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

Thursday, October 27, 2011

The lack of security and other little problems

Pa Que Sepas/Carlos
De (falta de) seguridad y otros problemitas

These past weeks I've been thinking how in Mexico, the problem of insecurity has grown from a  problem in some localities to become a national problem with serious negative consequences for the economy and society.

How did the country became a paradise for drug trafficking? What failed? Where did we go wrong?  

Certainly the fact that our neighbor to the north is the main consumer of drugs in the world is excellent motivation for drug trafficking. Not only is the U.S. the greatest drug user, but it also fails to help us with the arms trade and its border is as corrupt as any Mexican political party.

Yes, the gringos in charge of policing the border are equally, if not more, corrupt than our politicians, but of course, they are much more expensive.

However, I do not think the fault lies with the Americans.  

Let your imagination soar (try real hard) and assume that the institutions in Mexico have very little corruption and impunity is almost nonexistent. 

In this utopian scenario the problem of drug trafficking would never have grown to today's level. Yes, there would be a drug problem, but it would never have become the problem it is now.  

Why? Because the authorities would not have allowed drug traffickers to infiltrate the country's institutions,  and would have attacked the problem before it began capturing drug lords that would not be as powerful as they could not grow their influences quite simply because the authorities would not cooperate.

So the ingredients of corruption and impunity are essential for this "cauldron of drug trafficking" and as we all know, it was not yesterday that Mexican politicians suddenly became corrupt. That began several decades ago. 

Unfortunately we could say that this is the nature of Mexican politicians (certainly not all, but at the very least most of the important ones are corrupt). Therefore we could say we're talking about a cultural problem and such problems are not solved with a change in Presidents. 

For people who are hoping that the next president will end the problems of insecurity, its best you come down from the clouds. This is not a problem that is solved with a change of "sexenio". (sexenios are the 6 year term of office that Mexican Presidents and Governors serve, with no re-election.)

We can say that "since Calderon took office the problem of insecurity has become more serious," Yes and no. Drug trafficking has always existed, only now it manifests itself in a violent way. Why? Because Calderón decided to fight it, and he was right. 

The real failure is not in addressing the problem but HOW it is being addressed. It is not being addressed intelligently and strategically. No, it is only being attacked with more violence.  

Why doesn't the government act against those companies that lend themselves to money laundering, for example? This will be attacking one of the main financial sources of the "narcos" (drug traffickers). How is it possible that in many cities of the country it is an open secret who the narcos are, or who launders money, and the police fail to act?

If after the start of the next sexenio the violence disappears from one day to the next it is not because the new president has been able to do what Calderón failed to accomplish in 6 years.

No. It will happen because the new president will have made a pact with the drug cartels in which the government does not "bother" them, and they "will not disturb the government or the people." And the consequences of this pact will bring the situation back to what it was in the administrations before Calderon's; ie, the drug cartels will continue to grow and continue to increase their power, but we will not see much blood on the news.  

This will eventually turn Mexico into a true "narco state." In reality, many northern cities are now literally narco states. They decide who will govern, and how. The police work for them. People either work for them or leave the city or are killed.   

What to do? In my very humble opinion I think it would be a huge mistake if the next president stops fighting the drug cartels, and it would also be a huge mistake to continue fighting them using the same methods. 

So I think you have to change strategy. As I mentioned and as many journalists have commented, this problem has to be attacked intelligently. Dismantling the drug cartels financial systems must be a priority because it is the money, and not the weapons, that gives them such power. Without money they can not buy influence, they can not buy weapons or recruit henchmen. 

The current war in which the strategy against drug cartels is to attack with violence only is a war that will never end.

If we fight the drug cartels with intelligence we will win, but this will not happen in a single sexenio.

We must also fight the other big problem that led us to this: corruption and impunity. This is the problem that can sink the country in the long-term


  1. So again, "if only government were good, we'd have good government". Government is never good. I suggest getting an education in the Austrian School of Economics to understand why.

    Meanwhile...decriminalize drugs!!!

  2. Very true !! Good article. I will also add that because of the big hits this government has given the Drug organizations now they are run by a bunch of low level "not very smart" thugs In the past the rule was to keep a low profile with little impact on society "violence". Ever since 2000 when "democracy" won in Mexico and a new president took office the problem escalated to what it is now I must insist that just like any other good or comodity. Demand will continue to have the biggest impact and it has to be intelligently fighted on both sides.

  3. Frontera said:

    Gerardo: “Yes, the gringos in charge of policing the border are equally, if not more, corrupt than our (Mexico) politicians, but of course, they are much more expensive.”

    That statement brought a belly role. What is the factual data proof that would verify this statement?

    Gerardo: “……as we all know, it was not yesterday that Mexican politicians suddenly became corrupt. That began several decades ago.”

