By: Lisa Coleman
It’s daily now. The “drug wars” drag on in Mexico…and the press has a field day. Those of us on the other side of the battle keep writing and keep pushing and keep telling the good story. Because there IS a good story. We rage against the scare tactics and beg our readers to look deeper, to read more, to study and know their geography. We ask travelers to take the time to learn about the culture and the beauty… to embrace the “good story.” We hope people read our blogs and articles and somehow understand that what happens in Juarez won’t affect their vacation in Cancun, or that one murder of one foreigner in a large city hardly constitutes a week’s worth of headline news. Yet, the narrow views of the average “tourist” force us to overstate statistics again and again.
So we stand together as writers and bloggers in our crusade to help Mexico, but the question is, can Mexico change? A new president will be voted into office next year and most likely some of the Mexican people might think this is THE change they have needed. Some might believe this will magically diminish the drug violence or that some truce will somehow be reached with the cartels. But change is tricky, so I’m guessing it won’t be that easy.
Billions of dollars in cartel money is now a part of the Mexican economy. It’s a massive problem that touches all aspects of Mexican society. From rich to poor, no one is immune. So what’s the answer? From what I have read, it would seem the burden of change is going to fall squarely on the shoulders of Mexico’s society as a whole. Maybe if the elite can commit to fight organized crime along with those on the streets, perhaps there can be a shift. The establishment could hold the key. If they unite for the cause, maybe there is a way to level the playing field. The cartels now outnumber the police (estimated at just over 400,000 in 2010), but the population of Mexico City alone is over 20 million. There is indeed strength in numbers, and I have to believe Mexico can stand together and win this war… and… one day there can be real change.
Disclosure: I am being compensated for my work in creating and managing content as a Community Manager for the México Today Program. All stories, opinions and passion for all things México shared here are completely my own. Mexico Today is a joint public and private sector initiative designed to help promote Mexico as a global business partner and an unrivaled tourist destination.