7 questions on “How to think about Mexico”
Roger Pardo-Maurer from Small Wars Journal published this piece called “7 Deadly Questions: How to Think about Mexico and Beyond” (beware link is a pdf). In it Maurer asks, well 7 questions, that he believes can help us understand Mexico’s situation and importance to the US (and I largely agree with him, except for his comments on the Merida Initiative). *He also alludes to the socialist Party of the Democratic Revolution (PRD) and how it could be a harbinger of future illiberalism in Mexico, but this looks to be off considering the predicted outcome of this weekend’s mid-term elections.
To start Maurer makes this point:
No U.S. Administration can afford to “ignore” Mexico or does; it is really our media (and think tanks) that ignore the region. The danger with such spotty attention is that it tends to fixate upon the latest spectacular crisis, at the expense of all else. If the net result of the current round of attention is a linear, monochromatic understanding of Mexico and the broader region, our media will have done us a grave historic disservice.
This statement can be carried over to all Latin American countries. It seems that news reporters and policy-makers in the US care more about Iran, Europe, Israel, Japan, etc then they do about our regional neighbors. But ignoring Latin America is done at our peril.
Back to Maurer’s 7 questions, they are:
- What will Mexico do when it runs out of water?
- What will Mexico do when it runs out of oil?
- Does Mexico have a viable strategy to remain competitive in global markets, particularly vis-à-vis China, India, Brazil, and other large emerging markets?
- How will Mexico manage the widening gap between its impoverished, youthful, and heavily-indigenous southern states and the rest of the country?
- Has Mexico really found the formula to satisfy the dignity and aspirations of its indigenous peoples?
- How will Mexico support its rapidly aging population?
- If “exporting” Mexico’s unemployed and underemployed young people to the United States is no longer an option, where will they go and what will they do?
I, of course, don’t know the answer to any of these questions but it is good to know that at least they are being asked.