    Corruption in Mexico started with the translator for Montezuma. After several translations the Spanish explorer told the translator to ask Montezuma where all of his Gold was. Montezuma told the translator where the gold was. The translator told the Spanish explorer that Montezuma would rather die than disclose the location of the gold.

    Gerardo: “Why doesn't the government act against those companies that lend themselves to money laundering, for example? Dismantling the drug cartels financial systems must be a priority because it is the money, and not the weapons, that gives them such power. Without money they can not buy influence, they can not buy weapons or recruit henchmen.“

    Stable food items in Mexico, such as meat is the new money laundering system that is ruining the market in the long-term, wherein cash is paid to a producer for fair market value – in cash. The money launder approaches buyers (grocery stores, further processors etc) before live product is slaughtered, fabricated and offers the buyers a supply priced well under the market, with 30 day terms. The buyer pays by check, thus cleaning the money. Honest businesses are being put out of business because of this money laundering scheme.

  4. Excellent op-ed Gerardo.

    I would think in baby steps, for every hospital a drug lord builds. the gobierno should build a bigger and better one.

    For every school, if the gobierno wants to win this awful situation, they should build three and make them free to attend.

    Unfortunately, I do not believe they want to win, only perpetuate. Maybe that can change soon.

  5. I agree with this article in part, but Gringos? Please. Money, power, influence and culture are all part of the problem. As a retired officer from Texas, most of the drug trafficking is controlled by people of Mexican descent on both sides of the border. If you went to a strange city in America wanting to buy crack, would you drive down a Lilly white neighborhood? Not likely. Additionally the problem lies with government corruption on both sides seeking influence and money. Mostly on the Mexican side which has spilled over to border counties. Mexicans have been smuggling marijuana and black tar long before cocaine arrived on the scene. Santeria and spiritual issues also come into play.

    Legalization of drugs would be a nightmare. Do you thing the Zetas and Chapos will say, "oh, crap, drugs are legalized, I guess I'll open a taco stand or go to work flipping burgers at McDonalds." No way, these guys will double down on robbery, extortion and kidnapping.

    Certainly more can be done to improve the fight but when I hear people say find a more "intelligent" way of fighting the grug war, That sounds a lot like surrender, coming from some people. Put this in a perspective we can all understand. If a crack house was on your block with evrything that goes with it, drive by shootings, thefts, addicts, intimidation 24/7 would you reason with them or would you want them jailed and defeated?

    The fight must continue and the people of Mexico have much more to endure. This war must be won at all costs. God Allmighty please help the people of Mexico.

  6. As I understand it, the Mexican government has a multi pronged approach to fighting organized crime including institutional reform and addressing sociological factors. What gets reported, however, is violent confrontations and not much else. Then, you have the chronic detractors like "Proceso" and other magazines that love the old system of corruption.

  7. The main factors fueling the cartels are:

    1. Poverty/low incomes/large class gap
    2. Religion/no birth control

    While we do have corruption in the US, generally law enforcement and the people in power have good enough benefits and salary to convince them to not take the bribe. And when you say you have no choice when the cartel will kill you if you don't cooperate, then stand up and take ur country back! Mexico needs to allow their citizens to be armed, the only way little pussy cartel punks would think twice about extorting your business...

  8. Jaja what a terrible article....the smartest thing the next president can do is cut a deal with the cartels, let them operate, try to limit the violence, and get the tourists back!! Calderon has been a TERRIBLE president and even Vicente Fox knows the smart move is to cut a deal and let Chapo handle the war against Z....

  9. If you destroy the narcos'criminal system, their business is doomed. The funny part is that the cartels invest like crazy in the south of Mexico. Property, zoo parcs, etc. all belongs to the cartels.

    If you go to Cancun and you see a youngster driving a BMW, wearing a golden chain and cowboy know enough.

  10. Smoke and mirrors in the US. Gerardo hit the nail on the head and is prompting people for input.

    Last seven minutes of DN today highlights part of the problem:

    To the poster asking how gringos could possibly play a part of this? I go north and I see anywhere there are gringos, there is a drug problem.

    I go south and I see the problem developing quickly.

    Maybe gringos should learn to deal with their problems instead of swallowing or smoking a magic bullet to make their lives all better?

    That's a red flag to me that Estados Unidos using their people like mice on a wheel, assuring them that their life is the best, that if they only work harder, they will be as prosperous as the fictional people on tv.

    The Mexican people woke up to this two decades ago.

    I have noticed recently that peeps in the US are waking up as well and defying the situation in peaceful ways, without drugs in their system.

  11. Drug trafficking accounts for approximately 40% of gross narco income. What about addressing the other 60%?

    What void does this other 60% fill?

  12. Articles like this fail to realize one FACT. If the cartels are eliminated, the economy of Mexico will go into a serious recession. They cannot eliminate the cartels AND economically survive. Look at the numbers, and the amount of money the cartels inject into local economies.

