Methinks the Mexican drug cartels might have bit off more than they can chew with their latest target.
Mexican drug cartels are not strictly drug cartels. One of their fastest growing markets is extortion of private citizens and businesses. Don’t pay, and you can be threatened — or worse. But largely, the cartels target small businesses and individuals, and stay away from the larger industries. Now several arson attacks over the weekend against a Mexican snack chip subsidiary might be the first time the cartels have targeted a multi-national corporation.
That corporation would PepsiCo. According to press reports, masked men attacked five warehouses and vehicle lots on Friday and Saturday nights belonging to the U.S. snack and soft drink giant. More specifically, PepsiCo’s Mexican subsidiary: Sabritas. Dozens of yellow delivery trucks — which transport Sabritas chips and Fritos, Cheetos and Ruffles (among other brands) for the Mexican market — were burned. The good news: no one was injured or killed. At least one member of the Knights Templar cartel was reportedly arrested. Video has also emerged of firefighters battling the blazing trucks and the European Pressphoto Agency released images of Sabritas’ smiley-face mascot illuminated by the flames.
“What we cannot allow is for this kind of isolated case to become generalized,” Gerardo Gutierrez, president of Mexico’s Business Coordinating Council, told the Associated Press. “The authorities have to take forceful action.”
Now the rumor is that the Mexican government is running surveillance operations on the cartels out of the ubiquitous Sabritas trucks (which everyone even remotely involved is categorically denying). And the Knights Templar are a bunch of dangerous lunatics even for a Mexican drug cartel. But I’m thinking screwing with a major multinational corporation is not going to end well strategically for these guys.
Alternately, here’s 66% of the pitch for Expendables 3. Just saying.
maybe they’re still pissed off about the Frito Bandito ads.
Villago Delenda Est
“This is a really nice army base you’ve got here, Colonel. Would be a shame if anything happened to it.”
I once got stuck trying to cross the Whitestone Bridge in New York at 2 a.m. “Hazardous waste spill.” Sat in traffic, parked for 2 hours, wondering what noxious substance was on the bridge.
It was an overturned Pepsi truck that was leaking soda all over the bridge.
It’s certainly an opportunity for us to see just how much, and what kind of, clout a big-ass MNC actually has. This is one case where I’m honestly hoping it has at least as much as we (more or less) lefties have generally suspected/accused MNCs of having.
Look for the strategic planning for invasion to begin in earnest. After all the purpose of the military is to make the world safe for corporate profits. See for example 800 military bases in foreign countries. You didn’t really think those bases were to protect the people of the United States, did you?
Oh, dear. This drug cartel seems to have missed out on the past few decades. We are more than willing to blow up a country or two to protect our corporate rights to make money. Eviscerating a drug cartel? That’s been our entertainment.
Commerce is the 21st century new age religion. Messing with Pepsico will not end well.
PepsiCo should follow the old Soviet/KGB method of dealing with this. Back in the 80s one of the old-school Middle East terrorist groups kidnapped some Soviet diplomats and killed one of them. The KGB kidnapped a relative of one of the terrorists and told them if they didn’t release the diplomats, they’d kill every relative of every terrorist.
They released the diplomats and never kidnapped one again.
These bozos don’t seem to realize what they’re dealing with. They’re not going to get a couple more DEA guys with warrants; they’re going to get Seal Team Six.
@Dave: IIRC, they helpfully mailed a few choice pieces of said relative along with their warning.
@lacp: I believe you are right; an ear and finger I think.
I think the Knights will be ok as long as they do not fuck with Mayor McCheese.
I’m pretty sure the government of Mexico is none too eager to see MNCs pull up stakes out of fear of being extorted this way, especially ones that have lots of bottling plants inside Mexico that provide lots of jobs for Mexican citizens.
@Ash Can: the MNC will not do anything directly, as that would mean all of the execs would have to hire full time protection until the end of time. All it will mean is that certain US decisions will be made a certain way and funds will be made available from the US to help assist in this “war.” MNCs do not have to shoot bullets, but they can influence policy in back rooms that plays out over time. Pepsi is in it for the long haul, its retribution can take years.
If nothing else, watching sociopaths duke it out will make for good copy, I guess.
How long before PepsiCo lobbies congress to start a full scale ground invasion into every corner of Mexico?
