Four tons of cocaine confiscated by U.S. authorities off the California coast; 35 bodies dumped by the side of a busy Veracruz highway in broad daylight; an attack by gunmen on a birthday party in Ciudad Juárez killing 14, many of them teenagers: tragedies like these, all of which occurred over the past two years and were extensively covered by the media, are common in Mexico today. Prominent Mexican news organizations and analysts have estimated that during the six-year term of Mexico’s last president, Felipe Calderón, over 60,000 people were killed in drug-related violence, and some researchers have put the number at tens of thousands more. Mexico’s crime rates are some of the worst in the Western Hemisphere. According to Latinobarómetro, an annual regionwide public opinion poll, over 40 percent of Mexicans say that they or a family member has been the victim of a crime at some point in the last year. Hidden behind the troubling headlines, however, is another, more hopeful Mexico—one undergoing rapid and widespread social, political, and economic transformation.
My recent article, “Mexico Makes It,” in Foreign Affairs looks at these changes, and why Mexico matters increasingly more for the United States. You can read the article at this link here (free for the next month) or purchase my book, Two Nations Indivisible, for a more in-depth discussion and analysis (available here). I look forward to hearing your thoughts.