    You can blame the US for consumption, but instead, you should thank the US for that border being so porous and the ability to continue keeping a struggling economy intact.

    The only real solution to eliminating the cartels is an economic one: good paying jobs for most, and when that happens, the cartels will lose their influence. Until then, blame who you want to blame but in reality, the blame is comical because it shows you don't understand the bigger picture.

  13. Yes, the gringos in charge of policing the border are equally, if not more, corrupt than our politicians, but of course, they are much more expensive.

    That is the biggest line of bullshit I have ever read. I can go run a red light right now and it would cost me $400 in court costs and BS. I can drive five minutes and run a read light in Mexicali, and pay the officer $50 and it would be like it never happened. When a cop in the US gets busted for corruption it makes headlines. And they all eventually get busted. Mexico is corrupt from its grass roots! We tried to get a loved one, who died on vacation in Mexico, back to the US for a funeral and we had to pay bribes to the morgue, the officers in the Police office, a funeral official, some government asshole, and even the lady who was doing the paperwork....... That shit doesn't fly here. You tell me one place in the US that has any corruption like that? And Mexico had been corrupt since before there were Mexicans. Every elected official in Mex has done jack shit, and left with the money. I personally know some of these US politicians on both sides of the isle, and I can tell you that they are as normal as the rest of us. They are guilty of taking money from lobbyists like everyone else, but there isn't a Cartel Lobby who goes and talks the ear off a Senator for an hour and then give him a check for $50,000.

    At least you took responsibility for Mexico being a war zone, but you had to deflect by saying the US is the main users of drugs, and that 'we' are the ones sending guns south. Outside of the ATF's 2000 guns they sold to the bad guys, those guns ending up in Mexico are illegal on both sides. Those who purchased them over here did it with clear intent on sending them south. That is against the law. Those people are in with the cartels, and they use straw buyers to get them. So really it is the cartels who are buying them, not the law abiding US citizen. No NRA member in his right mind would sell one of his guns to some shady asshole, knowing it would be used for ill will. You try and make it sound as if you can go into any gun store in the US and walk out with 20 AK-47's. That's not how it works. Well, if the ATF says it's ok, then maybe...

    Bottom line, this is Mexico's mess. You guys made the choice to sell drugs instead of investing in a nation that has more natural resources than any place on earth. You guys are turning into an African nation, too blind by the easy buck, and too corrupt to make money by legitimate means. And the honest hard working people in Mexico are the ones getting fucked the worse.

  14. The "lily white" neighborhoods are also end users for alot of the drugs. Watch 'Cops' and see one Anglo after another trying to explain why they just drove by a corner crack market in a poor neighborhood to purchase drugs. I'm not blaming any race but want to counter the racst part of these comments. Birth control? Religion? What about oxygen? without O2 in Mexico there would not be a narco problem. Please, step back and weigh your comments before posting. This blog usually deals with ananlasys of the drug war without the racial slandering that other websites have. I'd like to consider your opinion but when it contains racism, I must disregard it and move to the next. One fact to consider about Mexico is that there sure are alot of Mexicans there! LOL

  15. Here is a quick question for people who call white people "gringos" does anyone specifically mexicans know why they call white people gringos i think if you throw the slander around you should know what it means or the history behind the word.

  16. @9:45

    You are so correct.

    So, how does the average person contribute to something to change the situation?

    I watch in posts that everyone knows how to judge, but no one posts new ideas.

    Are we that afraid of criticism?

  17. "However, I do not think the fault lies with the Americans."

    A rare admission...

    The first step for Mexico to get on the right path is to admit its own faults...

  18. N--------------------
    DECRIMINALIZING NARCOTICS WOULD BE THE BIGGEST THREAT TO CARTELS. Them and the politicians should not have any similar views, but indeed they do. Both of them(Narcos, Politicians) DO NOT WANT TO LEGALIZE OR DECRIMINALIZE drugs. All people should have the ability to consume what ever they want. WE spend trillions on sending non-violent drug offenders to PRISON to be caged with rapist, predators, and thugs on the basis of Corrective Punishment. Oh yeah this guys gun is the business. Most have a ATF or central american contact for equipment like that.

  19. Gerardo, I know that you are trying real hard to be fair in how you analyzed the US drug war made mess in Mexico. However...... This is not really JUST about Mexico, Mexican culture, or the culture of US citizens who are Mexican Hispanic in background, as you seem to see it to be ALL about. I think that you miss the bigger picture.

    'These past weeks I've been thinking how in Mexico, the problem of insecurity has grown from a problem in some localities to become a national problem with serious negative consequences for the economy and society. How did the country became a paradise for drug trafficking? What failed? Where did we go wrong?'

