41 Comments
Sep 21, 2023Liked by Ioan Grillo

I believe a Christian revival among the youth of Mexico would dry up the cartel’s recruitment real quick. Only God can do that though. I’m going to begin to pray for it to happen.

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Having been in Mexico to see family recently, it struck me that corruption has only gotten worse. I think that if the elite continues to let the rot undermine institutions, it is unlikely that drug war violence can be stopped. How can Mexicans generate employment on a mass scale when the system is so rigged, from schools to the highest levels of government? How can society provide a meaningful economic alternative to the glory of joining cartels?

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Sep 22, 2023Liked by Ioan Grillo

Asian gangs, specifically the ones in China, are somehow still able to operate with digital currency and a police state.

That’s like asking to use a sledgehammer to drill a hole. It will not fix the problem.

The problem lies in the web of connections to the cartels, and wiping them out would mean removing a very lucrative business for many people in both the public and private sector.

The cartels may be neutered, but will never be removed. There is a reason they have so many employees. Business is booming

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It is an international problem. The US inner cities are rife with very young, pistol weilding gangsters. The favelas of Brazil and the tribal wars of Africa all recruit the very young to kill.

The difference between Mexico and the rest is the enormity of cash that flows from the drug trade. As much as I distrust central banks and the move toward a cashless society, I do think that if Mexico had only digital currency, it may over a period of a few years crush the income from the drug trade. Hence reducing the murder rate amongst the very young in Mexico.

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Sep 21, 2023Liked by Ioan Grillo

It's sobering to see that the cartels have more "employees" than Pemex; but also revealing that they have less than Manpower, which to my last knowledge was a temporary-employment agency for low-status, low-wage factory and warehouse jobs. If Manpower is that massive a player in the employment sector, it's a bad sign for working class folks.

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Oct 4, 2023Liked by Ioan Grillo

No social worker, no math model which are notorious for being totally out of touch with reality, no spiritual revival by any religious organization, group or communes all of which have been severely tainted with ties to the CIA, sexual deviate activity with children and plain old corruption by money will every put a dent into cartel recruitment. The Taliban is a perfect example of trying to ban drug cultivation and failed because of the enormous economic potential of drug money. With their recent ban, cracks are appearing that distribution of opium poppies is on the increase and I am sure you can smell the CIA around this situation. Also the Shining Path from Peru were extreme almost to the point of being ascetic Maoists succumbed to the allure and profit of cocaine.

Because of the allure of the United States offering a chance to escape the clutches of the cartels and the economic opportunities publicized by information given to people in Mexico through the tourism offices, Mexico's future for economic development is stunted severely. Over 50 billion dollars a year is being sent back to Mexico from the US, a large of amount of money when you consider how low the pay is for illegal aliens in the US. The US has threatened to tax this money or they could do what Japan did to battle deflation and ban all money being sent out of the country. Mexico can confiscate all wire payments from the US but there certainly has to be hard line supervision to prevent corruption. It is rumored that Bukele has been involved in threatening to confiscate wire transfers from El Salvadoreans in the US but with the promise that El Salvador is safe and we can offer you jobs, confiscated homes and safety that they do not have in the United States. The money drain and hard work has to be brought back to Mexico. A revival of real Mexican nationalism can start with this direction.

At the same time there must be a Bukele style of attack by Mexico against the financial systems of Mexico and the United States and their collusion in laundering drug profits not only from Mexico but from around the world. Bank records must be seized in swift, stealth like operations. The internet could be disrupted to prevent any attempts to evade this operations(This is what China does). Any discrepancies, bank managers should immediately be jailed and threatened if information is not divulged. You could even suspend the validity of all cash currency and you can only replace it with new currency offered making all previous cash worthless if you do not replace it. This style of attack was attempted with some success in Tijuana secretly by Julian Leyzaola Perez to find out possible locations of businesses laundering cash for the cartels in Tijuana and Juarez. Duterte in the Philippines went a step further and his police and troops shot those who refused to provide information and also habitual drug users. Bukele's operations against MS-13 and Barrio 18th Street gangs were a synthesis of the tactics used by Perez and Duterte with some new wrinkles.

