NO ADVERTISING, GOVERNMENT OR CORPORATE FUNDING

  • Latest News
  • Pitch a Story
  • Work with a Journalist
  • Join the Blog Squad
  • Afghanistan
  • Africa
  • Asia
  • Baltimore
  • Canada
  • Egypt
  • Europe
  • Latin America
  • Middle East
  • Russia
  • Economy
  • Environment
  • Health Care
  • Military
  • Occupy
  • Organize This
  • Reality Asserts Itself
  • US Politics
  • Free trade and Mexico's drug war


    Miguel Tinker-Salas: Collapse of traditional economy created the space for the cartels to grow -   May 3, 2009
    Members don't see ads. If you are a member, and you're seeing this appeal, click here

    Audio

    Share to Facebook Share to Twitter




    Thank you, The Real News does an excellent job - FedupwithR
    Log in and tell us why you support TRNN

    Bio

    Miguel Tinker-Salas is a professor of History and Latin American studies at Pomona College in Claremont, California. He is co-author of Venezuela: Hugo Chavez and the Decline of an Exceptional Democracy and author of Under the Shadow of the Eagles and The Enduring Legacy: Oil, Culture, and Society in Venezuela. His latest book is Venezuela: What Everyone Needs to Know.

    Precis

    In April, US President Barack Obama visited Mexico where he announced that the US needed to take some responsibility for Mexico's ongoing Drug War. He also declared his support for a continuation and strengthening of free trade policies between the two countries. According to Miguel Tinker-Salas, it is the North American Free Trade Agreement, and the massive economic transition it precipitated, that has created such fertile ground for the drug economy. The result is that the Mexican government finds itself facing a decreasing level of control over entire regions of the country as the cartels provide the services that the central government no longer does.

    Transcript

    Free trade and Mexico's drug warFree trade and Mexico's drug war

    Producer: Jesse Freeston

    JESSE FREESTON, TRNN: On Friday, Mexican President Felipe Calderón announced a five-day shutdown of all nonessential services in the country, with the goal of stemming the spread of the swine flu virus. Add while they swine flu outbreak has certainly struck fear into much of Mexico in recent weeks, it is the increasingly violent drug conflict that has been terrorizing much of the country for years. US-owned industrial pig farms, which set up shop in Mexico after the implementation of the North American Free Trade Agreement in 1994, are being fingered by many as the origin of the flu virus. Likewise, NAFTA has been identified as a central factor in the development of the drug war.

    MIGUEL TINKER-SALAS, LATIN AMERICAN STUDIES, POMONA COLLEGE: When Mexico begins the process of integration economically with the US in terms of NAFTA, it also begins to abandon its national project. There are those who say that this is the second death of Mexican nationalism in the context of NAFTA. Mexico changes its discourse, changes its policy, its state-to-state relationship with its population. The state largely becomes now simply a manager of wealth, of trying to attract finance capital. It abandons, essentially, its nation-state project. In abandoning that position, it abandons its social policy, its social program; it deemphasizes education. Even the proponents of NAFTA realize, underscore, admitted that Mexico would go through a very difficult transition period. What they argued was that this transition period would eventually lead to growth and development after a short period of crisis, but the reality is that that crisis has been permanent. Mexican authorities—in fact, the government policy towards the rural areas has been to a largely abandon those areas. And that abandonment comes on the fact that they no longer can subsidize, no longer can support, no longer can aid many of these rural areas. And as a result, particularly since now corn is being imported from the US and other agricultural products are being imported from the US, we see the fact that cattle production, sheep production, pork production, at least from the traditional economy, corn production, has been in fact pushed aside by imported products and imported goods, except in those areas where you have actually corporate farms, like the ones in Veracruz and others that have been associated with the more recent swine flu. So the reality is that as that agricultural, agrarian economy collapses, that opens up a space for the narcotraffickers, because, after all, narcotrafficking benefits from poverty, from inequality, from the fact that people have no other option, from the fact people have no other source of income. Also, small businesses in Mexico, small ma and pa stores, are unable to compete with the new economy, with the large megastores that were coming into Mexico and competing. So there's a dislocation of traditional economic sectors that creates spaces, then, for narcotrafficking, lucrative spaces where narcotrafficking becomes an alternative for youth who can't find employment, for people who even are trained who can't find employment.

