Mexico and the United States: distant and bloody neighbors | The USA Print

Something drastic has changed for right-wing Republicans to want to send troops to Mexico to fight the cartels. The traditional scheme according to which they put the consumers of drug trafficking and we the dead left by the fight to combat production and transfer ceased to work. The figures were reversed: it is said that in the United States around one hundred thousand people a year lose their lives due to the abuse of narcotic drugs, particularly fentanyl, while little more than thirty thousand die in Mexico as a result of criminal violence. .

Unfortunately for us, the death of one hundred thousand people is electoral loot for many legislators who, from the Capitol, can press xenophobic emotions at the expense of the vilified “Latinos.” And of course the ruling against Genaro García Luna in New York, the so-called anti-drug czar found guilty of working for a cartel, does not help at all, because they do not distinguish between the governments of Calderón or the 4T; It is a fact that refers to the inability of the Mexican State to address the problem. And the news of the last few days about the four Americans who were confused in Matamoros and riddled with gunmen, resulting in two deaths, has turned out to be rain on wet. The truth is that, with or without other incidents, we can assume that this issue, like that of migration, will become the piñata to be hit by any politician from the center or from the right who wants to climb the rungs among the powerful conservative currents.

Or not so conservative. Joe Biden’s re-election bids have made him abandon progressive policies related to Latino issues and he will most likely further harden his positions as the election campaigns approach. Although it is improbable, if not impossible, for a Democratic government to consider the use of troops directly and unilaterally on Mexican soil, in Washington they do not rule out that, given the loss of popularity, the Biden administration agrees to consider the cartels as terrorist organizations: it is an administrative classification within the powers of the Department of State. What would it mean? It would allow authorities and security agencies to intervene with greater powers than usual: seize bank accounts and property, tap into communications without the need for strict legal authorizations, and consider much harsher sentences for various crimes.

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Although the value of a legal and political tool like this for the fight against drugs can be understood from their perspective, it is also true that it could become an additional scourge of discrimination against Latinos, already in itself. affected by anti-immigration policies. The powers that this legal coverage would offer to the authorities to affect the interests of community members, based on mere presumptions, could be a tragedy for many countrymen.

And, for the rest, the fight against drugs in the United States has never depended on laws but on political will or, rather, the lack thereof. It has never been fully used against the transport, distribution and retail chains that take place in its territory. Let’s remember that the distance between clandestine laboratories in Mexico and the border is less than the distance that separates Ciudad Juárez or Matamoros from New York, Detroit or Baltimore. The bulk of the business happens on your side, on your roads, in warehouses, in laboratories where it is altered and mixed, in retail distribution, in the flow of money that this whole process implies.

Attributing all the blame to the “manufacturer” without taking responsibility for the way it is transformed, distributed, financed and consumed by its population is absurd. If that were the case, they would have to accept the argument that they are responsible for the hundreds of thousands of deaths that violence has left in our country, because most of them have been killed with weapons produced in the United States. No one in their right mind would think that Mexico has the right to attack weapons plants in industrial parks in Michigan or Texas, or establish sanctions and seizures against shareholders of those companies.

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The Mexican president has responded with arguments of this nature and in his reaction there is an emphatic rejection of all kinds of interventionism. Explainable as is the nationalist sentiment in Mexico in regards to the United States, the product of such an unequal history with its powerful neighbor, it is also true that commercial and industrial integration, migratory flows and money transfers, tourism, and The border has practically become a third country due to the symbiotic relations between many of our cities, forcing a fundamental reconsideration regarding this neighborhood.

Everything indicates that the safe house where the four Americans kidnapped in Matamoros were located was located by the FBI and the information was transmitted to the Mexican authorities. There are issues of intelligence, resources and technology that can be used, without a doubt. But that cannot be opened unilaterally without putting on the table a comprehensive agenda that includes arms, the flow of dollars, distribution networks, and the phenomenon of consumption in the United States. Like border life, they are symbiotic issues that cannot be dealt with, much less eradicated, without a joint vision of the two parties involved. The political figure of nation states that emerged from the 16th century is being overwhelmed by new realities. It is still valid in many ways, but for the purposes of the integration processes, innovative forms are required that are capable of addressing perspectives of the whole. The controversial panels regarding the TMEC are tepid advances in that direction.

Unfortunately, everyday politics causes those responsible for the destinies of public affairs to find the strategy of instilling pride, feelings and fears wrapped in anachronistic flags more profitable for their purposes. And we’re seeing it in the jingoistic debate on both sides.

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Forty years ago, British-Brazilian journalist Alan Riding, a New York Times correspondent in Mexico for some time, published the influential book distant neighbors, to account for, among other things, this mutual incomprehension. Since then she has not only gotten worse, now she has a bloodbath that makes her more and more unbearable. @Jorgezepedap

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