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

Sunday, May 1, 2011

Winning the war on drugs in Mexico?

As Mexico’s drug war continues unabated and the violence unleashed by the government’s frontal attack on the drug cartels spirals upwards, the debate on the perceived or actual failure of President Felipe Calderon’s policies grow more acute.

The erosion of support among Mexico’s citizens has been driven by factors such as the continued failure of all levels of government to address the security of its citizens in areas such as Tamaulipas, Ciudad Juarez and Acapulco, statements such as those of Genaro Garcia Luna, head of Mexico’s federal police forces, that the violence will continue at high levels for 7 more years before diminishing, and congressional gridlock where political party interests and electoral posturing before the 2012 presidential elections take priority over the national interest.

The outcry by many in the upper and middle classes after the mobilization of public opinion by the poet Javier Sicilia in response to the murder of his son has even led to a growing sentiment, however irrational this may seem, that negotiations and pacts with druglords may be necessary to halt the decline of the rule of law.

After all, how does one negotiate with drug cartels that have at best shaky control over the latest wave of serial killers they have unleashed, men such as “el Kilo”, “el Gato”, “el Flaco” Salgueiro, or the Treviño Morales brothers “Z-40” and “Z-42”, just to name a few?

The current debate on the effectiveness of Calderon’s policies was foreshadowed in 2009 in a Master’s Thesis written by Alfonso Reyes Garces, a Lieutenant Commander in Mexico’s Navy attending the U.S. Naval Postgraduate School in Monterey, California: “WINNING THE WAR ON DRUGS IN MEXICO? TOWARD AN INTEGRATED APPROACH TO THE ILLEGAL DRUG TRADE”

Mirroring the current analytical approach to unconventional warfare in vogue in the U.S. military’s war on terror, Reyes summarized Mexico’s drug war as un-winnable in its current strategy due to the failure in addressing social factors that lead to destabilization.

Reye’s paper highlights an honest but painful state of affairs of Mexico’s government and society that have resulted in the situation that exists today, and offers a roadmap with major adjustments to the current strategy that may lead to a successful resolution of the “drug war”.

The following are excerpts on the major points from Lt Commander Reyes’s 119 page Thesis:

The frontal attack against the drug cartels: 3 gunmen are killed by army troops in Nuevo Laredo on April 0, 2011.  Actions like these are now a common occurrence in areas of Mexico dominated by organized crime.

“For more than ten years, the Mexican government has been following the same anti-drug policy in an effort to deter the illegal drug trade and the major drug-trafficking organizations that are based in various parts of the country. Mexico’s anti-drug policy has focused mainly on trying to reduce the supply of illegal drugs by attacking the drug cartels. However, regardless of the vast amount of resources expended on interdiction operations, the flow of illegal drugs into and out of Mexico continues more or less unabated, while the negative by-products associated with the illegal drug trade keep growing. The most visible of these is the increase in violence as different groups fight over control of the main trafficking routes to the United States and the distribution centers within Mexico, and/or engage in armed conflict with the government forces in the latter’s unsuccessful attempt to curtail or eliminate the illegal drug trade.”

“The main problem that the Mexican authorities face in making a convincing defense of their achievements is that they have not outlined clear objectives. It is worth noting that, even though the illegal drug trade is considered a national security threat, there is no overall anti-drug strategy per se in Mexico”

“Thus, Mexico’s government is not able to measure and compare the quantitative outcomes of its current counter-drug campaign. For example, what is the real impact of the arrest of 3 thousand drug cartel members over the last three years on the illegal drug trade in Mexico as a whole? In addition, the use of the term “war on drugs” and the lack of a clear definition of what victory in the “war on drugs” should look like, is making Mexican authorities appear to be neither losing nor winning the war on drugs.”

“More specifically, the supply-reduction approach has not actually affected the demand for illegal drugs in Mexico, or their flow to markets further north, especially the United States. Instead, the supply-reduction approach has highlighted the weakness of the Mexican government”

“It is important that the Mexican government re-evaluate the current anti-drug policy and define a new and clear anti-drug policy. But more important still is to highlight that maintaining a frontal attack on the drug cartels in Mexico without addressing the social grievances that drag people into criminal conduct, has been and will be the best way to ensure a never-ending fight between the government and the drug cartels.”

“Thus, the solution will not be simple and will require far more than just vigorous or innovative law enforcement efforts, because the roots of the issue go well beyond the drug cartels and their diverse criminal networks.”

In downtown Tijuana a young woman arrested on a minor drug charge grasps her teddy bear as she awaits a hearing before a judge. (image courtesy Sarah L. Voisin-Washington Post)

“It can be argued that the main reason both the flow of illegal drugs and the violence continues, is that the Mexican government has overlooked the deeper social roots that underpin the continued importance and expansion of the illegal drug trade”

"the grievances and inequalities in Mexican society that push people into criminal behavior, as well as towards drug use, need to be addressed in order to reduce drug-related crime. Certainly there will always be organized crime groups. However, in a more egalitarian society where people are able to satisfy their basic necessities by legal means, fewer people would be willing to engage in criminal activities."

“Although the demand for illegal drugs in the United States and the black market in firearms north of the border are very important in shaping the illegal drug trade in Mexico, this thesis focuses on the fact that Mexicans themselves have become major consumers of illegal drugs, and this aspect is more important than ever, both to the operation of the Mexican cartels and to any attempt to address the problem. Unless the Mexican government improves its own anti-drug policy at the domestic level, drug harm is going to continue increasing in Mexico regardless of what happens in the United States. On the other hand, the illegal arms trade is also driven by demand. Thus, even if the United States were able to crack down on illegal arms exports to Mexico, the drug cartels could easily look for their arms elsewhere, and the consumers of illegal drugs are going to cover the increase in operational costs that the cartels might incur in doing so.”

