployment and lack of educational facilities are generating a ready reserve army for the various criminal groups, which offer salaries for those without any horizon of hope in their lives.

Not only are drug lords co-opting the youth, but also police and soldiers, professionals and businessmen, investors and financial speculators and, above all, the political authorities, all of them lured by easy money.

The system of corruption which for years has been fueled by each and every one of us is the best breeding ground for the flourishing of “Narco” society. All of our political, social, economic and religious institutions have a responsibility for the growth of organized crime, either by action or omission.

Organized crime now wields enormous power, no one can deny this fact. The war declared by Felipe Calderón has increased that power by not defeating it. That usually happens in any war, survivors become stronger.

Against this background, proposing a deal with organized crime to stop the violence before us would be a mistake with serious consequences in the future. It would strengthen and empower them, establishing them as true authorities and give them legitimacy. In effect, this would cede territory and sanction their powers.

This is what the drug cartels ultimately desire, to create a "co-government" and share it with the political power. The temptation for the next president of Mexico is exactly that, to fall into the idea of making a pact with several organized crime groups, and through the self-regulation of cartels themselves, achieve the peace that Mexicans demand.

But this would signify sharing the functions that the State monopolizes, such as security, territory and tax collection. And this represents the emergence of a parallel state.

The burden of this fear and terror is driving us to think that that the way out of this hell is to deal with the “Narcos”, and there is nothing more false and illusory than the belief that they would respect the pact out of a code of honor. On the contrary, the next president would be granting a license to continue the killing and to continue building the rule of terror from which organized crime draws its power.


  1. I've always wondered who that old guy in his 60's,standing next to el Chapo Guzman is or (was).

  2. The scary part is that these drug cartel bosses wives crap out these kids (and they are shit) that are sent abroad (mostly to the US). They are then nurtured and taught the family business. Like the Italian mob, these thugs will grow up and use the same tactics to extort businesses here in the US.

  3. id be interested in seeing some updated photos of el chapo. the same pics keep getting recycled.

  4. The old man is wearing guaraches lol

    He looks hard-core.

  5. Whenever i see the old guy next to el chapo i think "Dam if el chapos small, the guy next to him must be practicly a midget since el chapos taller the him."

  6. Excelent article and points made. HOW MANY YEARS DID IT TAKE FOR MEXICO TO SINK TO ITS CURRENT LEVEL ?? By the same token you can not change ingrained attitudes,illicit conduct encouraged for decades, overnight, IT WILL TAKE TIME. Mexico does not need to be a drug paracite of the US. Mexico is a beautiful country full of resources ,unlimited potential, BUT MEXICO MUST BECOME A LEGITIMATE COUNTRY (ETHICS-CREDABILITY-ACCOUNTABILITY)

  7. What an excellent article. Makes several pertinent observations and recourses of action.José Gil Olmos provided some good journalism, along with Borderland Beat by publishing this article.

    Mexico should be treated with love and respect, not murder and mayhem. Rise up people of Mexico and defeat this scourge.

  8. Hell No! NUTS!

    We don't negotiate with terrorist or criminal scum!

  9. No way if you do they will be asking to be the boss.

  10. Nothing would be gained by negationting anything with cartels. The number one problem is that zetas already exist we can't go back in time to kill osiel before he created them.

  11. Set uo mouse traps, with cheese on them and set them up near queer bars and i'll bet you will snag that stupid little lemon fuck fag, El Chapo.hes a rat, he'll take the bait. Come on, someone try it!!

  12. I'm willing to bet that most of those that keep saying "we should not negotiate," are Americans living in nice neighborhoods with little or no violence.

    If this is you, please read an older book, "Down by the River" by Charles Bowden. It will help you realize how Mexico has dealt with drugs and cartels for years. Another very good one is "The Life and Death of a Mexican Drug Lord," by Terrence Poppa.

  13. Bowden does a very interesting job with the Juarez Cartel from about 1990 through 2000. The book swings back and forth from the El paso DEA to the Juarez Cartel. He brings up point after point with the police and military involvement and kickbacks. He points out how President Salinas' brother was indicted for laundering $600,000,000 through City Bank Chicago to Swiss bank accounts. He points out lots of Mexican Army personnel (Generals) with direct involvement explaining how they were involved wit the Gulf and Juarez Cartels. He also bring to light that 7 tons of "American currency" was found on one of Amado Carrillo Fuente's planes in Florida. Nothing else was ever discussed about that find.

    Calderon, "Know your enemy well, because you may very well be looking at your self."

    I want a little piece of that 7 tons of currency. How about you?


  14. Pusieron un enano mas enano que el chaputo,pa que se vea grande hahahahahahahaha

  15. The guy next to Chapo, is called Don Juan I believe and is from Guerrero. Btw Chapo (by Mexican standards) is not that short, I believe he is 5'6 or 5'7, he got that nickname when he was still young and it took him a long time to grow

  16. 5'6 is a little bitty man. He would last all of 15 seconds in a fistfight where I come from but we grow men, not midgets.

  17. chapo is by far the most interesting of all the kingpins. He seems to have his hand in everything, all his crews fight each other, and there are no pics, videos of him, except the recent one in the pool... He is infamous...

  18. There are plenty of photos and videos. Including the video of his wedding with the 18 year old he married.


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