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Response to jtuck004 (Reply #2)

Fri Oct 31, 2014, 10:24 PM

8. NAFTA has been absolute hell for so many Mexican people who were destroyed altogether.

Our country started flooding Mexican markets with corn, beans, rice, etc. which were grown here, subsidized by US taxpayers, and dumped upon Mexico while simultaneously driving all the hordes of men and women who had been operating their own small farms for generations, going back into the remote past, in so many cases.

They simply could not stand up to the huge arrival of US subsidized crops replacing their own native products of their own hard work, on their ancestral lands.

This is something the corporate media has completely avoided mentioning altogether, and of course, stupid, brain dead people allergic to doing their own research never learned about at all, continuing to see, in their own unbelievably ignorant way, the US impact on the world has been that of a gentle giant, beloved by all. Uh, HUH.

Under Nafta, Mexico Suffered, and the United States Felt Its Pain
Laura Carlsen is the director of the Americas program at the Center for International Policy.

Nafta is limping toward its 20th anniversary with a beat-up image and a bad track record. Recent polls show that the majority of the U.S. people favors “leaving” or “renegotiating” the model trade agreement.

While much has been said about its impact on U.S. job loss and eroding labor conditions, some of the most severe impacts of Nafta have been felt south of the border.
Nafta has cut a path of destruction through Mexico. Since the agreement went into force in 1994, the country’s annual per capita growth flat-lined to an average of just 1.2 percent -- one of the lowest in the hemisphere. Its real wage has declined and unemployment is up.

As heavily subsidized U.S. corn and other staples poured into Mexico, producer prices dropped and small farmers found themselves unable to make a living. Some two million have been forced to leave their farms since Nafta. At the same time, consumer food prices rose, notably the cost of the omnipresent tortilla.

As a result, 20 million Mexicans live in “food poverty”. Twenty-five percent of the population does not have access to basic food and one-fifth of Mexican children suffer from malnutrition. Transnational industrial corridors in rural areas have contaminated rivers and sickened the population and typically, women bear the heaviest impact.

Not all of Mexico’s problems can be laid at Nafta’s doorstep. But many have a direct causal link. The agreement drastically restructured Mexico’s economy and closed off other development paths by prohibiting protective tariffs, support for strategic sectors and financial controls.

Nafta’s failure in Mexico has a direct impact on the United States. Although it has declined recently, jobless Mexicans migrated to the United States at an unprecedented rate of half a million a year after Nafta.


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Regarding the militarization of the Drug War, Calderon got his going in Mexico with a tremendous send-off from George W. Bush:

November 9, 2011
Whose Drug War?
By Steve Coll

In 2006, Mexico’s newly elected president, Felipe Calderón, declared war on his country’s drug cartels. He militarized and intensified a conflict that had been managed by his predecessors through an opaque strategy of accommodation, payoffs, assigned trafficking routes, and periodic takedowns of uncoöperative capos.

The “war” is going poorly. Mexico’s murder rate, which had fallen by fifty percent between 1992 and Calderón’s inauguration, has about tripled since then. A murky, multi-sided conflict has descended into one involving severed heads displayed on pikes, mass executions, disappearances, attacks on journalists, and urban shootouts among the cartels’ trained paramilitaries. About forty-five thousand Mexicans have died since Calderón called out the dogs. Many thousands of the victims are public servants—police, judges, mayors, and legislators—or civilians caught in crossfire. In the name of defending them, the country’s military has carried out horrifying atrocities, degrading the legitimacy of a state that was weak enough to begin with, as a Human Rights Watch report released this week documents.

For all this, the flow of marijuana, cocaine, heroin, and crystal meth into the United States—although hard to measure with any precision—has not been substantially reduced.

“Politicians are lost for language to even describe the conflict,” writes Ioan Grillo, an English-born journalist, in his new book, “El Narco: Inside Mexico’s Criminal Insurgency”:

Felipe Calderón dresses up in a military uniform and calls for no quarter on enemies who threaten the fatherland—then balks angrily at any notion Mexico is fighting an insurrection. The Obama administration is even more confused. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton assures people that Mexico is simply suffering from inner city crime like the United States in the eighties. Then she later says Mexico has an insurgency akin to Colombia’s…. Is it a “narco state”? Or a “captured state”? Or just in a right bloody state?

The Mexican public is understandably ambivalent; it wants violence reduced but not at the cost of empowering nihilist warlords. “Protesters march to condemn the abuses of soldiers; but they also protest how the government is failing to protect them from gangsters,” Grillo records. “Often these two points are protested in the same marches.”

Grillo’s book is terrific—full of vivid front-line reporting; diverse interviews; a sense of history; a touch of social science; clarifying statistics; and realistic reviews of what might be done to improve things, none of it easy. It is essential reading. (If you have not already, read, too, my New Yorker colleague William Finnegan’s great reporting from the front lines.)

America has established a role in Mexico’s drug conflict of a sort Graham Greene would recognize. We are deeply culpable, and yet have managed, so far, to insulate ourselves from the highest costs.

In 2010, the border metropolis of Ciudad Juárez had more than three thousand murders. El Paso, just across the Rio Grande, had five. Crack Texas policing and tighter border surveillance cannot explain the gap; informal cartel policy does. It is in the cartels’ interest to keep America’s drug users apathetic and Pentagon generals unprovoked. In Cancun, where hundreds of thousands of Americans alight annually as tourists and spring-breakers, the “war” is barely perceptible. What good is a terrified customer?

Relatively little American blood has been shed, but we supply guns and money to both sides. George W. Bush backed Calderón’s militarization with a $1.8 billion package of helicopters, police training, and intelligence coöperation. Obama has continued the program. Yet it is another American policy—our weak control of automatic weapons—that influences the war’s apocalyptic character more. The Bush Administration rolled back Clinton-era restrictions on high-powered rifles. States such as Arizona have loosened the sale of guns designed for war, not for hunting or self-defense. Between 2009 and April, 2010, more than sixty thousand firearms captured in Mexico were traced to U.S. gun stores, Grillo reports.


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Thank you for taking the time to point out the truth about this.

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Judi Lynn Oct 2014 OP
weissmam Oct 2014 #1
jtuck004 Oct 2014 #2
AnalystInParadise Oct 2014 #5
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jtuck004 Nov 2014 #11
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AnalystInParadise Nov 2014 #19
99th_Monkey Nov 2014 #21
LanternWaste Nov 2014 #26
amandabeech Nov 2014 #18
LineLineLineReply NAFTA has been absolute hell for so many Mexican people who were destroyed altogether.
Judi Lynn Oct 2014 #8
Comrade Grumpy Oct 2014 #3
Judi Lynn Nov 2014 #16
Judi Lynn Oct 2014 #4
Helen Borg Nov 2014 #9
hack89 Nov 2014 #24
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