    FREESTON: Despite the apparent failure of the neoliberal economic vision that NAFTA embodies, Mexican President Calderón and US President Barack Obama have committed themselves to facilitating further such integration.

    ~~~

    BARACK OBAMA, US PRESIDENT: Mexico is one of our largest trading partners. The amount of commerce that flows back and forth creates wealth in Mexico and it creates wealth in the United States. I have said repeatedly that I'm in favor of free trade. But I can tell you that President Calderón and I are entirely on the same page in believing that we can create greater opportunities for trade and strengthen our commercial relationships between our two countries.

    ~~~

    FELIPE CALDERÓN, MEXICAN PRESIDENT (VOICEOVER TRANSLATION): We must protect trade. And the best way of doing so is to allow it to flow naturally with no restrictions in order to protect free trade. I agree with President Obama: we have to go further, we have to go beyond in order to improve trade between both our countries. We do not want to restrict it.

    ~~~

    FREESTON: This continued emphasis on free trade may play right into the hand of the drug cartels.

    TINKER-SALAS: And you have competition, then, between the traditional state and, increasingly, these drug organizations that assume not only the position of illicit drug traffickers, but also increasingly become in some ways social organization, reaching out to the populace, reaching out to the population, and begin to compete, becoming what some have described [as] a state within a state. They have weapons; they have the capacity to military inflict damage on the state. They begin to fulfill social functions, doing celebrations for Day of the Child, day of the—Mother's Day, other such activities.

    FREESTON: Here's an example of a children's day event unabashedly sponsored by Gulf cartel leader Osiel Cárdenas Guillen from a home in his US prison. This practice isn't new. Here is an invitation to 2006's Children's Day party. At that time Osiel was occupying a Mexican prison cell.

    TINKER-SALAS: They become social heroes, social Robin Hoods. Despite their death and destruction that they're causing on the population, they assume an important position.

    FREESTON: It is believed that over 10,000 people have been killed in the last two years in violent conflict between the cartels and the state authorities, or amongst the cartels themselves.

    TINKER-SALAS: Drug cartels in Mexico are in Michoacán; they're in Sinaloa; they're in Baja California; they're in Sierra Juárez; they are in the Tamaulipas area; they're in the Golfo area. So there's this tremendous potential for violence throughout Mexico. What it means is that they have acquired weaponry. Some of that weaponry has come from the US. Some of it has been weaponry that was left behind by the US in Central America as a result of the wars in Central America. Some of it has been as a result of the fact that 100,000 Mexican soldiers have defected in the last five years—and they take the weapons with them. So they have become very powerful organizations that can inflict violence. They can organize in a very structured fashion. And in many municipalities, in many districts that are poor, that have been ravaged by immigration, that have been ravaged by poverty, where the state has abandoned, literally, a policy in the countryside, we see at least 300 municipalities that Mexican news sources point to as being controlled directly or indirectly by narcotraficantes. It goes to such an extent that one of these druglords, Chapo Guzmán, from the Sinaloa cartel, is supposed to have staged his wedding in the state of Durango, in which he lands in a plane with his own soldiers, with a priest in tow, with municipal authorities from the PAN in tow, stages a wedding and is able to celebrate for several days before he leaves on his honeymoon. That's the extent to which there's been a space created by the narcotraffickers. Part of that is popular lore, but part of that is also reality in terms of what the state has collapsed in those areas [sic].

    DISCLAIMER:

    Please note that TRNN transcripts are typed from a recording of the program; The Real News Network cannot guarantee their complete accuracy.