Young drug cartel sicario/foot soldier, Colonia Colinas del Sur, Nuevo Laredo

“Over the years, the drug cartels have been able to survive and adapt at a faster rate than has the Mexican government. While the Mexican government has been using the same anti-drug strategy over the years—focusing on a “frontal assault” on the main drug cartels—the drug cartels themselves have modified their organizations, their relations with the state, and their relations with society.”

“Unless the Mexican government is able to understand and defuse the recruitment mechanisms of the drug cartels, the latter are going to be able to continue to survive and prosper, despite all the best efforts of the Mexican authorities.”

“sustained willingness to fight against the drug cartels has not diminished the scope and scale of their operations despite high levels of mortality and incarceration. The Mexican government can point to the capture or killing of large numbers of drug traffickers, but it cannot declare victory. In fact, it is not clear it knows what victory should or would look like. Indeed, the Mexican Government has focused so much effort on fighting the drug cartels in frontal attacks, that it has paid little attention to the roots of its drug-related problems. The violence associated with the drug cartels, and the growth in their size, are symptoms of a bigger illness—namely, the addiction of people to illegal drugs and the social costs associated with widespread illegal drug use. Along with these, are the social processes that encourage people to participate in the illegal drug trade, and that focus directly or indirectly for the major drug cartels.”

Drug rehab center in Mazatlan, Sinaloa. According to data published Sunday on the website, annual domestic consumption of illegal drugs in Mexico was estimated to be 4.29 tons of crystal methamphetamine, 27.65 tons of cocaine and 514.9 tons of marijuana (image courtesy of Narcanon International)

“The Mexican authorities’ bold efforts against the drug cartels cannot succeed unless the roots of the illegal drug trade in Mexico are attacked. Only by addressing the social roots of the illegal drug trade will major results be achieved. A new integrated approach to the illegal drug trade in Mexico might someday make it possible to talk seriously about “victory” in the “war on drugs.”

"In a country like Mexico, with almost 50% of the population living in conditions of poverty or social marginalization, public drug rehabilitation programs should be as important as other social and public health programs. However, nowadays in cities such as Tijuana and Ciudad Juarez, which have very high rates of drug-related crime, rehabilitation programs reach only 20% of estimated drug-users"

“At the broadest level, there are, as most policy-makers know, two main approaches to developing an overall anti-drug strategy and the tactics that go with it. One of these is the supply-reduction approach that has underpinned the “war on drugs” for decades, and is based on the logic that if the drugs are not available they cannot do any harm. On the other hand, there is the harm-reduction approach that assumes that the illegal drug trade is already established, and regardless of how much effort goes into trying to constrain or stop it, the drugs will still get through. The logic behind the harm-reduction approach is that there is a need to reduce the harm that illegal drugs are causing now, rather than waiting for some point in the future when the supply-reduction approach finally produces results. Although many observers draw a sharp distinction between the two approaches, it is worth noting that both borrow important elements from each other. The main difference between them is the level of resources spent on targeting drug traffickers and crop eradication, compared to investing in “education, prevention, treatment and harm reduction”

“if the Mexican government wants to reduce the economic power of the drug cartels and their ability to maneuver, as well as lower the harm done by law enforcement in rural communities, the regularization of marijuana is an option worth trying. In order to lower the political cost of trying it, the Mexican government could encourage more public debates about marijuana’s regularization and call for a plebiscite after that.”

“Even though it is clear that the regularization of marijuana would not fix the illegal drug trade in Mexico, according to Astorga Almanza (personal communication, August 25, 2009) one of the main benefits that can be obtained with the regularization of marijuana is that Mexican authorities would be allowed to narrow their focus on the drug cartels, making better use of the considerable resources currently directed towards eradication of marijuana operations.”

“Among the other benefits of marijuana’s regularization would be the implementation of government control over the whole marijuana trade. This change would lead to the reinstatement of the legal status of all those marijuana farmers who have not committed any other major crimes such as murders, which would, in turn, reduce the social harm that results from law enforcement and improve the government’s image in those areas that have reduced working opportunities. At the same time, Astorga Almanza points out that the negative effects of marijuana’s regulation would not be much different from those Mexico already experiences.”

“In addition, removing marijuana from the illegal drug trade would have a major impact on the Mexican drug cartels’ finances and would reduce their share of the domestic illegal drugs market because marijuana is currently considered responsible for over 61% of the Mexican drug cartels’ incomes

Mexican Marine, mini-gun at the ready, patrols the skies over Tamaulipas

"The drug cartels have adapted very well to counterdrug efforts in Mexico, thanks in part to the lack of innovation in the way the Mexican authorities have fought them."

“Mexico’s approach to address the surge of drug-related violence has been the deployment of large contingents of federal police and military units into cities and towns, where the surge in violence has overwhelmed local authorities, or where there is evidence that drug cartels have infiltrated those authorities. Usually, these deployments are able to diminish the violence for short periods of time until the criminals learn from government tactics and adapt their own. The capacity of the drug cartels to adapt has made this approach very inefficient in terms of cost-benefits, to the point that it is unsustainable

"Nor is the current way in which police and military units deploy against the drug cartels helpful for reestablishing the link between the population and the authorities. As a matter of fact, authorities might be sending the wrong message to the population through simple actions, such as law enforcement officers wearing balaclavas to hide their identity. If the authorities demonstrate that they are afraid of retaliation by the drug cartels, then what can the common citizen expect?

