From the capital of an oil-rich nation…

This item comes to you from an Internet cafe in the capital of a country that is

  • oil-rich
  • still smarting from the pain of a U.S. invasion
  • throughout its history has seldom enjoyed a government elected by the people
  • lacking in basic physical security, except in a handful of areas patrolled by guys wearing body armor and toting machine guns
  • not somewhere you can turn on the kitchen faucet and expect drinkable water to come out

Does this sound like a crisis?  Actually it is normal everyday life in Mexico City and somehow nobody seems to mind.

10 thoughts on “From the capital of an oil-rich nation…

  1. Mexico City also isn’t that unsafe. Certainly it’s not great (I myself had a bad experience with a taxi), but it also is a dense and fairly public environment. You can walk around at 2 in the morning, and it’s not that unsafe because of the number of people around. If there’s one group of hoodlums on the street, you have to be worried — but if there’s two groups, even if you wouldn’t trust either of them alone, you get a certain protection. And in reality most of the people on the street are just normal, nice people, who will help you out if you need it.

    I don’t know what to make of the heavily armed security in Mexico. Poverty, a disparity of wealth, security turned into a status symbol, I’m not sure. It’s a sign of economic distress, I think, but not the social distress that is the source of so much crime in the US.

  2. Come Dave, there are loads of things wrong in the UK, but being oil-rich isn’t one of them! Nor has it been invaded by the US and more often than in the US, people get the goverment they actualy voted for. The 4th point is only true in Northern Ireland (which, although part of the UK, isn’t England, of course) and the water, well, I’ll have to give you that one. 😉

  3. The security guards are only dressed like that to intimidate.

    I have no criminal ambitions, but I have heard that the Mexican guards will take a walk around the block for the equivalent of US$200. Besides, it’s only show anyway. Many are standing there daydreaming about what it would be like to earn a second dollar a day. Most of them earn little more than US$1 a day. So you call that security?

    I wouldn’t want to react strangely near any of those guards though, as I doubt that they are less trigger-happy than those in ‘First World’ countries are. (One must use that term carefully.) I am forced to think of Mahatma Gandhi’s comment when asked what he though about Western civilization and he responded that he thought the concept should be encouraged.

  4. I don’t ever remember the US invading Mexico. Must have missed that little blirb in the history books.

  5. Texas and California were illegally taken from Mexico. History “teaching” in the USA is all about remembering dates and not about remembering crimes committed against its neighbours (or natives for that matter)..


  6. What “illegal”? We declared war, we kicked their ass, and we took their land fair and square. That’s how it’s done. There is no law in the international arena except “if you can defend it, it’s yours”…

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