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Mexican elections 2018

 
 
Lash
 
  1  
Reply Wed 25 Jul, 2018 05:53 am
I think AMLO is much smarter than his predecessor.

Considering for just a moment the war zone that Mexico has become, AMLO is taking steps to erase the overwhelming reason that we have a border problem to begin with. Many Mexicans are running from widespread violence and running to relative safety and greatly increased financial security.

If I was handed Mexico, I wouldn’t continue a ridiculous yammering Twitter contest with the powerful idiot to the north; I’d use what I knew about him to manipulate the best situation possible for my people.

AMLO has a great opportunity to ‘reset’ and surprise Trump with flattery and a step back from the heightened rhetoric. I bet AMLO might be able to gain some trade perks from trump if he continues in this vein.

Interesting to watch.

I hope something mutually beneficial can be worked out.
maxdancona
 
  2  
Reply Wed 25 Jul, 2018 04:07 pm
@Lash,
Quote:
Considering for just a moment the war zone that Mexico has become


I was in Mexico a few weeks ago, walking down city streets of Guadalajara past bustling cafes and parks. It wasn't at all a war zone. I think you must be talking about a different Mexico.

Lash
 
  1  
Reply Wed 25 Jul, 2018 06:54 pm
@maxdancona,
I’m very glad that was your experience. The number of political assassinations this year (over 100) the cartel murders in several areas, and widely reported kidnappings for cash over the past decade sets Mexico in a unique position.

Travel advisory: https://travel.state.gov/content/travel/en/traveladvisories/traveladvisories/mexico-travel-advisory.html


Lash
 
  1  
Reply Wed 25 Jul, 2018 07:02 pm
Does this have any meaning for you?

https://www.google.com/amp/amp.timeinc.net/time/5324888/mexico-violence-murders

Part:

The cycle of bloodshed that has gripped Mexico in recent years is again reaching record peaks. On average, someone was killed in Mexico every 15 minutes during the month of May, putting the country on track to surpass last year’s grim milestone of 29,168 killings.

The extent of the violence, and other types of crime, have pushed the issue to the top of the political agenda ahead of national elections on July 1. Political killings have also shot up, with 130 politicians, including 48 candidates for office, murdered since the beginning of the electoral cycle in September, according to political consultancy Etellekt. What is behind the violence?

1. Police are in short supply

Mexico suffers from a chronic police shortage, with 116,000 positions unfilled around the country. The Government Security Agency says Mexico only has around half of the police it needs right now.

A key reason for that is low pay; local police forces in Mexico earn an average of $460 a month, slightly less than the national average wage. “The police career is not a professional one,” Gerardo Rodríguez, a professor in security at the University of the Americas, tells TIME. “Who would want to be on the front line against the drug cartels if there is no professional career or sufficient payment or support for them and for their families? That’s the reason local governments are relying on the Mexican army to be in the streets right now.”

Troops have been serving as police since December 2006, when then-president Felipe Calderon launched a crackdown on drug cartels. In December 2017 lawmakers passed an “interior security law” giving them an official role in policing. Human rights groups criticised the move, saying the army were not properly trained in dealing with civilians.

2. Gangs have fragmented, and moved into new areas

Since the crackdown on cartels began, many important drug kingpins have been arrested, leaving gangs to fight among themselves and fragment. That has lead to more, smaller gangs who are competing over the existing drug trade infrastructure – such as transit passes and good sites for building laboratories. Faced with that competition, gangs are being driven to diversify their business. The famous Sinaloa cartel, for example, has invested heavily in the production of fentanyl, a new synthetic opioid considered to be 25-50 times stronger than heroin.

“The issue of organized crime in Mexico has really evolved – it’s no longer only drug trafficking groups but also gangs with other origins,” says Rubén Salazar, the director of Etellekt. Many gangs now make money by robbing freight trains and extorting money from civilians, both of which increase the potential for violence, as does another recent criminal trend in Mexico: the illegal extraction of oil, or “huachicoleo”, a phenomenon that has gone up by 790% in the last five years, according to state oil company Pemex. They say a pipeline is illegally tapped somewhere in the country every 90 minutes. People siphon off oil, transport it and resell it, employing and implicating large numbers of people in criminal networks in the process.


3. Corruption means political killings are spiralling

The arrest in June 2017 of twelve mayors from Puebla state on suspicion of involvement in a fuel-stealing ring exposed another worrying facet of Mexico’s security problem – the infiltration of criminal elements in local politics. Salazar says this has lead to a surge in political violence. “The number of attacks against against politicians went up by more than 2400% between 2012 and 2018,” he says. “The vast majority were aimed at local politicians.”