Tijuana municipal (county-level) police officers at the start of their shift. In July 2010, 62 current and former Tijuana police officers suspected of ties to drug cartels were arrested by Mexican army troops. 40 of the officers were released in April 2011 after testimony from protected witnesses was invalidated by a federal magistrate. The other 22 officers are expected to be released soon. (image courtesy Sarah L. Voisin-Washington Post)

"The ineffectiveness of county-level authorities has had an important negative impact on the current campaign against the drug cartels. In a conflict that has international reach but local origins, police departments at the local level should be playing a major role. The police on the street should be the ones leading this fight, with the support of the federal government. Instead, local police have become just one more enemy of the federal government’s counterdrug campaign, and sometimes the only thing that distinguishes a county police officer from a drug cartel member is his uniform"

“it is a fact that the Mexican authorities need to reevaluate the current police model and its relation with the political structure in order to build an independent and strong police force. Whatever police model the Mexican government decides to adopt, strong local police departments are as important as the federal police in the current fight against the drug cartels. However, Mexican authorities must also be aware that the willingness of citizens to follow the rule of law in a democratic system is based on recognizing that the social contract is working."

"Today, Mexico faces a dilemma: keep following the same anti-drug strategy that has proven ineffective since its implementation, or make the adjustments necessary to overcome the current social harm that flows from rising domestic illegal drug use. It is not just a matter of putting more resources into, or generating a greater willingness towards carrying out counterdrug operations. The supply-reduction approach has proven to have structural limits that have now been reached. The best example of the limits inherent in the supply-reduction approach is the failure of the United States’ anti-drug policy. If the contemporary global hegemonic power, and the most powerful state in the history of humankind, a country which has also been the main proponent and practitioner of the supply-reduction approach for decades, has not been able to stop smuggling, production, or transnational criminal networks, or more importantly, stop illegal drug consumption on its own soil, something is clearly wrong with the current anti-drug strategy."

"In order to develop a new anti-drug strategy, Mexico first has to clearly define what its goals are, and then develop a well-coordinated effort using all the resources that the state has available to achieve those goals."

"The Mexican government needs to look beyond the drug cartels and attack the roots of the illegal drug problem. Although this thesis has argued that the cartels are an important component of the illegal drug trade, they are more of a symptom than an illness. The real illness about which the Mexican government has to do something is all those social situations that drag people into the clutches of the drug cartels, whether for employment or as users of illegal drugs. Poverty, inequality, lack of opportunity, lack of development, and local drug demand, are among the things that should be addressed in order to reduce drug-related crime in Mexico. Again, this does not mean that the Mexican government should stop fighting the drug cartels; however, addressing the social and demand-side aspects just mentioned should be considered just as important as law enforcement."

"This approach will require rebuilding the social contract in Mexico."

Victoria inalcanzable


Se expande el mercado de la droga sintetica


  1. BIN LADEN IS DEAD!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  2. Yeah Bin Laden IS dead so hopefully that means less focus on the Middle East and more focus on Mexico which to me is a whole lot more important.

  3. This article contains assumptions that are not necessarily accurate and further ignores the major reason for violence in Mexico ,INEFFECTIVE LAW ENFORCMENT. Until there is order and confidence in Mexico,how can Mexico develop education,training ,tax collection,public projects,how can the public function when kidnapping ,robbery,extortion,theft,abuse of power by govt officials, ARE DAILY OCCURANCES, and most of these crimes ARE NOT DRUG CRIMES. Mexico is generally LAWLESS ACCOMIDATING DRUG CARTELLS will not ,fix the problem, Like it or not Mexico MUST develop a REAL FUNCTIONING GOVT for the first time in its history,Drug dealers will be forced underground along with all the other criminal activity.

  4. yeap his head is on it's way to the shelf in the skull and bones hall at yale ..along with Geronimos and JFk"s...and any other major enemy of the international moneylenders

    mexico is just being softened up for the IMF and worldbank to move in

  5. I just don't get it,the article along with many,many more attack Calderon,failed policy ,failed war,WHAT IS THE ALTERNATIVE,all these critics WHAT IS THEIR PLAN?? Journalist since Watergate,Vietnam,WMD, have made it a duty to attack the Govt. Is the Mexican Media trying to get a new political party in power SYMPATHETIC TO CRIME IN GENERAL or just DRUG CARTELS?? WHERE is the support for the reforms already being implemented by the present administration? I DO NOT SEE ANY MEDIA SUPPORTING CALDERONS EFFORTS,WHY, do the druggies have the media or is it the liberal media mindset against govt. in general.

  6. Address the social causes...? This was an easy bullshit piece to get the Lt Commander through the naval college without too much thinking. You can take any problem, link it to it's social cause and effect and sound like you know something. "Oh yes we have to eradicate poverty in order to address the drug/crime/violence/teenage pregnancy/etc. problem." Same old people-are-a-product-of-the-environment theory that has kept mexicans in slavery for centuries. Classic in-the-box thinking. He probably bought it from some UNAM kid.

  7. You do know how this story ends don't you? A few years from now the situation in Mexico will be so unstable the US military will have to go in and stabalize the country. thereby extending the US military's perpetual state of war and the military industrial complex will continue cashing in.

  8. The Calderon governmental assault on the drug cartels, and the issue of home grown drug consumption are two very different topics, and the author has confused the two. The government are not out, per se, to stop the cartels from selling drugs. That is the least of their problems. The issue is not kids getting high. It is that the kids are killing each other.

    There ARE these people, (who incidentally sell drugs), who choose to live outside the law in everything they do. They rape, kidnap, pillage and plunder every community they visit. Neighborhoods live in their terror, business starts to fail, confidence is lost in the free market, and extortion rules the day. Life becomes just horrid for all.

    If drugs were made legal, illegal, free for children, or burnt forever, then it means nothing to these scum. They will always find some way to steal from us and to make our lives miserable. This is what most people see as the problem, and we all know it. Drugs are just a side show. It finances what they do, but so does human trafficking, assassination, torture, kidnapping, "protective" extortion and bribery. These people are the issue. Not the drugs. There is nothing they will not do. Except a decent days work for a fair wage.

