LAREDO, Texas — Sunbury Press has released Robert Joe Stout’s latest book Hidden Dangers: Mexico on the Brink of Disaster.
By the close of the first decade of the twenty-first century Mexico-United States relations had begun to shred. The leaders of the two countries shared a master-servant façade of cooperation and commitment but faced eroding control of the economy, the flourishing drug trade and human rights issues. Despite the propaganda to the contrary every year millions of Mexicans sank into poverty, their lands expropriated and the prices of basic necessities soaring. ICE agents swept through factories, farms and construction sites from Maine to California herding handcuffed “illegals” into detention facilities. Both countries ignored human rights violations and corruption in order to maintain control over Mexico’s pro-neoliberal administration. Violence associated with the “War on Drugs” took over 70,000 lives without materially diminished the U.S. market for cocaine, marijuana and designer drugs. Brutal repression of citizen protest provoked ongoing international criticism and alienated millions of Mexican citizens. The country’s dependence on oil exports to finance social programs pressured the state-controlled monopoly to cut corners, creating pipeline leaks and other environmental disasters.
Hidden Dangers focuses on the period 2000-2010 and pinpoints five major “landmines” that seriously threaten both countries social and political structures. It includes first-hand observations of devaluations, political repressions and border conflicts and commentaries and analyses from officials and academics on both sides of the frontier. The five principal sections investigate migration and its effects on both Mexico and the United States, the drug trade’s influence on the economies and politics of both countries, popular uprisings that challenge U.S. influence and neo-liberal politics, how Mexico’s deeply rooted “politics of corruption” binds the entrepreneurial and banking systems to government processes and environmental disasters, both real and in the making, created by the oil, lumber and cattle industries, toxic waste, floods and poisoned waterways.
Former New York Times Mexico bureau chief, Alan Riding, entitled his 1985 best seller Our Distant Neighbors. Nearly a generation has passed since that writing, and the two countries remain as close—and as distant—as they were then. Mexico and the United States share a border that stretches for nearly 2,000 miles between the Pacific Ocean and the Gulf of Mexico. Deeply ingrained ethnic, economic, and political differences have escalated to the point that armed military forces have been deployed along the border by the leaders of both nations, some to combat a common enemy—the drug corporations—others to restrict immigration, smuggling, and money laundering.
Distant or not, Mexico is undergoing economic and political changes that lie like landmines ready to explode beneath the troubled and often discordant impulses of the two countries to satisfy their divergent social and political needs. These landmines include:
Migration, legal and illegal, exacerbated by profound differences in earnings in the two countries and economic crises in both, a rapidly expanding labor pool and more aggressive deportation procedures on the part of U.S. Homeland Security;
Intrusion by drug organizations into economic and political activities that include assassinations, payoffs, and escalating drug use in Mexico itself;
Grass roots political movements opposed to globalization, centralized government, and unequal distribution of wealth that are being repressed, often violently, by Mexican political forces;
Government and entrepreneurial corruption, including the failure to invest oil profits in infrastructure, debilitating the industry and putting most of the country’s wealth in the hands of a few politically connected individuals;
Environmental disasters and the collapse of self-sustaining agriculture that have created wastelands, polluted major waterways, and triggered rural-to-urban migrations.
About the Author:
As a journalist working in areas with large Spanish-speaking populations, Bob Stout has written about Mexico and its problems and accomplishments. These reports and observations have appeared inAmerica, Commonweal,Notre Dame Magazine and The Christian Science Monitor, among many other publications, and in The Blood of the Serpent: Mexican Lives which was published in 2003 and in Why Immigrants Come to America: Braceros, Indocumentados and the Migra published in 2008.
A graduate of the Universidad de las Americas and long-time newspaper and magazine journalist Stout has lived and worked in California, Texas, New Orleans and Washington, D.C. and in Mexico, Europe and Central America. His books include two novels, a recently published volume of poetry and dozens of literary and commercial magazine shortstories. He currently lives in Oaxaca in southern Mexico.
Hidden Dangers: Mexico on the Brink of Disaster
Authored by Robert Joe Stout
List Price: $16.95
5.5″ x 8.5″ (13.97 x 21.59 cm)
Black & White on White paper
Sunbury Press, Inc.
BISAC: Political Science / World / Caribbean & Latin American
Coming soon on Kindle
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