Home Feature “The Aftermath Of Hurricane Otis Highlights Broader Problems In Mexico” – A must read editorial.

“The Aftermath Of Hurricane Otis Highlights Broader Problems In Mexico” – A must read editorial.

by Yucatan Times
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Nathaniel Parish Flannery, the Director of Research at Latin American Lens, a boutique political risk advisory firm, has written a very interesting and powerful editorial for Forbes, titled: “The Aftermath Of Hurricane Otis Highlights Broader Problems In Mexico”.

The article discusses Mexico’s President Andrés Manuel López Obrador’s reliance on the military for various aspects of governance and how this approach has revealed broader issues with state capacity and institutions in the country. Here are the key points from the article:

  1. López Obrador has embraced the Military: Throughout his presidency, López Obrador has consistently used photo opportunities with soldiers to project an image of strength and state capacity. He has positioned himself as the commander-in-chief of the armed forces.
  2. Hurricane Otis and the goverments poor response: When Hurricane Otis, a devastating category five storm, unexpectedly struck the coastal city of Acapulco, López Obrador sent soldiers to help coordinate the response. The hurricane inflicted damage estimated to cost up to $15 billion to repair. A notable image from this event was López Obrador’s military Jeep getting stuck in the mud, which serves as a metaphor for broader issues with his governing strategy.
  3. The Ayotzinapa incident: In 2014, the disappearance of 43 students from the Ayotzinapa Teachers’ College in Guerrero became a major international news story. López Obrador, an aspiring presidential candidate at the time, seized on this incident to organize protests against the government, demanding justice and criticizing the culture of impunity among the politically powerful in Mexico.
  4. López Obrador’s transition: López Obrador, who once promised to have the army return to the barracks if elected, has embraced the military during his presidency to an unprecedented degree in modern Mexican history. He has gone from advocating for a full investigation of the Ayotzinapa incident to defending the military’s reputation and denying government involvement.
  5. The growing power of the military: During López Obrador’s time in office, the military has been gaining power without adequate civilian controls. This shift is a source of concern among experts and analysts.
  6. Mexico’s violence and rule of law: López Obrador’s presidency has seen over 165,000 murders, making it one of the most violent periods in modern Mexican history. The militarization of law enforcement does not address the underlying issues of conspiracy, corruption, and impunity. Mexico ranks poorly in the World Justice Project rule of law index, behind countries like Russia and Sierra Leone. Experts argue that Mexico should emphasize strengthening the rule of law, focusing on criminal investigations, the criminal justice system, civilian police, and intelligence to combat organized crime effectively.
  7. Weak State capacity and institutions: The article emphasizes that militarization in Mexico is a smokescreen for the more profound and longstanding problem of inadequate state capacity and institutions. Troop deployments cannot substitute for the necessary institutional reforms at the state and local levels.

In summary, the article highlights how López Obrador’s reliance on the military, his shift from initial promises, and the broader implications of militarization on the rule of law and state institutions are critical issues in Mexican governance. It also emphasizes the need for stronger local and state-level institutions.

Read the article here

Nathaniel Parish Flannery also serves as the host of “THE MODERN MEXICO PODCAST” and has contributed feature articles and op-eds on subjects spanning business, organized crime, and politics to prominent publications such as The New York Times, The Atlantic, Foreign Affairs, Americas Quarterly, and Fortune. He holds a Master’s degree in International Affairs from Columbia University’s School of International and Public Affairs (SIPA). His book, “SEARCHING FOR MODERN MEXICO,” was published in 2019. Additionally, Mr. Flannery works as a communications coach, helping entrepreneurs and executives in establishing themselves as thought leaders in the domains of policy and business by creating articles, op-eds, and podcasts.

The Yucatan Times – Newsroom

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