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Old 10-22-2019, 03:47 PM  
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Is Mexico Collapsing?

On Mexican State Collapse: a Guest Post by El Anti-Pozolero
Oct 20

Now to business. To Mexico. I think the questions raised by El Anti-Pozolero, below, might require more urgent attention than we seem to be able to muster these days. I cannot say whether he’s right: I haven’t set foot in Mexico in more than twenty years. But worthy of our thought? It sure looks that way from the news.

You may have read the news just a few days back: the Mexican military captured not one but two of El Chapo’s sons in the heart of Culiacán, the Sinaloan capital. One son freed himself—which is to say his entourage and retainers at hand overpowered and killed the soldiers at hand—and then, in a decisive riposte, seized the entire city center of Culiacán to compel the liberation of his brother.

The forces that emerged were in the literal sense awesome and awful. Heavy weaponry that would be familiar on any Iraqi, Syrian, or Yemeni battlefield was brought to bear. More and worse: custom-built armored vehicles, designed and built to make a Sahel-warfare technical look like an amateur’s weekend kit job, were rolled out for their combat debut. Most critically, all this hardware was manned by men with qualities the Mexican Army largely lacks: training, tactical proficiency, and motivation.

Then the coup de grace: as the Chapo sons’ forces engaged in direct combat with their own national military, kill squads went into action across Culiacán, slaughtering the families of soldiers engaged in the streets.

Cowed and overmatched—most crucially in the moral arena—the hapless band of soldiers still holding the second son finally received word from Mexico City, direct from President AMLO himself: surrender. Surrender and release the prisoner.

It’s an absolutely extraordinary episode even by the grim and bizarre annals of what we mistakenly call the post-2006 Mexican Drug War. The Battle of Culiacán stands on a level above, say, the Ayotzinapa massacre, or the Zetas’ expulsion of the entire population of Ciudad Mier. Killing scores of innocents and brutalizing small towns is one thing: seizing regional capital cities and crushing the national armed forces in open fighting in broad daylight is something else.

“Drug War” is a misnomer for reasons the Culiacán battle lays bare. This is not a mafia-type problem, nor one comprehensible within the framework of law enforcement and crime. This is something very much like an insurgency now—think of the eruption of armed resistance in Culiacán in 2019 as something like that in Sadr City in 2004—and also something completely like state collapse. The cartels may be the proximate drivers but they are symptoms. Underlying them is a miasma of official corruption, popular alienation, and localist resentments—and underlying all that is a low-trust civil society stripped of the mediating mechanisms that make peaceable democracy both feasible and attractive.

Note as an aside that the cartels are not even necessarily drug-trafficking-specific entities. There have been ferocious and bloody cartel battles—against one another, against the state—for control of economic interests ranging from port operations to the avocado crop to lime exports. Illegal drugs supercharge their resources and ambitions, but absent them and that illegality they would simply assume another form.

I want to pause here and be explicit: none of this is an argument that Mexicans are incapable of liberality and democracy. The millions of Mexicans in the United States illustrate the contrary quite well, and localist democratic structures in Mexico proper are often of the sort that would make a communitarian conservative’s heart swell with pride. What is argued here is that Culiacán illuminates that the Mexican state as constituted is incompetent to that end.

Simply put, we can understand the past two centuries of Mexican history as a cyclic alternation between chaotic liberality and pluralism on the one hand, and orderly (if corrupt) autocracy on the other. The orderly and corrupt Porfiriato was followed by the horrors of civil war unleashed by Madero, followed in turn by the “perfect dictatorship” of the PRI, followed in turn by this century’s emergence of true Mexican multiparty democracy—and therefore the disintegration of the state we see now.

This is important because Americans have not had to think seriously about this for nearly a century: there is a place on the map marked Mexico, but much of it is governed by something other than the Mexican state. That’s been true for years.

The Battle of Culiacán, government surrender and all, made it open and explicit.

What happens now, barring an exceedingly unlikely discovery of spine and competence by the government in Mexico City, is more and worse. The country is on a trajectory toward warlordism reminiscent of, say, 1930s China or its own 1910s. Some of those warlords will be the cartels. Some of them will be virtuous local forces genuinely on the side of order and justice—for example the autodefensa citizen militias of Michoacán. Some of them will be the official state, grasping for what it can. Some of them, given sufficient time, will be autonomous or even secessionist movements: look to Chiapas, Morelia, et al., for that.

The lines between all these groups will be hazy and easily crossed. None will be mutually exclusive from the others.

It is tragic and a pity, because Mexico has in fact mastered the forms if not the substance of democratic civics. It is a shame because much of the Mexican diaspora in the United States is transmitting back home ideas of natural rights and a virtuous armed citizenry—right at the moment we ourselves have stopped believing in those things. (This has been a significant driver of the autodefensa phenomenon.) It is a loss because, depending on how you measure it, México just this decade tipped into a majority middle-class society for the first time in its history. In regions like the Bajío, advanced manufacturing is taking root and a class of engineers is slowly changing the old ways.

