Saturday, June 12, 2010

Good Stuff

William Finnegan's piece on life in Michoacán was one of the better foreign pieces on Mexico's drug gangs that I remember reading. Rather than describing it as a war between the government (limited by countless corrupt elements) and the criminals, which is the typical frame of mind, he does a great job teasing out the nuances of the confused relationship between the society at large, the various levels of government, and the gangs. (Of course, I've not spent a whole lot of time in Michoacán, so perhaps there are people living in the state cursing the article as 5,000 words of malarkey.)

Speaking of Michoacán, a handful of those detained in last May's michoacanazo were given a formal prison sentence, while another was released.


jd said...

I agree it was one of the better pieces (as well as the caveat about lack of time in Michoacan). The only problem is that after talking to a few people here in NYC, it seems that many New Yorker readers are destined to take Michoacan as representative of Mexico more generally, which is obviously distorting.

pc said...

Yeah that's certainly true, a troublesome aspect of writing any article of that sort. But he could have probably included a brief section running down the operational differences between the family and other gangs.