Lately, I can not help but understand why many people in the world would no longer think of Mexico as a place to drink tequila while enjoying a "siesta" by the beach. Being myself a Mexican student, is easy to see why, for more than just a handful of people out there, my country closely resembles a Clint Eastwood movie with cowboys shooting at each other from dusk till dawn, due to the lately uprising violence in Mexico. Yet it is only fair to give ourselves the chance to look closely into this social phenomenon in order to understand its rightful dimensions.
It has come to my attention that many students around here, both Finns and from the rest of the world, have asked themselves, more than once, if Mexico is in fact a "fallen State" as suggested by the media.
As you might already know, this belief comes from the escalated violence that Mexico has witnessed in the past few years, directly related to the drug cartels and organized crime network in the country. The picture that most people get from Mexico is that of a country that can no longer provide security to its citizens, and this is what drives them to believe that Mexico is a fallen State.
First of all, yes, the drug cartels are extremely powerful in many ways. Last year, Forbes magazine estimated that the fortune of the head of the Sinaloa Cartel, Joaquin "Chapo" Guzmán, was worth 1 billion dollars. And let us not forget the "legendary" man behind the Colombian "Medellin Cartel" during the 70's and 80's, the late Pablo Escobar, who once was considered to be the seventh richest man on earth.
You can tell that drugs make quite a bit of money, but it gets even better when you mix that with money laundering, smuggling firearms, kidnapping, prostitution, and extortion. These are the real organized crime networks, and this is why these organizations are so powerful. However, make no mistake, behind them there is a lot of blood, overwhelming poverty, social desperation, corruption to the fullest, and greed, lots and lots of greed. No, I am not talking only about Mexico here, but of all the places in the world where crime finds its way and obtain profits out of it.
After all, this is not a problem that concerns Mexico only, this is in fact an issue that has shown its ugly face in South America in the last decades, but that it has being sponsored all around the world by the billions of drug addicts and people that will still pay good money for any other illegal product or service. In other words, this is a problem that concerns us all, and in denying it we become part of the problem. So I ask you, who is falling, Mexico as a State or we as a global community?