Nevertheless as any student of history will tell you, revolution happens not when things are bad, but when expectations are frustrated.

So what does all this mean for the United States? A century of relative peace along our southern border has left us complacent. We haven’t seriously thought about what it might mean if a nation of one hundred twenty million people with thousands of miles of land and coastal access to the United States went into collapse. We still tell ourselves a series of falsehoods about Mexico: that the immigration problem is about immigration, that the crime problem is about crime, that the Mexican state is the solution and not the problem, that they can handle their own affairs, that light-armor forces can overrun Culiacán and it isn’t our problem.

From Culiacán, Sinaloa, to Nogales, Arizona, is one day’s drive.

We know how we handled it last time México evaporated as a cohesive state, in 1910-1920. By late spring 1916, cross-border raiding got so bad that we mobilized the entire National Guard and called for volunteers. Most people remember the punitive expedition against the Villistas. Less remembered are the raids and counter-raids at places like San Ygnacio, Texas—and still less remembered is the time the United States Army was compelled to attack and occupy Mexican Nogales in 1918, and Ciudad Juárez in 1919.

You may rightly ask whether we are capable of the same policy now—and if we are, whether we are competent to execute it.

Mexico is not an enemy state, and the Mexicans are not an enemy people. Yet as Mexico falls apart, we need to ask ourselves questions normally reserved for objectively hostile nations. There is a war underway. It won’t stop at the border.

It’s time to look south, and think.

— El Anti-Pozolero is a pseudonym.

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Old 10-22-2019, 08:09 PM   #16
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Yeah, they have more power than their govt, not matter what any politician says to reform the place. The social fabric is wearing down.

Central America isn't in the greatest shape either. I forget which country Hilldawg overthrew a leader, but he's a real tyrant. No wonder they want to escape. I'm also hearing of communism spreading through South America too, with violent rioting in Chile which really had transformed itself. WTF is going on?

What?
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Old 10-22-2019, 08:19 PM   #17
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What?
You need to read more beyond your TV set.

Look it up copycat donger. Try the Federalist for starters. Read Hilldawg's admission in her book Hard Choices.
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Old 10-22-2019, 09:10 PM   #18
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Old 10-22-2019, 09:37 PM   #19
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This article feels like a gateway to Mexicans being able to claim asylum to get into the US.
No bueno.
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Old 10-22-2019, 10:20 PM   #20
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This article feels like a gateway to Mexicans being able to claim asylum to get into the US.
No bueno.
I only looked at the headline. Here's a conservative or right wing article on how Mexico is becoming ungovernable, and near the bottom of it the collapse of central America.

https://thefederalist.com/2018/07/02...llapse-mexico/

That's just one for starters.
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Old 10-23-2019, 12:29 AM   #21
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I was in Mexico three months ago and would go again tomorrow. You all are either poorly informed or paint with too broad of a brush.

I suspect the flare up in Chile is temporary. One of our former students hosted us there a couple years ago. He joked a lot about how protesting was part of the student culture. It seems that some if it has gotten out of hand, but I don't expect Chile to become unsafe on a long-term basis.

Every country has areas that are best avoided and every country has bad incidents that occur in areas that are normally safe.
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Old 10-23-2019, 12:48 AM   #22
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I think we should elect a democratic president. Then, we could heal their battle wounds on the taxpayers' dime. After that, we could give them a free pass to do as they wish. and if they should murder a Seth Rich or two, then that's just the price you pay for Mexican-AMERICAN liberality.

anyone who objects to narco-liberalism is Abominable and a racist and conservative
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Old 10-23-2019, 01:03 AM   #23
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The ones that make it here turn into solid 1st world citizens of culture. You see, we have the “magic dirt” here that turns anyone into an upper middle class capitalist. So it’s important they never cross back to Mexico and leave this magic dirt.


Plus I hear Mexicans are super-Religious. So they will be able to save Christianity in America with their family values and shit.
So what you're saying is that we need to import more Mexicans to prevent the Republican Party from becoming insolvent?
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Old 10-23-2019, 06:37 AM   #24
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Well this sucks!!!! Seriously, this SUCKS!! Yeah, Mexico is hurting...

https://www.divenewswire.com/marine-...ive-october-7/

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Marine Park of Cozumel Announces Partial Closure of Marine Park Effective October 7

The following material is provided as a courtesy by Adam Duffy of Scuba Tony on the island of Cozumel.

On Monday, September 23rd the Marine Park of Cozumel announced that they are closing the Southern part of the Marine Park from October 7th until an unknown date and time. Although it has been mentioned that it could reopen as soon as the end of the year. Over the course of the weekend, rumors have run wild and speculations and opinions have spread over social media.

The fact is that at the end of 2018, Cozumel’s coral reefs have seen a huge decline. The reef has been infected by a disease called Stony Coral Tissue Loss, SCTL. Not to be confused with coral bleaching (something entirely different). This suspected bacterial infection rapidly spreads killing many species of hard coral such as brain coral and flower coral being the first to go. The first sighting of it was in the Miami area in 2014.

