Teaching Comparative Government and Politics

Thursday, January 29, 2009

Threats to the Mexican state?

How would your students evaluate the state of the Mexican state?

Calderon seeks to dispel talk of 'failing state'

"Stark assessments of the threat that drug crime poses to Mexico's stability have put the government of President Felipe Calderon on the defensive...

"Rising violence, spurred in part by Calderon's 2-year-old offensive against drug traffickers, has prompted some officials and analysts in the United States to warn that Mexico faces a risk of collapse within several years...

"Mexican officials and most analysts here scoff at depictions of Mexico as a failed or failing state. They say it bears little resemblance to basket cases such as Somalia, Haiti or Sudan, with their weak central governments, sectarian blood-letting or fleeing populace...

"Few deny that lawlessness prevails in cities such as Ciudad Juarez and Tijuana, and that corruption has chewed deep into law enforcement agencies and the courts. Still, many analysts say, the government's basic authority remains intact in most of the country, and the daily violence is nothing like that of a civil war...

"Denials by Mexican officials, however vehement, probably won't be enough to stanch the grave assessments as long as the nation shakes with violence.

"'They're pushing back, but I think the evidence is on the other side,' said George W. Grayson, a Mexico scholar who teaches at the College of William & Mary in Williamsburg, Va. 'You've got more cartels, in more diverse activities. They're in more states. They're killing more people. They're kidnapping more people and getting more attention for the savagery of their acts.'..."

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