By ZACH ROSENBERG
One day after a shootout closed the U.S.-Mexico border crossing at San Ysidro, two days after Mexican troops raided a house and discovered $5 million in bribes organized into “police” and “press,” less than a week after grenades and assault rifles were used to attack a drug rehabilitation clinic in Ciudad Juarez (only the latest in a series), comes the latest Mexico report from the Pew Global Attitudes Project. The report is full of interesting statistics, including that a full third of Mexicans would move to the U.S. given the means, and that half again of those would do so illegally. That means Americans could expect roughly 18 million more potential illegal immigrants from Mexico alone, and keep in mind that Mexico has fared relatively well during the economic crisis. Though a reporter from Germany’s Der Spiegel wrote a short but fascinating profile, it’s only the latest illustration doesn’t contain much that those following Mexico don’t already know.
As critics point out, the violence is largely an American problem — the guns are smuggled from the U.S., where they’re easy to obtain, and bought using proceeds from American drug users — but many Americans are either unaware or simply don’t care. Drug traffic and violence are oft-discussed in the abstract, but so long as they are both remain contained among certain areas and demographics, the general public is happy enough to stay away from specifics.
In the meantime, people are seriously discussing the possibility of Mexico as a failed state. While jumping to that conclusion seems a bit hasty, stories from northern Mexico almost make Colombia sound like a pretty nice place to be.
(Photo: Flickr user Manoso)