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Mexico is living a genocide due to the government’s incompetence, which has unnecessarily claimed the lives of hundreds of thousands of people and whose severity increases as the government of the current President Lopez Obrador (AMLO) advances. Yes, it sounds like an exaggeration, but these numbers are not only attributed to the pandemic. We are facing systematic incompetence in the exercise of public power, which accumulates mistakes until the point of literally facing life or death.
The difference between genocide and ineptocide
As we all know, genocide consists of the systematic murder of a part of the population for racial, religious, ethnic, or social reasons. What is happening in Mexico is different: it is not that the government intends to murder people as part of a plan of domination, but that the deaths are the result of the incompetence of the public officials who should be protecting the people.
To end quickly: They are not evil, they are stupid. Maybe a little evil too. President López Obrador does not wake up in the morning thinking about who to kill, but his whims and his mania for surrounding himself with incompetent sycophants in key positions in his administration result in the deaths of thousands of people. A death that could have been prevented by a minimally capable administration.
Three examples and a serious risk of disaster
First, the COVID-19 pandemic. Certainly, the emergence of the virus is not AMLO’s fault. SARS-CoV-2 took the whole world by surprise, but this does not exonerate the Mexican government from the frivolity with which they treated the pandemic. From Lopez Obrador’s irresponsible statements that “being honest” helped avoid getting sick with the coronavirus, to the terrible management of protective equipment for medical personnel, and the hospital strategy that resulted in half-empty hospitals while thousands of people died suffocating in their homes.
The result is that Mexico has been one of the countries hardest hit by the pandemic and ranked dishonorably first in terms of medical personnel deaths. Even now, the president refuses to authorize vaccination of health professionals working in the private sector, while his political operatives, called “servants of the nation” are being vaccinated irregularly throughout the country.
As of April 8, Mexico officially recognizes more than 206,000 deaths due to the pandemic. However, independent estimates set this number in the range of half a million. Even the federal government’s own official data acknowledged that (as of March 15, 2021) the country accumulated excess mortality of more than 417,000 people, of which at least 70 % would be directly related to the coronavirus.
And there is still more to come. There will surely be hundreds of thousands more deaths before this ends.
Second, public insecurity. Andrés Manuel López Obrador and his political team have long denounced the massacres and the increase in the number of homicides during the administrations of Felipe Calderón and Enrique Peña Nieto. Obrador said that, because his government would be honest, criminals would abandon the path of evil, and crime and insecurity would end by resorting to a policy of “hugs, not bullets”. This did not happen. On the contrary, its results are even worse.
Despite the fact that the pandemic caused millions of Mexicans to stay at home for months, insecurity was not corrected. So far during Obrador’s administration, more than 78,000 homicides have been registered, which represents a much higher rate than in previous six-year terms.
Obrador abandoned the strategy of “hugs” in exchange for the failed militarization of the country. Militarization, because the army fully assumed the fight against federal public insecurity (disguised as the National Guard); and failed because, as the months go by, there is an increase of situations like the one registered this week in Michoacán, where soldiers and national guardsmen are fleeing to “avoid confrontations” with the cartels that control more and more of the country’s territory.
Third, the medications disaster. The Mexican government embarked on a supposed crusade against corruption and made the issue of the purchase and distribution of medicines one of the major flags of its effort, pledging to provide a service supposedly similar to that of Denmark.
Obrador stopped contracting with national medicine manufacturing and distribution companies and replaced Seguro Popular (set in the time of the PAN government) with a new centralized establishment, the Instituto de Salud para el Bienestar (INSABI), which was supposed to serve people honestly. The result is that the distribution of medicines has become a real disaster.
The shortage of medicines (which has always been a problem in Mexico) has worsened dramatically. So, in order to correct the situation, they resorted to a bidding process with the support of the United Nations. However, up to now, there is no certainty regarding the purchase of the drugs, nor is there any clarity as to how they will be distributed. This is a situation that takes on dramatic overtones for those who require treatments for diseases such as cancer, especially in children.
Something similar happens with vaccines. For decades the Mexican vaccination system was one of the best in the world. However, today, parents have to spend months searching for vaccines for their children, even those that prevent serious diseases such as tuberculosis, diphtheria, or tetanus. The result is hundreds of thousands of children who grow up without a complete immunization schedule, putting them at greater risk of contracting deadly diseases.
Adding to this accumulation of tragedies there’s also the nuclear danger
The Mexican government has a thermonuclear power plant that is located in Laguna Verde, within the state of Veracruz. On April 9, journalist Peniley Ramirez reported that the plant has already registered several potentially serious incidents, including the start-up reactor starting up without the safety systems operating. In addition, the plant also presented generalized failures of the protection bars that are in charge of preventing further damage in the event of a nuclear accident.
According to the journalist’s revelations, the nuclear plant has had orange alerts at least once in the months of September, November, December and January, which added to the problems of the maintenance of the safety systems, could easily open the door to a potentially major and completely avoidable disaster if the Federal Electricity Commission (which is in charge of controlling the plant) complied with basic common sense standards.
Worse yet, “accidents” have become increasingly common in the Obrador regime. In recent months both PEMEX and the Federal Electricity Commission itself have accumulated accidents and fires, to the point of causing massive blackouts nationwide. In Mexico City, the subway facilities are constantly on fire and one of the fires was so serious that it paralyzed, for months, several of the lines, leaving millions of users stranded.
Once again, these are not isolated events. Just this week there was a huge fire at the Minatitlán refinery (275 kilometers southwest of Laguna Verde). If the lack of maintenance, responsibility and capacity of the officials causes a similar incident at the nuclear power plant we will be, in the worst case scenario, facing a Mexican style Chernobyl.
For the time being, what we already have is an “ineptocide” with thousands of victims, while AMLO’s government hides behind demagogy, and the disasters keep accumulating.
Gerardo Garibay Camarena, is a doctor of law, writer and political analyst with experience in the public and private sectors. His new book is "How to Play Chess Without Craps: A Guide to Reading Politics and Understanding Politicians" // Gerardo Garibay Camarena es doctor en derecho, escritor y analista político con experiencia en el sector público y privado. Su nuevo libro es “Cómo jugar al ajedrez Sin dados: Una guía para leer la política y entender a los políticos”