    Comments

    Our automatic spam filter blocks comments with multiple links and multiple users using the same IP address. Please make thoughtful comments with minimal links using only one user name. If you think your comment has been mistakenly removed please email us at contact@therealnews.com

    Comments


    Latest Stories


    Israel Uses Refugees as "Currency" in Arms Trade with Africa
    South African Platinum Miner's Struggle Challenges ANC Leadership
    TRNN Original Report: Manning Determined to Fight Back After Army Upholds 35- Year Sentence
    Hundredth Anniversary of the Ludlow Massacre
    Important Revelations In New Leaks of CIA Torture Report
    The Bundy Ranch Standoff Demonstrates Values Shared by Corporations and the Far Right
    The Resegregation of American Schools
    The Modern History of Venezuela, Why Still So Much Crime? - Edgardo Lander on Reality Asserts Itself (7/9)
    What Role Has Russia Played in Eastern Ukraine?
    Can Johns Hopkins Afford to Pay A Living Wage? (2/2)
    University Sit-In Targets World's Largest Private Coal Company
    The Modern History of Venezuela and the Need for a Post-Oil Economy - Edgardo Lander on RAI (6/9)
    Can Johns Hopkins Afford to Pay A Living Wage? (1/2)
    One Percent of Environmentalists Killings Lead to Convictions
    Investigation Finds Former Ukraine President Not Responsible For Sniper Attack on Protestors
    The Modern History of Venezuela from 1973 to the Caracazo Massacre - Edgardo Lander on Reality Asserts Itself (3/9)
    Ukraine Transitional Gov't Moves Militarily To Reclaim Seized Buildings
    IPCC Report Flawed By Narrow Focus on Carbon Emissions
    The Modern History of Venezuela: The Bolivarian Revolution - Edgardo Lander on Reality Asserts Itself (5/9)
    Obama Signs Directives to Reduce the Gender Wage Gap
    Eastern Ukraine Lacks Political Representation in Kiev
    Demystifying the Role of Mitigation in the Most Recent IPCC Report
    Hypersurveillance State Won't Prevent Another Boston Marathon Bombing
    The Modern History of Venezuela from 1973 to the Caracazo Massacre - Edgardo Lander on Reality Asserts Itself (3/9)
    Univ. of Maine Faculty Reinstated After Students Protest Against Cuts
    The Modern History of Venezuela from 1908 to 1973 - Edgardo Lander on Reality Asserts Itself (2/9)
    IMF Will Address Global Inequality, Says Managing Director Christine Lagarde
    Raising Big Banks' Leverage Ratio Good, But Not Nearly Enough
    TRNN Replay: Austerity Road to 19th Century
    Has Palestinian Maneuvering Revived Peace Talks?
    Late Jackson Mayor Lumumba's Son Wins Primary to Replace His Father, Runoff Election Ahead
    Quebecers Reject PQ and Elect a Liberal Government Representing Big Business
    TRNN Debate: Decriminalization vs. Legalization
    The Beginning of the Chavez Era - Edgardo Lander on Reality Asserts Itself (4/9)
    "Off With His Head": Court Upholds Obama's Power to Kill
    Workers at Nation's Top Hospital Strike For Fair Wages
    From Exile to Radicalization in Venezuela - Edgardo Lander on Reality Asserts Itself (1/9)
    Rwanda 20 Years Later: Genocide, Western Plunder of Congo, and President Kagame
    Ukrainian Protesters in the East Demand More Autonomy From Kiev Government
    Hunger Strikers Demand President Obama Halt His Record 2 Million Deportations
    Indian Parliamentary Elections - A Primer With Vijay Prashad
    West Looks to Carve Up Ukraine & Privatize Industries Held by Kleptocrats
    Where Are Israeli-Palestinian Peace Negotiations Headed?
    The Multiple Kingdoms of Saudi Arabia (5/5)
    Do the Afghan Presidential Elections Signify Progress?
