Mexico a failed state… not

There's been a lot of discussion in the traditional media and the blogosphere about Mexico becoming a failed state after a report by the US military on such eventuality.  Frankly, as gross as the news on the Mexican drug cartels are, I think it is an exaggeration for two simple reasons:

I'm not innocent enough to say that everything is going beautifully, but I have a thermometer that most people in the international media don't: family and friends living in the country.  I'm sure many of them would among be the first to start leaving if the situation becomes as untenable as these reports claim.  Otherwise I'll keep on hoping for the best and agreeing with opinions like this.

In the meantime, tourism seems to be more affected by the international credit crunch than by that kind of news items.  Fair, since most tourism attractions are very far away from where these sad events are taking place.  As a tourist, I'd be more afraid in Los Angeles or Chicago than Cancún or San Miguel de Allende.

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5 thoughts on “Mexico a failed state… not”

  1. Based on personal experience friends traveled to Mexico at least once or twice a year till the early 1990s. No more. Violence everywhere has gotten much worse since then. I believe the problem is more a corrupt culture than a failing state.

  2. @Lightfoot Letters: Thank you for your comment! There have been two peaks in violence in Mexico in the last 20 years: 1995-97 after the Mexican peso crash and the current situation after 2004 with the drug cartels. Corruption has been a problem for as long as I can remember, but the current situations stems simply from the drives to fight it, somewhat akin to stirring a nest of hornets.

  3. One of the things that amuses me greatly is when I talk about traveling to [insert name of place with a few troubles, like India or Israel or…] and then the listener says, "OMG, weren't you really worried about …"

    I always laugh and say, "Why?!? We live in Los Angeles! You are in more danger here at home than in Mumbai or Jerusalem." Then I go on to be a pain in the ass by stating the homicide statistics for just LA city vs. place of visiting for the last few years. I had this conversation this weekend talking about Mumbai and the person in question started to laugh when he thought about it, as he lives in East LA and thinks his neighborhood is nice and safe.

  4. p.s. I am glad the government is standing up to the cartels. I have heard some good stories on NPR and read them in the paper about the various law enforcement folk standing up to the cartels.

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