"... this mood isn’t just about the banks, Public Enemy No. 1. What the Great Recession has crystallized is a larger syndrome that Obama tapped into during the campaign. It’s the sinking sensation that the American game is rigged — that, as the president typically put it a month after his inauguration, the system is in hock (empeñar) to “the interests of powerful lobbyists or the wealthiest few” who have “run Washington far too long.” He promised to smite them.
No president can do that alone, let alone in six months. To make Obama’s goal more quixotic, the ailment that he diagnosed is far bigger than Washington and often beyond politics’ domain. What disturbs Americans of all ideological persuasions is the fear that almost everything, not just government, is fixed or manipulated by some powerful hidden hand, from commercial transactions as trivial as the sales of prime concert tickets to cultural forces as pervasive as the news media."Change a few of the referents in this description, and Rich's words perfectly capture the current mood in Mexico! "It's a sinking sensation that the MEXICAN game is rigged....the system is in hock to 'the interests of the SELF-SERVING POLITICIANS, TELEVISA, and CARTEL MONEY LAUNDERERS' who have 'run MEXICO far too long". And just as Frank Rich can provide specific examples of how this plays out in the United States, it does not take much effort to generate a long list of examples detailing the influence peddling, abuse of power, and outright corruption in Mexico. The Mexican middle class and the average 'José and Josefina' ARE disillusioned, mistrustful, cynical and know with certainty that a mean trick has been played on them once again; the shared jubilation following the election of Vicente Fox in 2000 has long disappeared and people are returning to the PRI-machine and willing to accept a new version of the "most perfect form of dictatorship" as it was termed by Mario Vargas Llosa. Doug Saunders is the Globe and Mail correspondent in London, and his column is a brilliant analysis examining the "permanent male underclass" that has euphemistically been labeled as NEET (Not in Employment, Education or Training) in the bureaucratic language of British policy makers. Saunders acknowledges that Britain and the UK always had a version of an underclass, but he reflects on why it periodically re-surfaces as a public issue and social problem. The current situation, he argues, is the result of Thatcherite policies that 'successfully' dragged the UK into the modern world with a neo-conservative framework that rewarded those most-suited and willing to change. And the UK did adapt relatively quickly, but unfortunately left a residue of an entire sub-class with NO access to emerging opportunities and with no alternative employment options. They were simply abandoned when programs were cut and replaced. The current generation of NEETs are experiencing the same situation faced by their parents — no skill, no job, and without a strong social support and safety net. The result is an inter-generational inheritance of poverty and anomie — and a permanent firewall around the new routes for mobility. Saunder's column is highly recommended, and the following quotes represent just a few of his observations:
A government report released last month showed that social mobility has declined: If you are born in poverty, your chances of making it into the middle class are lower than they were a generation ago. The NEETs, then, are more apt to be trapped, their children doomed to the same fate.....
“What we have is a group of people who've essentially got disconnected from the mainstream, who are completely cut off from labour-market activity, and that's been true for their parents and their grandparents,” says David Coats of the Work Foundation, a respected labour-market think tank in London. “And that's the real challenge.”
... the NEET phenomenon does seem to produce a distinctly unhappy and alienated sort of person, who is unlikely to feel motivated to change his lot in life or offer encouraging lessons to his children. A study by the Prince's Trust, a youth-oriented charity, found that 27 per cent of NEETs feel that life is meaningless, compared with 14 per cent of other young people. It is, if nothing else, a revolution of anomie.The analysis offered by Saunders applies to Canada and to the United States, and could easily be extended to describe many of the reasons for the existence of a permanent underclasses of Aboriginal Canadians, Black and Latino Americans. But the broad terms of his analysis are especially applicable to Mexico and represent ideas that have never been applied systematically in looking at the root causes of narcoviolence in Mexico. The ideology of neo-conservativism and the NAFTA agreement came to dominate political and policy agenda at precisely the same time as "El Señor de los Cielos", the Sinaloa, Juaréz, Arellano-Felix, and Gulf cartels established their hegemony and became increasingly intermingled in global money markets. The major government patrón of free-trade ideology, Carlos Salinas de Gortari has never been exorcised from the Mexican political scene, and there is growing evidence that he still pulls strings. This week's version of Proceso (#1710) story has a photo of Salinas de Cortari on the cover and a feature story report entitled "El Padrino en Acción". As with Frank Rich's column, it's easy to extend Saunder's description of the English YOB phenomenon and offer a perfect description of what is happening to youth in Mexico —in many cases without even substituting terms or words;