Salazar says the federal government in Mexico has lost control of local governments, leaving local politicians to get involved in criminal activities. “These local powers are trying to transform themselves into practically feudal states,” he says. “What we are seeing at the moment is a deliberate employment of violence as a political tool, as not only organized crime groups but also local political groups try to perpetuate themselves in power, controlling government structures, as well as lands and both legal and illegal activities, through violence.”

On June 25, the entire police force of the town of Ocampo was disarmed and detained by state police, on suspicion of having orchestrated the murder of a mayoral candidate.

“This is very serious because it could throw the quality of Mexico’s democratic governance into question,” warns Salazar. “What could happen is the formation of authoritarian governments on a local scale.”

4. A weak government … and little prospect of change

Voters are overwhelmingly dissatisfied with the state of Mexican security. “Violence is the number one issue for voters, above the economy, above inequality,” says Rodríguez. “The federal system just isn’t functioning right now in Mexico.”

In continuing his predecessor’s military strategy against the cartels, President Enrique Peña Nieto has bypassed local and regional authorities, ploughing money directly into the pursuit of kingpins – “Mission accomplished,” he tweeted when news broke of the capture of notorious Sinaloa cartel leader Joaquín “El Chapo” Guzmán in 2016. But many say this headline-grabbing, top-down strategy has worsened every aspect of the security problem, diverting resources from local police, fragmenting gangs and making local governments less accountable.

That has cost Peña Nieto’s ruling Institutional Revolutionary Party (PRI) dearly in the polls. The PRI ruled Mexico for much of the 20th Century, but now their presidential candidate in July 1’s elections, José Antonio Meade, is trailing in third place.


Frontrunner Andrés Manuel López Obrador describes the country as being “at war”, and has pledged to eradicate the violence by the middle of his first six-year term. “My opponents think everything can be resolved by force,” he said at a conference in May, highlighting his own “liberal view” on security. He wants to tackle the social exclusion that leads to crime and to offer a partial amnesty from prison for some involved in drug gangs, favouring social work and public service as alternative sentences.

But other candidates and the media have said the plan “guarantees impunity” to criminals. He has also pledged to create a new national guard, keeping soldiers and marines permanently involved in policing. “It’s a very questionable idea,” says Salazar, “because soldiers aren’t trained to do what police do, and police aren’t trained to use army-level weapons against gangs. It could cause lots of violations of human rights.”

With the next president not due to take office until Dec. 1, and few concrete strategies to address the violence, there’s unlikely to be a solution any time soon. “It’s a perfect storm,” Rodriguez says.

maxdancona
 
  3  
Reply Wed 25 Jul, 2018 07:19 pm
@Lash,
Anybody can Google. I don't know if you have been in an actual war zone.

I am almost certain that I have more personal experience in Mexico than you have (I spend quite a bit of time there). I will defer to the person who actually lives in Mexico as to how idiotic you are being.

layman
 
  1  
Reply Wed 25 Jul, 2018 07:25 pm
@maxdancona,
maxdancona wrote:

Anybody can Google. I don't know if you have been in an actual war zone. I am almost certain that I have more personal experience in Mexico than you have (I spend quite a bit of time there). I will defer to the person who actually lives in Mexico as to how idiotic you are being.


Stop lyin, Max. You wouldn't defer to anyone who didn't share your utopian fantasies. Not even this guy, who Lash just quoted:

Quote:
Frontrunner Andrés Manuel López Obrador describes the country as being “at war”, and has pledged to eradicate the violence by the middle of his first six-year term.


Take a wild-ass guess where wars take place, eh? In war zones, that's where.
0 Replies
 
layman
 
  0  
Reply Wed 25 Jul, 2018 07:36 pm
@maxdancona,
maxdancona wrote:

Anybody can Google.


Anytime anyone confronts you with actual facts published online by outlets like Time magazine here, you always try to dismiss the facts with the word "google," as if that changed the known facts. Of course you wouldn't have any idea where facts come from. You get yours from out of your ass.
0 Replies
 
Lash
 
  1  
Reply Wed 25 Jul, 2018 08:23 pm
@maxdancona,
So, the murders and statistics cited in the articles I shared are lies?

The new president of Mexico is also wrong?
fbaezer
 
  4  
Reply Wed 25 Jul, 2018 09:15 pm
@Lash,
You both are right. In a sense.

While activity is as normal as usual in many places, there has been a surge of violence due to the failed strategy of direct war against the cartels.
Yes, most cartels have been pulverized or divided by capturing the bosses. But the heirs are often more ruthless.

6 years ago I wrote that Peña Nieto would only have to halve the homicide rate in order to consider himself successful. He wasn't. It went down the first two years, and then it went up again.

Some parts of the country are dangerous for everyone. In a few cities, journalism is practically impossible to practice.
Still, the concept of "war zone" is typical campaign exaggeration.

