Sunday, January 2, 2011

Mexico's drug/war lords and the suffering farmers


Image from  Behind Mexico's Bloodshed Part 1&2

Some argue the North American Free Trade Agreement has played a part in the current bloodshed in Mexico by driving farmers off the land and fundamentally shifting the economy into the drug trade to the US. While some politicians in Mexico argue that the majority of those who've died were engaged in the drug trade, more and more evidence is appearing that ordinary citizens are being brutalised, tortured, and killed by both drug lords and the Mexican military sent to tackle the problem.

Molly Molloy in 'Who Is Behind the 25,000 Deaths In Mexico?' The Nation July 23 2010

" “armed commandos” dressed like soldiers and wielding high-powered machine guns are witnessed at the scenes of hundreds of massacres documented since 2008." 

Bruce Livesey in Behind Mexico's Bloodshed says:

"While free trade wiped out Mexico's traditional agriculture, the drug cartels moved in."

Laura Carlsen in 'The Mexican Farmers' Movement: Exposing the Myths of Free Trade'
International Forum on Globalization February 25, 2003

"The reemergent Mexican farmers' movement reflects not only the serious crisis in the country's rural sector but also a crisis of faith in free trade itself"

Scott Henson, writer of the Texan criminal justice system blog 'Grits for Breakfast' argues in his post 'Stop Digging: US policies enriching Mexican drug cartels' that a range of US policies including NAFTA and US agricultural subsidies have:

"combined to enrich Mexican cartels unimaginably, even financing military-grade weapons purchases, most of which is smuggled in from the United States"

Food is something we have to do as humans. When contrived arrangements cause the production of food to diminish and dependent populations are pressurised, those desperate for a market will go to violent extremes. 

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