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This is a great article on the history of Mexico as it relates to the United States

Monday, November 15, 2010

The Geopolitics of Northern Mexico

By David J. Danelo

The regional differences in Mexico's drug war make little sense to Americans.  Until October 24, when gunmen massacred 14 patients at a Tijuana drug rehab clinic, Baja California, a hotbed of violence in 2009, had started to stabilize during 2010.  The Rio Grande, in contrast, has gone from mostly tranquil to normally uncontrolled. Consider the recent story of David and Tiffany Hartley, a married couple, who had moved to the border from Colorado three years earlier for a job in the oil industry. On September 30, 2010, the Hartleys ventured on jet skis into the Mexican waters of the Rio Grande, searching for an abandoned Catholic church they had previously toured for recreation. Mexican bandits allegedly ambushed them in speedboats, and the husband, David, was missing after the encounter. According to Tiffany, he was wounded and killed. Mexico's law enforcement agencies have yet to find David's body.

To understand what is happening in Mexico, we must first step back from what we think we know about our southern neighbor. When most Americans look at a map of Mexico, they usually describe the geography from one of two orientations: either looking south from the U.S.-Mexico border or north from Mexico City. But seeing northern Mexico as a desolate, bandit-filled wasteland obscures the influence and overall importance of northern Mexico's economic engine and major population centers north of Mexico City.  As the political center of the state, Mexico City's cultural history often dominates the landscape and conversation. Americans hear stories of the Aztec's god Quetzalcoatl and Tenochtitlan, Montezuma's legendary temple, and think these myths and structures explain the whole of Mexico's cultural landscape.

The actual fusion is far different. Although modern Mexico is certainly defined by its traditional native and Spanish heritage, Mexico's six geopolitical regions—particularly the three distinct areas in the north—have also become characterized by their proximity to the United States.
[1] Mexico's Core and Outer Core form the traditional geopolitical center of Mexico, while the Yucatan Peninsula is Mexico's eastern (and formerly Mayan) naval flank. Mexico's Core, Outer Core, and the Yucatan each have distinct cultures and characteristics, and each has their own challenges. But anarchy in these areas does not have the same impact on the United States as violence does in Mexico's north. For this reason, we will focus on northern Mexico.  See Figure 1: Mexico's Geopolitical Sub-Regions, modified from Stratfor.com template

continue reading this article here  http://www.mexidata.info/id2862.html


Published Thursday, November 18, 2010 10:49 AM by Kanoa Biondolillo


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