By Silvio Canto Jr. | Monday, November 27th, 2006 at 11:17 am
Will Mexicans say TGIF?
In Texas, we say TGIF, or “Thank God it’s Friday”. Will Mexicans say TGIF next Friday? Mexico has been waiting for this Friday since July 2nd.
Over the weekend, I checked out an old book.
Caspar Weinberger (Pres. Reagan’s Sec of Defense) wrote The Next War in 1997. It speculated about potential war scenarios for the US military.
It included the usual references to Iraq, Iran, the Middle East, North Korea, China and Russia. Yet, Sec. Weinberger included a chapter on Mexico.
Unfortunately, many of Sec. Weinberger’s assumptions look rather real today. See this piece on StrategyPage — The Border War and Its Costs:
“The border wars, between rival drug gangs, has not only caused a business slowdown all along the border, but news of the situation has hurt tourism. Foreign visitors have declined five percent so far this year, compared to last year. It’s not just the gunfire, scary looking criminals and rumors about all this, it’s also the government response. Lots more police and soldiers on patrol, some carrying automatic weapons. For tourists, this is reassuring and scary at the same time. And the drop in tourist traffic has cost the Mexican economy some $200 million so far this year. The gang wars in northern Mexico have killed over 600 so far this year. The murder rate in many border towns is 2-3 times what it is in New York City, and kidnapping is a growing criminal activity.”
Mark in Mexico has the latest from Oaxaca…..and it’s not pretty.
Don’t get me wrong. I want Calderon to succeed. We want a prosperous neighbor.
At the same time, things don’t look pretty in Mexico!
Then there is AndrÃ©s Manuel LÃ³pez Obrador aka AMLO. It’s true that most Mexicans do not like what AMLO is doing. AMLO is a jerk but he is a persistent jerk. As far as I can see, AMLO has the stomach, and troops, to go the distance. He is not going away, regardless of what Mexicans may think of him.
AMLO’s strategy is simple: Make life miserable for Calderon. AMLO knows that he won’t be president of Mexico. At the same time, AMLO knows that his movement can create the kind of political and economic chaos that causes capital flight or personal safety issues (kidnappings).
Question: Does Calderon have the stomach to confront AMLO? We don’t know. The answer to that question will tell us a lot about Mexican politics in the future.
In the meantime, Friday is here. Will Mexicans say TGIF?
For a little historical perspective, see this article, What’s at Stake In Mexico City, by Enrique Krause.
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Tags: AMLO, Calderon, CANTO'S CORNER, Mexico