The losers in this of course, will be the 3rd world poors. But isn’t that how it always goes?
Oh man, Robert Langdon is gonna bring the hammer down HARD on these guys.
@Dave: That’s pretty naive of you. The cartels are NOT comparable to the soviets, or Al-Queda
It’s far more accurate to compare them to african warlords.
Colonel "Bat" Guano
“You’ll have to answer to the Coca-Cola company for this!”
@Dave: But last week everyone was saying that threats of violence don’t work. Ah well, we’ve always been at war with Eastasia.
That’s a great approach if you’re the KGB and you want a reputation as being the wrong guys to fuck with. But PepsiCo is in the business of maximizing their shareholders’ return on equity, not proving they’re the biggest badass on the block. Now that they’ve proven they can hurt Pepsi, the Knights just have to make sure their demands are reasonable enough that it’s cheaper to buy them off than to go medieval on their asses, and they’ll get their payoff- very quietly.
@gaz: I wasn’t comparing the cartels to the Soviets. Rather that the way to deal with the cartels is to treat them the way the Soviets did with the ME terrorist group.
@jwb: Threats of violence work when you prove you can and will back it up. They also work when applied occasionally and in the right situation, not every single time.
“And in our top story tonight, in response to the burning of delivery trucks in Mexico owned by the Pepsi-Cola Corporation, Republicans in congress overrode the President’s vet and passed legistlation declaring the Pepsi company a “well-regulated militia” as defined by the Second Amendment, authorizing Pepsi employees to use lethal force in any circumstance they deem necessary and in any country, including the U.S.
Pepsi trucks have already begun setting up perimeters around the homes and clinics of doctors who perform abortions, and county election officials across the country are reporting commandos in blue and red visors relieving them of duty at gunpoint at local polling stations.
When pressed for an explanation of the alarming developments, Republican officials said the changes were necessary ‘to protect corporate profits and the American way of life in an increasingly dangerous world,’ adding that ‘the improved security was for everyone’s protection and designed to proactively deter terrorist and quasi-terrorist elements, including homegrown anti-American sentiment.’
Democrat leaders could not be reached for comment, a great number of them having failed to appear for work in their offices at the Capitol this morning.”
comrade scott's agenda of rage
PepsiCo comes by their reaction honest:
The Other Chuck
This is not anything new as organized crime goes, it’s your basic “fuck you pay me” extortion racket. The fact that it’s a local distributor owned by a large corporation doesn’t really change anything, other than the danger of screwing with a parent company with a lot of resources (though usually not enough interest to do anything more than cut the local affiliate loose).
@Roger Moore: Except that they never will go away once you pay them off. Because you have proven you can be bought.
Who knows, maybe PepsiCo has no problem paying what equates to protection money to a cartel for the long-term future. All I know is that if they did use some group to apply pressure to the cartel in that fashion, I doubt anyone would hold it against them.
Jeezus, how can I be the first person to post this: “You’ll have to answer to the Coca Cola Company, Mister!.”
You have meddled with the primal forces of nature, Mr. Beale, and I won’t have it!!
Since this is a foreign affairs thread, at some point, we should have a thread about the NY Times article – Secret Kill List.
Now, here is Greenwald’s response.
If it was possible to have a very sober, open conversation about this, it would be great to have. Unfortunately, it’s not.
And, of course, I will probably be busy when the thread about this is posted.
At any rate, initial thoughts:
a. First off – it’s important to note that EVERYONE IN POWER – would go along with what Obama has ordered. In fact, says right in the article, Obama had limited strikes after a bad one in Pakistan.
b. There are deep reasons of concern. Essentially, Obama has, with aides, taken on the moral burden of ordering drone strikes himself. In a way, that is incredibly courageous. He sees the people himself, and takes responsibility for ordering deaths, after discussing the case. He is the ultimate judge, jury, and executioner, and attempts to do this in the best way possible, because he doesn’t trust a ‘bureaucracy’ to do it, but trusts his own judgment. And he is probably right about that, 9 times out of 10.
c. In another way though, from any type of legal perspective – is any of this really legal? If Obama isn’t who he is – a smart, decent man, accepting of the powers and responsibilities of his position – how much potential for abuse is there, in this type of program?
d. And this does confirm, what Greenwald has been harping on for awhile now – from a STRUCTURAL, LEGAL perspective – this is nothing more than a Star Chamber. and there isn’t any structural impediment, in case say, a Darth Cheney held the office of President.