    Phrasing your introspection in the manner that you did, it seems to be to merely encapsulate the denigration of one's own culture that seems rampant in much of Latin America with Latinos of all countries. Perhaps the better question to be asking yourself, is where did US culture go wrong? But instead, I merely see another US citizen who thinks that nothing has gone wrong in the US, and that is sad. Why is US culture so addicted to wars? Where did the US population go wrong in seeing the solution to all problems as being a war to have the homies to win?

  20. Actually, I now see that Carlos wrote this piece that Gerardo posted online. And who is 'Carlos' and from where does he write from'?

  21. "Green grow the lilacs"

    I don't consider the term gringo to be offensive, as people here use it to refer to themselves.

    I apologize if I offended anyone.

    Wow, Gerardo, your article started a great debate! Different opinions together can be the seed of change.

    I don't have to agree with anyone on this forum and they don't have to agree with me, but if we mesh our ideas together, maybe some better ideas come out of this debate.
    Years ago in a corporate training situation, we trainees were exposed to a crisis situation on film and asked then asked to rate individually a series of choices in proper priority.
    Then we had to come together in random groups of six and decide on a mutually agreed decision.
    The trainer said in her 10 years of hosting such sessions, she has never had a single individual score higher than a group did. NEVER.
    The power of opposing minds is a good thing.

  22. Fear is the libertine balance. American society fears little which has enabled lethargy and inactivity to consequences. That challenging of morality drives the human into action. Mexican society, that same compliance to inactivity allowed a dangerous element to accept the challenge and now fear is found for the individual standing in defiance of it. The sincere solution has little to do with drugs or users, money or corruption, it's the sheer emblem of masculine girth rising up. Reinstilling fear into those who do wrong by overwhelming them in what has worked for 1000's of years, unbridled rage. Mexico must be conquered back, as if freed again from the Spanish or other invaders. Society needs to stop this insanity of fearing an ethereal (God or delusional animal compassion) and fight with hate in their blood and courage to die trying. Now it's getting preachy. I would love to stand on those grounds and fight with the mindset of conquering. Make them fear us. That is how you win. Be damned those who fall, they made their choices.

  23. @ October 27, 2011 9:45 AM Articles like this fail to realize one FACT. If the cartels are eliminated, the economy of Mexico will go into a serious recession. They cannot eliminate the cartels AND economically survive. Look at the numbers, and the amount of money the cartels inject into local economies.

    Wow, and I was under the impression the Cartels and Organized Crime were hurting the Mexican Economy.

    The violence the cartels are creating doesn't allowed foreign companies to invest millions of dollars in to Mexico for fear to get cough in the middle, and not to mention wealthy Mexican have moved abroad taking their money with them for fear of the violence.

    Kidnappings for ransom money has make people loose millions of pesos, properties, and sometimes things they don't even have, people take loans to pay for the safe return of a love one. Once again foreign companies don't invest money for fear of being kidnapped.

    Extortion is created thanks to this Cartels. Thousands of jobs or maybe millions of jobs have been lost because companies have closed their doors because they couldn't pay the extortion money.

    If the injection of money you are talking about was real good for every one, then Mexico wouldn't have the kidnapping and extortion problems.

    According to what I have read Mexico is producing $1.041 trillion dollars a year and cartels produce between 12 to 40 billion a year, on top of that Mexico has spend 20 billion dollars fighting the cartels in five years.

    You said. Until then, blame who you want to blame but in reality, the blame is comical because it shows you don't understand the bigger picture.

    Are you sure you understand the bigger picture? Do you really think cartels and drug money is helping the Mexican economy?

    I think the cartels are like a virus that takes from everyone and don't give nothing but destruction, and I blame the lack of education and the lack of desire to be productive in life, and the most important thing that I blame is greed for easy money not only in Mexico but all over the world that makes a lot of people to do criminal acts all over the world.

  24. Bravo. It is not the weapons that is the problem, it is the people pulling the triggers. You need people to use weapons, and they'll only do it for money. It is the money they make from drugs, extortion, etc. that is the problem. You don't need a gun to kidnap someone, you can do it with a knife, a bat, etc. particularly when you know the victims are not allowed to have weapons. Mexico needs the drug trade, it is huge source of income for the nations economy.

  25. @ October 27, 2011 10:57 AM you dont consider the word gringo offensive? Do you consider the word "nigga" offensive? Put a white man in Brooklyn, NY and tell him to say "nigga" and see what happens. Put a white man in brownsville, texas and have him yell out "wet back" and see what happens. Put any race other then white in a area dominated by whites and have him yell "gringo" and i bet nothing will happen. It is funny to me how when white people use racial slurs it is so frowned upon, but when other races use racial comments its not nearly as frowned upon.