If you are born in poverty, your chances of making it into the middle class are lower than they were a generation ago. The NEETs, then, are more apt to be trapped, their children doomed to the same fate.....“What we have is a group of people who've essentially got disconnected from the mainstream, who are completely cut off from labour-market activity, and that's been true for their parents and their grandparents...produce a distinctly unhappy and alienated sort of person, who is unlikely to feel motivated to change his lot in life or offer encouraging lessons to his children.If anything, these words apply ten-fold to Mexico. Saunders refers directly to Mexico in his article when he writes comparatively about the hooligan/yob/NEET underclass:
They are known, in the deadening language of British bureaucracy, as NEETs – Not in Employment, Education or Training. Government figures say 16.6 per cent of Britons aged 18 to 24 are NEETs, a figure exceeded in the West only by Turkey, Mexico, Italy and Greece.Any national differences between the three North American partners will be much larger than Saunder's article suggests: for example, the median age of a Canadian citizen is about 38 compared to a median age in Mexico below 26. Mexico is a country of young people, an extremely high proportion of whom have no jobs, have severe educational limitations as a result of the chronic government failure to support high school education and corruption in the Teachers Syndicates, and most of whom have recently have been blocked by the economic downturn from pursuing "opportunities" such as the "mojado" patterns offered to their parents. What choice do they have? Who are they? They are the casualties of drug wars! They're the drug-users in Mexico City and the Federal District, and they're the cannon-fodder in the waves of violence waged by "sicarios"! They are corpses hung from bridges and the headless bodies tossed on the roadsides and as warnings to competing cartels and to government troops— or perhaps just to demonstrate their viciousness! They're also the rural recruits making up the troops assigned to fight others who come from the same circumstances as they do. They are the ones left behind in the flawed economy managed by a government that is not respected, and they live according to a refran that daily lives are best thought of as "Mejor diez años como un güey que cincuenta como un büey"! Certainly, these global trends affecting all three countries — and Mexico more than the others— are worthy of discussion by the three amigos during their meetings in Guadalajara — the "silicon valley" of Mexico and one of the centres of the new economy and future.
"La presencia de los representantes de los cárteles de México en la ciudad de Atlanta es consecuencia, en parte, de la transformación y modernización de su infraestructura, que la convirtieron en uno de los centros de desarrollo más importantes del país", indica el reporte de la DEA elaborado por Benson, y agrega: "Lamentablemente, su ubicación geográfica y su infraestructura de comunicaciones tecnológicas y del transporte aéreo y terrestre fue aprovechada por los cárteles de México, que ahora la utilizan como su satélite más importante para la distribución de droga en Estados Unidos".
De acuerdo con los registros de más de una veintena de investigaciones llevadas a cabo por agencias federales, estatales y por policías locales que fueron consultadas por Proceso, los operadores y sicarios de los cárteles del Golfo y de Sinaloa se hallan establecidos principalmente en los condados de Gwinnett y North Fulton, a tan sólo 32 kilómetros de Atlanta.
En Gwinnett, por ejemplo, la población hispana en 1990 era de 8 mil 470 habitantes; pero en 2000 aumentó a 63 mil 727, de acuerdo con los registros más recientes del Buró Nacional de la Oficina del Censo.
"Para 2010 se espera que la población hispana en el condado de Gwinnett sea de unas 700 mil personas", prevé ese organismo, el cual estima que entre 70 y 85% de estas personas serán nacidas en México o de origen mexicano. Algunos de ellas, según la DEA, terminarán trabajando para organizaciones criminales mexicanas.
"Los cárteles del narcotráfico de México son una amenaza directa a la seguridad nacional de Estados Unidos y estamos obligados a hacer algo lo antes posible para contener su presencia y la expansión de sus redes de operación en nuestro país", comenta a Proceso vía correo electrónico el senador por el estado de Illinois, Richard Durbin, quien es el legislador demócrata de más alto rango en la Cámara Alta, después de Harry Reid, líder de la mayoría.
"No hay duda de que Atlanta es en este momento un punto clave para las operaciones de los narcotraficantes mexicanos; por eso estamos apoyando con todo lo necesario a las agencias federales y a las autoridades locales para que desmantelen las redes de esos criminales", asegura Durbin."[Proceso.com.mx - Titulares] La red europea del crimen organizado Un supuesto operador financiero del líder minero Napoleón Gómez Urrutia fue extraditado a España, donde será juzgado como pieza clave de una red de los cárteles de Sinaloa y del Norte del Valle para introducir y distribuir droga en Europa. La policía española s [Proceso.com.mx - Titulares] ****