    Calderon is doing OK. But it seems like a gesture rather than a full attack, throughout, and executed in a way that they knew would bring results. They unfortunately don't have those systems in place. Indeed, Sinaloa and Tamaulipas are not even governed by Calderon's Mexican government. And it is because it is all too much like a house of cards, with everyone on the take.

    They need to pull up their own bribed politicians, get an infrastructure that works, and in the mean time, shoot these people on sight. Mexico and the Mexicans need to impose a bit of zero tolerance for a while.

  9. Do any of you posters actually live in Mexico?

    I do and I work in all parts in rural settings. The poverty in Mexico is extreme. When you get out of any city or town and Into the campo people are getting by on a few dollars a day if lucky. And yes I know it doesn't take as much money to live in the Mexican campo BUT, the folks I see have rock stacked shelters, with open fires inside for cooking a basic home grown (if lucky but the weather is changing for all Mexican farmers) staple of beans, corn and rice, no meat. Most that I know skip at least one main meal a week, if not More. This frankly crap idea of improving law enforcement ONLY as way to deal with Mexico's drug problem is just plain stupid and dribbled out by people who watch Mexico from comfy armchairs in the US.

    Yes, I do agree Mexico needs a profound make-over of the police and legal system. Police and the legal system in Mexico are profoundly inept and corrupt. The small town police I know make so little pesos that NONE OF THEM are willing to risk their lives to deal with narcos let alone refuse a mordita to look the other way. So yes, policing and the legal system need an overhaul but it needs the money to lure in the bright people to fix it.

    And, a big AND, you need to also address the poverty and lack of education and options for the poor of Mexico. Go to any school in the Mexican campo and ask to see the library or even a book. The teachers, well a few are good, but many, many, wow. In Latin America you can go to other countries (poorer by GDP standards) and they look at the lack of education and the conditions of the poor in Mexico as pitiful.

    So before you claim this guy is a crying liberal looking for favor from his American masters, take a look at yourself in the mirror and ask how you can profess an expertise on something you know from a thousand miles away, figuratively and literally.

  10. @ 11:55

    many good points in your comment. Mexico has an offical poverty rate of 55% I say it is higher. Rural areas are so poor some have no teachers and resort to a virtual teaching on a screen.

    Mexico needs overhaul in its socio-judicial-prison-educational systems and purge the rampant corruption.everything leads back to corruption. Mx is making changes. It just passed in the house changes in the constitution allowing border patrol. The have a good start on judicial overhaul and using more of an american system of justice. federal prosecutors are in Az being trained by US Prosecutors in the americanized system of standard of proof, open courts, cross examinations etc. all states must adhere to the new system by 2016.

    even if the magic wand is waved today and narco problem vanished if the government systems remain as status quo Mexico will once again be vulnerable. They must start with an educational system that has parity and assistance from the federal government for areas of poverty. that will give hope for employment op and quality of life. as is now, the wealthiest areas get the most money poor areas are alloted the least. makes no sense, but for Mexico...whats new?

  11. it is not that poor..there are places in the USA that are just as bad maybe worse if you consider quality of life...go to some native american "reservations"...poverty cannot only be measured in money ...what about poverty of spirit of life...

    i live in Mexico part time ..and i have been through some of the poorest parts of Mexico...both rural and urban...and i do say there are poor people ..but they do have better health ..and at least some sort of joy of life ...better than some rural ares in the USA

    it is like the heat have to factor in a lot of variables to get a true reading

  12. Well that's a good idea posters - remake the whole fing country. So get busy all you viva la raza folks. One guy told me he would rather stay "jodido" than let gringos get involved in helping Mexico in any way.

    Mexico is packed with natural resources that are not close to being tapped. Petroleum is only one of many. So what are you waiting for? Investors are waiting for safety and stability.

    Why would anyone invest in Mexico if some govt-backed gangster can take it over at any time? Soberania gets into it - foreigners can't buy property near the coast or the border - can't open bank accounts - can't rent without a cosigner, can't have a business without a Mexican partner and get to face anti-gringo sentiment at every turn. So Mexicans are going to have to do it themselves. I believe they can do it. Right now they are talking about being fed up but soon that will become action in many forms in many places.

  13. Anonymous 6:30am , this you say but it simply is not anywhere near being the truth...

    'Mexico is packed with natural resources that are not close to being tapped. Petroleum is only one of many.'

    Petroleum is a dwindling natural resource where Mexico's reserves are being rapidly run through and quite soon, too. Even a cursory study of the situation should have alerted you to know about this, but instead you ran your mouth with this misinformation of yours. Mexico has depended on the income from this oil for running its government instead of getting real funds from taxation. That DF government bureaucracy teat is soon coming to a quick dead end. Which leads us to Anonymous 11:55 am's much more correct remarks about Mexican rural poverty...

    'Anonymous said...
    Do any of you posters actually live in Mexico? I do and I work in all parts in rural settings. The poverty in Mexico is extreme. When you get out of any city or town and Into the campo people are getting by on a few dollars a day if lucky.'

    Anonymous, you are right. Most of these BB American posters and the North Eastern Middle class urban Mexican posters are rather clueless about this rural poverty in Mexico and unfortunately Lito Brito's post is reflective of that generalized American ignorance, also.

    'lito'brito said...
    it is not that poor..there are places in the USA that are just as bad maybe worse if you consider quality of life...'

    Brito, your travels from the Border to Monterrey are not giving you anywhere near a good and complete picture of Mexican poverty, which is much worse than you evidently imagine it to be. Sure, you can find a Pine Ridge reservation or such in the US to tell us about how bad US poverty can be, but extreme Mexican rural poverty is much more extensive and effects tens of millions of people, not hundreds of thousands like Native American reservation poverty is inside the US at present.

    If anything, this rural Mexican poverty is much more reminiscent of what Southern Black American poverty was like a hundred years ago, when US rural poverty was much more of a real catastrophe in the US. Mexican rural poverty is destroying the country and the only 'solution' the Mexican government and business community ever has had for it was to just run people off from the countryside into huge and desperate slums like DF and Juarez have.

