The brutal violence of Mexican society has been forced into our view with the disappearance of 43 students from a teachers college in Ayotzinapa. In the search for their bodies in the mountains of Guerrero, many mass graves were discovered, literally revealing the skeletons in the nation’s closet. People were shocked and outraged. Massive protests swept the country as the finger of blame was pointed not just to local authorities and drug gangs, but all the way up to the president himself.
This has catalyzed a national soul-searching of long-standing practices of impunity, corruption, militarization, human rights violations and official complicity that extends to all levels. Journalist Laura Carlsen puts this in the context of the U.S. sponsored drug war and NAFTA. That’s right, the U.S. is also complicit in all this. Carlsen argues that the U.S. has contributed to the present crisis by funding corrupt forces responsible for crimes against their own population.
Based in Mexico City, Laura Carlsen is Director of the Americas Program of the Center for International Policy (www.cipamericas.org). She has written extensively on all aspects of Mexico and recently gave a Congressional briefing on the current situation.