  26. October 27, 2011 10:57 AM Its "Green Grow the Rush, Oh" just to let you know. That is a theory of how the word came around. "The most likely source of 'gringo' is the Spanish word 'gringo' itself, which means 'foreigner' or 'unintelligible gibberish.' The root of 'gringo,' in turn, is thought to have been 'griego,' Spanish for 'Greek,' often applied as slang to any foreigner." Which has now in the new century been turned into a racial slur towards englishmen.

  27. Duh, no shit Sherlock. Seems like Buela and Lito, Jesus, even ardent and some others have been saying this for years.

    The problem(s) are corruption and impunity. Bag the US all you want, everybody does, but Mexico's core problems are Mexican corruption and Mexican impunity.

  28. i'm sorry but the plain blanket statement of legalize all drugs is beyond ridiculous u know what that encompasses i could name twelve to fifteen that u have never ever even heard of ... we need a multi angled approach to this war on its customers and its retailers

  29. @ October 27, 2011 11:53 AM


  30. It's good to see that you understand nothing but your own self grandeur.

    "Not only is the U.S. the greatest drug user, but it also fails to help us with the arms trade and its border is as corrupt as any Mexican political party.

    Yes, the gringos in charge of policing the border are equally, if not more, corrupt than our politicians, but of course, they are much more expensive.

    However, I do not think the fault lies with the Americans."

    Yes, our politicians let cartels run a muck with impunity killing and kidnapping people. Hope you don't write a book anytime soon, you'd get skewered in the press.

  31. "Yes, the gringos in charge of policing the border are equally, if not more, corrupt than our politicians, but of course, they are much more expensive."
    Haha, I actually laughed out loud at that. Just because you think the level of corruption in the US on the border is the same as in Mex on the border does not make it so. Corruption exists in the US yes but nowhere near as it is institutionalized at every single level in Mexican society. The rest of your article even tacitly admits this as it is a culture issue, not a political issue. The US mainstream culture does not tolerate corruption, not to say it does not exist, but that there are multitudes of checks and balances in addition to strong cultural identity that to be corrupt is to be a liar. If a cop is on the take here it is big negative news if found out. In Mexico it is just a perk of being a cop, kind of bonus pay. Big difference.

  32. Mexicans dont trust in their govt. So any political party will always be under suspicion of the people. The damage is done and it will take decades to fix. Until then the people will live in doubt and fear of cartels and politicians which in their view are the same. You can work hard and be educated in Mexico and still be poor. People are waking up to the fact the world is controllled by an elite small group of people. The rest of us are just along for the ride...

  33. Everybody has a better Idea? Calderon has used what resources are available in Mexico within the limits available,REMEMBER the MAJORITY of Big Mexican Politicians are corrupt and will protect their benefactor,SO attacking the Criminal industrial complex in Mexico has Met with much resistance-- ALL cloaked with claims of humanitarian aid,claims of brutality,criticism of every type. WHY have the Mexicans not rallied behind the reforms the cleaning of society?? You tell Me??

  34. Gringo is how mexicans peonounce "green go"
    It is said that in the mexican-american war, the americans used green uniforms, so the people started yelling at them "gringo" meaning that they should leave the country!!!
    That's what my teacher tought me when I was a little boy back there in mexico!!

  35. A big part of the problem it's the mexican judicial system. The army is doing their part, the semar is doing their part, the federales are doing their part. How many Criminals are caught each day?? How many of them are prosecuted?? How many spend just months or a few years in jail for horrible crimes?? So who is not doing it's part?? Mexico needS tougher Laws and People that can apply those laws to the criminals!!!

  36. As a Mexican-American I say the violence occurring in Mexico is Mexico's fault though not the U.S's. Sure Americans in generally consume about 45 times more drugs than your average Mexican and a lot of the weapons used in Mexico do come from the U.S, people keep forgetting that most of the dead are between the cartels themselves. It's greed and hatred that has made Mexico in a low intensity "warzone", it's not the Mexican's people fault but the thugs with no morals which every country has. Also to the Americans saying Mexico is flooded with violence, you guys keep forgetting that for decades the U.S has had a way higher murder per capita than Mexico. Only since 2010 is when Mexico beat the U.S in murders per capita, theft is 20 times higher than Mexico and rape is about 8 times more higher per capita in the U.S than Mexico. Drug consumption has always been a problem in American culture, Mexican culture has no problem with drug consumption, it has always been the gringos that have consumed most of the drugs used in the Americas.

  37. Who's the individual in the photo with the rifle?

  38. Eh we were going to build a border wall to stop illegals, money, guns and drugs from flowing across but liberals said "No, thats racist", even Calderon said it lol. Now you all can just deal with it.

