Teaching Comparative Government and Politics

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Another aspect of danger to Mexico's regime

If drug gangs become part of the normal political process in Mexico, can the regime survive?

Mexico drug cartels buying public support

"The small houses of the Independencia neighborhood climb a hill that rises from the bone-dry Santa Catarina riverbed. Gang graffiti proliferate the higher you go, until they completely cover the cinder-block walls with slogans, threats and declarations...

"It is here that Mexico's biggest drug traffickers find an easy following of collaborators and pliable disciples.

"This is the traffickers' so-called social base: people loyal out of economics more than anything else, people who peddle the drugs and eagerly turn out when the traffickers want to mount street demonstrations against the government and the army...

"Those traffickers demonstrated their pull in this neighborhood last month when they paid residents to block Monterrey's major thoroughfares with hours-long demonstrations, day after day for two weeks...

"They go, Alanis said, because of the pay. It's a time-honored tradition in Mexico, where political parties, unions and other organizations reward people for showing up at rallies. There's even a word for it here, acarrear, which in Spanish means to transport but in Mexican slang adds the elements of payoffs and gifts..."

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