And 7% say NObody's running it
If ever a graph clearly proved a point at least of perception, this one does. In a public opinion survey taken by respected Mexican pollster Parametría in the last week of January, the results of which are now being published in major media sources, 55% of respondents said Michoacán belongs to drug cartels and criminals, not government at any level.
Survey participants - Mexican citizens from across the country - were asked the following question:
"In your opinion, who currently governs Michoacán: organized crime, community militias, the state government or the federal government?"
After the 55% who said the state belongs to criminals, the next largest group were those who believe Michoacán is under the control of self-appointed civilian police (11%) - and better off that way (53%). That number may be troublesome to the PRI administration, whose attorney general has recently acknowledged that some of the Michoacán autodefensas got their weapons from other drug cartels.
The most troubling survey result? Seven percent of Mexicans opined that nobody controls the state. And a plurality of respondents said the autodefensas are here to stay, because neither the federal nor the state government can manage Michoacán without their help. That's why a New York Times op-ed last week called the state the Wild West.
The Parametría survey was conducted between Jan. 25 and 29, and has a margin of error of +/- 3.5%.
Feb. 18 - In Mexico City today, the director of Amnesty International spoke out spoke out against the long term reliance upon autodefensas. "The responsibility for protecting human rights of any citizenry rests with the State itself, and cannot be outsourced," said AI's Salil Shetty.
Feb. 20 - Michoacán governor Fausto Vallejo said yesterday that he is worried about "the health of the state," noting that large regions have simply been abandoned. He urged the retention of federal forces in the state for as long as necessary, something which Mexico City has already promised.
Mar. 22 - PAN boss: "There's no respect for life in Michoacán, nor a government"
Mar. 13 - In Michoacán, Peña Nieto makes no mention of "outside the law" citizen militias
Mar. 5 - Mexican Human Rights Comm'n. says there's no local law in Michoacán
Feb. 14 - Michoacán, a deadly no man's land
Feb. 4 - In Michoacán, all the president's men arrive with cash and promises
Jan. 13 - Michoacán security accord more of the same old song
July 25, 2013 - "Regrettably, parts of the state have passed into the hands of organized crime"
May 23, 2013 - Fiasco in Michoacán suggests little has changed under new government
March 6, 2013 - Peña Nieto's drug war czar says no to Mexican militias
Famous for lemons and avocados, Michoacán is wedged along the Pacific coast between Jalisco and Guerrero, the latter of which is in only slightly better political condition.
© MGR 2014. All rights reserved. This article may be cited or briefly quoted with proper attribution or a hyperlink, but not reproduced without permission. Survey contents © Parametría, which copyright must be acknowledged if reproduced.