    Republican Presidential Hopefuls Pay Homage to Billionaire Casino Tycoon Sheldon Adelson
    Will Extremist Lieberman Become Israel's Next Prime Minister?
    Why do the Saudis Want the US to Attack Iran? (4/5)
    Immigrant Advocates and Families Tell President Obama 'Not One More'
    Elections, Pipelines, and Protests - The Canada Panel
    Chris Hedges on "Israel's War on American Universities"
    Baltimore Residents Decry Lack of Affordable Housing
    Yellen Talks the Talk But Will She Walk the Walk?
    Hopkins Hospital Workers Speak Out against "Poverty Wages"
    Will Venezuela's New Floating Exchange Rate Curb Inflation?
    The European Central Bank's War on Wages is Pushing Europe's Economy to the Brink
    Supreme Court Decision Opens Floodgates for More Campaign Cash
    Charles Keating, the Financier Behind the Savings and Loan Scandal, Dies at 90
    Saudi Arabia and the al-Qaeda Monster (3/5)
    Maryland Residents Voice Opposition to Natural Gas Fracking Export Facility
    Supreme Court Ruling Gives Wealthy Individuals More Influence Over Elections
    What are the Saudis Afraid Of? - Madawi Al-Rasheed (2/5)
    Baltimore's MICA Adjunct Professors Set to Vote on Unionization
    Boycott of Israel Moving to Next Level?
    Hypocrisy Dressed Up as "Realism" Justifies American Alliance with Saudi Dictatorship
    Immigration Reform in the Shadows of Cesar Chavez's Legacy
    Leaked Senate Report Shows Use of Torture As "Ineffective"
    UN Report Says Climate Change Will Threaten Food Production Worldwide
    The Hypocrisy of US Calling for Enforcement of International Law
    How the Ecuadorian Economy Grew in a Global Recession
    'Shadows of Liberty' Trailer
    Kristina Borjesson on Why CBS Shut Down Her investigation into Flight 800 (2/8)
    Glen Ford on Racism in the American Media (3/8)
    Paul Jay on What Drives Corporate Media and What Drive The Real News (4/8)
    Creating a New Media Paradigm After Citizens United (5/8)
    Should The Left Engage with the Mainstream Media? (6/8)
    What Is the Financial Backing For The Real News? (7/8)
    Standing up to Character Assassination (8/8)
    Oligarchs, Fascists and the People's Protest in Ukraine
    TRNN Debate: Is Obamacare In the Interest of Workers?
    Too-Big-To-Fail Advantage Remains Intact For Big Banks
    Obama and the Saudi Agenda
    TRNN Replay: Investigating the Saudi Government's 9/11 Connection and the Path to Disilliusionment - Sen. Graham on Reality Asserts Itself pt 1
    The Iraq War's Real Legacy
    Petitions with 100,000+ Signatures Call for Snowden's Passport to be Reinstated
    We Need to Harness People Power - Andy Shallal on Reality Asserts Itself (4/4)
    BC Pipeline Fight and Quebec Elections - The Canada Panel
    Jonathan Schell - 1943-2014: Board Member of TRNN on Why We Need The Real News
    Teachers on Strike from the UK to Argentina
    Connecticut Poised to Become First State with $10.10 Minimum Wage
    Oil Spill Threatens Wildlife and Local Economy
    DC School Test Scores Up, But Poor Black Kids Are Doing Worse - Andy Shallal on RAI (3/4)
    Obama's Proposal To End NSA Bulk Data Collection Won't Protect Privacy
    How Google, Apple & The Biggest Tech Companies Colluded to Fix Workers' Wages
    An American Should be One that Questions Their Government - Andy Shallal on RAI (2/4)
    What's Driving Putin & Obama's Posturing on Ukraine?
    Hundreds of Students & Faculty Occupy College Campus to Fight Cuts to Public Higher Ed
    Due Process 'Impossible' In Harsh Death Sentencing Of Over 500 Muslim Brotherhood Members
    Has Anglo-American Capitalism Run Out of Steam?
