Watching Mexico implode
Breaking news: While the 24-hour cable channels go berserk over a Midwestern snowstorm (snow? in December? perish the thought!) the ticker on the BBC's website informs us that "Fighting erupts in Mexican Congress ahead of presidential inauguration." This would be the second time this week that's happened.
Actually, the inauguration already took place a few hours ago — a stealth inauguration at Midnight this morning to ensure that President Calderon would actually be president by the time Calderon's conservatives and the leftist opposition inevatably slugged it out during the ceremony in Congress.
Perhaps we should back up a bit: The presidential election was in July. Calderon came out less than one percentage point ahead of Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador, who's challenge the results to this day (Calderon was declared the winner in September).
Obrador is even going so far as to set up a "shadow government" with his own slate of cabinet officers, etc.
Imagine if Al Gore had done this back in 2000. And yet, it's happening in the country next door — amid ongoing violence in the tourist spot of Oaxaca, and a backdrop of faltering oil production as the giant Cantarell oil field in the Gulf of Mexico is falling like a rock. Some experts go so far as to predict Mexico will be a net oil importer within a few years. That's a whole lot of political and economic disruption just south of the border.
It is criminal negligence on the part of my profession that these developments have been more or less ignored lo these many months. What will it take before Mexico becomes front-page, lead-story news?