Dispatches from Mexico

Photo via twitter

Photo via twitter

Nov. 30, 2014 (San Diego) Things seemed to have calmed down in Mexico. There were 11 students arrested Nov. 20. The District judge in Xalapa, Veracruz has ordered the 11 students arrested Nov. 20 in Mexico City released.

According to Milenio the order to release the students finds no evidence to detain them. There is no basis for the charges. There was also an arrest and quick release of another student at the National University, which this student said was an attempt to frighten students from demonstrations.

Moreover, the conflict between the Government and the students at the National Polytechnic continues. Part of it is the nature of the degrees the school wants to issue from now on. For Engineering students they want to make a four year degree into a technical school degree.

Meanwhile the leaders of the Partido de Accion Nacional, (PAN) who held the presidency until two years ago, have said that the country needs a change. This is a right wing party that is pushing for more transparency and internal security.

President Enrique Pena Nieto also is now adopting a plan first proposed under President Felipe Calderon. This plan will get rid of the 1800 local police forces and create 32 state police forces, one each for each state.

The objective of this is to create a police force that is better trained, better paid and harder to infiltrate by organized crime. The reforms, according to ABC Spain, include things like a national personal identification number, as well as the ability of the federal government to take over local city halls, when there are signs that they are infiltrated by organized crime.

This is an effort to prevent the country from going down the path to disorder and internal conflict. It is also an acknowledgement that there are two Mexicos, one is tied to the international markets and is an advanced nation. The other is rural, and still stuck in the past. It is also poor and has a lack of basic things like even access to an electrical grid.

ANALYSIS

The country continues to go down a path toward internal violence and dissension. The economy has slowed down, and Mexico is part of the Trans Pacific Partnership. This treaty will require Mexico to at least have an illusion of internal order.

The disappearance of the students at Ayotzinapa has brought to the fore the incredible levels of internal violence in the countryside. Whether we like it or not, the country is in a low level Civil War. The kinds of reforms proposed by the president on the surface seem like a good idea. Having single police forces per state, with the equivalent of a 911 number for the whole nation is good. Having a national ID, and giving more power to law enforcement might not be such a good idea.

Another one of the reforms will allow the federal government to take over local towns with the mere suspicion of collusion with the cartels. This is almost an echo of the 1880s when the Policias Rurales had a lot of power under the Porfiriato, and exercised it in dramatic ways.

Mario Vargas Llosa, a Peruvian writer, once referred to the Partido Revolucionario Institucional (PRI) as “the perfect dictatorship.” One has to wonder what he would say these days.

Twitter: @nadinbrzezinski

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Categories: analysis, Dispatches from Mexico, Mexico

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