MEXICO: Is Acapulco Lost? Is Guerrero a Failed State?

These are the remarkable questions asked in its El Palenque column by Animal Politico — a Mexican online newspaper.

The questions are brought on by the rape of six Spanish tourists last week, and by a constant narcoviolence going back to imagesthe real beginnings of Mexico’s cartel war — that being roughly 2004-05, when heads were placed on stakes and that kind of thing.

The state of Guerrero has been infamous within Mexico for its wanton violence, brought on by its intense heat, poverty and caciquismo – a term referring to the political and economic control by certain families and individuals.

Here’s what Jose Carreno Figueras, from the Tec de Monterrey, had to say:

“You have to remember that Guerrero was always a problem state, and that except for a few enclaves — like Acapulco, Taxco and Zihuatanejo –where there were appearances of authority, it was never far from being ungovernable. Political bosses, criminality, banditry, injustice have always been part of the perennial panorama of Guerrero.”

You just never could see much of it from an Acapulco hotel room — until recently, that is.

For those who read Spanish, Jose Antonio Alvarez Lima had the following remembrance of Acapulco in the 1960s’s glory days, and its fall in the 1970s — calling the city “a mirror of our own failure”:

“Durante los sesentas, disfrute Acapulco y mi primera juventud. Era el paraiso. Quizá uno de los sitios más bellos del mundo, junto con Río. En los setentas, el populismo echeverrista llenó los cerros de invasores sin servicios y se inició el deterioro desastroso que hoy conocemos. Acapulco  es el espejo de nuestro fracaso. De la corrupción generalizada, la demagogia, la codicia y la indiferencia.

“El mismo futuro que espera para Cancún y las Rivieras Maya y Nayarita. Nunca tan pocos y tan rápido han hecho tanto daño a la naturaleza.”

 

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3 Responses to MEXICO: Is Acapulco Lost? Is Guerrero a Failed State?

  1. Pingback: MEXICO: Can Vigilante Justice Save Mexico? | True Tales: a Reporter's BlogTrue Tales: a Reporter's Blog

  2. chris czarnecka

    this is my third-in-a-row winter in Mexico. I avoid most known-dangerous places, but you never know. I haven’t been in a bad situation, but I know they happen. Many ex-pats here are hyper-defensive; they point out the rampant violence in the US and charge US media with hypocrisy. But it is different in Mexico. So many crimes go unsolved, not even investigated! and unpunished. People are targeted and arrested for things they didn’t do (politically motivated) and remain in jail for open-ended terms. The US criminal system is highly imperfect and seriously out-of-whack (focusing so much on smaller crimes and letting corporate villains walk free) — but it functions. In large parts of Mexico, that can’t be said. People don’t even expect it to work. The people here should get the same attention that tourists get — but they know they won’t. I consider it training for the direction things will go as the US system continues to collapse.

  3. Alexis Rhone Fancher

    Sadly, much of Mexico is lost. A lot of my time since childhood was spent south of the border, everywhere from weekend trips to Encinada, to month-long sojourns to Oaxaca, Mexico City, Taxco, Puerto Vallerta, and Puerto Escondido. I collect Mexican art and religious icons. I love the people and the culture. Now, Mexico scares me. I had some wonderful times there for decades. It’s a damn shame, but I haven’t been there in years.

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