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Home About Us Equipo Sur South-North Encuentro Mexico - 2010 Encuentro Country Updates
Mexico - 2010 Encuentro Country Updates PDF Print E-mail

2010 Encuentro Country Updates


Observatorio Latinoamericano de Geopolítica de la UNAM

Mexico has advanced in recent years towards the implementation of an aggressive security agenda and Mexican society seems to be moving increasingly towards authoritarianism. One facet of this trend is the militarization of the country, although the theme of "common crime" also plays a role, with the approval of judicial reforms that restrict individual and collective freedoms. While it is true that for years the U.S. has pushed the issue of drug trafficking as a central element of the security agenda for countries in the region, now there are other elements that have combined to give Mexico prominent position in regard to the proliferation of violence, which is largely caused by actions of the Armed Forces. The turning point in which militarization was unleashed in Mexico, was the election of Mexico Felipe Calderón Hinojosa as president. After a fraudulent process, his only, though failed, legitimation of usurped power has been the generation of a situation of conflict in much of the country. The launch of the war against drug trafficking and organized crime was presented in an indulgent manner, ignoring the ways in which it would cause the death of thousands of people and widespread violence. Nevertheless, government propaganda constantly reiterates that the state's presence, and especially their need to be present, is made clear by the capture of thousands of people linked to drug trafficking and organized crime. The government policy has involved the implementation of a state of emergency in several states, where distinctions between the various forces of repression have been dissolved. In what is one of the most violent periods in modern Mexican history (only considering data for the period December 2006-March 2010) the death toll exceeds that of other contexts of war (Iraq, Palestine), with more than 22,000 deaths. Although government makes figures public post mortem, it is estimated that a high proportion of these victims were children (900), which demonstrates the arbitrariness of the violence that has been installed in the country and the helplessness with which a large part of the population lives.

Human rights violations are manifested in a variety of ways, from setting up roadblocks in various parts of the country, to the disappearance of dozens of people, to the murder and harassment of journalists, to increasingly recurrent episodes where the army openly murders "civilians." Despite some of these measures receiving support from people at the beginning of Calderon's presidential term, the felonies committed by troops in various parts of the country, and furthermore, the slaughter of innocent people left in the crossfire between drug cartels and the military, seem to have brought about a decline in popularity for the authoritarian measures. So it is that judicial reforms and the state of emergency in which we live are advances in authoritarianism, against which society must fight.


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