@Dave: I can drive a whole idiotic war, hell several of them, through that argument.
@Dave: Yeah, I read it again, and still, I have to disagree.
These people are not reasonable. Nor do they have any coherent political objectives, nor do they care about collateral damage, public image, or often, even money – they are not the columbian cartels. They are not the mafia. They aren’t even strictly just drug trafficers. Most of these organizations are psychopathic.
They like violence. They respond with violence. They are immune to reason, they are immune to sanctions, they are immune to public perception.
Some of them care about money, but a plurality do not.
They are like the LRA, or the RUF. They do violence for it’s own sake.
The Other Chuck
You think the PepsiCo Paramilitaries would always go after the right target and never get a bunch of innocent people killed in the crossfire? Yeah I’ll keep my corporations unarmed, thankyouveryfugginmuch.
Re: Expendables 3. This could produce the Mother Of All Product Placement Bidding Wars. You might wind up with the worlds first movie with a negative total cost.
@jwb: WI am not talking about wars. I am talking about a certain type of event where the judicious application/threat of violence has been proven to work. I’d hardly say I am calling for it to be national foreign policy.
Can’t the Pope deal with the Knights Templar?
Fun as it is to picture MNC’s going down, Pepsi’s had bottling plants and a lot of infrastructure in Mexico for several decades now — they make a local formulation and bottle it locally. Having them withdraw from the country would hurt Mexico and its economy a whole lot more than it would hurt Pepsi.
The Knights are just Coke drinkers.
If only Joan Crawford were still in charge at PepsiCo!
This is nothing new, and it is the future of warfare. Nation-states fighting over territory is old and busted. Now it’s insurgents and/or gangs fighting governments and/or corporations.
@Mnemosyne: I never even attempted to imply what you are saying. For my lack of clarity, I apologize.
The observation I was making is that a protracted fight between pepsico and the cartels will hurt one group of people. The citizens of mexico. Particularly, the poor ones. The secondary point is that the media will masturbate over this in any case.
@gaz: You are painting with a broad brush there. Comparing the cartels to the LRA isn’t exact. The cartels exist because there is a $50 billion industry that they largely control. It’s about money, power and to some extent, recognition. Put that under credible threat, and they will reconsider their options because they cannot afford to lose any ground. Because the other cartels would swarm in and take over.
Villago Delenda Est
He’s too busy dealing with renegade domestic staff.
@Sad_Dem: Robb is a little kookie sometimes, but yeah, the Nation States are becoming more and more irrelevant. Only a matter of time before we are all Mexico. Logical result of teahadi policies.
Sounds like a job for Blackwater/Xe. Who do you call now that Erik Prince has hightailed it to the UAE?
Villago Delenda Est
Here’s the thing.
These guys are just like assholes in suits on Wall Street.
They’re not happy with their ridiculously profitable drug business. They want more, so they’re getting into the “insurance” industry.
Next, they’ll be doing derivatives, trying to find something to invest their money in.
They’re not happy with being rich. They have to be super rich.
Just like Jamie Dimon.
@Villago Delenda Est: I agree with you 100% about that level of their sociopathic mindset. And there are two ways to deal with these guys. Either pay their insurance money, which means you will be paying it forever. Or you show them that fucking with you is a net loss and they’d be better off leaving you alone.
If only we could deal with Wall Street like that.
@Dave: This. Pepsi isn’t going to pay to hire a militia to fight these fuckers, they’re just going to pay a small amount to keep the gangstas off their property. “Cost of doing biznass” and such.
In Vegas, they have immigrants hand out escort/stripper/hooker ads to passers-by, but you’ll never see them near the high-end casinos. Because rather than keep fighting them in court (or hire Seal Team Six), they calc’d that it’s actually cheaper to pay them a sum to stay away from the Wynn and Encore, etc. This is what Pepsi will likely do, IMO.
@eric: That’s what I meant. That’s what the word “clout” means, and that’s why I used it. What it boils down to is, who’s going to act on Pepsico’s behalf, and what are they going to do?
@Dave: Actually I’m not. I said that it WOULD BE MORE ACCURATE to compare them.
Having loved ones in Mexico, property in mexico, and friends of mine on the police forces and the military in mexico certainly does not make me an authority. But I’ve got plenty more perspective on it than you.
To the degree that they care about money, it is only to further the violence. Some of them care about money. A plurality do not. It’s a means to an end. The end is violence. Drug trafficking and weapons trafficking are simply an easy means to that end, like precious mineral trafficking is to terrorist groups in africa. It’s not the end game.
To be clear, what we are witnessing in Mexico is a direct result of Mexico teetering on being a failed state. Just like many parts of africa. In each of these situations you find groups of people that simply want the world to burn.
It’s not inherently about the money. It’s about a failed and largely corrupt nation being brought to the brink of poverty and disaster. The rise of these groups are ultimately a reflection of that.
Many of the cartels, the worst ones in fact, are often weirdly religious in nature, like the LRA. The comparison is apt. Most of the articles are in spanish, but here’s a wiki http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/La_Familia_Michoacana
If we managed to somehow put a dent in drug trafficking some of this would stop, but it wouldn’t eliminate it. In the face of an unstable government, and rampant corruption, these groups will continue to exist.
That comment came across as saying that it didn’t matter what happened since it was a case of sociopath v sociopath, which did seem weird coming from you since I know you have a lot of connections with Mexico.
If Pepsi withdraws from Mexico because of these threats, it’s going to hurt their economy and throw a whole lot of people out of work because Pepsi (and most other soft drink companies) are set up as fully-functioning local businesses and not just importers of US product. My point is that the government of Mexico has a vested interest in Pepsi (and other MNCs that have local operations in Mexico) staying put, so it’s not just a simple example of imperialism like, say, United Fruit Company.
@gaz: Let me back up and first apologize if I came off like an asshole saying violence would end the drug wars. I’m sorry about that. God knows that isn’t true.
I was just saying in this instance, a group with sufficient means (be it the Soviets/KGB or PepsiCo) can make it clear to a group that to mess with them would create a net loss situation. Religious overtones aside, they are in it to make money and maintain a level of power. If they lose that, the other cartels would wipe them out. And the KT can’t afford to lose any ground; if I remember right the Zetas and them are at war.
@Mnemosyne: I don’t want pepsi to withdraw. ETA: If anything, they are (or can be) part of the solution.
At the end of the day, the solution must center around raising the standard of living in mexico, building a solid economy, stamping out corruption.
Focusing efforts on the War On Drugs does exactly the opposite. It destabilizes the region. The lack of stability is the problem. A huge part of the solution is a solid economic foundation, and taxes and labor reform so that the states can pay their bills.
As long as the focus is on drugs, this problem will continue.
Huh – I realized I messed up the link to the NY Times article above – here it is again.
Also, some thoughts from John Robb on this. The Automation of Government Coercion.
It’s scary stuff, guys.
So, if you combine the automation of terrorist identification with an administrative “hit” list with automated drones that execute the order, you have a global killing machine. A machine that requires very few people to run and can kill almost anyone. A machine that will eventually be able to close the loop from a data trigger (enough to ID a person as a threat and provide a location for where that person is) to a kill shot in in a matter of minutes.
What will be done with it?
@Dave: At the end of the day, the solution must center around raising the standard of living in mexico, building a solid economy, stamping out corruption. The diminishing of drug trafficking would be a side-effect of that.
We’re focusing on the wrong things.
Phoenician in a time of Romans
c. In another way though, from any type of legal perspective – is any of this really legal? If Obama isn’t who he is – a smart, decent man, accepting of the powers and responsibilities of his position – how much potential for abuse is there, in this type of program?
Well, you know, there’s a name for the type of country where Dear Leader gets to decide who lives and who dies all on his own say-so
– and it’s the same name whether Dear Leader is a silly puffed up fool like Bush or a smart, decent Chocolate Jesus.
Barack Obama: all middle Eastern men of military age are “militants”.
And the result of that will be two groups of Zetas, each violent, each killing each other, and everyone else that gets in their way.
Villago Delenda Est
We can’t get the 1% to do that in THIS country. To them, the ideal is Honduras or El Salvador. They are making major efforts to destroy the middle class in this country and drive everyone but them into grinding poverty.
Pshaw. PepsiCo will do nothing. Those trucks and buildings are insured.
Now, if the cartels threatened to unionize PepsiCo’s workforce in Mexico…no THAT would bring out the PepsiCo corporate army.
@Villago Delenda Est: Well, the fact is WE can’t do much about mexico. It’s not strictly up to us, except insomuch as we can stop doing things to harm them. The mexican citizens and government can, and must. Luckily, there is a groundswell of popular opposition to corruption – particularly among the younger generation. The “we’ve always done things this way” mentality is now finding opposition, but even that’s just a small part of the problem.
The things we can do?
1. Implement a guest worker program. It benefits both countries economically, and will do a lot to help with poverty.
2. Stop imposing our military into their situation with the War on Drugs.
3. Stop flooding their market with corn, and undermining local farming efforts.
4. Stop strong arming them to give us below market prices on their oil – by threatening them with – you guessed it The War On Drugs.
The trouble is, we’re not even having those kinds of conversations, much less doing anything to implement any kind of policies around them.
@TK421: Oh for fuck’s sake, that is NOT what your link says, and you know it — unless you didn’t actually bother reading what you linked to.
@JC: We’ll see when American politicians/business interests are on the receiving side of freedom drones.
Going to be quite ironic when folks realize tech isn’t just one-way.
@jc: Yep. Once this is known, Congress could of course stop it at any time. But unless it is embarassing to the President politically, one party won’t do anything to stop it and the other won’t either. Until we get rid of this entire generation of swill and slop eaters that run this show, we might as well hope that we don’t have to turn to our own Mexican drug cartels for protection.
@aimai: Yes! That was my immediate association. That movie is timeless. Alas.
they can kill all the people they want, the church wouldn’t give a shit. now if they performed an abortion, god help them.
@gaz: The cynic in me says that if they looked more like we do – and spoke our language, we’d already be talking about some of this stuff – and most of it wouldn’t be happening in the first place.
That is correct.
Villago Delenda Est
TK421 is not at his post. AGAIN.
Really? Who do you think are collateral damage when the cartels settle their business disputes in public? And who do you think will stop being collateral damage if the cartels are wiped out?
@burnspbesq: For every 1 white person killed by these villians, there are 100 corpses of Mexican poors dropped in open mass graves across mexico.
Since a plurality of them are “good catholics” unlike the whitey that you are so concerned about, you’d think you’d give a shit. I guess since they are poor and brown you just don’t care.
Perspective, motherfucker. Get some.
Bob Dylan receiving the Presidential Medal of Freedom, Live, on MSNBC
There is nothing, short of repudiating NAFTA which we both know isn’t going to happen, that the Federal Government can do to stop that.
Which isn’t to say it might not be a good idea. I’m generally of the mind that opponents of free trade bear the burden of proving that, on balance, it’s not a net benefit. But if you’re willing to try to make the case, I’m willing to read it.
@burnspbesq: You’re an idiot too, since you think sending more guns into mexico to “wipe out” cartels will have any effect other than to cause more death.
Just as stupid as the assholes who declared a “War On Terrorism” – as though policies, poverty, and situation don’t CREATE THEM every day.
You’re a fucking moron. You know jack shit about how any of this works, and you could of saved yourself the embarrassment of commenting on something you know exactly dick about. But you didn’t. Because you are a bonehead.
No, you get some, ignoramus. Re-read what I wrote, and try to understand it this time. Because your takeaway was the polar opposite of what I actually wrote.
Jeezus H. Christ, are you even literate?
@burnspbesq: Free Trade is nothing without Fair trade.
I think you know that. I’m an opponent of NAFTA. I’ve always been an opponent of nafta.
I’m also for ENDING CORN SUBSIDIES in this country. That may be an easier case to make, and would probably go a ways to undermine the corn situation.
@burnspbesq: I read what you wrote. And I understood it. I followed up, because apparently you don’t get it.
There’s a little something called the Law Of Unintended Consequences. You don’t understand how it works, apparently.
I seem to recall one of the oil companies being accused of hiring paramilitaries in one of the African countries. I’m not sure PepsiCo is as ruthless and evil as a big oil company.
@srv: I agree–he’s a little kooky sometimes, but I find it strange that his basic idea is receiving so little attention, when it explains so much of what is going on.
