Why is Mexico so dangerous

Crime in Mexico

A 3,141 km border runs between the United States of America and the United States of Mexico. It leads from the Pacific to the Gulf Coast while crossing a wide variety of landscapes. It is one of the most frequently crossed borders in the world.

Unfortunately, as is well known, there are countless illegal attempts by the Mexican population to leave the border behind and start a new life in a promising neighboring country. Every year, thousands of migrants from Latin America, driven by the desire for work, higher wages, better living conditions or fleeing civil wars, try to overcome the barrier to the “golden land” using a variety of methods. Hundreds of people die every year. They die of thirst, drown or fall victim to dangerous attempts to cross.

Government action against illegal border crossings

The governments of the two countries want to improve the situation. As early as the 1980s, the USA drafted new laws that made immigration conditions stricter and also strengthened border controls with the Border Patrol. The situation for migrants has deteriorated further since the 1990s: immigration quotas have been cut, people who were in the USA without documents have been deported and the budget for border controls and security has increased many times over. In 1993 the USA started building a wall. In 2006 the Secure Fence Act of 2006 was passed under President George W. Bush. The fence was then expanded and reinforced. Border controls as well as the number of border guards have been increased again. Sophisticated technologies were included for intensive protection. This applies above all to the transitions between the cities of Tijuana - San Diego, Ciudad Juarez - El Paso, and Matamoros - Brownsville. In the meantime you have to cross the perilous deserts to get closer to the "sueño americano" (American dream). An article about life in Tijuana, on the American-Mexican border (June 2013) from the German weekly newspaper “Die Zeit” describes the dangerous border crossings of fugitives. The city of Tijuana can be easily reached by foot from San Diego / USA.

Results of previous measures

The Mexican government also wants to fight the terrible conditions along the border. The military is increasingly used against local cartels and corrupt police officers. In part, however, it only increases the extent of the conflict. The power of the gangsters grows and the state surrenders.

With the construction of the wall and the arming of border guards, one has the feeling that the situation is only getting worse - everything in the border area is becoming more expensive and dangerous, more people are dying. There are numerous critical voices that speak out against the measures taken. Unfortunately, there are also few ideas that are simpler, more effective, cheaper and less dangerous.

The border represents an ordeal - for the countries and their inhabitants. The crime rate in the border areas is increasing steadily. Murders, violence, drug and arms trafficking, prostitution, human trafficking and homelessness are the order of the day. Here, all means are fought for wealth, against poverty, for recognition, but also for identity and belonging.

The facets of the border

Especially in economic terms, the border between Mexico and the USA is a curse, but also a blessing.

Ciudad Juárez is one of the most important cities for drug and human trafficking. This is where about 90 percent of the cocaine coming from Latin America is smuggled into the United States. In return, weapons are shipped from Texas or Arizona to the neighboring country on a daily basis, thanks to relaxed gun laws.

New debates are constantly being held and new laws passed, and cooperation between Mexican and US governments is being increased. Due to Mexico's economic and political dependence on the USA, its willingness to cooperate in the fight against illegal immigrants is guaranteed, even though emigration as an “economic and social outlet” at the same time significantly relaxes the labor market in Mexico. Billions have already been invested in this fight on both sides.

But not only the Mexicans are to blame for this bloody fight. The United States, too, must admit that it is playing a major part in this: there is an insatiable demand for drugs, mainly cocaine, marijuana and amphetamines. Arms smuggling across the border is not adequately stopped, which leads to the daily deaths of police officers, soldiers and civilians.

Advantages of the limit

The business of the “maquilas” is flourishing. These are factories of international corporations on the Mexican side. They live from the cheap labor who manufacture the goods, which are then sold across the nearby border. In addition, the border towns are considered entertainment centers, gambling dens and cheap shopping for Mexicans and Americans alike. Professional Mexican smugglers, so-called "coyotes", earn a golden nose in drug and human trafficking. The border regions of Mexico have the highest salaries, the lowest unemployment rate and the lowest poverty, although the illiteracy rate is among the highest in the country. Nevertheless, there are important reasons for Mexicans to live in this dangerous region.

The US itself also benefits from immigrants. They serve as cheap labor without which some firms would find it difficult to survive. Hard-working immigrants are particularly welcome in agriculture, gastronomy and construction.

In contrast, the "remesas", the money transfers from emigrants to their families in Mexico or other Latin American countries, have now become one of the most important sources of foreign currency in these countries.

With the NAFTA free trade agreement, the flood of immigration should be better prevented from an economic point of view.

In addition, the Mexican-American border also represents a dividing line between the Latin American and the Anglo-American world. A partition between the first and third world. The countries themselves, but also their inhabitants, are fundamentally different. There is a boundary between rich and poor, between Protestants and Catholics, but also between a historically shaped and a high-tech society. Almost insurmountable differences.

Disadvantages of the limit

Human dignity and health, e.g. The number of women and men in Ciudad Juárez, for example, is falling dramatically due to prostitution and drug addiction. But fear and related violent crimes are also increasing, meanwhile also on the American side.

On the one hand, there are Mexicans who develop a downright hatred, an enormous aversion to everything American, because they curse Mexico's economic dependence and still see their pride hurt at the former loss of Mexican territories. On the other hand, countless Mexicans look up to US citizens. You admire their accomplishments and wealth. They want to emigrate and earn money in the USA at least for a certain period of time. A mixture of contempt and admiration.

Millions of Mexicans or other Latin American citizens are already living in the southwest of the USA, who Hispanicize entire streets or even districts and thus recapture the areas at least culturally. Los Angeles is the second largest “Mexican” city after Mexico City.

But not only the Mexicans, but also the Americans do not know everything about their neighbors. For many US citizens, Mexico stands for dirt, danger, and a few beautiful, clean and safe places to travel to. Despite everything, many American pensioners are drawn to the dream beaches of Mexico, who spend their old age there.