Friday, February 6, 2009

Canary in a Cage

Two weeks ago, I met and had dinner with a senior Mexican official in Tijuana. I've known this person for many years and he holds an influential position within the intelligence community within the Mexican government. We met to discuss the problems Mexico is facing in terms of narcotraffickers who have essentially taken over several states within Mexico, almost literally co-opting the government completely in those regions.

President Calderon is clearly aware of the problem. It's not what happened in Colombia where the politically driven FARC movement merged with narcotraffickers. In Mexico, the drug cartels have become the government.

He asked what I thought about what I have seen. I told him that I drove down Revolution Boulevard at 6pm on a Friday night (to get to the meeting) and all the businesses but two were closed and the only people out were Central Americans looking to cross the border. I said that I noticed that there were no prostitutes plying their trade and that I heard most of the whores left Tijuana. He confirmed that it's true. The prostitutes left because it's too dangerous.
I told him that in a mine, historically the miners carried a canary with them because the birds were more sensitive to the presence of poisonous gas than people were. In this case, the prostitutes of Tijuana are the canary in the mine. Maybe they know something.

Things in Mexico will continue to deteriorate. It's possible that I will be called in officially to consult on this problem. At the moment, I don't think the Mexicans are quite sure what to do because of the massive scope of the problem.


Opus #6 said...

You know what they say. You raise your head above the crowd and they start shooting at you. I imagine the Mexicans are scared to do anything personally, but they sure wish someone would do something about it.

WoFat said...

Perhaps a multi-lingual sigh might help this poor lass find work.

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