Friday, January 1, 2010

Mexico's plight.

In a thoroughly disturbing article about the sorry state of Mexico, Phillip Caputo writes, "I have just been in Juárez and am relieved to not be going back to that industrialized border city—utterly charmless in the best of times, and these are far from the best of times. Juárez’s main product now is the corpse. Last year, drug-related violence there claimed more than 1,600 lives, and the toll for the first nine months of this year soared beyond 1,800, and mounts daily. That makes Juárez, population 1.5 million, the most violent city in the world. Two lines of graffiti summed up a place where not only law and order but civilization itself has broken down: Mi ciudad pide clemencia en su dementia (“My city asks for mercy in its madness”), and Mi ciudad es un negro lamento un aullido infinito (“My city is a black lament, an eternal howl”)." Bleak.

Given that the United States shares over one-thousand miles of border with Mexico, a long mutually linked history, a series of important trade relationships, and has absorbed tens of millions of Mexicans, both legal and illegal, looking for hope, opportunity, and redemption, you'd think that this story would have some serious traction and be getting the attention of national policy makers across the board. I would be shocked if this story doesn't become part of the national dialog in the next several months. There's too much at stake for this story to dither on the vines of neglect.

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