Murder is the only thing booming south of the border
Have you spoken with anyone in Mexico lately? Well, I do often, and they are talking "murders, murders, and more murders."
This is from Therese Margolis, a journalist and editor based in Mexico City:
While oil production, industrial output, remittances, tourism and agricultural activities may have slowed to a near standstill in Mexico in the last couple months as a result of the coronavirus pandemic, there is one national industry that is still going strong: the murder industry.
And, indeed, murder is México is industrialized, rolled out and refined to a macabre art, in figures seldom matched in other countries.
According to the government's own Public Security and Protection Secretariat (SSPC), March 2020 was the country's bloodiest month since record-keeping began in 1997, with 2,585 murders — the equivalent of 83 per day — breaking the previous record of June 2019, when there were 2,543 murders.
From time to time, I check with Miss Margolis about the situation in Mexico. Her weekly posts are alarming about the crime wave sweeping our neighbor to the south.
My biggest concern is this: what happens when the economy comes to a standstill, and we are not far from that reality? What plans does the Andrés Manuel López-Obrador administration have to keep businesses from collapsing and putting millions in the streets? What happens to the Mexican peso when remittances and tourism dry up?
Nobody knows for sure, but no one I know south of the border is optimistic about anything.