Jun 4, 2011

Drug War vs. Mexican Economics: Can Mexico Shed Image as Ground Zero in Narco Wars?

Can Mexico Shed Image as Ground Zero in Narco Wars? - IPS ipsnews.net: "Last year, the online branding company East-West Communications ranked Mexico 191st out of 200 countries on its Brand Perception Index, which is generated by analysing buzzwords in the international media's quarterly and annual coverage of a certain country.

Addressing a gathering of policy heads at the Woodrow Wilson Center for International Scholars in Washington earlier this week, Robert Newell, chief executive officer of the Mexican Institute of Competitiveness (IMCO), claimed that such a perception of Mexico has become ruinous to the country's position in the global marketplace and must be rectified immediately. ...

... policy experts like Newell believe that Mexico - which has a lower homicide rate per 100,000 than its neighbour Brazil and a higher life expectancy rate than any of the powerful BRIC (Brazil, India, China, Russia) countries - should be given the chance to "rebrand" itself and escape the trap of being labeled a battleground rather than an investment haven.

No sound ground for rebranding

Less than two months ago, vast swathes of the Mexican state and independent media banded together to promote just such a rebranding initiative by signing a voluntary 10- point accord to regulate their coverage of the drug wars. ...

Laura Carlsen, director of the Americas Program at the Center for International Policy (CIP) based in Mexico City, told IPS, 'Those who signed the pact agreed to muzzle themselves for the sake of this 'rebranding' and this is ridiculous.'

'Any honest press will report the news as it plays out on the ground and in the streets and any honest government will not attempt to prevent this,' she added.

According to Carlsen, efforts to rebrand Mexico through success stories of sound economic performance will likely fail, primarily because isolated statistics of development do not sufficiently present the bigger picture."

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