  39. I cannot agree more!!
    Gerardo: “Yes, the gringos in charge of policing the border are equally, if not more, corrupt than our (Mexico) politicians, but of course, they are much more expensive.”
    for all you uninformed laughers i would like to say that if you have been following this closely you would not be laughing.
    try reading and here are a few highlights
    AP Investigation Suggests Border Corruption at All-Time High
    Police Arrested in Connection with Mexican Drug Trafficking
    Massive Police Corruption, Racial Profiling in Texas Traffic Stops
    Three National Guardsmen Arrested For Smuggling Mexican Citizens Into The US
    FBI Arrests Six Guards At Federal Prison – Shootout Leaves Two Dead
    US Military Personnel Stationed In Colombia Plead Guilty On Drug Smuggling Charges
    Former Brownsville, TX Sheriff Faces Criminal Charges
    US Soldiers, National Guard Troops, Law Enforcement Officers Charged In FBI Drug Sting Plead Guilty
    'Dedicated To A Career In Law Enforcement' -- Candidate For Sheriff, A Former Deputy, Accused Of Taking Thousands In Cash From Undercover FBI Informants
    Toronto Police Force Rocked By Drug Squad Investigation
    Killings Of Candidates In Two KY Sheriff Races Point Toward 'Infiltration Of Drugs Into Legitimate Government'
    Even The Guards Bring It In: Media Examines Drug Smuggling And Trafficking In Prisons
    Miami Vice Redux: Thirteen Current And Former Officers Indicted
    Federal Report Describes Endemic Corruption Related To War On Drugs, Infects All Levels Of Enforcement
    read it all if you dare. all you doubters of corruption in the states shame on you.

  40. October 27, 2011 7:57 AM I totally agree with you.

  41. @ Mino Gringo is a slang Spanish and Portuguese word used in Spanish-speaking and Portuguese-speaking countries in Latin America, to denote foreigners, often from the United States. The term can be applied to someone who is actually a foreigner, or it can denote a strong association or assimilation into foreign (particularly US) society and culture. While in Spanish it simply identifies a foreigner, without any negative connotation in English the word is often considered “offensive” or “disparaging”

  42. The word gringo in Spanish is a common disparaging term for a non-Hispanic person, especially for a norteamericano, or U.S. citizen. English dictionaries say that the word gringo is derived from the Spanish word griego, which means Greek, with the connotation of ``foreigner,'' much as in the English expression ``it's all Greek to me.''

    North of the U.S.-Mexico border the word is often supposed to have come from an incident when non-Hispanics from north of Mexico were fighting Mexicans, and while fighting they sang a popular song. There are at least two versions of the story, involving two different songs, and each of the songs has at least two different versions.
    Alistair Moffat in his book Arthur and the Lost Kingdoms gives what I consider to be a classic example of how names of things and places can be derived based on confusion and misunderstanding. Alistair states, "Why do the Mexicans call the Americans Gringos? It is a strange term with an even stranger origin. When Davie Crockett, Jim Bowie and the other heroes of Texas's war against Mexico were besieged in the Alamo, they had a small force of about eighty Scots mercenaries with them. The Scots' marching song was the folk-tune 'Green Grow the Rashes O' and that is why Santa Ana's army and finally the whole of Mexico called the Americans Gringos."

  43. Did anybody see the PBS show on the Aztecs last night? Apparently the Aztecs not only sacrificed their fellow indian neighbors but the Spanish gueros too, and, AND, even ate them. Yup, these motherfuckers were cannibals as newly found evidence shows. Hmm, I know the Aztecs no longer exist but how long will it be till we see some Cartel fuck start pretending they are and start eating their enemies too in a ceremonial manner. Caldito de Zeta.

  44. Thanks for getting this discussion going, BB. Ha, people are hopping over their computers.

    So here is my handful of scat.

    For those blaming Mexico or the US: Markets like this have been going on since way before the Romans. It is logistically impossible to move the humongous amount of product and money without high level investment and protection from both countries.

    This war isn't about stopping drugs. Its about who gets what percentage of profits.

    The end game is very few will garner most of the pie. Couple that with j curve population growth and its a machine of nightmares. Its all the human is capable of.

    For those thinking private security companies will save the day I suggest reading "Blood Meridian" by Cormac McCarthy.

  45. 12:53 pm. You beet me to it.

  46. Es cierto que el vato de la foto es mas cabron que Chapo y los Aretes???


  48. don't worry guys the WORLD is gonna END in 2012, AS per the MAYANS.

  49. Mexico's problems are Mexican corruption and Mexican dis loyalty to their own people and country, they would sell their own mothers for $50. Mexicans have a animalistic gene they are born with which allows them to torture and dismember another human being all the while looking them straight in the eye and smiling.

    An earlier poster talked about the Aztecs being cannibals, I have seen videos of Mexicans disemboweling someone and sticking their face into the guts that were inside of the stomach and looking up with a face covered in blood and gore smiling for the camera...

