Monday, October 31, 2011

Risk of murder in Mexico quadruples, kidnapping triples since 2007 - because cartels are being "decapitated"

A private organization says that life in Mexico has gotten dramatically more dangerous in just the last 48 months. The chance of being murdered has grown four fold, and of being kidnapped three fold. But it's not because organized crime is getting stronger.

So says the Mexican Institute for International Competition in a 2011 publication called "The Endless Spiral: How Mexico Became a Violet Nation and What Can Be Done About It."

"Mexico has a problem. The problem is not one of drug trafficking, nor of organized crime, nor of weak institutions. It's the incontrovertible fact that more and more people feel less secure in diverse areas throughout the country." The Institute argues that this situation of prevailing domestic instability affects economic growth and development, and inhibits opportunities in world markets. Above all, it severely mars the country's image abroad.

The study says that at no time in Mexico's history (other than when it was at war with foreign powers) has internal violence grown at such a rapid rate, and in so many diverse ways. Mexico's four fold homicide rate increase (440%) between 2007 and 2010 exceeds even that of Colombia in the early 1980, when the latter country was under the dominion of drug lord Pablo Escobar. Kidnappings in Mexico during the same period increased 188%, and auto theft 40%.

The Institute says that Chihuahua, Sinaloa, Guerrero (Acapulco), Baja California and Durango are the most dangerous of Mexico's 32 state jurisdictions, and Ciudad Juárez, not surprisingly, is its most dangerous city. The Mexican government's position is that the majority of drug war victims were involved with illicit enterprises, and were killed in turf wars and business disputes between competing cartels and organized crime groups.

The Institute's conclusions were the most interesting part of the report. "The massive deployment of federal forces and the 'cutting off of the heads' of criminal organizations" by Felipe Calderón's offensive, which began in December 2006, explains the record levels of violence during his administration. "The greatly increased aggressiveness of the government in going after the cartels has been the catalyst which fomented the skyrocketing number of homicides. Violence has fed more violence" as the government seeks to eradicate the drug trafficking industry which was ignored for decades by previous administrations, and which had reached the point of threatening the very existence of the state.

It's a war, in other words. People who continue to complain about how peaceful things were before Felipe Calderón came along are like people who think living in a rat infested house is just fine -- as long as you don't go down into the cellar or up into the attic.

No comments:

Post a Comment