In Defense of the Mexican People: The Campesina’s Grass Roots Response to the Disaster of NAFTA and Illegal CIA Intervention In the Affairs of Mexico
by Mike Harris
In my recent article, I promoted a shift to an aggressive US foreign policy with Mexico. A change is drastically needed. The continuing failures of US Policy are punishing both the citizens of the USA and the citizens Mexico, who in my opinion are suffering greatly from US interventions in the domestic affairs of Mexico.
Let us examine in this discussion the effects of US Policies on the lives of those who are directly affected the most, the people of Mexico. The business interests in the USA have been displeased with and wary of the Government of Mexico since the nationalization of the oil industry, by President Cardenas in 1938. The result was that the 7 sisters, the seven very large US oil companies who lost their substantial investment in the developing Mexican oil industry, were furious and vowed revenge upon President Cardenas and Mexico.
The trend of Mexico acting in its own strategic and national best interest was again demonstrated by President Jose Lopez Portillo, in 1982 when under his direction the privately owned foreign banks were nationalized. This infuriated the international bankers including what in the USA are now known as the “to big to fails”. This was coincident with the first term of US President Ronald Reagan, (more on this later).
Since most of the true motives of US foreign policy remain hidden from the electorate and citizens of the USA, on the surface it seems like the blame for the drug wars and illegal immigration lies squarely upon the shoulders of the Mexicans themselves with complicity from the Government of Mexico.
Nothing ever happens in a vacuum. Sir Isaac Newton was correct as everyone who has studied basic physics can tell you “For every action, there is an equal and opposite reaction”. Things are seldom what they seem, to find the truth, one must be willing to look at the data, and reach a decision based upon facts, not beliefs.
Most people in the USA love and admire Ronald Reagan, I did too. What most Americans still do not see are the behind the scenes foreign policy compromises, mistakes and blunders that occurred during the Reagan Administration. These blunders from the Reagan era have created many of the problems the USA suffers from today. The Democrats held congressional hearing about Iran-Contra, which featured the testimony of Colonel Oliver North. That was great televised political drama, but the real crimes were never revealed to the public, instead it was talked around and never fully disclosed.
During Iran-Contra the nexus of the scandal was that elements within the CIA were importing drugs from South America and elsewhere, selling them into densely populated, poverty stricken, mostly minority areas in US inner Cities. The proceeds from the CIA drug trafficking were directed to the Contras of El Salvador for the purchase of guns, weapons and war materials for the covert CIA backed war to prevent another Sandinista type regime from taking power in El Salvador. The use of the revenue from drug trafficking was also used to buy off the Iranians with weapons for their war with Saddam Hussein and Iraq. This was negotiated by former CIA Director and Vice President George H.W. Bush during secret meetings in France. This was all set in to motion when Bush persuaded the Iranians to delay releasing the US hostages captured when the US Embassy was taken during the Carter Administration, by Iranian students during the revolution that deposed the Shah.
The point to remember is this, during the Reagan administration with the direct intervention of George H.W. Bush, a major revenue source was created by CIA drug trafficking. A revenue source that was exempt from Congressional oversight and review. Under the direction of Reagan and Bush, the CIA was operating unlawfully and without US Congressional oversight. This is the shadow government that directs the impotent elected government of the USA.
This is how an unaccountable revenue stream was created, which continues to this day, now there are US troops guarding the poppy fields in Afghanistan and which generates an estimated $100 Billion/year just from that one operation. There are no estimates of the rest of the global drug traffic the CIA controls. We do know that the majority of US drug traffic comes through Mexico and into the USA at the border with Arizona.
We still have the problem of the illegal aliens and how they fit into this unlawful equation. In 1986 President Ronald Reagan granted a “one time” amnesty under the Simpson-Mazoli Act, to 4.3 million mostly Mexican illegal aliens living within the United States. There were hollow promises of strict border enforcement and a promise of never again. What was not discussed was the quid pro quo agreement that followed the amnesty. President Jose Lopez Portillo agreed to return the assets of the foreign banks he had nationalized in Mexico, in exchange for the one time amnesty, instead of a mass deportation, like President Eisenhower had done in 1954 when 1.3 million illegal aliens were deported back to Mexico.
