Tag Archives: Mexico

Mexican State Collapse

(h/t: WRSA) 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.

What vehicles in your area can be liberated for use as improv armored personnel carriers?

You will be attacked by people who want to destroy you.

Plan accordingly.

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 over matched—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. 

Source: by Clair Berlinski

Mexico.gov Acquiesce To Cartel Control

(The Last Refuge) A big FUBAR happened in Culiacan Mexico yesterday as Mexican police and narcotics officers captured Ovidio Guzman, aka “Chapito”, the heir of drug kingpin El Chappo and current head of the Sinaloa cartel.

We watched via social media yesterday as a war broke out in Culiacan between the police/military and the cartel.  After authorities captured Chapito, hundreds of Sinaloa cartel members came down from the mountains and cut off the city.  The cartel began executing and capturing anyone who was assisting the arrest.  The city shut down.

To save themselves, the surrounded Mexican officials released Chapito back to the cartels and now the world has more evidence that Mexican President Lopez-Obrador has no control over the peace and security of Mexico.  The cartels are in charge.

MEXICO CITY (Reuters) – Mexican officials on Friday admitted they had bungled the arrest of kingpin Joaquin “El Chapo” Guzman’s son, who they let go during shootouts with drug gangs in the streets of a major city, but the president insisted his security strategy was working.

Cartel gunmen surrounded around 35 police and national guards in the northwestern city of Culiacan on Thursday and made them free Ovidio Guzman, one of the jailed drug lord’s dozen or so children, after his brief detention set off widespread gun battles and a jailbreak that stunned the country.

The chaos in Culiacan, a bastion of Guzman’s Sinaloa Cartel, turned up pressure on President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador, who took office in December promising to pacify a country weary of more than a decade of gang violence and murders.

Lopez Obrador came under heavy criticism on social media and from security experts, who said that authorities risked encouraging copycat actions by caving in to the gang, and that the retreat from a major city created the impression that the cartel, not the state, was in control.  (read more)

LAST NIGHT:

Source: by Sundance | The Conservative Tree House

Mexico Mayor Dragged Through Streets From Back Of Truck For Not Delivering On Campaign Promises

Farmers are furious that the politician had broken his promises to improve roads and bring drinking water and electricity to the community…

A group of angry farmers in southern Mexico captured the mayor of their village before dragging him through the streets while tied to the back of a truck after villagers claim that he failed to deliver on major election campaign promises.

Police eventually freed Jorge Luis Escandón Hernández, the mayor of Las Margaritas municipality in the state of Chiapas, who suffered no major injuries following the violent ordeal.

El Heraldo de Mexico reports the mayor was abducted Tuesday by an angry group of protesters armed with clubs and rocks, who tied him to the back of a pickup truck before dragging him through the streets as a mob ran after him.

Footage of the incident has since gone viral.

Following the incident, a violent confrontation broke out between the group and local police, leaving about 10 people injured. The state attorney general’s office said that eleven people were arrested, according to Milenio.

Eight hours following the incident, the mayor appeared in the local square and said that he would hold leaders of the Santa Rita community responsible. Mayor Escandón said that he would not be intimidated by the violence and he intends to press charges.

Farmers are furious that the politician, who authorities say is “safe and sound and being reviewed by medical experts,” had made promises to improve the social infrastructure of the rural village.

Since elected, farmers have demanded that he deliver on his pledges to repair local roads and bring drinking water and electricity to the poor village.

In a previous incident four months ago, another group of men showed up at his office and ransacked it after finding it empty.

Chiapas is one of the wealthiest states in Mexico due to its mineral resources and is also a significant base of operations for domestic mining giants and also those from Canada, the U.S., Japan, China and Europe. In addition to it being a major source of gas, oil, wood, and water, Chiapas is also a lucrative source of gold, silver, amber, uranium, aluminum, iron, and one of the most coveted resources in the globe – titanium.

However, local populations have complained of being dispossessed as open-pit mining, logging, tunnels, and large pools of toxic wastewater contaminate their once-communal lands.

The state is a hotbed of social unrest and organizing by local militant groups and left-wing social movements such as the ‘Zapatista Army of National Liberation’ (EZLN) and the ‘National Front for the Struggle for Socialism’ (FNLS), who have frequently clashed with state security forces and faced repression in recent years.

In the case of Las Margaritas, it appears that the attempted capture of the mayor followed a long period of seething tension between authorities and angry locals, who have gone so far as threatening city council members to ensure they do their part to improve conditions for poverty-stricken communities.

Since the incident, schools and businesses have shut their doors. On Wednesday, elements of the newly-created National Guard also arrived in the city to reinforce security.

Source: by Elias Marat | ZeroHedge

Mexico Begs American Chamber Of Commerce To Stop Trump (video)

Mexico President Lopez-Obrador Enlists Support from ‘Big Club’ Chamber of Commerce (Dohonue)…

Well, this doesn’t come as a surprise.  Hoping to keep the borders open and fend off the Trump tariff’s on Mexican imports, Mexico’s President Lopez-Obrador (AMLO) enlists the help from Tom Donohue and the U.S. Chamber of Commerce.

