Today’s seminar commented on the social conditions that allow or give way to the violence surrounding the drug trafficking conflict in Mexico.  They offered the following five conditions:  poverty, inequality and few opportunities; youth at the crossroads; institutional exhaustion, distrust and corruption; systematic gender-based violence; the historical exclusion of indigenous peoples; and uncertainty.

This was the best seminar this year.  Ulises, Paulina, and Berenice did a very good job.  They were we well prepared and made sure that the interpreters had written copies of the presentation beforehand.  This helped the students in the English line a lot.  Normally the students in the English line are unable to follow exactly what is being said during the intercultural seminars.  We are forced to guess what is being said many times because of the low quality of interpretation.  However, this particular presentation was the exception to the rule.  I hope that future presentations will be like this.  I really enjoyed it and learned a lot.  It was really fun too.

However, to understand these conditions, one must also know the political history relating to drug trafficking.  Therefore, the timeline below was presented:

State Policies

1920 – 1931:  criminalization of drug trafficking

1930 – 1970:  state policies and use of the forces of military

1980s:  strengthening and drug cartels as a threat to national security

1990 – ?:  increased militarization and little else

The political relationship to drugs

1914 – 1947: subordination

1947 – 1985:  mediation/hidden corruption

1985 – 2000:  gradual loss of control/visible corruption

2000 – ?:  democratization of the narcotics

Towards the end of the seminar, they discussed the reactions to peace in Mexico.  The Movement for Peace with Justice and Dignity brings various reactions, but seeks to unify and act as an interlocutor or catalyst to transform fear into mobilization of citizens.