Marchers demanded “respect” and “dignity” from Trump and his government, with an estimated 20,000 people pouring onto the streets of Mexico City, with students from the capital’s UNAM state university joining in protest for the first time since 1968, when dozens were killed and injured in demonstrations. Among the intellectuals at the march were Enrique Graue, Enrique Krauze, Héctor Aguilar Camín, and Enrique Ochoa, presidents of the ruling Institutional Revolutionary Party (PRI).
Mexico’s ruling class has ignored the plight of the rest of the country for as long as Mexico has been a country, and I include the period where Mexico was under the French. I have said before, for decades Mexico has not even protected its own citizens from the cartels’ deadly human trafficking business; Jason Poblete writes,
Mexico and other Central American nations need to get serious about border security within their region, as well as fixing the primary reason people try to leave: poverty and lack of economic opportunities, as well as rampant corruption and crime, lack of rule of law, among many other indicators that make life tough in these countries. This latter issue is a more long-term issue (one that the U.S. companies can help with), but border security within Central America can start today.
Ricardo Valenzuela agrees [my translation]
Our anguish at Trump ought to be an opportunity, and, rather than continue riding this mass hysteria, let’s change our attitudes, let’s focus on identifying this chance that the event presents, and which we are not seeing. We are enraged that Trump threatens to deport millions of our countrymen. Let’s identify the real problem. Why did those millions were expelled by Mexico? Trump wants to build a wall. How come tons of drugs cross the border each year? Why are millions of young girls kidnapped by the same mafias who, after getting them across illegally sell them to the sex traders? Why has the border become a war zone where weapons and illegal money are exchanged, and even ISIS members are crossing?
Mexico had a major role in fostering guerrilla groups in Central America during the 1960s, 1970s, and 1980s, backing off only when it became a hindrance to the NAFTA deal with the United States, and when some of the groups began operating in Mexico. Mexico is feared and resented throughout Central America as a bully and for its mistreatment of Central American migrants. The horror stories these migrants tell of their passage through Mexico are hair-raising and heartbreaking.
Peña Nieto’s popularity plummeted (and has not recovered) following the 2014 disappearance of 43 student teachers killed in Guerrero, a crime yet not resolved. The remains of only one student have been identified. In Mexico,
Only 4.5% of reported crimes in Mexico are ever investigated and just 1% ever go before a judge, according to a recent study by Mexico’s National Autonomous University. The criminal conviction rate in Mexico is 1.8%.
Headline from the WSJ:
Thousands March in Mexico City to Protest Trump, Peña-Nieto
Thousands took to Mexico City’s central thoroughfare to protest U.S. President Donald Trump and his plans to build a 2,000-mile border wall, while also blasting Mexican President Enrique Peña Nieto and the ruling PRI party.
Meanwhile, Andrés Manuel López Obrador gains in polls amid backlash against new U.S. administration, because electing a far-left candidate and blaming the U.S. has worked so well elsewhere.
Again: Respect is earned. When Mexico and the Central American countries stop seeing the U.S. as a pressure-release valve for their own countries’ problems, they won’t need to be asking for respect, they will be earning it.