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Hernan Cortes, Father Of Mexico, Landed Exactly 500 Years Ago

(by Allan Wall) April 22 was the 500th anniversary of Spanish conquistador Hernan Cortes’ landing at Veracruz, Mexico, in 1519. Cortes’ small army and a growing corps of Indian allies, the coastal Totonacs and the Tlaxcaltecans of central Mexico, marched to the Aztec capital of Tenochtitlan, now Mexico City and conquered the Aztecs in a two-year titanic struggle. From their empire’s ashes was born modern Mexico. But modern Mexicans are ambivalent about Cortes, and neither Mexico nor Spain is commemorating the anniversary.

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The Great Mexican Train Robberies

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Early on the morning of May 19, 2018, residents on the outskirts of the town Orizaba, Veracruz — close to the bordering state of Puebla in Mexico — woke up to a loud crash.

A train with 39 cars and four locomotives crashed into another train when approaching the station. The conductor of the approaching train attempted to brake, but couldn’t because the brakes were cut, according to the Grupo Mexico Transporte, the company that owns and runs the train.

The aftermath looked like a post-apocalyptic scene — train cars overturned, piled up, and a pedestrian bridge destroyed.

Grupo Mexico Transporte instantly called this act sabotage and pointed to the culprits as being organized crime. The company ruled out the possibility of human error because of the way the trains are remotely operated.

The governor of the state of Veracruz, Miguel Angel Yunes Linares, was doubtful of the company’s claims that it was an act of sabotage. The Orizaba incident, though the most destructive, is part of the larger phenomenon of the robbing of cargo trains by criminal organizations.

There has been a 476-percent increase of the number of robberies similar to the one that occurred in Orizaba, according to Confederation of the Industrial Chambers, when the first quarter of this year was compared to the first quarter of last year. There were also six previous derailments of trains in April and May 2018.

In the first quarter of 2018, there was a robbery of a train every 2.5 hours, according to the Regulatory Agency for Rail Transport. The main products that have been robbed from the thefts of cargo trains have been grain and flour, finished consumer products, auto parts and construction materials.

Though it’s not clear if any goods were stolen from the trains that crashed around Orizaba, it is likely this was the motive because of the previous theft of cargo trains in the area and the tactic of sabotage being used prior. There has also been suspicion that the sabotage was in retaliation for the company not paying a “floor payment” that the criminal organization had demanded.

The supposed person behind the sabotaging and robberies of the trains in the area is Roberto De Los Santos De Jesus, known as El Bukanans. After the derailment in Orizaba on May 19, 2018, the reward for information that leads to his arrest was increased from one million pesos to five million pesos.

His experience is indicative of the criminal organizations and their involvement in criminal enterprises other than drug trafficking. Originally a police officer, he defected in 2012 to join the Zetas. After that organization splintered, he went to join the Zeta Nueva Sangre and then subsequently head the organization. Under his rule, authorities believe, the group began to rob trains.

What the sabotaging of trains in Veracruz shows is the impact that criminal organizations can have on industry. They can have a debilitating effects on companies and their operations. Grupo Mexico Transporte, the company whose trains were involved in Orizaba, said it lost 312 million pesos from the Orizaba derailment and 6 previous derailments that occurred in April and May 2018, with 11 million of that money going to cover the loss of cargo and 171 million going to repair the tracks and trains.

After the derailment in Orzibia, 130 trains had to stop, throwing off the logistics operations of many companies and delaying the delivery of 300,000 tons of goods and materials.

Recently, companies’ operations in Mexico have been hindered by insecurity and organized crime. The Canadian Pan American Silver Corporation reduced operations in the state of Chihuahua citing insecurity. The bottling company, Coca-Cola FEMSA recently indefinitely closed down a distribution center in the state of Guerrero due to the “harassment of criminal groups.”

At the end of May 2018, two of the country’s most influential business organizations, demanded that government to end the violence and crime because of the how it is affecting business.

In 2017 Mexico reached its deadliest year on record, with the country experiencing almost  30,000 homicides. Additionally, about 98 percent of all crimes going unpunished creating an environment of impunity that allows for criminal organizations to operate in the country.

Source: by Enrique Ochoa-Kaup | War Is Boring

Mexico Invades California – Trump Powerless To Block It

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https://static.reuters.com/resources/r/?m=02&d=20180429&t=2&i=1256730159&r=LYNXMPEE3S0JB&w=640

CARAVAN NOW...
They climb border fence, cheer 'Gracias, Mexico!'
Some enter USA illegally...
Others make asylum claims...
Supporters Rally in San Diego...

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As Reuters pointed out last Thursday, the timing of their arrival could sabotage NAFTA talks after President Trump repeatedly threatened to scrap the deal if Mexico doesn’t do more to stop Central American migrants from traveling through its territory.

Developing…

In all fairness, watch the following to discover why Trump is a little extra distracted right now…