The math does support the idea, which I know they did not want to show, that their is a need for very strong actions which I think that this group would be appalled by. But the corruption and the tentacles that the cartels are strangling the country with I think will involve the direct action, equivalent to an axe cutting these tentacles in half, that can only offer a chance for Mexico's and it's children's future.

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It has changed a lot in one year of MORENA government. You should perhaps come do some interviews with the new governor and ride along with the new Guardia Estatal.

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Not far from Reynosa

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"A gentler kinder machine gun hand" ?

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It saddens me that Mexicos youth are being slaughtered. They are eliminating the future of of this country. I have always been in favor of massive economic investment by the US into Mexico. I know many in the US would scoff at such notion but if we helped prop up former enemies(Germany and Japan for example) with great results, turning them into robust economies and geopolitical allies i dont see why we would not benefit even more by investing in Mexico.

Mexico has great potential to be a developed economy. One that could help us absorb the strain of migrants from poorer nations in the America’s and elsewhere for example. We have an opportunity to help create a great ally and partner. I see small glimpses of hope in the movement of US investment from China to Mexico. But we have a lot more work to do.

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Hi Ioan, just a quick question for you. What type of impact might social workers have on kids like Juanito today? Is the Mexican government funding community or youth outreach programs?

In El Narco (pg 288-289 in my version) you referred to the number of positive outcomes social workers could have but that Mexico simply did not have enough social workers to make a significant difference. That was 2011 though. I don't know how much things have changed in 12 years.

All the best from Minnesota,

David

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Presidente Bukele spilled the beans this week at the UN, telling the FIRST thing he did to transform El Salvador from the armpit of Latin America to its safest tourist destination. He did not believe getting ahead of criminal enterprise was a numbers game. Incarceration was certainly part of his push, as was eliminating corruption in law enforcement. When he opened his new prison, the tattooed residents sat silent, packed on the floor of the central ward. Showing those who terrorized the nation in this helpless state, Bukele observed that they were not so scary without the politicians that protected them. In Mexico, AMLO did not move against cartels until he had purged the military and rebuilt morale. He disbanded the "polinegros" (federal police) entirely, and built the National Guard from scratch. In Tamaulipas State, a cartel stronghold, the new governor from AMLO's MORENA party did the same, beginning less than one year ago. The previous Governor Cabeza de Vaca was notoriously corrupt and is today the most wanted criminal in all of Mexico. Allegedly, he kept the cartels from fighting each other and personally headed the drug smuggling, human trafficking, and petroleum thievery statewide. Known as "huachicolero", theft of fuel from PEMEX pipelines is an enormous and profitable racket. It doubly harms the nation because this resource is publicly owned and funds programs from education to garbage collection. Cabeza de Vaca is credibly accused of hampering education funding from Mexico City as well, ensuring that schoolchildren lack pencils and books. The computers that the central government sent funds for never arrived. A ten-year-old boy in my village came home from school bragging one day about his girlfriend. When asked why he felt he should have a girlfriend at his age, he answered that his lady teacher had a boyfriend. In reality, her's was a sexual liaison with the parent of a student with lascivious acts taking place on school grounds and in view of some students. The governor had transformed the public system of education into a tool to further imprison the poor villagers. A kid out there needs to be taught to obey his parents, not get a girl pregnant, learn to read, and prepare for higher education. He should prepare for his military service, which is compulsory (although enforcement of this is also lax). In all likelihood, the kid himself is born out of wedlock, very often conceived from kidnapping or rape. He somehow has to develop hope to break the cycle, and that hope is deliberately destroyed when he has corrupt police and teachers as role models and criminals in his own family. In the absence of a noble father, the great hope for a positive role model is his Christian pastor. In my village, the bad guys came and shot their pastor dead. Pretty hopeless, but it can be turned around, and this is how Bukele said he did it. "First, we made certain we were on the side of God and had the will of the people," he declared in Spanish at the United Nations conference in New York. You see, before he hired a new cop or fired a bad one, before he cuffed the first criminal or built a jail, El Salvador repented as a nation before God on the day of Bukele's inauguration. They asked for the help of God, and by all indications have gotten it, working a miracle in their nation.

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