We need this list. In order to do anything, we need to know certain things, and our implication in them. But first, it is important to clarify that there’s a lot more to Mexico than violence. Yes, it is in desperate need of a course reversal, but it would be problematic to construct it as a place that needs rescuing. Rather, we must think of it as a place with much cultural and ecological diversity and beauty, with much to offer the world. And like any other place, it is a place that deserves dignity and peace.

So, I think the question shouldn’t be between, “Poor Mexico, when will the international community save it?” and “Damned neo-imperialism; won’t they ever leave Mexico alone?” Rather, I think the point is to show that we are in the worst possible limbo somewhere in between, where:

(1) The Mexican and U.S. tax payers pay billions of dollars for the drug war, mainly to military contractors, to no avail and creating no improvement for either country’s national security. As Musa al-Gharbi wrote for Al Jazeera:

“In 2013 drug cartels murdered more than  16,000 people in Mexico alone, and another 60,000 from 2006 to 2012 — a rate of more than one killing every half hour for the last seven years. What is worse, these are estimates from the Mexican government, which is known to deflate the actual death toll by  about 50 percent.”

(2) The U.S. military and intelligence collaborates with and empowers a corrupt narco-state in Mexico.

(3) The DEA collaborated with the Sinaloa Cartel, providing them with support such as visas and legal access to move drugs into the U.S., including inside of a cocaine-packed 747 cargo plane, in exchange for “intel” on the other cartels.

(4) The CIA distributed U.S. weapons to cartels (allegedly to “track” the guns, although it is believed this is meant to help it fight the rogue and ruthless Zetas cartel, which was started by former members of the Mexican army’s special forces also trained in counterinsurgency tactics by the U.S. army in Fort Bragg, Georgia).

(5) Corruption is not only in the public sector: even the giant Walmart allegedly bribed its way through the Mexican bureaucracy. Meanwhile, the world’s big banks help launder money for the cartels, who rack in profits to the tune of more than $40b each year.

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