What if Mexico were a movie?

mexico-hands.jpgThat's the mildly provocative premise of three observations commissioned by Zocalo Public Square. If Mexico had Americans' undivided attention, "say for a two-hour summer movie, how would you describe the story’s plotline? What is Mexico, the movie, really about? Will it have a happy ending?" The trio all assert that the drug massacres are overblown in the U.S. — rather than, say, underblown in Mexico — and wish that the story line could be about something else. That feels like complaining that the post-tsunami stories in Japan should have been about the places that were unaffected. Anyway, here are excerpts:

José Díaz-Briseño, Washington correspondent for Reforma:

If I were to write a movie about Mexico today, I would focus on the daily life of one of the many towns around the country. It would be a documentary of those areas of Mexico rarely appearing in glossy travel magazines or in the drug-war-violence stories in U.S. newspapers.

Blanca Heredia, a former Deputy Undersecretary for Political Development at Mexico’s Secretaría de Gobernación and former provost of the CIDE (Centro de Investigación y Docencia Económicas), now teaching at Georgetown:

Mexico is about the pleasures and pains of experiencing life without assuming responsibility for one’s choices. It’s the adrenaline rush of bending the rules, of escaping them and of making up stories about whom else is to blame for it.

Konstantin Kakaes, former Mexico City correspondent for the Economist:

Therein lies the central theme of our movie—the responsibility that the United States bears for the problems of Mexico. This is something that is occasionally acknowledged by U.S. Presidents and Secretaries of State, but that is not ever really understood. Our responsibility is not limited to the surface issues of crime and violence, but also to the broader shortcomings of development in Mexico.

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