Some data:
Mexico's murder rate "homicidio doloso: wilful homicide " is 19/100 000 per year.
This is more than double the rate of 2006.
20th place worldwide, which is bad.
Still very much below countries like Brazil, Bahamas, South Africa or the US Virgin Islands.
I don't think those 4 countries are said to be at war.

Mexico City's homicide rate is 4.2/100 000
Guadalajara's is 12.9/100 000
Monterrey's: 11.8/100 000

Cozumel: 3.8/100 000
Mérida: 2.5/ 100 000

but
Acapulco 106/100 000
Tijuana 101/ 100 000
Culiacán 70/ 100 000
Juárez 56/ 100 000


The USA rate is 5.35 murders/100 000

St. Louis 66/ 100 000
Baltimore 55/ 100 000
New Orleans 40 / 100 000

but
Honolulu 1.5 /100 000
San Diego 2.6 / 100 000
Seattle 3.4 / 100 000

Certainly, being in Guadalajara you should feel safer than in St. Louis. Specially if you don't go into tough neighborhoods.

But living in the miserable outskirts of Acapulco or in any town in the state of Tamaulipas feels, somehow, like living in the midst of an opaque war.

fbaezer
 
  2  
Reply Wed 25 Jul, 2018 09:24 pm
@Lash,
Lash wrote:


The extent of the violence, and other types of crime, have pushed the issue to the top of the political agenda ahead of national elections on July 1. Political killings have also shot up, with 130 politicians, including 48 candidates for office, murdered since the beginning of the electoral cycle in September, according to political consultancy Etellekt. What is behind the violence?



This is true.
All but three of those murders were in four states, Guerrero and Michoacán being the most hit.
One murder, in Guanajuato, was proven to be passional.
Two of the murdered candidates ran for the federal chamber of deputies.
The rest ran for local posts in mostly rural zones; usually municipalities: county major.
Almost all of the murders were in the zones of influence of organized crime. Either the murdering gang thought the candidate favored a rival gang or they tried to buy the candidate, failed and then killed them.
Lash
 
  1  
Reply Wed 25 Jul, 2018 09:27 pm
@fbaezer,
I appreciate your details.
0 Replies
 
oralloy
 
  -1  
Reply Wed 25 Jul, 2018 11:28 pm
@fbaezer,
Is there a good resource for someone who is quite unfamiliar with Mexico to learn which areas are safe?

Right now I am excluding Mexico from my 2024 eclipse plans so I don't end up in a mass grave. But if I had some way of planning a safe trip I would gladly start considering locations in Mexico.
chai2
 
  1  
Reply Thu 26 Jul, 2018 12:03 am
@fbaezer,
Thanks fbaezer for bringing up those statistics.

That does irk me, when anyone classifies the entire country as a war zone.

Last November, I bought a house in San Miguel de Allende, in the state of Guanajuarto.

It is far safer than anyplace I have ever been in the United States.

I've driven down there via the crossing from Laredo into Nuevo Laredo by myself multiple times, with no fear. The only stretch of road where I have concern is in the small area through Nuevo Laredo until you get to the checkpoint around 20 miles in.

There are very dangerous areas, and very safe areas. On the whole, the people are peaceful and kind.

I'm leaving for there on Sunday, this time with my husband, and we are probably going to start the process for temporary residency, while maintaining our home in the U.S. It will keep us from having to cross the border every 6 months to re-register my car. If you don't, you loose a $500 deposit. I wouldn't be doing that if I didn't feel safe.

The one thing I have learned is not to travel by night, even from San Miguel to the next small town, if you can avoid it. (Traveling within San Miguel is safe any time, using normal caution)

Saying "Mexico is dangerous" reminds me of a conversation I had with 2 young ladies visiting a friend of mine when I lived in Florida. They were his cousins, and were coming from Ireland. This was during the 1980's.

We were all at my friends house, having dinner or something. At one point, I said I was going down to my boyfriends for the weekend. They asked where he lived, and when I said "Miami", there eyes went wide in shock. Later on I asked them where they lived in Ireland, and it was my turn to widen my eyes when they said "Belfast"

http://howsafeismexico.com/resources/mexicomap10.jpg
0 Replies
 
chai2
 
  1  
Reply Thu 26 Jul, 2018 12:09 am
@oralloy,
oralloy wrote:

Is there a good resource for someone who is quite unfamiliar with Mexico to learn which areas are safe?

Right now I am excluding Mexico from my 2024 eclipse plans so I don't end up in a mass grave. But if I had some way of planning a safe trip I would gladly start considering locations in Mexico.


I sure as **** wouldn't go there for that eclipse. The path goes right through the state of Durango, which is dangerous.
oralloy
 
  -1  
Reply Thu 26 Jul, 2018 12:43 am
@chai2,
Thanks. I guess I'm sticking to Texas.
0 Replies
 
 

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