Opinion: The dramatic episode of a mayor tied to truck and dragged through streets is a reflection of how bad things are in Mexico. And it’s getting worse.
Anyone stunned with footage of a Mexico mayor tied to the back of a pickup truck and dragged through the streets hasn’t paid any attention to the surging bloodshed south of the border.
Jorge Luis Escandón, the mayor of Las Margaritas in southern Mexico, is in fact a very lucky man because he’s alive to tell the story of how locals pulled him out of the municipal building, tied him to a truck and dragged him through town.
Authorities freed Escandón from the angry mob and reportedly arrested 11 of them. Call it fate that he got to live to tell the tale, and call it a miracle that the constituents-turned-thugs are behind bars.
The footage of folks dragging the mayor because of unkept government promises is almost something you’d see in a movie. But this is Mexico, where men and women carrying AK-47s and AR-15s decide who lives or dies – and often get away with it.
This dramatic episode, captured on video and widely shared on social media, is a reflection of how bad things are in Mexico. And it’s getting worse.
Just this year, more than 23,000 people have been murdered, already beating last year’s record of 22,316, according to media reports. No president since Felipe Calderón took on the cartels in 2006 has gotten a grip on drug-related violence.
Mexicans are quite literally shredding each other out in a war over drug trafficking and taking matters into their own hands.
Americans would be scared out of their wits if they paid closer attention to what’s happening south of the border. Mutilated bodies are routinely found on roadsides or open fields.
Other times, thugs simply walk up to their targets, as was the case of a drug dealer killed earlier this month while being interviewed by National Geographic.
During the interview at an unidentified location in Ciudad Juárez, Mexico, just across from El Paso, Texas, a rival cartel reportedly opened fire, killing the man and striking the journalist in the leg.
Fortunately, the American journalist working for National Geographic will be fine. But Mexican journalists aren’t that lucky. Twelve journalists have been killed just this year – the highest toll in the world – according to the Committee to Protect Journalists.
It’s disconcerting to see President Andrés Manuel López Obrador, who took office in December, as ineffective as his predecessors against the cartels and, now, not doing enough to restrain the angry mobs.
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