A deal was reached where certain nationalized banks would again be privatized and returned with all of their assets to their original owners. There you have it, the banks get their investments and money back and the USA gets 4.3 million uninvited, unwanted new citizens. In order to obfuscate this quid pro quo, the banks had to wait for the return of their assets returned until the election of President Carlos Salinas Di Gortari and George H.W. Bush in 1988, after both Reagan and Lopez Portillo had finished their respective terms, and their hand picked successors took over.
Now, we have two situations, one is a channel for drug trafficking has been established in Mexico run by the CIA that generates huge amounts of unaccountable cash. The other is there is now a legal precedent for amnesty for illegal aliens who enter the USA and are rewarded with benefits and citizenship, and unrestricted illegal immigration.
When President George H.W. Bush ran for re-election in 1992 as the sitting incumbent, he was not counting on business dynamo and popular folk hero H. Ross Perot throwing his hat into the ring. Bush was counting on soundly defeating William Jefferson Clinton, and he would have, except Ross Perot with his strong business savvy message against NAFTA. Everyone remembers Perot’s famous quote about that giant sucking sound is US jobs going to Mexico. Perot won 20% of the vote and Clinton won the election, not by a majority, but by a plurality, but Clinton won and Papa Bush was suddenly and unexpectedly unemployed.
NAFTA was touted to be an economic boom, a new economic golden age for the USA with unrestricted free trade from Mexico to Canada. The USA was going to be shipping everything from Caterpillar tractors, Chevrolet’s and toaster ovens everywhere in North America, and lots of them. The reality is that NAFTA is an unmitigated disaster for every country that signed the free trade agreement, especially Mexico. What the Mexican people did not anticipate and were not informed about in advance was the movement of big USA agri-business into Mexico. Suddenly small farmers could not compete at any level with the big agro-producers. The same thing happened in the USA where US family farmers have been systemically destroyed, bankrupted and put out of business, driven off of their family farms in the USA, by the same big agro-producers. The process of agricultural consolidation began in USA during the Great Depression, in Mexico it happened when NAFTA was signed. In Mexico it happened must faster, virtually overnight, as a condition of the banks being returned to their US owners, the mechanisms were all pre-positioned in advance of signing the NAFTA free trade agreement. The Mexican farmers were out of work, homeless , dispossessed, and unemployed, overnight.
The result is the nearly 70 million Mexican subsistence farmers have been displaced off of the land their families have occupied for generations. The displaced farmers have two choices, either move into a big city, like Mexico City, Guadalajara or any of several others, where there is no work for the unskilled. The other choice is to enter the USA illegally and try to find work to support their families. We know that at least 35 million have made the choice to enter the USA illegally, hoping for a job and perhaps another amnesty. That means that 35 million dispossessed farmers who have remained in Mexico must find another method to provide for their families.
Mexico, has many millions of people living in abject poverty, bone crushing poverty, there is no language harsh enough to describe the severity of their living conditions. The question, every Mexican young man must ask, is how will I make a living and support my family?
Back to the CIA: the Central Intelligence Agency involved with their many foreign intrigues, made a decision to protect the revenue stream generated by drug trafficking. How to do this and not get caught? A decision was made to train a cadre of Mexican Army Officers to combat the emerging threat of Communism and terrorism represented by the Sandinista regime in Nicaragua. This cadre of Mexican Army Officers was sent to the “School of the Americas” at Fort Benning Georgia, and trained extensively in every aspect of guerrilla warfare, intelligence, torture and covert operations. This was the beginning of the Zetas.
The Zetas have evolved from being defenders of democracy in Mexico and Central America into one of the CIA’s favorite major drug cartels currently operating in Mexico. In fact members of the Zetas are involved with virtually every drug cartel operating north of the Panama Canal.
The CIA involvement in the drug traffic has expanded enormously, the remnants of the CIA operations left over from El Salvador now reside and operate within Los Angeles County, you know them as MS-13, with over 50,000 known gang members in California alone. MS-13 now has personnel in virtually every city with a population over 30,000 people in the United States, coast to coast, actively involved in drug traffic and many other criminal enterprises. MS-13 is not simply a gang, but a US trained military organization that was trained in covert operations, operating within the USA.
