Today I have to bring some attention to a very interesting interactive posting on the website of The Guardian. It gives some well-deserved space to different people suffering in different ways the impact of organized crime in Mexico — and by the government’s poorly thought out and executed attempts to reign in the murderous mayhem.
Do their statements help us better understand the nature of what seems like an inexplicable and obscure phenomenon? To a certain extent, they do, I think because they illustrate both the immensity of the business — the vast sums of money, the ability to buy off major power brokers — and the picayune, quotidian aspect. And by that, I mean, the gangs of small-timers linked to bigger cartels or acting independently, carrying out kidnappings and extortions, and of course, retailing drugs.
Who are not, to my knowledge ever investigated, are the legitimate companies involved in the cartels’ support network. Edgardo Buscaglia talked about it when I was working on an article in THIS magazine last year but for which there wasn’t space.
“The main link between political corruption and organized crime goes through legal businesses in Mexico,” he told me. “They provide the logistical structure for (it) to operate. Some provide the transportation infrastructure for organized crime to move weapons, people and drugs, and storage infrastructure. They provide the distribution infrastructure, so drugs from here can reach Canada. Or people — they provide the production infrastructure.”
Today, another legal expert I interviewed for that article, John Mills Ackerman, has an interesting Op Ed piece in The Daily Beast. As he says in the piece, “There are no signs that organized crime actually has been weakened since the present Mexican president came to power in 2006. To the contrary, the cultivation and use of drugs in Mexico has risen dramatically, organized crime groups now have more firepower than ever before, money is freely laundered in the country and the impunity rate has reached an historic high, with, at most, 5 percent of all crimes receiving punishment.”
The situation is so out-of -control that, guess who is now seeking to move to Mexico? Muammar Gaddafi’s son, Saadi. Having escaped trial and punishment for his various crimes in Libya, it looks like he thinks he will be right at home in Mexico.