Is the Mexican drug crisis having an impact on the divorce rate in Mexico?
This week, Mexican President Felipe Calderon hosted over 90 nations in a Climate Summit in Cancun Mexico, an idyllic Mexican tourist spot that sees more than four million tourists each year.
The sole purpose of the summit was to discuss how green house gas emissions is affecting climate change all over the world and to try to figure out a global solution to the problem to avert the disaster that awaits countries like Mexico, which, according to reports, is only about six feet above sea level. Though last year’s summit in Copenhagen was largely unfruitful in terms of solution, Calderon did his best to convince attendees that we can fix this problem as a global community.
But it got me to thinking about the Republic of Mexico in other contexts and I thought that one glaring subject that did not come up is the “corrosive” problem that drug violence continues to create in Mexico. Drug violence has resulted in hundreds of thousands of Mexicans being killed each year, as a matter of fact; and one has to wonder what impact, if any, is the drug problem/violence in Mexico having on Mexican families? For example, does it increase the divorce rate?
Divorce in Mexico used to be in vogue. American actress Marilyn Monroe obtained one of her divorces (from Arthur Miller) in Juarez Mexico in the 1961. Many hundreds of thousands of Americans have obtained “quickie divorces” in Mexico as well, but the divorce laws in Mexico were tightened in the 1970s; and since no fault was enacted in most states in the U.S., these laws obviated the need for Americans to run to Mexico to end their marriages.
By comparison, Mexicans themselves typically did not treat divorce as lightly as some divorce tourists did. For a long time, the country, whose religious persuasions were largely influenced by the Catholic religion, had a relatively low rate of divorce amongst its own citizens. However, the recent problems with drug violence may have changed that for good.
Indeed, back in October 2011, the BBC said this, in part:
In the last four years nearly 30,000 Mexicans have been killed in an orgy of violence driven by narco-trafficking, gangsterism and organised crime. More than 2,000 people have been murdered in the city of Ciudad Juarez alone. ‘No alternative’ The escalating body count can be traced back to a political decision. President Calderon assumed office four years ago with a promise to eliminate the drugs cartels once and for all. He ordered the Mexican army and the federal police into the fight. Thousands of heavily armed troops moved into the narco heartlands close to the US border. A hornet’s nest was kicked, and sure enough the president has been badly stung.
A record marijuana haul was recently seized after a shootout in Tijuana
My big question is whether President Calderon is “derelict” in not discussing this obvious threat to Mexican life and society that drug violence continues to pose? What is going on in Mexico cannot be good for Mexican families and children. While the statistics have not been released it is hard to believe that these statistics of violence, crime and death do not belay a more sinister societal problem in Mexico — that of the total and utter implosion of the family as we know it (with the escalating premature deaths from drug violence), with skyrocketing divorce rates, parent-less children and teen-aged pregnancies, and drug addiction.
Stopping deforestation and climate change and green house emissions is definitely a critically important issue and I give President Calderon a big applause for hosting these nations to hold these talks. However, it does leave the question of where does Mr. Calderon stand on the human rights concerns and the familial crisis that is bound to result from this much unchecked drug violence that is happening within his borders? What does he plan to do to stop the escalating violence that is literally killing off Mexican families as we know it? Because as it stands, even when people are not killed, it is increasingly difficult to find work to support the family in Mexico as many foreign corporations find the cost of doing business in Mexico (due to the drug violence) much too costly. This strains the family and the marriages (money is one of the biggest problems to plague a marriage). Many times, however, money is the least of their problems. Families are just fighting to survive the drug cartels. And many lose the battle whether through death or divorce.
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