You may not be not aware of this, but the 3rd deadliest armed conflict in the world is currently taking place in Mexico. Only Syria and Afghanistan have a higher monthly death toll. Since 2006 the Mexican military and police forces, backed up by vigilante militias, have been waging war against drug cartels. To complicate matters further, the drug cartels also fight each other, and the security forces are also heavily infiltrated by the cartels.
It is reported that over 200,000 people have died since the war began, with a further 30,000 missing. Despite the large scale casualties, the mainstream media barely reports on the situation, for the simple reason that revealing the horrific violence in Mexico would prove Donald Trump’s policy of building a wall is correct.
The frequent massacres committed by all sides in the conflict are now so common place it is to be expected that they shall occur. The practise of kidnapping and decapitating people to strike fear into the population is also widespread, with political candidates, students and the family members of police officers usually targeted. Recently in the town of Ocampo, the town’s entire police force was arrested for obstructing an investigation into the murder of the local Mayor. He was just one of three politicians killed in the state of Michoacan that week. Since September, over 120 politicians have been assassinated in Mexico. If American voters knew the true scale of what was going on in Mexico, they would probably start building the border wall themselves.
The conflict in Mexico is fuelled by the cartels’ determination to dominate the US and Central American drug market. It is no coincidence that as the American population’s use of drugs has increased, the war has also increased in severity. Chicago’s drug market alone is worth an estimated $3 billion, with the world’s entire drug market worth over $300 billion.
On top of all this, Mexico is also waging a demographic war on the United States, with its castizo ruling elite urging the mestizo majority to the northern border. As the people flow north through the porous border, the drugs, cartels and crime go with them.
Last week, leftist candidate Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador won the Mexican presidential election. His victory leaves the country heading down an even more unstable path. His naïve catchphrase "Abrazos, no balazos" (hugs, not bullets) is a key component of his beliefs, which centre on the idea of ending the government’s war against drug cartels. It is very similar to former UK Prime Minister David Cameron’s "hug a hoodie" slogan, which aimed to tackle gang culture on council (public) housing estates.
Obrador has also proposed an amnesty for drug war criminals, and believes creating new jobs and economic prosperity will persuade the cartels to end their business. This is of course absurd, for the simple reason that cartels earn so much money from marijuana, cocaine, and methamphetamine that no achievable economic growth could come close to matching it.
The National Regeneration Movement, Obrador’s party, has also been seeking in recent times to forge connections with some right wing groups, in order to gain a wider mandate among the electorate. Its current coalition of radical leftists and evangelicals has provoked mockery and scepticism from many. How they will be able to get on in the next few years remains to be seen.
Clearly, the most contentious part of Obrador’s campaign was his assertion that Mexicans had a right to move to the United States. In fact he went even further, and said mass immigration from Mexico to the US was a human right:
"And soon, very soon – after the victory of our movement – we will defend all the migrants in the American continent and all the migrants in the world." He then went on to say that Mexicans: "must leave their towns and find a life in the United States." Some have speculated that a way of ending the drug war in Mexico would be to encourage a large proportion of the country’s mestizo population to leave. Obrador’s comments above sound rather in line with this idea, and if giving amnesty to the cartels doesn’t work, he may try this option; conquest by demographic shift is rarely advocated so openly; certainly not in Merkel's Europe.
There is thus the rather unfortunate chance that if Trump’s wall isn’t built, tens of thousands of extra migrants will be heading to the northern border. The drug war would simply relocate to the United States – the biggest single drug market in the world – and there are signs that this is already happening.
Texas was the first state to suffer the first stages of such events, with a 2015 Department of Public Safety report stating that cartels were now one of the state’s biggest threats. One notable problem in 2013 saw members of the Gulf cartel dress up as US law enforcement agents, before launching a series of home invasions in Las Milpas.
Even as far back as 2011, it was reported that Houston had as many as 10,000 gang members, with cartel members involved in brothels and massage parlours disguised as cafes. The American branch of the Los Zetas cartel is believed to be based in Houston, an organisation which is known for its severity, even by the standards of other cartels.
One particularly bizarre incident in 2014 shows how a drug war, which is unknown to many, can very quickly affect the economy of the United States. Because of cartel conflicts in the Mexican state of Michoacan, which involved gun battles and the hijacking of trucks, limes became scarce and very expensive in America. Restaurants ran out of supply during Cinco de Mayo, and alternative fruits had to be used.
This may seem like a small incident with little consequence, but when you consider just how big a trading partner Mexico is with the United States, and how much essential food crosses the border between the two countries, you can see why the spread of the drug war across to states like Texas will be so devastating if it is allowed to continue.
Like Egypt, Mexico’s economy heavily relies on tourism hotspots to generate income; hotspots which are cut off from the rest of the country and are heavily guarded by security forces. Indeed despite the violence, Mexico is actually the sixth most popular country in the world to visit. In recent years violence has begun to encroach and even enter these world renowned resorts, something which deeply concerns the country’s political class.
There is no threat as yet of Mexico collapsing into a situation as bad as Syria, the more likely outcome is something along the lines of the status quo, where the conflict continues indefinitely yet the government manages to keep somewhat of a lid on it to the best of its ability.