The Mexican government just issued a travel advisory warning Mexicans about going to Arizona — where they could get arrested by the police for no reason — and the U.S. government just issued a travel advisory warning Americans about going to northern Mexico — where they could get shot by drug dealers for no reason. Meanwhile, Wal-Mart de Mexico is expected to open 300 new stores in Mexico this year, thanks to growing Mexican demand for consumer goods. And Mexico’s drug cartels will probably open just as many new smuggling routes into America thanks to our growing demand for marijuana, cocaine and crystal meth.
So this a strange time because there are immigration problems, drug violence, and American companies expanding operations in Mexico? How is that outside of the norm of the past 15 years?
He goes on to explain that understanding Mexico is to understand the three groups fighting for Mexico's future: the No's (those with a vested interest in maintaining the corporatist privileges established by the PRI, i.e. the Pemex union), the Nafta's (more meritocratic modernizers), and the Narcos. As is often the case with Friedman, this is an unnecessarily simplistic formation with labels that don't fit as well as he seems to think, although I think the point that a fundamental challenge for Mexico is to reduce the power of the more reactionary special interests left over from the twentieth century is sound.