Mexico, te quiero!
EDITORIAL, 31 Oct 2011
#189 | Johan Galtung, 31 Oct 2011 - TRANSCEND Media Service
From Monterrey, DF, Puebla, Toluca
1958: My first time in Latin America, the first love, everlasting. And what is love? Sharing the joy of the Other, like the beauty of Mexico City, DF now with clear sky and good air. Suffering the suffering of the Other, like the direct violence (50-60 thousand killed the last 5 years: Mexico has 19 of the 50 most violent cities in the world) linked to the narco-tráfico linked to the structural violence of poverty for the lower half of the population (95 percent of the 10 million indigenous population), and the flagrant inequality. A social pathology, a cancer metastasizing in corruption and pacts in the body politic, police, the military.
Mexico, don’t despair; there are new winds blowing. From the north the cold air of arms, money and killing as the remedy. But the US empire is falling, and the USA itself is in bad shape. In fact, much of the West is de-developing, en via de subdesarrollo, but still an enormous, diverse source also for the good as #occupyeverywhere show. What a blessed geography; the major bi-oceanic country in Latin America! The winds are blowing from Asia: winds of hope, with a Japanese-Chinese model of how to overcome misery. The winds of the Arab Spring are blowing from the Middle East carrying whispers of an African Spring in a year or two. The winds are blowing from the South, from Latin American brothers and sisters, new winds, with the voices of the indigenous, of Mother Nature, of lifting the poor, of patient work for integration. The “Rest” is coming.
Close to the USA and far away from God? Not at all. Close to all corners of the world, close to many gods, of many kinds. With a blessed history filled with rich archetypes, blossoming universities, with ever more charming people, better educated, with so much functioning better than ever. México mi amor, open your soul to ‘with equity’, with all. Permit yourself some optimism.
Enters narco-tráfico. Dear upper half member, what would you have done if your family were dying of hunger and curable diseases but you didn’t have an extra peso? From the triángulo blanco down south to certain regions of México: produce drugs, distribute them in complex chains where drugs change hands against a commission, the higher the risk the higher the price, highest close to the border where gangs come to collect commission on the commissions before the drugs cross the border for final consumption, filling the spiritual voids of, say, 30 million US addicts. Well, at least part of the drugs. Hypothesis: more than half of the traders could be buying-and-selling drugs, not to buy dreams in the real economy of consumption, but for real money in the financial economy of buying and selling.
Higher up they do buying-and-selling of “troubled assets,” of “derivatives”. But the derivado-traficantes get off scot free, even bailed out by the state, the tax-payers. And they make more damage than their colleagues lower down in society. There is a difference though: the banks may run out of money in a “credit squeeze” whereas there seems to be no drug-squeeze. This matters because it limits what could be obtained by reducing consumption.
A deeply troubled México. Three aspects: social injustice, leading to drug production-distribution-consumption, leading to violence with criminal gangs-police-military infiltrating each other. They are related, but also autonomous. Use the army–since 1978!–to kill the violent ones, and the social injustice will produce new couriers, in body parts, in children, in women. Or put an end to drug use to consume something else that is illegal, incurs risks and hence incurs profits. Reduce social injustice and see the culture of violence wrap its articulations around something else. Kill the violent ones and see an increase in the culture of violence. Hence attend to all three aspects, doubly!, at the same time.
To reduce misery: lift the level of the poorest in the worst communities, in the Chinese way, with micro-companies to produce for basic needs, employing those most in need–financed by Carlos Slim?–;there is enough money in Mexico for a start! Fight narco and other traffics at the bottom by guaranteeing dignity for all.
To reduce speculation: keep a heavy control -shrinking the finance economy in favor of investment in the real economy- and fight derivado tráfico by making it illegal; but basically reduce inequality by lifting the bottom up, not by taking from the rich.
To reduce drug production and distribution: invite them to drop that and to participate in the gigantic social work for a better Mexico in return for amnesty or reduced punishment, have local police engage them one by one, negotiating individually, not with the group as a whole, impossible anyhow since there is no “whole”.
To reduce drug consumption: make soft drugs legal following the successful Portuguese model, supervise soft consumption and weaning of hard consumption like in the USA; there will be less addicts, less violence, fewer Al Capones. Fill the spiritual needs fulfilled by drugs for many by spiritual means.
To protect the civilian population against violence: call on the international community, the UN and the growing Latin American institutions for humanitarian intervention-assistance like peace-keeping troops in the most vulnerable communities, big and small.
To fight the narco-violence complex: call on the UN and the Latin American community to supervise and help cooperation among the countries most affected. Not only a Plan Colombia but all of them, including México-United States-Canada, MEXUSCAN, which must deposit their plans to get out of these social pathologies–with annual reports and strong feedbacks. Strengthen the UN capacity.
Do all six, and the future will be brighter, even bright. You owe it to yourself, to both halves of yourself. And to your friends.
This article originally appeared on Transcend Media Service (TMS) on 31 Oct 2011.
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