What's Going On In This Country?

June 25, 2018 Edition
BY: SANTIAGO VERDUGO

We are not alone. In suffering terrible water shortages. Close to 1 million people in Mexico City have been left without running water and it’s being blamed on high temperatures, damage to the power grid by high winds, the diversion of water to aid farmers, and a spike in demand by as much as 20% because of the heat. And anything else they can think of.

The director of the city’s water system explained that the capital went through a similar dry spell 85 years ago. Well, helloooo, we have better tech than  85 years ago, we don’t expect this anymore.

But  this is a nice touch: The government has deployed a fleet of 390 tanker trucks to distribute water. Each will make three trips per day, with which authorities expect to be able to deliver 12 million liters daily until the shortage is over. That’s more than our stumble bums running our water department will do for us. And they don’t even have plausible excuses for not delivering water.

Closing the barn door after the horse gets out. As of this writing there have been 113 candidates for various offices assassinated. That has motivated more than 1000 more candidates to resign their candidacy. Now the Ministry of Interior has assigned federal forces to protect the thousands of candidates running for various offices in 30 of the 32 states. The spokesman didn’t say where exactly these guards would come from, but they are probably going to have to be pulled from many different agencies.

The significant part to this announcement is the candidates will have no choice, they will have to accept security, so the thugs threatening them will not be put wise to their fear.

Eight journalist have also been assassinated, but who cares about us? Nobody, sigh.

No more Coke or Pepsi. Mexicans are among the biggest soda drinkers per capita in the world, so people took it hard when first Coca-Cola then Pepsi closed their distribution centers in Southern Mexico due to extortion demands by organized crime. Let’s stop calling these thugs druggies, they are organized criminal operations that have diversified into any enterprise that profits them. They are robbing trains, robbing trucks on the highways, robbing fuel from pipelines, controlling merchandise traversing through  ports, and extorting businesses.

FEMSA, (Coca Cola), complained of "a lack of rule of law and the prevalence of impunity" in the state. When Coca-Cola closed its operations, the only company that remained was Pepsi Cola, so they became the target of the criminal groups.

A local store owner said the gang is allowing two trucking companies to bring in soda from two nearby cities at 50% higher prices. Local stores can only buy from those firms. If they try to bring in their own soda from outside, it is confiscated at gang checkpoints on highways leading into the city.

He said there was an atmosphere of "pain and despair" in the city because the cartel has been extorting money from local business for years in the form of protection payments. For example, taxi or van drivers might be forced to pay a dollar or two a day to operate. Payments are larger for bigger businesses. The extortion scheme has become so prevalent that the cartel recently sent market vendors and store owners a message saying that next year it would no longer demand payments from them, because so many of the snack and food products they sell were already paying protection money at the distributor level.

They’re done with this country. Although about 13 million Mexicans live in the US, it appears they aren’t going to be motivated to vote in Mexico’s elections July 1. Among 4.2 million eligible Mexican voters in the U.S., only 181,000 had registered by the March 31 deadline for the mail-only election. This would be a turnout rate of less than 5 percent.

The Mexican government is moving toward broadening the expatriate vote. This year Mexicans abroad will be able to vote not just for president, but in national congressional elections, and lawmakers have proposed creating seats in the Senate and Chamber of Delegates for expatriates.