It’s a bit of a sensational headline – failed state. It’s designed to get people to tune into the story and debate the state of affairs in another country (or even in that particular country.)
The arguments that Mexico is becoming a failed state are many, but in reality what seems to be happening is the people trying to keep their hold on illegal activities are fighting harder. It’s a situation fraught with sacrifice, death, and some anger, but it seems Mexico will likely emerge stronger because of its recent troubles, not weaker.
That’s if the cartels can be out-gunned and out manned
From a financial standpoint, oil exports are continuing to drop slowly; but that’s a situation likely to happen in any country. New drilling techniques will provide different opportunities, and new technologies will come along that the country will take advantage of to continue to grow. Today’s Mexico is a stronger one than what came before and the future appears bright from an economic standpoint.
The concerns about the drug wars are well founded. However, they never would have come about had Mexico decided to root out corruption and fight to prevent the cartels from ruling the country. Would it have been more beneficial for them to allow the drug cartels to simply exist and have their way in all areas of Mexico? No, and the drug cartels are putting up a fight for survival. That is why the war has become so violent – the cartels are becoming more desperate. As their desperation continues, they will find less support among the communities to continue unopposed. When corruption and drug trade are on the ropes, that’s a good thing.
A bigger concern is that there will never be a stop to the demand for drugs – and America is the biggest customer. As long as there are huge profits to be made from drug trafficking, there will always be criminals interested in that huge payday. If by some miracle drug demand went away, would the criminal element disappear from Mexico? No, those with a penchant for violence against others will still exercise their sick tendencies, but they’ll have less capital to protect them and ultimately will not be able to escape the law.
The demand for drugs rages on
But there is still a demand for drugs, and there are some troubling signs within Mexico that there are some battles that are being lost in this war against drugs. The mass graves discovered not once, but twice in the state of Tamaulipas show that not all is well in this area the size of the Czech Republic within Mexico. Accusations of a loss of police and local government control abound. How can hundreds be murdered for not cooperating with the drug cartels and no one within local law enforcement know of it until someone stumbled upon the poorly buried graves?
Sierre Madre and other lawless badlands in Mexico
In Northern Mexico, there is an area known as Sierra Madre that is far away from the large metropolitan areas. This area and other rural locations are veritable lawless badlands. Criminals rule the area by force and residents defend themselves with guns since they know there is little law enforcement available or willing to come to their aid. Much of this “frontier” land borders the U.S. Short of invading it, there isn’t much the U.S. can do to stop the lawlessness in these areas.
Given the tight control the Mexican government has over its metropolitan areas and the nearly absent control over its rural regions, the more valid argument may be that Mexico will become a partially failed state. And if Mexico can’t control the rural areas, and the U.S. can’t come into to police them, they will remain havens for criminals.