Mexico: 50,000 Dead, but Democracy Survives
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  • Jim.

    Question: if the cartels militarized, what choice did Calderon have but to militarize his response to them? It’s a pity he didn’t call in the US military to help.

    (To those who believe that legalization of drugs would have been anything other than a total victory for the cartels… you’re delusional.)

  • Again, Mexico has a homicide rate of 18 per 100,000. That is quite normal for Latin America. (Chile is the only country in Latin America that has homicide rates which would be unremarkable in Europe). Columbia and some of the Central American republics have severely elevated homicide rates (60-80 per 100,000). Mexico, not so much.

    It is also unremarkable that you have alternation in power between political parties. The PRI has always had a large constituency, PAN has never been a majority party, and Sr. Calderon was elected with only a narrow plurality. Small quanta of disaffection, such as are common in political life, would have been sufficient for the PAN to be replaced.

    “Could”? The country has not had any breaches of institutional continuity since 1920 and has had only two military coups since 1855 or thereabouts, the last in 1913. I do not think that is a money-making wager.

    Please recall that Mark Falcoff predicted twelve years ago that the country would descend into anarchy because the inauguration of a PAN government would completely recast an institutional architecture which had theretofore had a certain stability with the President of the Republic as head crime boss. One can make an awful fool of oneself prognosticating.

  • Corlyss

    “To those who believe that legalization of drugs would have been anything other than a total victory for the cartels… you’re delusional.”

    And you know this because . . . ?

  • Corlyss

    Isn’t this the classic democratic dilemma? Tryanny or Chaos? When there’s no government, how can that be a victory?

  • Jacksonian Libertarian

    1. Jim (To those who believe that legalization of drugs would have been anything other than a total victory for the cartels… you’re delusional.)

    It is you who is delusional, if the US legalized drugs, these gangs would have no income and would vanish overnight. The money for guns, corruption, and power would quickly dry up, and the politicians, police, and people would turn on the hated gangsters with a terrible vengeance.

  • Bart Hall (Kansas, USA)

    Mexico has an immense, insoluble problem bearing down on them rather rapidly: the collapse of its oil industry. Government-owned Pemex has provided about 40% of the federal government’s revenue, much of which has been spent to purchase social peace through assorted modest development projects across the heartland of the country.

    Cantarell, once the third-largest oil field in the world is collapsing. From 2.1 million barrels per day in 2004 its production is now a tenth of that. Federal government revenue is collapsing with Cantarell, and along with then the social peace program.

    It will not be pretty.

  • “There’s no doubt that our neighbors to the south have serious problems, some of which can be partially blamed on America’s terrible drug habits.”

    Just like Al Capone could be blamed on America’s terrible drinking habits.

  • cdavis

    Guys, it’s futile to argue with Mead about climate or drugs, because he’s more interested in maintaining his brand than resolving rational debate. If he really wanted to verify these claims, he would not consistently ignore (or avoid reading?) the research to their contrary.

    I, like many of my (and his) colleagues, find these disingenuous and/or ignorant displays puzzling given his otherwise thoughtful and well-researched posts.

    Whatever the motivation, he’ll pay for these short-term stunts with the currency of his legacy.

  • I submit that the likely response of the cartels to unbeatable competition in a legalized drug market would be an extension of their response to Calderon’s partially successful crackdown on their transportation activities: diversification into other forms of crime, notably Kidnap for Ransom and Extortion. Mexico is now the KRE capital of the world – far ahead of Colombia.

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