The report published in the past few days* by the U.S. Department of State, under the leadership of Secretary of State Antony Blinken, has caused a big uproar. Among other things, the report more or less states that in a large part of Mexico, various drug-trafficking cartels have gained control over the Mexican authorities and are imposing their own law. It also says that throughout the country there are daily involuntary disappearances, kidnappings and murders, and that a general atmosphere of terror and insecurity is being imposed on the residents and on a variety of large, medium and small businesses. These businesses are being forced to pay “rent” to be allowed to operate in such important cities as Matamoros in the state of Tamaulipas; León, in Guanajuato and in a variety of cities in states including Michoacán, Guerrero, Veracruz, Quintana Roo, Chihuahua, Sonora, Jalisco, Zacatecas and the state of México, just to mention the most important. In practically half the Mexican states, insecurity and criminal activities, including homicides, massacres, executions, robberies, arson attacks on homes and businesses, assassinations of authorities and other atrocities, as seen on the news every day, constitute a sad reality. And the worst thing is that we can no longer be shocked at such a level of barbarity and at the inability of our authorities to confront, detain and punish the hundreds of criminals who enjoy total impunity.
The main obligation of any democratic state is to guarantee the safety of its citizens. The rule of law must be upheld by the state at all times for the peace of mind and peaceful coexistence of the citizens of any civilized nation. It is clear that this higher mission of the state is not being fulfilled in Mexico, as the majority of Mexicans could confirm.
The U.S. government is being asked why it is using its reports, which are undeniably well-documented, to intervene in the internal affairs of foreign countries. But what is not mentioned is that the majority of developing countries such as Mexico receive millions of dollars from the U.S. in support for various social programs. That is why the State Department is analyzing the situation in those countries — to see to what extent the aid is being appropriately distributed, attaching sufficient importance to issues of greater impact on the development of the countries that are receiving aid.
I don’t think that our officials’ tearing their garments and acting offended in the face of undeniable realities will be enough. On the contrary, the criticism should be seen as an incentive for collaboration with our northern neighbor in confronting the existing criminality. By combining the efforts of the two governments on the basis of negotiated agreements, it would be easier to stop the wave of violence that is destroying us as a society and a nation. It wouldn’t violate our sovereignty because those who are really harming it are the big drug-trafficking cartels that have taken over huge areas of the country. This affects millions of citizens whose only alternative, in many cases, is to flee the country to protect their lives. It’s that simple.
*Editor’s Note: The report was published on March 20, 2023.