    'i live in Mexico part time ..and i have been through some of the poorest parts of Mexico...both rural and urban...and i do say there are poor people ..but they do have better health ..and at least some sort of joy of life ...better than some rural ares in the USA'

    Brito, this is just pure ignorant baloney. Any simple statistic study should show you how mistaken you are in this inaccurate personal assessment of yours. Just think about it for a second???? How many rural men in the US are forced to go off and leave their families for years at a time, simply to get run around as if they are stray dogs in a foreign country as they hunt for jobs that might pay peanuts if only they were to be allowed to do them in peace? But they are not, and often come back to these sad sack Mexican rural areas sick, dead broke, humiliated, and dependent on what????> You are not getting the big picture here at all when you bus in and out of Mexico in the style you have of doing.

  14. Anonymous at 4:31 pm. You are wrong. I am American and own a Business without a partner and I have a bank account. As for buying land along the coast The Mexicans are right should have a Mexican Partner it's the most valuable land for tourism... You have your facts wrong.

  15. just shut up have a one diminsional view of everything...all you have ever done is dodged around Mexico a little ...yer fat ass don't know shit about poverty either here or ever have fuckin worms crawl out of yer fuckn nose when you was a kid ..was all the kids you was raised with having swollen bellies from ever had a fuckn rat climb into your bed and start eating on you in the middle of the night...ever go to bed hungry...ever have lice ...bedbugs...scabies...lay ever been raised in a house without running water or electricity...freeze your ass off in the winter, huddled around a godamn smoky ass coal stove...lay in your own sweat in the summer...ever have to work as a kid...ever had to smell the sweet smell of a shithouse....ever really been so hungry powdered eggs was good have slopbucket for breakfast (black coffee,biscuit bread and margarine mixed up together )...didn't think so you priviliged ...starbuck sucking ass bandit...i am sure i know a hell of a lot more about poverty than you ever better lay back down fucktard ...don't even start with me again

    poverty is much more complex than just lack of money...your ignorance is fully displayed by the exclusion of this fact in your assessment proves conclusively that you may have been broke once or twice, probably on purpose , just to try to pass yourself off as one of the common people , but your lack of perception is a major tell of the fact that you have never really had the wolf at your door...just faking it to try to be your condescending concept of cool

    you know it all don't you ..except when to shut up...ardent retard

  16. @7.35

    While I do see Lil Brito as somewhat blind to the realities on occasions, on this he may be right. Quality of life is not judged on what kitchen fixtures you have. Indeed, it is the creeping Western industrialization, and its lure, which makes them seem poorer, rather than their communities being poor per se. For example, with the mass explosion of Cancun and it's tourism, the surrounding regions have been robbed of a generation of their men to construction work. Before the airport was built, and the tourists arrived, life was simple and kind. They lived off the land and worried about the weather. Now they work in kitchens so they won't get evicted. There are many poor countries, but they do not seem to be cutting each others heads off. (I know some do, so please don't respond, but you get my point). There are other dynamics at work in Mexico, and poverty is just a small part of it. If only it were that simple!!

    The issue is how to get them out of "poverty" in a system so corrupt that nobody can see it actually resolving.

    And that is true. Really true. We all say we have faith the Mexicans can do it, but we say it out of hope and kindness more than anything from deeper conviction.

    We all know "How" to solve it, but doing it is the issue. And no-one can imagine a Mexico being Mexico without corruption. It is the fabric of society that sees things work. They have no faith in the system without it. The problem is that no-one has yet to show an alternative they can all agree to enforce, in a way that seems realistic.

    Personally, I see this as just as hard to apply as it was to shout "freedom for slaves" in 1850. This is not an easy fix, and I have no idea how to go about solving it. But to have an effective police force, a fair government and non corrupt Mexican politicians does seem like a no go in my life time.

    I live in LA. I used to live in Mx for 15 years. I am a gringo. I posted at 10.53.

  17. thanks anon

    i stand by what i say...there is more to poverty than lack of money... a lot of it has to do with a sense of desperation generated by false perceptions

    can you say that an amazon tribe is poverty stricken because they don't have a lot of a modern McMansion next to them and they will look and feel poor

    compare them to a cash based society that judges quality of life on materiel possessions , and they will indeed be perceived as poor

    it is a part of the strategy of the moneylenders to generate discontent by forcing this one diminsional view on the whole planet

    in reality what is poor ..a person who sits with their ass in the dirt all day whittling..or the person who owns a new car .. a big house ...and is massively in debt for it all and has no liesure time

    who is poor? the person who owns very little ..or the person who is owned by his possesions

    do more people commit suicide over not having a lot ..or do more people kill themselves over the prospect of losing "all that they have"

    can you solve poverty by throwing money at it? you make a person feel poor by placing emphasis on their lack of possessions in comparison to a heavily indebted group who displays a lot of materiel possessions..yes

    i have at times owned only what i had on my back , but didn't feel poor..because i had my happiness...and i have owned more than i need ,and felt very poor because i didn't have more

    i see these false standards and perceptions as a great part of the problem in Mexico...where people are killing each other to gain artifacts indicative of wealth...even cheap tawdry goods such as ed hardy apparel..when your identity is determined by what you own...people who have been tricked into accepting these parameters will do anything to escape the identity of being a " poor person"

    ponder the effect this capitalist definition of poverty has had on the world

    funny thing how this never occurs to the great sophisticated "liberal"who ardently accepts the established definition of poverty, what a pawn of the capitalist exploiters he really is after all

  18. Well, I stand by my remarks about the high level of Mexican rural poverty, and it was not to judge this misery level by the amount of 'kitchen fixtures' as I was accused of possibly doing. I judge this misery level in Mexico by the men missing from the towns, the contaminated drinking water I saw being drunk by children, the into desert man-made, overgrazed rural landscapes, the flies and filth seen in all these places, the crumbling stone fences now abandoned because it doesn't produce. Got it? The signs of this unhappy situation are numerous and evident if you get off the main roads. But you have to go to where it's at in the first place.

