A couple of fantastic pieces on Mexico in the Guardian recently, and certainly help to undermine the crass, simplistic view of the likes of Jim O’Neill and other MINTies. That said, as I have argued elsewhere, I don’t think decapitated torsos are unequivocally bad for business as they have allowed a constant pretext (taking over from the waning armed threat of Zapatismo) for the heavy militarisation of the Mexican state apparatus: not good for all business in a broad sense, granted, but certainly cementing the position of a particular part of Mexico’s capitalist class and its allies to the north.
The first piece is a brutally Bolano-esque roll-call of kidnappings, or rather ‘robberies’ as they are called, of young girls who are forced into working as prostitutes and often then end up in jail. Some have been lucky enough, as if one can use the word ‘lucky’ in this context without grimacing, to find some sort of shelter in convents. But this is clearly a deeply-rooted and widespread phenomenon and is happening with the implicit connivance of the state. It is an appalling, stomach-churning story.
The second piece takes as its starting point the recent arrest of Joaquin ‘El Chapo’ Guzman (with a nice illustration of the cross-border military-industrial complex in action). Ben Smith gives a devastating account of the history of collusion and control of the drug trade by the Mexican state and – particularly – the PRI.