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Contemporary Mexican Problems From A Historic Perspective.

Jul. 08, 2013 11:04 PM ET
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Portfolio Strategy, Dividend Investing, Macro

Seeking Alpha Analyst Since 2009

The author is a student of the financial markets and enjoys following their course.

Just the other day it was reported that a dozen or so local candidates for political office in Mexico were either murdered, or kidnapped. There is also footage of ballots being burned at polling stations. This of course reminded me of the definition of a "failed state"(not judging), or of course, what is in a practical sense a state that is so chaotic that democracy can not be maintained within it.


This in turn reminded me of the historic differences between Mexico City and the rest of Mexico. Ever since the colonial era, Mexico City has been somewhat of a different Mexico(at that time "New Spain")than the rest of the country. For, there was an old joke in colonial Mexico City, whereby it was not uncommon to see "Noble" members of society sauntering back into town naked, because they had been stripped of everything down to the clothes they were wearing by highwaymen who really ruled the roads of Mexico, and who would snatch up anything of value that got outside of the Mexico City limits.


In colonial Mexico they came up with a solution for this. Initially though, there were so many bandits that they figured that with the backlogs in the court system that existed even then, that by the time that someone rounded up, came up with evidence against etc, all these bandits, that the prison would be chock full of bandits, and that this would in turn just create another burden, so naked nobility was accepted for a time.


However, all this came to an end when a sort of hybrid police force was briefly established. This new police force's creation was forced through by angry aristocrats, and essentially ruffled bureaucratic feathers because it was multi-agency, and all powerful one could say. This new police force was empowered to be the proverbial, "judge, jury, and executioner", and was given authority over doling out "justice" on the spot to any bandits it came across.


This new police force worked. Bandits were initially shocked by the swift doling out of "punishment"(see beheading), and, in essence this new police force was very effective, because the bandits now had a level of punity that they weren't used to, so this scared them back to whatever cantina's they presumably lived in before, and the roads became safer.


Of course this "golden age" of justice, came to an end mostly because of the grey areas associated with its legal authority of the new police force per se, and the former judges/normal police force/justice system, that felt that it had been side-stepped in the name of results per se. Either way, when reading of people being kidnapped, or killing dozens of political candidates and the news reader sheepishly mentioning that this may have "an effect on the legitimacy of the elections", I can't help but wonder if maybe Mexico needs another "Judge Dredd" style police force, that could perhaps bring a more efficient arbitration of justice to the land of red dye(cochineal) and Aztec lore.


Colonial police force article from some old obscure academic text was assigned as a photocopied handout in a class years ago, will attempt to track it down or some corroborating source......


Example of piece of journalism discussing recent problems in ye olde Mexico; http://www.nytimes.com/2013/07/07/world/americas/mexicos-election-violence-is-said-to-be-worst-in-years.html?_r=0


Judge Dredd reference;http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Judge_Dredd


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