Mass Poverty or Drug Violence…What is Worse?

David Simmonds

President Calderon, in a speech at the National Palace presented at his one-year-in-office-address, declared that “The biggest threat to Mexico’s future is lack of public safety and organized crime“. Citing 15,000 arrests of drug dealers and a couple of huge drug confiscations as proof of the success of Mexico’s version of a war on drugs, Calderon has vowed to eradicate a brutal industry that has reportedly killed over 2,000 people this year (in a country of over 100 million), as the drug cartels battle one another for turf and supremacy. This is obviously a problem…but the major concern of the average Mexican?

Admittedly, I’m just a long-time interested pinche gringo observer with a marginal IQ and a keyboard, but I submit that Mexico’s major problem is in transforming a dysfunctional economic system that endured 71 years of heavy-handed corruption, where the majority of its citizens continue to survive on less than $5.00 per day, into a country of equality, promise and individual hope for a better life.

Mexico is a country blessed with enormous resources and hard-working people, most of whom are not directly affected by the drug cartels who stay in business funneling their product to a hungry band of coke-snorting and weed-inhaling Americans. But many of them do face a day-to-day struggle of survival, sending their young and strong across the northern border to earn subsistence money for the loved ones back home. This permanent band-aid policy is bad business for both countries and needs to be addressed as a top priority. If it is ignored, Calderon’s decreasing popularity will continue downward. The people know the score…they always do.

One thought on “Mass Poverty or Drug Violence…What is Worse?”

  1. I think you are asking the wrong question. It is not either or… they go together. A country with serious violence and security problems is not an attractive place to create high paying jobs, and so more poverty is created. It is a spiral down.

    While resolving the poverty problem will require many ingredients like high quality education, equal opportunities, transparent governments, etc. solving the povery problem will also require fighting drug related violence.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *