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Cartels and Us

Read Joan Grillo’s “Mexico’s New Blood Politics” (New York Times Sunday Review 1/17/16) and substitute the drug cartels of Mexico with the corporate barons of the U.S. When contemplating the wretchedness of a mayor, José Luis Abarco of Iguala, Guerrero, who would sacrifice more than 40 students of his town to assassins, imagine Governor Rick Snyder of Michigan permitting permanent brain damage, caused by lead in the drinking water, to far more than 40 children of his state in lieu of confronting DuPont Chemical for polluting that vital resource.

All my life, we in the U.S. have looked south and sneered that life just didn’t mean as much there as it does here. Our assassins are a bit more subtle, lacking a rebellious soundtrack; that’s the way established power operates here. But we might want to pay particular attention to how the cartels in Mexico are moving from being the briber to being the ones providing the cash, with politicians as line items in their budget. According to The Guardian (1/16/16) “In the 2016 elections, the goal of the Koch network of contributors is to spend $889m, more than twice what they spent in 2012.”

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