by David Simmonds
This isn’t going to be a popular opinion, especially coming from a coming-of-age-in-the-
Sixties idealist, but here it is.
Mexico has a huge and growing problem with these drug cartel turf wars. A friend of mine, someone who knows Latin America very well, wonders if Mexico is on the destructive path to mayhem that consumed Colombia three decades ago, effectively destroying what tourist business they had at the time, not to mention the heart and soul of the country.
Mexico’s president, Calderon, has declared war on the drug lords, and I’m not sure that this is a war that can be won. The bad guys may be better armed and they seem to have little desire or incentive to back down from the fight. There are several boatloads of money at stake and greed and power are rarely negotiated. This is extremely ugly and bound to get worse.
So far the tourist trade has not been greatly affected by the gun battles and the occasional stray head found in a paper bag. But it could come to that as a show of force, and ultimately, a bargaining chip. And in my mind that’s how this problem is finally going to get solved…making a deal.
The feds are going to have to choose one of the two powerful cartels and start negotiations. They tell the drug boss “okay, you guys run your operation, and we’ll help shut down your competition. Just make sure the drugs are flowing to the U.S., not to our cities and our kids. And quit scaring the crap out of everyone so that our tourism business is not in jeopardy”.
You see, that’s how problems are often solved in the real world. Accommodations are made to achieve a goal. It’s not always moral, or even desirable, but it has been going on since recorded history. There really aren’t many guys with white hats on…they mostly wear gray.