Posted by: | March 25, 2009 | Comments Off on Traffic

I thought this was a really good film. It was completely biased towards the Americans, but it was still a good film nevertheless. The reason I’m saying it was biased towards the Americans is because the Mexican government and military seem to be corrupt up to the last person, and the only person that was not corrupt (Javier) is the one that actually gets to succeed, working for the US. It also raises the issue of the war on drugs being both on the street and on the home, its a war that needs to be fought on both sides. It was interesting to see judge Wakefield have to decide between his family and his country. I think the message of this film is that we first need to start with the war on drugs on an every day level and then move to the whole country. Teenagers need to be educated more and then the levels of demand can lower. That was actually a way that Mexico was portrayed negatively, I don’t know if their stand on demand is that one (“Drug addicts overdose, and then they die. One less to care about) but it was viewed under a very negative light. It is something horrible to say, but the US does not do anything to help them.
In relation to the portrayal of Mexico, we don’t get to see much of Mexico outside the law part, we see the criminals and the military, and even they work together to send drugs to the US. I think this gives a really negative message about Mexican law enforcement: no one in Mexico cares about the US, they just want to send gangs through. I think this is specially the mentality of the US right now, Obama has cut off free truck trade, not allowing as many trucks to pass the Mexican-US border. This is of couse as a measure to cut the amount of drugs that pass the border. Mexico is infuriated because this violates NAFTA and the peso has devalued, but the power that these drug lords have is incredible. El Chapo (Sinaloa cartel)recently made it to the forbes billionaire list, the Tijuana Cartel made 200 million dollars in 2000. I think that recently has been the first time the US has actually done something about Mexican cartels that have been increasing in size over the last 5 years. It is also the first time the secretary of state works with someone in the government, as we saw in the film, the Texan intelligence agency has no contact with the Mexican side.
There is a weird humanization of Mexicans though. They all seem to be connected to the world of illegal drugs, and yet they are humanized as to say that their economy depends on it. They all live from the profits, it is all connected in the US and in the Mexican border. I think what this film was trying to say, is that in the end, when it comes to drugs, there is no border. The Tijuana cartel can kill anyone in any side of the border. Yet there is this huge difference in the way people live, the yellow saturation shows a more degrated Mexico, while the US suburbs are shown in bright colors and in Golf courses. While Javier is in the desert, Helena was drinking watching her son playing Golf. In my opinion, everyone benefits economically, and everyone loses in the end. If the US wants to actually have a war on drugs, it needs to help Mexico distance itself from the economic dependence it has right now on illegal drugs. It also needs to realize that looking for the main guy won’t help, they have to destory the factories and the coca plantations. and the way to do it, according to this movie, is give the people a chance for change into betterment: money.


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