Wow: When Barry Met Kathy
**Posted by Phineas
Well, it apparently is at least in Deep South Texas in the Rio Grande Valley, whereto many Mexican businesses are relocating to escape the violence just south of the border:
“If you think about South Texas, we’re like a big thumb sticking into Mexico. We have access to the port, through rail; it’s an ideal place to be,” says state Rep. Aaron Pena.
Our thumb has a giant shield.
“It’s about security, and it’s about proximity to markets,” says Pena.
Pena says he has seen a change in the Rio Grande Valley. Manufacturing workers don’t want to go south of the Rio Grande.
“What’s great here is that we provide the security of our state, our military, our institutions. They’re all here. It makes it a better place,” says Pena.
“It is disturbing to go through this on a daily basis; it’s almost like working for a funeral home,” says Miguel, who worked at a maquiladora.
The cost of business is more than what is in the bottom line. Cartels cut off supply routes and hijack drivers. Companies have to pay different organizations to move their goods. It’s no longer worth the risk.
“They think that maybe the things will get better over in Mexico, but in the meantime, they’re put their roots here,” says state Rep. Veronica Gonzales.
Even the lower cost of labor in Mexico is less and less able to make up for the lack of security. And while it’s to the benefit of McAllen and other parts, it also points to a spiraling problem in Mexico: as the jobs leave, those left without work will either have to go to other parts of the country to find a job, come north (probably illegally), or make what money they can in their own region, perhaps by working for the cartels.
I honestly don’t think this is to the long-term benefit of the American side of the Valley, either. If you think of the border region as a neighborhood with the actual boundary being the street running down the middle, then “broken windows” on one side are eventually going to degrade the other. And we’re already seeing plenty of incidents of cartel crime and violence on “our side of the street.”
The failure of the Mexican state to provide security along their northern border leaves the gunmen as the only real winners.
(Crossposted at Public Secrets)