Posts by: Peter Watt

Jul 14, 2014
Peter Watt

Watered down telecoms reforms represent a victory for big business in Mexico.

Apr 22, 2014
Peter Watt

Mexicans make up the highest number of underpaid workers in the world’s most powerful economy. Much of the story of Mexican migrants in the United States can be seen as a criminalization of poverty.

Apr 10, 2014
Peter Watt

Violence in Mexico is the result of a climate of impunity in which violent crime goes largely unpunished.

Mar 10, 2014
Peter Watt

There’s nothing new about drones flying over Mexican airspace without congressional approval. But Peña Nieto is challenging the most traditional—and also progressive—practices of sovereignty and national development in Mexico.

Feb 20, 2014
Peter Watt

That groups of armed peasants are more successful in controlling organized crime than the state should be a terrible embarrassment and public relations disaster for the government of Enrique Peña Nieto.

Feb 2, 2014
Peter Watt

Credited with developing BRICs theory, Jim O'Neill is now onto a trendier acronym. According to his MINTs theory, Mexico’s competitive manufacturing edge and cheap and “flexible” labor will place the country among the ten most powerful economies.

Jan 17, 2014
Peter Watt

Over the last year, vigilante groups have become a survival method in Mexican towns. Yet now, they aren’t just fighting the cartel. This week, they clashed with police forces too. Mexican federal forces seized control of the war-torn state of Michoacan Tuesday, in an attempt to reestablish public order.

Dec 18, 2013
Peter Watt

In a move that appears to complete Mexico’s loss of national sovereignty to international capital, the senate has finally passed a sweeping and far-reaching reform of the country’s oil industry. The restructuring is treated with widespread skepticism—polls suggest that about 65-75 percent of the population oppose the initiative.

Dec 12, 2013
Peter Watt

Following Mexico’s “transition to democracy” in 2000, many of the old systems of political and judicial control which the one-party state had at its disposal were dismantled, leaving a power vacuum that was filled by both legal and illegal capital. This process did not replace the older structures and failed to bolster democratic institutions, allowing for the most ruthless and merciless capitalist institutions to rise to the top.
 

Dec 4, 2013
Peter Watt

The neoliberal project in Mexico, as elsewhere, has achieved a totalizing dominance over almost every aspect of everyday subsistence, work, and even leisure time. And yet the apparent power of the current order also makes it increasingly vulnerable to popular activism, dissent, and political mobilization.

Nov 29, 2013
Peter Watt

By 2008, one in ten Mexicans, some 11.4 million people, resided in the United States. However, the global financial crisis, combined with the increased militarization of the U.S.-Mexico border and the numerous costs and perils associated with emigrating to the United States from Mexico and Central America, have dissuaded increasing numbers from taking the risk. 

Nov 21, 2013
Peter Watt

It is becoming increasingly difficult for Mexican officials to pretend that the massive number of murders and enforced disappearances is not part of a deliberate government strategy. Political rhetoric, unsurprisingly, points to drug cartels as the sole perpetrators of violent crime in Mexico. But the mantra that the Mexican state, supported with funds and military wherewithal by the U.S. government, is waging a genuine war on organized crime is a pervasive but totally false myth.

Nov 14, 2013
Peter Watt

The war on drugs—like its counterpart, the war on terror—promises a hazy pastiche theme park beyond the rainbow, where hard-working families and humble entrepreneurs will succeed and realize their dreams via honest resolve and determination. For the moment though, and in order to win, the tale goes, the state must first wage war on those who would do harm. But the war is a sham, for the simple reason that the groups that benefit from the conflict have no interest in seeing it end. 

Nov 7, 2013
Peter Watt

The revelations leaked by Edward Snowden that the NSA committed acts of espionage against top Mexican officials and the president himself have so far provoked only mild indignation from the Mexican political class. The lackluster reaction from Los Pinos to the NSA revelations is reflective of the extent to which Mexican elite politicians acquiesce in the intrusions, largely because they themselves use domestic spying to further their own sectional interests in a country in which, little more than a decade after the ‘transition to democracy,’ the majority of the population are excluded from meaningful political participation.