    Being the "Other" in America - Andy Shallal on Reality Asserts Itself (1/4)
    TRNN Debate: Should Baltimore 'Ban The Box'?
    How Fallujah Became the Iraqi Government's New Battleground
    Why I Decided to Blow the Whistle on the NSA
    NASA Climate Predictions Show Serious Threat To Humanity
    Professor Who Teaches Israel-Palestine Conflict Accuses College of Violating His Academic Freedom
    CIA and NSA Wrongdoing Requires Independent Investigation, Says Former Church Committee Staff
    Are Tuition Breaks Enough To Combat High Student Debt And Low Graduation Rates?
    Industries Across the U.S. Are Stealing Wages From Their Lowest Paid Workers
    Who In Ukraine Will Benefit From An IMF Bailout?
    NSA Recording All International Calls From U.S.
    Israel "Making Lives Miserable" for Africans, Hoping They 'Self-Deport' (2/2)
    BP Gets Green Light to Drill in Gulf, But Has Safety Improved?
    Residents Still Not Drinking Tap Water Two Months After West Virginia Spill (1/2)
    Libya's Descent Into Turmoil Three Years After NATO Intervention
    From Pipelines to Peladeau - Canadian Report
    Israel "Making Lives Miserable" for Africans, Hoping They 'Self-Deport' (1/2)
    Congressional Progressive Caucus Budget Strikes Back Against Austerity
    Libya Three Years Later - Chaos and Partition
    Why Was Gaddafi Overthrown?
    Should Ukraine and West Accept De Facto Crimea Joining Russia? (2/2)
    Tony Benn Saw Socialism as the Culmination of Democratization
    Why Didn't Bush/Cheney Attack Iran and Can Obama Make and Sell a Deal? - Gareth Porter on Reality Asserts Itself (3/3)
    After Late Mayor Lumumba is Laid to Rest, What's Next for Jackson, Mississippi? (2/2)
    Crimea Referendum: Self Determination or Big Power Manipulation? (1/2)
    Sen. Graham: President Must Side with Openness About CIA and 9/11
    Manufacturing a Narrative for War - Gareth Porter on Reality Asserts Itself (2/3)
    Protesters Hit the Streets of Brooklyn to Demand $15 Minimum Wage
    Hammer: 'Moral Bankruptcy' Behind Massive GM Recall
    White House Withholds Thousands of Documents from Senate CIA Probe
    I Grew Up Believing in Time Magazine's Version of America - Gareth Porter on RAI (1/3)
    Western European Banks Vulnerable to Ukrainian Sovereign Debt Crisis
    TRNN Debate: What's Driving Inflation in Venezuela? (2/2)
    CIA vs. Senate: Who Is Obama Protecting?
    Will Tipped Workers Get Excluded Again From Minimum Wage Hike?
    TRNN Debate: What's Driving Inflation in Venezuela? (1/2)
    After Late Mayor Lumumba is Laid to Rest, What's Next for Jackson, Mississippi?(1/2)
    TRNN Replay: A Look at Who's Poised to Become No.2 at the Fed
    How Right-Wing Nationalism Rose to Influence in Ukraine (2/2)
    Netanyahu Attacks Boycott As Campaign Enters New Phase
    Moving Towards a Police State - Michael Ratner on Reality Asserts Itself (7/7)
    Fighting Reagan's Secret, Illegal Wars - Michael Ratner on Reality Asserts Itself (6/7)
    Puerto Rican Independence Movement and Cuba Further Radicalized Me - Michael Ratner on RAI (5/7)
    The Butcher of Attica - Michael Ratner on Reality Asserts Itself (4/7)
    MLK and a Radicalizing Moment in American History - Michael Ratner on Reality Asserts Itself (3/7)

    RealNewsNetwork.com, Real News Network, Real News, Real News For Real People, IWT are trademarks and service marks of IWT.TV inc. "The Real News" is the flagship show of IWT and Real News Network.

    All original content on this site is copyright of The Real News Network.  Click here for more

    Problems with this site? Please let us know

    Linux VPS Hosting by Star Dot Hosting