    And all of Brito's personal flames were no more enlightening to judging the validity or not of my comments either. Flame away, Brito....

    Actually all this discussion reminds me much of a conversation I had with a fellow US gringo traveler I met in Managua several years ago. He was adamant in that he believed that there were many more homeless people and vagrants in Southern California than in Managua, the capital city of the poorest country in the Americas! He simply saw and believed what he wanted to see and believe, and you can't shake this sort of guy from that sort of ..uh... 'thinking'. He simply did not go where I went either and yet he thought he was seeing it all.

    Similarly, my own kid who traveled with me never saw the children in the 'houses of cardboard' made famous in a song she liked to listen to repeatedly, despite the fact that we passed them by time after time. She simply was not looking for them so she didn't notice them when they were there in large numbers. Why should she since she was on 'vacation'?

    Brito, I think that you would have us believe that you know poverty personally by your apparent frequent privileged travels in and out of Mexico for rather, not mentioned by you, means and motives kept hidden. Actually, I get the idea that your nights are usually spent in fairly nice hotels.... but correct me certainly if I am wrong about that.

    My motives for my recent traveling to Mexican rural areas are from the fact that simply I am married to a woman whose family lives in a small rural town of only not even about a 100 people. I traveled recently to Nicaragua to have a medical operation and to visit a friend there, but did not travel into the countryside that much... though I still did some... I was not on any study trip though. I traveled to Colombia because I was once totally married into a Colombia family, though they were very urban Colombians. Still, I saw some of the countryside there, too.

    I do compare poverty in Mexico that I have seen in the rural areas there with what I haves seen in other Latin American countries I have visited. There are quite a few rural places that can be found in large numbers in Mexico that are just as miserable as what I have seen in Guatemala, Nicaragua, El Salvador, and Colombia. 'Nuff said then. And the stats will back up my claims that rural Mexico is quite an unhappy place.... Sometimes one needs a few material resources to not be unhappy with life. Rural Mexico often goes without.

  19. Briiiiiiiiiiiiiiito...

    You and Ernie still at it I see...frozen in time..JAJAJAJAJJA

  20. Buela, I actually think that you are right on the mark here with your previous remarks about how bad Mexican rural poverty actually is...

    'Mexico has an offical poverty rate of 55% I say it is higher. Rural areas are so poor some have no teachers and resort to a virtual teaching on a screen.'

    Perhaps??? Brito wants to impress on his fellow Rightist "Mericans that Mexico is not nearly as dirt poor as they think it is though, and he's right about that, too. Mexico actually has a higher level income than much of the world has. But the income is distributed really unequally and that is why rural poverty really still is a big problem for Mexico. Forced by the US government policies into copying the US big corporate formula for agriculture they destroyed their own countryside and the people's lives that lived there. It's stupid to mechanically copy US corporate government policies in anything... To do so has helped destroy Mexico's ecology and the land that so many depended on to earn their living.

  21. qonda guey B..

    yeap some things never change..especially the entrenched ignorance of a dogmatic mind

    yeah uhrnino..i am not the one who ardently spent the vietnam war years "HANGING OUT " in S America ..with no mentioned means of support..

    and now when the undeniable truth of what is say overwhelms you try to jump on the band wagon and half ass plagiarize my posts..

    it is funny like your fellow priviliged ones cannot even conceive of someone actually having worms coming out their nose..or any of the other things i got to enjoy as a child...

    no hoteys for me pendejo..that is all for you ...i stay con mi familia..and as we all know the bus is a real lux way to travel...jajajja...

    people like you help further destructive sound the call ..ohh you are soo poor...all you need is money ...false remedy capitalist dosen't help people who are poor in money to be depleted of their spirit by moronic condescending attitudes

    there are certainly poor people in Mexico..and also in most other countries around the globe...i would not say Mexicans are the poorest of the poor..but thanks to onans such as yourself they are convinced that they are ...and respond accordingly ...creating a plethora of spin off negative social conditions

    like jesus said, the poor will be with you always...and so will people such as you... afflicted with incurable intellectual poverty

    puff the cat... and go back to is not necessary for you to participate in adult conversation

  22. Ardent - Many here have lived in Mexico, and they do not see the poverty you paint. It doesn't mean that their views are worth less than yours. It especially doesn't mean that you are more informed than others.

    Your potential statistics mean nothing, as they are only comparable to kitchen fixtures, which is still your starting point for peoples wealth.

    You have talked about poverty being measured by

    "overgrazed rural landscapes, the flies and filth seen in all these places, the crumbling stone fences now abandoned because it doesn't produce."

    There surely has to be a better signal of misery than that. That could be anywhere with a poet sitting down. To then end on
    "Sometimes one needs a few material resources to not be unhappy with life.", does have a ring to it, but it is to totally misunderstand what creates poverty, and how to avoid it.

    I have been homeless in Mexico. For a while. But it really is not the same as being homeless in Chicago on a winters night, which I have not been. It isn't comparable.

    If I may be forward, I think you need to get over yourself a little. You are not the first person to go abroad, especially south, and it is quaint to see you excited by the prospects of getting off the main road, but in all fairness, you sound a little naive to me. In the end, we're trying to find a solution to what is happening, rather than what isn't. Either way, this isn't a private competition about who knows Mexico better, or who has travelled down the most unbeaten paths.

    Really my friend, the problem isn't poverty. It is corruption. No society has ever become richer by being corrupt. None. Why should Mexico be any different? Why is corruption an isolated topic to poverty?.