@Phoenician in a time of Romans: smart, decent Chocolate Jesus
I’m not sure whether to laugh or be offended by that – it’s a witty turn of phrase, so I am chuckling – and for the most part, I agree! Our president is smart, decent, and full of chocolaty goodness.
@srv: on the receiving side of freedom drones.
Again, great turn of phrase – I’m out of touch with the smart snarky phrases, I guess…
Totally idle speculation. The cartels are already killing the economy, and affecting domestic and foreign corporations.
Currently, the richest man in the world is Mexican national Carlos Slim. The drug cartels may not yet be hurting him directly, but it has got to be worrying to him and other Mexican elites. I don’t think that Pepsico has super special status.
As an aside, the May issue of BBC History Magazine has a sidebar on the Mexican drug cartels. And there is a good BBC Q and A on the drug war to be found here, noting that approximately 47,515 people have died in the five years of Mr Calderon’s presidency.
The cartels are in many ways corporations themselves, they just have a much more horrifying way of dealing with their competition than Pepsi or any other company (look at the way the Sinaloa cartel dealt with the Juarez and Tiajuana cartels a few years ago). They have wholesalers, distributors, CEOs, CFOs, logistics concerns, etc. The main difference is the product they sell is illegal.
Legalizing it would certainly help, Mexico, the US, and the world. Silly idea, I know.
Why the fuck are supposed “Christians” in this country the first to advocate meeting violence with violence as a solution to any problem
There’s a book you should read about that, Jesus fans.
@redshirt: It would help put a dent in the money making mechanisms, but are you really prepared to weigh the social costs of legalizing highly addictive and damaging drugs like crystal methamphetamine?
And again, drug revenue is a means to an end, not the end of these “cartels”. Cartel in fact, is such an awful misnomer. They are terrorist organizations that have risen to power in the absence of a stable government and stable economy.
That last bit is where the focus should be.
@comrade scott’s agenda of rage: SO with you on that one: that was running through my head as well. NEVER piss off Mommie Dearest.
I have friends who have connections at PepsiCo. From what they’ve told me, I can easily see them pushing through Congress some quick’n’dirty “mutual defense” or “anti-narcotic” “task force” with the Mexican authorities, to cut a pretty broad swath through the Knights. And, as a bonus, all the nativist wingnuts will get to watch Ahr Boyz’n’Grrls kill some of Teh Brown Peeps. Win/win/win – except, of course, for the part where an MNC trumps individual rights/liberties, and where we intervene in a sovereign nation’s own criminal justice issues.
@gaz: Yes. Because prohibition clearly does not work. So treat it as a medical problem. This also will reduced violence as folks looking for part of a trillion dollar industry can go to courts to settle disputes rather than guns and bombs.
Or the A-Team.
Alpha, Mike, Foxtrot…
@redshirt: Okay, so now I have to question how much direct experience you’ve had with methamphetamine. Seriously.
Furthermore, you are ignoring the primary problem, which is that failed states breed violence. History tells us that.
Let’s say for sake of argument that somehow all illegal drug trafficking is eliminated.
Why do you think they wouldn’t continue selling (for example) weapons – pharmaceuticals, or even the formerly illicit drugs? Why wouldn’t a cartel just roll over any attempts at building a commercial superlab if it undercuts their own business? They already do this kind of stuff. Violent assholes don’t part with their money easily. And that’s also sidestepping my own implicit point (for the sake of your argument) that failed states and bad economies breed violence and discord. If you don’t fix that, you don’t fix the problem. You may change details of the violence, but not the underlying cause and the nature of it.
Ultimately stabilizing Mexico is the answer. Eliminating the every day problem of food insecurity and terrible economy is the solution. The USA could be an active partner in this, which I covered in a previous post, but until we choose to do so, through policies that engage Mexico as an ally and a sister nation, rather than treating it as an easy source of labor we can flog and rape, nothing will really be solved.
@redshirt: If you want to advocate against prohibition of drugs, I could get behind that. At least in some cases. I believe in red-light districts, treating drug use as a medical issue, etc.
But claiming it would solve the cartel problems in Mexico is a fairy tale.
We’ve been trying this for the past 30 years. It doesn’t work.
