Sunday, March 12, 2023

Everywhere You Look U.S. Foreigner Policy Infested By Name-Stealers....,

theatlantic |   “In the past two years, democracies have become stronger, not weaker. Autocracies have grown weaker, not stronger.” So President Joe Biden declared in his 2023 State of the Union address. His proud words fall short of the truth in at least one place. Unfortunately, that place is right next door: Mexico.

Mexico’s erratic and authoritarian president, Andrés Manuel López Obrador, is scheming to end the country’s quarter-century commitment to multiparty liberal democracy. He is subverting the institutions that have upheld Mexico’s democratic achievement—above all, the country’s admired and independent elections system. On López Obrador’s present trajectory, the Mexican federal elections scheduled for the summer of 2024 may be less than free and far from fair.

Mexico is already bloodied by disorder and violence. The country records more than 30,000 homicides a year, which is about triple the murder rate of the United States. Of those homicides, only about 2 percent are effectively prosecuted, according to a recent report from the Brookings Institution (in the U.S., roughly half of all murder cases are solved).

Americans talk a lot about “the border,” as if to wall themselves off from events on the other side. But Mexico and the United States are joined by geography and demography. People, products, and capital flow back and forth on a huge scale, in ways both legal and clandestine. Mexico exports car and machine parts at prices that keep North American manufacturing competitive. It also sends over people who build American homes, grow American food, and drive American trucks. America, in turn, exports farm products, finished goods, technology, and entertainment.

Each country also shares its troubles with the other. Drugs flow north because Americans buy them. Guns flow south because Americans sell them. If López Obrador succeeds in manipulating the next elections in his party’s favor, he will do more damage to the legitimacy of the Mexican government and open even more space for criminal cartels to assert their power.

We are already getting glimpses of what such a future might look like. Days before President Biden and Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau arrived in Mexico City for a trilateral summit with López Obrador in early January, cartel criminals assaulted the Culiacán airport, one of the 10 largest in Mexico. They opened fire on military and civilian planes, some still in the air. Bullets pierced a civilian plane, wounding a passenger. The criminals also attacked targets in the city of Culiacán, the capital of the state of Sinaloa.

By the end of the day, a total of 10 soldiers were dead, along with 19 suspected cartel members. Another 52 police and soldiers were wounded, as were an undetermined number of civilians.

The violence was sparked when, earlier in the day, Mexican troops had arrested one of Mexico’s most-wanted men, Ovidio Guzmán López, the son of the notorious cartel boss known as “El Chapo.” The criminals apparently hoped that by shutting down the airport, they could prevent the authorities from flying Guzmán López out of the state—and ultimately causing him to face a U.S. arrest warrant.

The criminals failed. But the point is: They dared to try. If the Mexican state decays further, the criminals will dare more.

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