  23. @ wise anon 5:06,
    you say corruption is the culprit. For what? 40k deaths in 4 years? Dwindling foreign investment? Tourists fleeing the country? The GDP grossed up by drug money?
    Corruption is a way of doing business in all societies, and all times from the Greek democracies to the Roman empire to nowadays societies.
    Corruption doesn't induce poverty, corruption lubricates the gears of business. Corruption is endemic on 90% of the world, including the USA. Have you been on K street? It's like flu, it's everywhere and once in a while lethal. Man, do I remember the newspaper stuffed with a few banknotes I was giving to the Kenyan cops on the highways? Then what? They didn't make a living of their wages and were willing to help me when I had a flat.
    No my friend, the culprit is the Mexican system: No education, no chance to access to middle class, no justice, no future. A society split between have and have not. Mexicans are now breeding kamikazes.

  24. yeap..i make the assertion that a school that has a screen and virtual teachers is not so much suffering from poverty , as it is from lack of academic infrastructure and security...

    who would want to teach school in a place where you stand an above average chance of being killed ...or your equipment stolen...or both...

    it is contra to the interests of the DTO's to have educated children with a future so they use various methods to terrorize the population into stagnation...the intended result? future other than a life of crime...

    if Mexico was a safer place ..i am sure there would be many people both paid and unpaid volunteers to assist the pueblos in improving conditions...myself possibly among them...but with the situation the way it is now ... no way

    i do agree that Mexico is a poster child for unequal distribution of wealth...but that is another rant

    ardently trying to hide behind B's skirts dosen't protect you..jajjjajaa

  25. Texcoco Mex said.

    A few years from now the situation in Mexico will be so unstable the US military will have to go in and stabilize the country.

    Rigoberto Gonzalez, Mexico doesn't allow foreign troops that is the law and we don't change our laws just because, no matter how bad my country happens to be we will not allow U.S troops. Now the U.S went to Somalia and what happened. Nothing happened Somalia is still the same.

    Now you people talk about poverty, well day after day I still see people loosing their houses in the U.S, I also know about people with High School education who can't get a job and many more companies are going some were else. Now talking about crime how you people seen how many Bank and Stores robberies at gun point are happening in the U.S, I also have read about how much money stores like Walmart, Target, Sears, Mervyn's and many more are loosing because people walk in and walk out with items without paying. And what about all the credit card fraud and identity theft. I know we have problems and the biggest problem we have is the DRUG MONEY ADDICTION THAT MEXICAN PEOPLE HAVE.

  26. 'Ardent - Many here have lived in Mexico, and they do not see the poverty you paint.'

    Why not then? Perhaps it is because you/ they only know just slightly the more well off URBAN areas of the Northern portion of the country?

    'It doesn't mean that their views are worth less than yours. It especially doesn't mean that you are more informed than others.'

    This info is available easily enough though... Plus it helps if you are capable of thinking some. But you have to look for this info and not just put an uninformed subjective opinion in online simply based on perhaps having having driven around in a Border state or two inside some of the cities there.

    Mexico's 2007 GDP (By state)
    In US Dollars
    Distrito Federal 255,747 23,130
    Nuevo León 180,689 16,342
    Campeche 167,784 15,175
    Quintana Roo 147,520 13,342
    Coahuila 137,926 12,474
    Chihuahua 136,417 12,338
    Baja California 125,657 11,365
    Baja California Sur 119,635 10,820
    Aguascalientes 117,898 10,663
    Sonora 114,281 10,336
    Tamaulipas 112,785 10,200
    Querétaro 109,909 9,940
    Jalisco 95,435 8,631
    Colima 95,291 8,618
    Durango 90,001 8,140
    Morelos 87,376 7,902
    Yucatán 79,162 7,160
    Sinaloa 77,910 7,046
    San Luis Potosí 76,684 6,935
    Guanajuato 75,123 6,794
    México 69,114 6,251
    Puebla 67,346 6,091
    Tabasco 64,148 5,802
    Veracruz 59,893 5,417
    Nayarit 58,068 5,252
    Michoacán 56,905 5,147
    Zacatecas 56,747 5,132
    Hidalgo 56,601 5,119
    Guerrero 55,074 4,981
    Tlaxcala 54,493 4,928
    Oaxaca 44,264 4,003
    Chiapas 40,435 3,657

    Source: con with data from INEGI, Banxico y SHCP


    So, if you only have spent time in places like the cities of NL, DF, Chihuahua, Tamaulipas you might get an inaccurate idea that Mexico's population really somehow has much more money to play around with than is the actual reality for most Mexicans? Notice the difference between income available Zacatecas and say Nuevo Leon, for just one example. Or Chiapas and DF.

    Then you come up with this rejoinder to me, Anonymous....You have talked about poverty being measured by

    "overgrazed rural landscapes, the flies and filth seen in all these places, the crumbling stone fences now abandoned because it doesn't produce."

    There surely has to be a better signal of misery than that. That could be anywhere with a poet sitting down....

    Sorry, but that's exactly what I saw in rural Michoacan several years back, and these are damn good indicators of an impoverished rural society. It looked what I imagine Ireland might have looked like just after its potato famine days had started... So stop telling US folk that poverty is somehow being over estimated inside Mexico. That's just stupid talk in my book. Many parts of rural Mexico are truly scary in just how poor they are.

    (And BTW, Brito, I never spent a second of time in South America back in the '60s, '70s, '80s, nor '90s. Never Said I did so where do you come up with these flames of yours that supposedly I had? Off the top of your head///? ....uh... well YES.

