Shannon K. O'Neil

Latin America's Moment

O'Neil analyzes developments in Latin America and U.S. relations in the region.

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Is Our Relationship With Mexico at the Crossroads?

by Shannon K. O'Neil
March 29, 2013


This past Monday I spoke with Jim Zirin on Digital Age about Mexico’s growing middle class, security situation, and latest telecommunication reform. You can watch the interview here or below. I look forward to your feedback in the comments section, on Facebook, or on Twitter.

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  • Posted by John Hodgson

    Over the last 3 years, many Mexicans have become desperately poorer as a direct consequence of American bias and campaigns to discourage Mexican tourism.

    The greates impact was the outcry against violence in Mexico, headlined by the outrage at 3000 people per year being killed, leading to a US government advisory against visiting Mexico. Apparently inflated in your interview to 5000 people per year. These facts were never compared with similarly statistics in the US which recent mass gun violence has put at more than 12,000 people per year in the US. Apparently a clear case of the pot calling the kettle black. In reality, Mexico is coping quite well with the US export of prohibition to Mexico, keeping murder level reasonably equivalent to normal daily murder rates in the US.

    The first blow against Mexican tourism was the outbreak of swine flu about 3 years ago. The proactive Mexican reaction provided the world with an impressively early warning to the world, resulting in rapid worldwide actions to limit spread of the disease. This compares dramatically with the hedging of many other of the so-called ‘civilized’ nations of the world such as the US and UK. Mexico tourism ceased within a week of their announcement and worldwide reaction to discourage tourism there.

    Even the stated assumption that Mexico is unsafe is based on a very American bias towards that wonderful country.

    You talk about what Mexico needs, yet have little to say on what the US needs to do. The above examples illustrate major US errors in their treatment of Mexico. America needs to recognize that they don’t have a utopia, proving that the US system is the right one. America (at least California) looks in a much worse state than (Baja) Mexico and other states on the mainland as far south as Sinaloa. Mexico has a very different social philosophy which is not understood by most Americans. America needs to understand that Mexico is different in ways that should be celebrated, not criticized. America needs to adjust its attitude to Mexico just as much as they expect Mexico to change for the US.

    The attitude of US education to foreigners is suicidally ludicrous. As a scientist, I see the number of foreign student in US universities. Pick any academic papers published in learned journals and note the number of foreign names. Then google those names and note their current institution. Many have returned to their home countries and taken the most recent expertise in American technology with them. The government cutback in US educations has led directly to a worldwide haemmorage of US technology.

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