The information is plentiful and more detailed as we get closer to today’s Latin America. In a way this brings you closer to understanding because the details are more complete. On the other hand, it is also harder to grasp because the general overview of what was happening blurs as stories, regions and view points differ.
In any case the violence continues to grow; or rather I should not say grow because looking back there has always been violence just now it is better documented. And once again, there is a group of people that try to take control of their own lives. In these cases it is the Madres or the drug traffickers. The mothers protest to fix a wrong and the cartels form in order to provide what could not be provided in the current economy. As we have seen before, since they are a marginalized people, the government tries to stop them which causes yet more violence. But this time the end results are different. I would account this difference due to the power of the media. The madres continue to use their voices thanks to the media whereas the Zetas cartel in Mexico uses the bad media attention to establish fear and dominance.
On a different note, I found it very surprising that originally the cartels provided schools, hospitals and other community services. I think this is a side of the story that we rarely get to hear about. I always found it odd that the war on drugs was fought on the front of the traffickers. In my opinion this elevates the problems rather than fixing them as the cartels must then rely on more drastic tactics. I believe that to solve the problem they would need to stop the need for drugs. That way the cartels would be an nonviable business. After all, the users are kind of the root of the problem. It is a lot harder to try to stop it on the supply side because a lot of the people that go into it start because of need. Sometimes it is because they are terrorized and sometimes it is for financial reasons.
Something else that I found kind of confusing was that the government would shut down informal markets. From the reading I understood that most of these people were just trying to make a living without doing as much harm as the cartels would go on to do. Were these markets really causing that much harm? Could the officials not have looked the other way? My guess is that they would not look the other way because they were not directly getting payed. Sometimes it astounds me how people can be so shortsighted. Do they not realize that helping other people up will not harm them? From my point of view, when you help others you are helping yourself. Maybe if people did not try so hard to repress others then there would be less violence; hence they would be benefiting. My final point is work on creating a better community for everyone not just for yourself.
I also found it interesting that cartels provide some social services. However, I wonder if this is out of the goodness of their heart, or a ploy to gain public support?