EL PASO, Texas —Little is known about the truth behind the Cartel Wars, but one thing is certain, they must end. They are a constant plague on our way of life, the borderway. For more than four decades, the citizens of the borderland have been subject to a war that brewed and heated until it erupted only four years ago.
Frankly, the people here do not care who is in charge, to them the only person they call “boss” is Bruce Springstein, and maybe Pedro Infante. Regardless, we the people say screw these bastards who are endangering our Juarense brothers and sisters. We demand to be protected and we will not accept the current standard. This has now become more than an international law issue, but an issue of morality. Are we really going to let this filth take over a country so close to our home?
The filth is the corruption, corrupters, and accomplices to corruption. No one else is to blame, but the country itself. That may be the reason why few people propose doing anything serious about the whole situation. What can really be done? How do you oust a non-proclaiming group of dictator tyrants? Have they figured out the way to stay under the radar of law enforcement so well that no one can do anything about it? Maybe these are the questions we should be getting answered.
In a meeting with an entrepreneur who has asked borderzine.com to use an alias, Mario. Thanks to his plethora of business investments, Mario has enjoyed a life of wealth, privilege and security. However, in the past few years, he has had to move his entire family to the United States.
“I was getting threats on a daily basis, sometimes three or four times a day, so my wife and I discussed it, and they moved, I have stayed to protect my interests,” said Mario about what has happened in the last four years. Sadly, the threats come in the form of people telling him exactly what his wife was doing that day, or what activity was going on at his children’s schools. “My children were the first to go, I got them a little house and put them in school in the states to avoid any danger,” Mario says concerning his family.
For many years, people like Mario had great security because they were always able to avoid any trouble from these people since they normally had peaceful relationships with them. “The greed is surprising, they had never shown this much greed in all the years I dealt with them.” Mario has always had to do deals to avoid catching Cartel leaders’ attention.
“They were relatively peaceful, for the most part, when I started out, when my success first caught their eye,” Mario says of the 1980s. “Many of my friends that liked to cut corners would get involved with them, but I never chose to, it felt like cheating. Well that is what it was, but it was just not seen that way back in that era,” Mario went on to say, “and those friends who cut corners ended up dead or completely broke.” Now with the war, business owners have to do what they have to do to stay afloat.
By getting into bed with these Cartels, forced or not, the example being set for the upcoming generation of business owners and entrepreneurs is one that says it is okay to take their propositions and money. If the Cartels gain legitimacy with business owners, their influence in everything else would grow. “Businesses give them a venue to hide, clean, and manage their money legally,” claims Mario. “I really didn’t have a problem with it before, but now they want you to produce fish from a pond they have completely diluted. That can create serious problems for a man.”
The worse things get, the more that the people with money to start businesses want to leave. Mario is among the last of his friends to stick with Mexico, but it’s only due to the fact that most of his money is invested in Mexico. “More than 80% of my wealth comes from this [expletive]country and it is very difficult to get out with everything intact,” Mario like a lot of business leaders, is frustrated with the out-of-control situation. Throughout the interview, he does not mention death as much as loss of dignity as a people, or as a country.
To people like Mario, the most important things they depend on are security, control and stability. These give them peace of mind and allow them to enjoy an exceptionally comfortable lifestyle, almost free of the law. Mario made it clear that he does not favor a new México, he is fine with the one that existed 10 years ago. “A decade ago I could anything I wanted, I mean literally anything I wanted was feasible. Now, I don’t want to leave my house with my big gates, my arsenal of firearms, bodyguards and weapons.”
Many Mexicans have the same mentality, especially those that are wealthy. They generally are not in favor of a major reformation or an overhaul of the country’s infrastructure, but a return to a time that afforded the middle class and up an excellent lifestyle. This lifestyle is long missed in México, those who are just below the megarich enough to go unnoticed by anyone, but above the poverty enough to feel like someone. What used to be a very dependable labor force serving the upper and middle classes has now become compromised with criminals.
Although there are a million moral reasons as to why we should end this Cartel war, Mario stands on the side of reason. “We had a great thing going in México, and many Americans who regularly travel here recognize that they miss living like kings. You do not get served in the states like you do here.” Mario is one of a few people in México that would like it to go back to the way it was only ten years ago. Life consisted of a little corruption, nothing to dangerous, and some stability, nothing to boring. Now Mexicans are living in a world in constant fear of criminals.
Could it be that Mexico actually had a good thing going by maintaining a certain type of corruption in society, enough so that the people with the means to, could enjoy a way of life way above their means? Perhaps it is because I heard this from such a man like Mario that I consider it legitimate, but one things is for sure, I understand his reasoning.