What does this have to do with anything? Drugs are cheap to produce, the profit margin is huge, and there is a big ass market for the drugs in the US.
@gaz: Not saying it will solve all the problems of Mexico, or the many other Southern and Central American countries suffering under the “War on Drugs”, but it’s a great start.
Usually the multinational corporation just pays off the cartels, often with the benevolent side effect that the paramilitaries go after union organizers and other pesky uppity types.
Phoenician in a time of Romans
I’m not sure whether to laugh or be offended by that
Not original to me – http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0NYUK2Ba3eA
and thus, the first steps were taken into what would be known as The Horchata Wars began…….
Your out of your damn mind if you think they have bit off more then they can chew. American tourists don’t have much to worry about except robberies. But, the cartels and the corruption is out of control and it’s the USA’s fault. All the guns here come from the U.S. and the lack of gun regulation in border towns in exchange for the drugs coming north. One attack on Pepsi and you think it’s over???
I lived in Mexico City last year and I live here now. People have to try and live off less then $20 a day sometimes. There are no other options and the corruption is overwhelming.
I caught this photo coming into Alcapulco the other day.
When I left last year in October they were threatening to kill one police officer a day until the chief resigned. All the police moved into hotels and their families were moved elsewhere.
The other day they attacked that very same fucking hotel. People who have no idea what they are talking about should keep their mouths closed.
FYI, I mean you.
@JC: FYI, this is a different JC than the JC who posted earlier (who is me). Still been too lazy to get another moniker. Just different people, different topics of interest, thought I would point that out.
“The authorities have to take forceful action.”
These are the same authorities whose army generals regularly get kidnapped and tortured to death, and whose federal prosecutors get murdered and then beheaded?
Good luck with that one, skippy.
This. As I recall, the Colombian AUC was drawn in no small part from members of the old Medellin and Cali cartels. The ties between large corporations, organized crime, right wing paramilitaries and conservative elites are nothing new.
@gaz: I wouldn’t say that they are going as far as the LRA or the RUF but if one of the cartels was to head in that direction it is certainly the Templarios. Oh, BTW… I forgot to mention… our property is in Templarios territory.
@redshirt: A better start would be to stop talking about the drug angle so much that we ignore the many non-drug-related policies that are actually a much bigger source of the problem.
@gaz’s wife: well, you have a better handle on the RUF and LRA than I do, and I was vying for the violence for it’s own sake, “let’s just make the world fucking burn” angle. I think my earlier link points to that sentiment, as do some of the crazier cartels that are actually cults?
@Brachiator: The cartels could not exist in a region that didn’t have these problems.
In environments where there is a failed state and a destroyed economy you are BOUND to have all kinds of violence.
What does this have to do with mexico? Mexico is a disaster of poverty, corruption, and broken government. The police do not get paid, outside the airforce, the military does not get paid. People regularly starve. In any environment like this you will encounter tyrants and warlords. See for example the ENTIRE HISTORY OF THE WHOLE FUCKING WORLD. See for example, the idea behind the “Marshal Plan”
@JC: I think it is crazy that it’s now safer to live in the DF than to live in Acapulco. Maybe it’s not, but I’ll tell you this: I spent Christmas break en el DF and I’ve never, not once, been to Acapulco. Don’t plan to. The situation sucks and I don’t think Pena Nieto is going to make it better. As far as biting off more than they can chew? It’s the Templarios and uhmm… yeah. I don’t honestly think they are going to last long. I think that territory will go back to the Zetas within a few years. No one fucks with my Sabritas.
Partly OT. What is it about air forces? I read a similar estimate of Iran a while back, that most of the regular military was poorly trained and paid, but the Air Force was the exception. I’ve read it elsewhere too. Does the glamourous image just inspire governments to pay more attention?
@jc: y’all look alike to me =)
@Chris: I think it has to do with the fact that the US is heavily invested in their airforce, due to the War On Drugs. Possibly the only Good thing(tm) that’s ever come out of the WoD
ETA: My wife being the closest thing I have to an expert on the subject, I’ll let her respond. To the degree she disagrees with me, she’s right, FTR
@Chris: It also might do with the expensive equipment they are handling. Not that I know the price of a tank, but I’d assume a fighter jet is quite a bit more expensive.
