If anyone has been following headline's in the U.S. press about Mexico in the last month or two, you might have noticed a lot of alarmist and sensationalist garbage being thrown around suggesting that Mexico is coming close to collapse, is a "failed state" or a "narco state." Fox news has been spreading this message, along with a number of political commentators on the Sunday morning talk shows, and even Rolling Stone.
The Mexican state is weak compared to the U.S., but incredibly strong when compared to places in Central Asia or Africa that are usually called failing states. There are no foreign troops on Mexican soil. There is no martial law. Garbage is picked up, streets are swept and children go to school. Middle-class couples take weekend getaways, and drive there on highways as good as those in the United States. After falling for a decade, Mexico's homicide rate increased in 2008, because the Calderón government courageously decided to take on the drug traffickers. If it keeps rising, it may soon be as high as that of...Louisiana.