This situation was created by very bad and short sighted foreign and domestic policy decisions that began during the Reagan administration. These bad policies continue to the present day. The CIA shadow government now has more control over US policy than the impotent and emasculated US elected government. This situation was created by the US Government. The Mexican people who have been caught up in these bad policies have been squeezed into two bad choices, enter the USA illegally and hope for another amnesty or remain in Mexico, live in poverty and try to stay alive with a raging drug war going on all around you. Over 43,000 Mexican citizens have been killed to date, with no end or relief in sight.
The continuation of bad US policies continues to this day, under the direction of Secretary of Homeland Security Janet Napolitano and Attorney General Eric Holder. Just look at the BATF failed gun running scheme, Operation Fast and Furious, where the BATF has supplied over 30,000 military grade weapons and 20 million rounds of ammunition to the Mexican drug cartels. Is this seemingly insane action starting to make sense now??
Mexican law enforcement is no match for the cartels; US law enforcement is no match for the cartels. I see no other option than to deploy the US Military into Mexico to create a safe zone to quell the drug traffic and stop the drug wars. The intended result is to create a safe environment, free of drugs, for the benefit of the citizens of both the USA and Mexico. There is no other institution capable of bringing order out of this dangerous situation. The US Military has spent $3 trillion dollars fighting Al Qaeda, in the far off battle theaters of operation in Afghanistan and Iraq, but ignore the real threat in every neighborhood in the USA, real covert operatives like Los Zetas and MS-13 currently out number Al Qaeda by a thousand to one.
Another longer term option that may be successful is to legalize the drugs that are being trafficked; this will take the profit motive out of the drug trade. This is no different than liquor during the period of prohibition. Legalize drugs, regulate, and tax them. Put them under the supervision of the FDA to guarantee quality, dosage and purity. Take the price premium out of drugs that illegality commands, make drugs as cheap as rat poison and watch demand fall, just like Portugal. . This will starve the CIA covert operations and make these agencies accountable to congress and the US taxpayers once again. In Portugal the legalization of drugs has been a remarkable success, with a double digit reduction in year over year drug usage.
Please understand the effect on domestic politics that this CIA drug money has, it allows the CIA using surrogates to buy and influence congressional elections both in the House and the Senate. This can be illustrated by the rise of so many previously unknown Tea Party candidates, and the fund raising success of President Obama, when so many small donations came in from undisclosed donors.
Every sitting member congress in both houses can now be induced to disobey the will of the people. Do you want proof?? Just look at the passage of Obama care which has been overwhelmingly unpopular with voters, yet it was passed. The money from drugs has allowed the Central Intelligence Agency has become a dictator to congress, the servant has become the master.
Maybe once the border region is under control again then the people of Mexico who are illegally in the USA will feel safe enough to return to their homeland and rebuild Mexico into the kind of country they want it to be. Mexico is a beautiful and wealthy country. The issues of social justice, the disparity and concentration of wealth must be addressed to make life equitable and sustainable for all the people of Mexico.
Since the genesis of the problems with Mexico began under President Reagan and George H.W. Bush when they tried to circumvent congressional oversight to fight an unauthorized war in Central America, the United States should offer every assistance to the people and Government of Mexico to re-establish the rule of law, and address the conditions of social injustices in Mexico.
First the United States needs to get its own house in order, and remove the current corrupted management of all of the major intelligence agencies. Every US intelligence agency is complicit in these criminal activities. They all need to be held accountable, congressional or citizen hearings need to be held, with the power of subpoena, and the guilty need to be tried and convicted. This is a catastrophic mess, it did not happen overnight and it will not be resolved overnight, but it must be resolved. It will take an unprecedented level of cooperation between the governments of the USA and Mexico.
To fail to resolve this, it will result in civil war in one, or maybe both countries. If there was ever a time and reason to cooperate for the common good it is now. If we fail at this, the drug violence in Mexico, will be coming to a neighborhood near you, soon.