@gaz: The Air Force takes only the bestest of the best, offers excellent training, and when they leave the military they have transferable skills into well paid jobs.
I don’t know if you remember that really cute chilanguito Alberto? Anyhoo, his brother is in the marines or the army or some-such and doing special training on tactical something-or-other and I guess there are special programs to transfer into the US military. I honestly don’t remember now. Buuuut… there is, for most soldiers, the real problem of low pay, corruption, and, well, the fact that they are in a frickin’ war zone for their entire military career – getting out with no job skills, PTSD, and entering a difficult labor market.
Anyway, none of that has much to do with the cartel issues. Except that I’m not really sure that Calderon is having much success, Gel-Boy will almost certainly win the election, and this latest move is sure to be the end of the Templarios – who wants to join a cartel that’s going to take away our Sabritas?
@Chris: I guess it’s this…
Apparently they have enough money to pay the people that consider “worth it”. * shrug *
@burnspbesq: NAFTA isn’t about free trade- anyone labeling it’s detractors as opponents of free trade is either ill-informed or deliberately obfuscating. It’s primary purpose was to eliminate conditions that made US manufacturing companies reluctant to invest in Mexico. At the same time, it increased protectionism in other areas, for instance extending the length and breadth of patents and copyrights.
It has increased net wealth in Mexico and the US. However, the benefits have accrued mostly to the richest in both countries while hurting the poor and working class.
@BobS: In any case, ending subsidies for corn is probably better at preventing displacement of Mexican farmers (and guess where they end up migrating for work?). As I recall, we actually sell corn on Mexican markets for cheaper than it takes to produce, in essence, the US is using tax-dollars from YOU AND I to directly fuck over Mexican farmers. Not to mention we have corn practically exploding out of every US orifice. It seems nonsense to continue to subsidize it, or at least to subsidize production of it beyond the point necessary to feed ourselves, and maybe export a little bit.
So…PepsiCo v. Mexican cartels is a good time to root for a lightning strike, right?
Good God but there’s a huge degree of self-righteous in this thread.
@fasteddie9318: This cartel is one of the crazy cultist sets and not that big, unlike the Zetas so, I think my wife is probably right, they’ll disappear with or without pepsi’s intervention (of course, they’ll be replaced by another cartel, such as it is).
and @piratedan: LOL
@Corner Stone: Your ideas are intriguing to me and I wish to subscribe to your newsletter
@gaz: You’re preaching to the choir regarding corn subsidies, and farm subsidies in general. I live in a rural Michigan county where the largest block of welfare recipients are the solidly Republican farmers. For anyone interested in discovering which of your neighbors are on the dole and for how much, the Environmental Working Group has a database that includes every US county.
@BobS: I’m betting some of our local farms in my area get them. If so, I’m glad for it, as we are a very much pro-migrant labor community – and we employ a lot of displaced mexicans – our larger farms (relatively speaking, I’m not talking about megafarms) buy from our smaller farms so that you can run a small local family farm profitably.
Anyway, for my part, I’d be concerned about the absolute elimination of farm subsidies, but I think it would be great to limit them based on size, or maybe net profit or something.
Assuming we have subsidized farms in my area (and I’m sure we do) I suspect that if we eliminated these in their entirety, most of our area would be paved over, the Mixtec and Triqui workers would be sent home to starve, and I’d be buying my strawberries and milk from somewhere else – maybe china (yech)
Admittedly, I’m playing a bit of devil’s advocate, and I basically agree with you – I just think that it might be more constructive to place some limits on the farm subsidies rather than eliminate them altogether.
@gaz: That would be a safe bet. And it’s probably most, not some.
I understand that subsidies sometimes have a positive effect, for instance conservation set-asides. I’d probably be less critical if many of the recipients weren’t the same fucking hypocrites bitching the loudest when other less deserving people, e.g. anyone living in Detroit or Flint, get government money.
And don’t worry about having to buy your milk from China. My county, like many Michigan counties, plays host to at least a dozen dairy CAFOs that the Michigan Right to Farm Act allow to operate independent of any local control over the excessive amount of groundwater they draw (resulting in their neighbors sometimes having to drill new wells) and waste they produce. Eventually their waste finds it’s way to Lake Huron via our extensive county drain system (another indirect subsidy to farmers).