  27. Brito & Ernie... are wrong for the reasons teachers don't go to the rural and poor areas that i was talking about, IN THOSE areas they are mostly violence free. It is the deploable conditions. They stay there M-F at makshift a couple classrooms into a dorm, cook on hotplates, shower with a hose or buckets of water etc. their classrooms have almost no materials to teach with. Mostly new teachers take the contract but seldom stay. They get little help from the fed gov. they go home on weekends back by Monday morning. and there is a severe shortage. Hense the faux teacher on the screen. Equipment being stolen? Are you serious my friend or just unaware? THERE IS NO EQUIPMENT..nothing to steal.

    I miss you guys! jajajja Wow Ernest I am being serious. There are a couple of trolls (just learned recently what the heck those are) in forum and I think all the time, "and I thought E1 was bad?" even at your most bad moments it was never like what I have seen ther. but then one called me tranny and i thought jeeze is that you E1? but Jeffe Buggs will bring down the ax if he sees it. Even an explusion! But I like the real time interaction and debate forum gives.

    As for the poor in Mexico, you both make good points. IMO being poor in of its self does not destroy a society, it is the inablity to change circumstance. Mx education is now deemed one of the worse in the world, standarized test scores are shocking, and more shocking it the tiny percentage that excel. Its practice of giving the least resource to its poorest states is idiotic. pathetic educational opportunity equals pathetic employment opportunities, thereby vulnerabe to forces that will take advantage of that fact....e.g. MOC and MDCs.

    I do not think that social entitlements/programs (welfare) persay is a long term constructive action. It creates a lifestyle that can become generational. We see that happen in the US, and it was never intended to be anything other than a temporal solution or assistance.

    and Mx tax structure is so poorly designed, and they never dissappoint me in creating a bigger disaster when they attempt to improve it. This year the bright idea of taxing food and medicine is an example. Who did that hurt? The poor of course, those that will now eat less, eat less healthy and probably not be able to buy nedications. Everyone else was just pissed off, but for the poor this is a life changing event.

    My dream is an equal and quality education, NOT the high tech wonder that my dreams of dreams would provide: computers, internet, science labs and respectable libraries in schools of every level, but accredited teachers, basic materials for children and teachers, access to a library, meal program, & transportation and a educational program that is no different than any other Mexican economic group. Rural areas have specific issues, children attend from far distances, often never have been to a library and have no access to books to "borrow" for leisure reading, and teachers often quit because of the dismal arrangements. They should be paid a higher wage rather than lower, they should be awarded good bonuses for quality work and improvemtn of test scores so teachers will be attracted to the poor and rural areas with incentives.

    Sorry I will stop here, anyway, you know what I am saying. and BRIIIITO... twp things;

    1. you always are critical when Ernie even slightly in argeement with me or polite, why is that? Trying to stir the pot? He can't win for losing with you. I wonder about that.
    2. for the record; I WEAR JEANS!



  28. the teacher just picked up makes my point about security...and there is nothing to steal,because it has already been stolen...or denied by the uncaring upper skirts and so he is just clinging to your leg..jajaja

    i stand by my assessments...there is much more to poverty than lack of materiel goods...

    i wish i could reveal more details about my location(s) would explain how i know so much about poverty, but let me assure you that i was acquainted with world class poverty from childhood

    i will refer you to the cover of national geographic concerning the fall of the dictator of romania...those children on the cover...i grew up like that...and still i can drive half a mile and see people living in shacks....dirty ...unhealthy...depressed...equal to, or worse than anything i have seen in Mexico

    i never said there weren't poor people in Mexico...just that i had seen equal poverty in other places

    urhno pooh poohs the violence that is destroying Mexico ...and chicken littles the poverty...on almost every point he is an unmitigated quarter for this ungrateful t'ard_ent apologist for the narcos..

    i have warned him ..before not to start up with me...will this little bout result in another name change?...stay tuned

  29. Yes, one is a much colder homelessness and the other is to be in a more hungrier situation in this idiotic comparison.

    'I have been homeless in Mexico. For a while. But it really is not the same as being homeless in Chicago on a winters night, which I have not been. It isn't comparable.'

    This desire by some to imagine that poverty somehow is actually worse in the US than it is in Mexico is getting ridiculous. You're right, Anonymous 5:06pm, the poverty simply is not comparable in the manner you imagine it to be. Last I have seen it was that the impoverished of Mexico coming to the US and not the other way around. Am I wrong about that?

    In fact, I even know personally a Nicaraguan woman living poorly in Chicago who is there instead of being poor in Managua, Nicaragua, where it certainly would be much warmer for her. But what does she know?

    Now...In answer to Brito's eyeball assessments of Mexican poverty....

    When Brito travels around doing who knows what? in Nuevo Leon he sees a gdp of over $16,000 per year annual there in that Mexican state so he seems to imagine to himself that Mexico is much wealthier than it is nationally, and especially what it is in most of Mexico's rural areas. But here is the annual gdp in other areas of Mexico, Brito... as compared to in the $40,000s in the US as a whole.

    San Luis Potosí $6,935

    Guanajuato 75,123 6,794

    México $6,251

    Puebla $6,091

    Tabasco $5,802

    Veracruz $5,417

    Nayarit $5,252

    Michoacán $5,147

    Zacatecas $5,132

    Hidalgo $5,119

    Guerrero $4,981

    Tlaxcala $4,928

    Oaxaca $4,003

    Chiapas $3,657

    Unequal distribution is poverty for those living it, and poor people look for money wherever they can find it. That means that one single US street sale's profit from some illegal substance can easily equal more than the average annual gdp in many areas of Mexico. Mexico's corruption, unequal distribution, poverty, and criminality are all interrelated. And interrelated with the same things in the US.

  30. 3,657.00 USD = 42,477.03 MXN

    so about 76 USD or 890.00 pesos a week about 11 USD or 128 pesos per day for Chiapas state, the poorest state, certainly not as poor as say Paraguay, or Sudan or many other places i suspect

    you have disproved your point, hoisted thyself on thine own petard

  31. I Get it poverty is a license to be a Criminal,now it all makes sence!!


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