I find it more than a little appalling that U.S. is spending billions in its efforts to “liberate” the Middle East and Afghanistan while doing little to address the failed state that is Mexico. In fact, we’re making it worse . . .
We’re transferring tens of millions of dollars in small arms and military equipment to our neighbors to the south. And I’m not talking about the piss-ant number of straw purchases that head south, used as an excuse to promote civilian disarmament.
I’m talking about U.S. sanctioned arms sales.
When we last checked-in two years ago, Mexico had purchased some $2b worth of U.S. military equipment from the U.S. That doesn’t include the arms and support equipment (including Black Hawk helicopters) funded by U.S. taxpayers.
The Washington Post dutifully reported that the spending “shows Mexico’s aggressive push to modernize its military in the face of powerful drug cartel adversaries.”
Adversaries? Only in the sense that any cartel that doesn’t pay off the Mexican government — local, state and federal — is an adversary. And the general population when it gets in the way.
The Post only parenthetically mentioned this downside:
Researcher John Lindsay-Poland wrote for the North American Congress on Latin America (NACLA) that the “massive militarization” is “bad news for the many Mexicans devastated by the abuses of police and soldiers.”
The only people not getting U.S. guns, ammo and support equipment are the Mexican people, banned from owning firearms not purchased (and approved) by the country’s ONE government-run gun store. A store that views the right of armed self-defense as a threat to the status quo, and acts accordingly.
The result of this one-sided arms trade is entirely predictable: Mexico’s disarmed populace are being extorted, raped, tortured and murdered. By the cartels, the police and the military. Brutalized in their tens of thousands. Every year. For decades.
How bad is it? I invite you to click over to borderlandbeat.com, a website that somehow manages to chronicle the suffering of Mexican men, women and children. Like this (with the accompanying picture at the top of this post):
During the funeral of Cristian Peralta Rendón, there wasn’t just crying, there was also anger, despair, rage and calls for justice to the government on the part of their relatives and friends.
They boy was 14 years old and was studying his second year of secondary school in Chilapa, where gunmen kidnapped him on Saturday, March 4 and on Monday, March 6, he was found seriously wounded in a neighborhood east of Chilpancingo next to the corpse of another boy.
Cristian only had on a pair of boxers and had a bullet in the head. He was transferred alive to the hospital Raymundo Abarca Alarcón where he died Wednesday morning.
After midday on Thursday, Cristian’s body was transferred from his home on Calle 8 Sur de Chilapa to the cemetery where his relatives, friends, and neighbors buried him.
Mexico’s suffering is buried in the news, whereas we get daily dispatches from the Middle East. In an ideal world, the Trump Administration would use its power to lobby for a restoration of Mexicans’ gun rights. In the real world, U.S. – Mexico trade trumps human rights.
Meanwhile, the civilian militia — autodefensas — do what they can to protect the people from the cartels, police and military. As long as the Mexican and American governments ignore their plight, the effort is doomed.