    Yes something is very wrong with Mexico and it lies within its people!

  50. Overall, the readers' comments here are much more illuminating than the triggering article.

    I take a slightly different view of the problem. I see what has evolved over many years as "natural". The historic and endemic "corruption", "impunity" , and animosity towards the US (combined with numerous other factors) evolved a system for getting drugs into the USA in exchange for huge profits.

    Over time, the drug delivery systems morphed into variegated subsystems in which the main actors were sociopaths working closely with all manner of citizens on both side of the border.

    In time, the systems and subsystems became rivals and super-violent as a cultural necessity and functional reality ( as exemplified in narco-corridos). The moral dam burst and many Mexicans were attracted to the easy money, power, sex, adventure.

    Concurrent with all the above , were complimentary social changes in the US. Namely, a huge demand for illicit drugs.

    In short, all that is happening in Mexico today is "natural" and cannot be undone because the process must be reversed by eliminating the complex of intertwined factors, more or less, simultaneously.

    Only a plague, meteor, or climate change will brake the problem.... social engineering by politicians and the military won't do it ... except to morph the problem into something else... maybe worse.

    Mexico is F**ked and so is the USA.

    Thanks to all the posters who contributed.

    Mexico Watcher

  51. Wacha, I have been harboring similar views for a couple of days now. I also see it as completely normal, or normally abnormal. There just is no way of putting it, the Mexican people have been starving for some time and if there's an opportunity to make a quick buck or peso via the dehumanization of their own people, then that's how it's gonna be, plain and simple. Puro desmadre a toda madre. If their government has never cared for their people then what makes us think that these military campaigns are anything but their way of getting their grubby hands on the narco industry? The question is how much more are the people going to take this? Are there enough good people left in Mexico to enact change, real change? Sepa la bola.

  52. I will tell you that in my profession of international shipping that most of the big companies (Sony, Toyota, etc) avoid sending cargo thru Mexico to the US because of theft and corruption. And much of the cargo that goes to Mexico to be assembled for US consulting moves thru a US port and just far enought over the border to reach the maquilladora. There has been all this talk about "big new port" being developed in Mexico and a super highway from Lazaro Cardenas thru to Oklohoma City but that will never happen, legitimate businesses are afraid of Mexico....

  53. @10/27 8:58AM,
    Lol..what a terrible comment..cut a deal? Your solution is to allow the DTO's to operate with impunity from the Mexican Gov' who than runs Mexico, certainly not the gov't because the DTO's can just amp up the violence every time the gov't doesn't support their cause! Obviously your an "El Chapo" fan and you think the Sinaloa cartel will reign supreme among DTO's and they will curve/end the violence. Huh..if that was that case it would have happen years ago dumbass..nothings changed! It amazes me dumb Mexicans like yourself think the solution is to allow the cartels to operate freely behind closed nothing is happening..your what's wrong with Mexico! Your fucking worried about Mexico's tourist dude!

  54. Lazaro Cardenas? That's right in the heart of La Familias turf and now Caballeros Templarios turf they get the chemicals from Asia to make meth that's why they were the biggeest Meth producers around

  55. Anon @ 10-28-11 3:22 A.M.: Thanks for the feedback. I will add a bit more here for you to consider.

    Being an older Chicano living in the Southwest USA, I have actually watched the morphing process closeup. I have seen people and communities (barrios and barriadas) change dramatically in the direction of drug trafficking (and all else that is associated with this ) become more-or-less "normative".

    I have seen many young people drift into, pulled and pushed into the narco world or its fringes.... many are injured (psychologically, socially, spiritually, or physically)... some are dead.

    The life histories of these people would show no real conscious long-term planning on their part. They did not see themselves as being (like ants) as functional parts of a narco system. They did not see changes to their personality and behaviors as "natural" outcomes of being "in" a system.

    Over many years, I saw many young people from good families carried off into the narco world or its fringes. In time, these "good" families morphed into "not so good" entities where having deviants and criminals in the family became common (uncles, aunts, cousins, moms, dads, even abuelos. Many of these families have members who know the prison culture ... and , of course, jails and prisons must be seen as important elements of the narco world.

    One last thing, I think that rapid and easy communication combined with the movie, T.V. and music industries have played an important part in spreading ideas that fuel and lubricate the narco world's machinery.

    Thanks for your feedback, amigo.

    Mexico Watcher

  56. It is truly wonderful that so many people have the problem figured out. Isn't it great how BB attracts so many triple-digit IQs to their message boards?

    The facts include a stock exchange that amounts to zero except for 5 or 6 Mexican-owned companies, many 1,000s of Mexicans who profit from the drug/extortion/kidnap trade and a governmental system that provides not a single reliable institution to it's citizens.

    You had better believe the Islamic terrorists are in Mexico.

