Sep 12, 2011

Drug War - Collateral Damage: Mexico's challenges include government gridlock, drug cartels

The collateral damage is to the social fabric of Mexico, including its transition to more open, inclusive democratic processes.

The Herald Gazette: "NORTHPORT — Professor Allen Wells discussed major challenges facing Mexico at the monthly meeting of the Mid-Coast Forum on Foreign Relations on Sept. 7 at Point Lookout in Northport.

Two of those challenges — political gridlock and drug violence — are linked to a move to open democratic elections. Wells said drug traffickers and the former ruling political party had a 'working relationship' going back to World War II. He said there were patronage networks with drug cartels, like other parts of the economy.

'This arrangement limited violence against public officials and top traffickers and made sure judicial investigations never reached the upper ranks of the cartels,' Wells said. 'Mexico’s political opening, its transition to democracy in the 1980s and 1990s, disrupted these dynamics.' "

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