The Cozumel Marine Park has acknowledged that cruise ships and the mismanagement of waste at coastal hotels along the marine park are amongst the issues that fuel the spread of the disease. The closing part of the marine park to divers is going to create awareness of the problems that the reefs in Cozumel are now facing.

The Good News

The good news for divers coming to Cozumel at the end of 2019 is that there are plenty of good dive sites to dive outside of the closed areas and they are the ones richest in marine life.

Some of the sites that are not affected by the Cozumel Marine park closure are:
La Francesa
Delila
Cedral
Santa Rosa Wall
San Francisco
Puta Tunich
Yucab
Tormentos
C53 reck dive
Paradise reef
Which Dive Sites Will be Closed in Cozumel

The dive sites that will be closed in Cozumel are all dive sites from the Palancar pier, South.

This includes; all of the Palancar dive sites, Colombia, Punta Sur, El Cielo, and Maracaibo.

The date of the official closure will be October 7th, 2019. From this date forward The Navy will have 2 boats enforcing the closure in these areas until they announce a reopening of these sites.

Final Thoughts

They have had multiple meetings announcing the details of the closure that were filled with unhappy tour operators that are concerned about the backlash and economic impacts that the closure will have and the future of the state of Cozumel’s coral reefs.

The outcry from many marine park permit holders is to have a Profepa office in Cozumel that can police the marine park and keep out the many illegal dive and snorkel operators as well as illegal fishing that occurs daily within the marine park.

We look forward to this action eliminating some of the issues that surround Cozumel’s coral reefs allowing some time for our wildlife to recover.
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Old 10-23-2019, 07:07 AM   #25
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...Every country has areas that are best avoided and every country has bad incidents that occur in areas that are normally safe.
True. In the U.S., for instance, it's best to avoid many urban areas and virtually all public schools.
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Old 10-23-2019, 08:01 AM   #26
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I was in Mexico three months ago and would go again tomorrow. You all are either poorly informed or paint with too broad of a brush.

I suspect the flare up in Chile is temporary. One of our former students hosted us there a couple years ago. He joked a lot about how protesting was part of the student culture. It seems that some if it has gotten out of hand, but I don't expect Chile to become unsafe on a long-term basis.

Every country has areas that are best avoided and every country has bad incidents that occur in areas that are normally safe.
Nope. It's still more to it than that. Just because someone is from there, doesn't mean they have a grip on everything happening—just like plenty of Americans here. I have worked with Mexicans, and they tell me they are trying to escape the drug cartels. What's happening in Chile is also going on in other parts of SA.
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Old 10-23-2019, 08:28 AM   #27
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Originally Posted by cdcox View Post
I was in Mexico three months ago and would go again tomorrow. You all are either poorly informed or paint with too broad of a brush.

I suspect the flare up in Chile is temporary. One of our former students hosted us there a couple years ago. He joked a lot about how protesting was part of the student culture. It seems that some if it has gotten out of hand, but I don't expect Chile to become unsafe on a long-term basis.

Every country has areas that are best avoided and every country has bad incidents that occur in areas that are normally safe.
Out of 230 nations Mexico has the 19th highest homicide rate. IT's almost identical to Columbia. Which is Columbia. Because Mexico is turning into columbia with a stronger tourism industry.

Your anecdotal experience while visiting tourist spots doesn't erase these dead bodies, no matter how much you want to pretend they don't exist. Problems don't stop existing just because you don't acknowledge them.

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Old 10-23-2019, 08:43 AM   #28
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Originally Posted by cdcox View Post
I was in Mexico three months ago and would go again tomorrow. You all are either poorly informed or paint with too broad of a brush.

I suspect the flare up in Chile is temporary. One of our former students hosted us there a couple years ago. He joked a lot about how protesting was part of the student culture. It seems that some if it has gotten out of hand, but I don't expect Chile to become unsafe on a long-term basis.

Every country has areas that are best avoided and every country has bad incidents that occur in areas that are normally safe.
You are usually a solid poster with well thought out comments, but this is clearly not just "some stuff happened in the bad part of town". The drug gang trounced the military and the government literally caved in to their demands.
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Old 10-23-2019, 08:49 AM   #29
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You are usually a solid poster with well thought out comments, but this is clearly not just "some stuff happened in the bad part of town". The drug gang trounced the military and the government literally caved in to their demands.
Kotter said the same shit to me a while ago weighting his anecdotal evidence over empirical facts, and I responded thusly:

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Old 10-23-2019, 08:57 AM   #30
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So what you're saying is that we need to import more Mexicans to prevent the Republican Party from becoming insolvent?
Yes!

They vote 75% Democrat so this should be a great strategy long term for the Puke Party. Import folks who vote Democrat. Wonder how much they pay their awesome consultants ?
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Fort Worth Texas Process Servers
Covering Arlington, Fort Worth, Grand Prairie and surrounding communities.
Tarrant County, Texas and Johnson County, Texas.
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