  57. here is an article from FBI website on the corruption among the Gringos who suppose to protec the border:

    and another article about corruption on the US side of the border in New York Times:

    "The Villarreal investigation is among scores of corruption cases in recent years that have alarmed officials in the Homeland Security Department."

    This is my answer to this question posted by one of the forum members:
    “That statement brought a belly role. What is the factual data proof that would verify this statement ? (the gringos in charge of policing the border are equally, if not more, corrupt than our Mexico politicians)

  58. In my view, Mexico's primary problem is its feudalistic society of elites vs. everyone else.
    Mexico's economy is going, but the money goes to a tiny number of elite families that control everything. Those elites utilize the law to create conditions that favor themselves at the expense of the common person. Plus, foreign investment fuels that corruption by making the rich richer and the poor poorer.
    From what I can see, Mexico is devolving into a two state entity. The elite hoard money from behind their walled fortresses while the commoners without means are encouraged by the elites to battle each other for resources as opposed to going after the government.
    I feel that Mexico is in a three way civil war between the criminals, government, and common law abiding citizens whose collective anger potentially makes them the most formidable opponent of the three.

  59. The one-eyed man in the Kingdom of the Blind is KING!
    Today Satan is waging his war against Jesus and His mother Guadalupe...Satan will not win..all my nephews and nieces know that I Am. Find your enemy!!! All people who work for Satan and work to beat Jesus...You know who they are! Fix them!!! Tell them you know who they are and that you are going to bring them down!! Fight them...Do whatever it takes to take them down..if you have to die..not to worry..our Mother Guadalupe will have a party in Heaven for us... Finish them!! Thank Jesus that He was you Commander and you sacrificed to Beat the Devil!! I am a Gringo who has had songs sang to me from my Mexican family that says" No cuchillos o pistolas...solo Puro Corazon!!" Viva Mexico!

  60. Hey white boys! Do not talk about mexicans been brutal and cannibals. Remember when you were disembowelig black people? They even change the name of Birmingham, Alabama to BOMBIBGHAM? How many black people did you rape, murder, and burn on your infamous KKK crosses while all whites laughed? Just in 1996 in Texas how many blacks did white men dragged behind their pick up trucks? I remember about six different cases; and you call mexicans brutal? What did the white people did with the native americans back in the 1800-1900's . Think about it before you talk, and go back to school to get some history classes because I think you flunked. Thanks! BIG BLACK TEXAN.

  61. Black, you're outta line. Nobody here's white, we're all beaners who were born in the U.S.

  62. 1) Gringo is a combination of words from a phrase that Mexicans were yelling at U.S. Marines when they marched from Veracruz to Mex CTY. "Green Go Home" But as Spanish is spoken as it is spelled it morphed into grin-go..gringo. Those who speak spanish know that vowels are only pronounced one way unlike English (a as in apple, lake) Same way that "speak" and "spic" developed when you say in a Spanish accent; "I don't speak English"
    2) Someone else had it right when they said that corruption started when Spain conquered the lands in the new world. They were the most corrupt then and still are in Europe. The Spanish crown, in order to get as much out of the land in the New Spain, purposely underpaid the viceroys and governors in charge knowing they would make up that difference with bribes. The Chain of corruption went all the down the smallest municipal official. Corruption is institutionalised. My wife, from Mex, interned as a lawyer has countless examples of corruption that she witnessed and everyone was OK with.
    3) Mexico needs and idealistic revolution not a violent one. People need to have a "zero tolerance" attitude vis-a-vis corruption before the situation has any chance to improve. Jail the corrupt.
    4) Mexicans need to BE Catholic and not let Catholicism be just something that defines their culture. Catholic is not a group to belong to, "I am a Catholic" but something you are, "I am Catholic". Only way that is proven is with deeds. The same can be said for any other Catholic denomination that has made it's way into Mexico.

  63. Mexico needs the "right to bear arms" like we do in order for some sort of resolution.

  64. What a great debate! Look at all the different views and most people treating each other with respect.

    "The Discovery and Conquest Of Mexico" by Bernal Diaz de Castillo. Very biased, but good info on how 300 people came to rule an enormous empire. It's because the empire crossed too many neighbors. Especially, Montezuma crossed a slighted princess; a woman with conviction and her own plan came to be.

    "Guns, Germs and Steel" by Dr. Jacob Diamond. Reminds us that we are hard wired to be violent and we should really pat ourselves on the back each time we find non-violent means of dealing with crises.

    I hope this debate continues. Good job, Gerardo!

  65. The problem has become a gangrenous infection with only a the more justified powers to solve it, mexico's own government is barely starting to crack down after the previous cowardly president fox succumbed to the sociopaths of his country, they need to first annihlate all the themes that romanticize a profession in illegal drugs, then blitzkrieg all the cartels with a unified international effort


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