Denise Dresser recently a talk on what is wrong with Mexico. Everyday life in Mexico is extremely dangerous. Parents never know if the phone is going to ring, and if they are going to be told that one of their children has been caught in the fire of a drug cartel. Perhaps their child will be kidnapped to make a statement, especially if the parents are well known. Corrupt members of the police force help to strengthen the power of the drug cartel.
The vast majority of crimes are never reported (or punished) because people are so afraid of the corrupt police. The police are so underpaid that it encourages corruption. Human rights abuses increase as a result. The economy in Mexico is controlled by only a few companies and the government. 20 million Mexicans live on less than 20 dollars a day.
Opposition parties have no incentive to collaborate with the government because the elections are not real. This means that there is no system of checks and balances in the Mexican government. There is too much power, therefore, concentrated in the Presidency.
The powerful remain powerful because incentives are offered to maintain the status quo. The elite is more interested in hanging onto their power than helping the people improve their lives. Of course, this can be said for perhaps every country in the world.
There is no accountability because of the absence of the possible of political consequences.
This is all a shame because of Mexico’s great potential. Mexico has an abundance of natural resources. Families are strong because of Mexico’s culture. But strong families cannot effect significant reform if power is held in an oligopoly, where only a few members of an elite control the land.
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