Reforma’s front page editorial today,
The vote of the narcos
Organized crime has already cast its vote.
It imposed its will through violence.
It robbed the citizenry of their ability to elect.
Tamaulipas used to be a state dominated by just one cartel, the Gulf Cartel.
Since the beginning of the year, everything suggests that there was a major rupture between this group and its armed wing, Los Zetas.
The state became a territory to be fought over, with each cartel trying to impose its own law.
The otherwise tranquil governmental succession process in Tamaulipas, which for several sexenios has been under the shadow of just one of the cartels, was now affected by this rupture.
The rivalry between the cartels has now reached the Mexican political class.
What happened yesterday widely transcends the frontiers of Tamaulipas:
- It is evidence that, far beyond speculation about a “failed state”, there is a clear complicity between politicians and the cartels.
- Elections are losing their meaning as a result of the dirty money that finances them and degrades them.
- The violent narco vote creates a predicament for the elections: Does it make sense to celebrate the elections when there is a de facto power that imposes its will above the will of the citizens?
- What talented person would accept a candidacy after considering the power of the narcos and the weakness of the State?
- What we are seeing is that barbarism has arrived on the electoral landscape.
- If this year’s elections are a prelude for 2012, and the trend is not reversed, the conditions will not exist in Mexico to organize the next presidential election.
How many more candidates have to die before the states get out of the spiral of violence to which they are submitted? How many advertising spots will be needed to offset the daily tragedies to which the citizens are exposed – and now the politicians also? How many candidates will come to govern at the hand of the narcos because they owe them for their rise to power? How many sterile political discussions will there have to be before there is agreement on an effective plan to reimpose the rule of law? The events are compelling: We are living in a national emergency.
The problem will not be solved – until it’s recognized.