In his paper, “Can Mexico Fix its image Problem,” Beith focuses on the main image problem suffered by Mexico. He highlights how drug gangs have been able to not only hold the country hostage but also assert itself as a parallel authority to the official government (Beith, p. 1). While highlighting the challenge presented by these drug gangs, the author notes that the world has opted to brand Mexico by its problem ignoring the other aspects. However, he acknowledges that the magnitude of the problem is alarming when he says, “The security situation — gang-related massacres are becoming increasingly common in states like Durango and Tamaulipas, while the blockading of roads out of Monterrey have threatened to capsize the local economy — is reaching a level of urgency that could affect U.S. support and funding (Beith, p. 5).” He however notes that the Mexican economy has been on a continuous growth pitting it as an emerging economy, which is a positive aspect of the country. The paper highlights how Mexico’s image branding has been influenced by the persistent challenge it faces as a result of the complex drug gang network plaguing the nation.
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While the author acknowledges and presents empirical evidence to support the level of challenge presented by drug gangs in Mexico, he disagrees that this should be the sole basis for branding the country’s image globally (Beith, p. 7). However, he cites poor communication from the government as the cause of the negative image perceived of Mexico. He notes that under Calderon’s rule, a lot has been done despite the fact that the administration has been reluctant to publicly communicate its efforts (Grillo, p. 34). By highlighting these observations, the author eclipses his argument in a manner that suggests his argument scope. He successfully highlights the reason for Mexico’s negative image, the wrong perception arising from the problem, the real situation and ultimately the reason for misconception (Beith, p. 4).
The author proposes a scenario that is likely to shape future issues relating to drug gangs. He notes that the next president has an already cut-out role in dealing with the gang. While noting the current regime’s role in fighting this menace, he also notes that the next elections will be heavily dependent on this issue. He notes that the electorate is currently disgruntled by the efforts put forth so far, a situation he blames on lack of communication (Beith, p. 8). This in essence presents a two-fold scenario. If the next government fails to address the existing gap, then the country is more like to be plunged into more disgruntlement. However, if the next government is able to fill this gap, the public is likely to cooperate with the government and help fight the drug gang’s menace facing Mexico. Other than the communication gap, the author also highlights the unity of purpose as lacking within the political divide. He notes that the political parties have refused to work together (Beith, p. 11).
According to the author, the situation is further degenerated by the government’s laxity to act firmly against the drug gangs. He also cites various materials suggesting that the government to some extent has condoned drug gang activity. More specifically, he cites the Sinaloa gang which according to leaked cable information was favored by the government to win the drug gang wars. In essence, the paper covers a broad range of factors that have influenced Mexico’s global image and notes that the next president has a challenge of re-branding Mexico, a process that requires the elimination of drug syndicates if visible results are to be obtained.
- Beith, Malcolm. Can Mexico Fix Its Image Problem? Washington DC: Slate Group, 2011.
- Grillo, Loan “Mexico cracks down on violence”. Seattle Post-Intelligencer 14, Associated Press, 2009.