Interview with Jair Martinez Gonzalez, Mexico

This interview is taken with Jair Martinez Gonzalez. He is 25 years old and a real Mexican. Jair grow up in Guadalajara, a city with approximately 1,6 million inhabitants situated in the western high plateau of Mexico. He graduated university two years ago in fields of international business. Since then Jair likes to travel and to see the world. Eight months ago he moved to Spain. He previously used to live here five years ago and like it a lot. That was the reason why he came back to Europe. He is enjoying his time in Madrid and works in a Hostel close to Tirso de Molina, where we meet to have the interview. Jair is a very open-minded and talkative person that is why it was great fun to talk to him even if the topic was serious.

Jair and me talked about the drug traffic issue, which is a hot topic in Mexico. Since the election of current president Felipe Calderon the drug war called about 50,000 victims; and it is not about to decrease. It is about 4.5 % of the Mexican population that got killed by drug traffic. When asking Jair if he ever experienced this war going on in his country he told me that he heard several times about grenades blow up in nightclubs and people died. But Guadalajara, as he told me, used to be a safe and quit place. That was mainly because, he explained, the children and families of one of the biggest cartels in Mexico “La Familia” are living there. Therefore they hardly tried to keep Guadalajara as safe as possible. “But now everything changed”, he said.

When asking Jair why it is becoming dangerous in Guadalajara, he announced that earlier there were three powerful cartel’s ruling Mexico; La Familia, Los Zetas and the Sinaloa Cartel. “But when the new president got elected he declared to fight against the drug traffic. He primary wanted to stop the distribution inside Mexico.” As Jair told me, the Mexican president Felipe Calderon appointed the army instead of the national police to control key distribution points. “I don’t trust these guys, because there is a lot of corruption going on”, Jair said. Furthermore the president tries to clean the federal police from bad men. He dismisses policemen in important positions and replaces them with trustful person. To quote Jair: “Nobody wants to take over this positions, because you will get killed. One shot doesn’t mean anything for the drug bosses”.

The election of president Felipe Calderon in 2006 was the start of the drug war in Mexico, but his approach definitely failed. His strategy to fight against the drug cartels with army could not be realized. The government of Mexico more lost control then gained any. Furthermore the cartel’s spread out and a real war began. That is the main reason why also safe cities like Guadalajara suddenly got dangerous.

I asked Jair if he thinks that also the current president or generally the government is involved into corruption and drug traffic. He thought about it for a moment and then started telling me: “Well, you don’t know it exactly, but years ago the biggest drug boss “El Chapo” escaped from jail very easily. So you can ask yourself how such an important person can run away so simply without getting stopped. I really think there are some deals going on between the government and the drug cartels.” Furthermore he told me that the current president want to keep just one cartel. Thus every cartel tries to fight the others. All of them want to be the most powerful. They are randomly killing people to intimidate the Mexican and to show up their power.

I was interested in Jairs opinion about a potential solution for the drug war going on in Mexico. He is sure that drugs will exist as long as humans will. But to solve the problems in Mexico he expressed that it is important, that the government first changes the bottom. That means the education, the infrastructure and the social system. It is important in his opinion to change people’s minds, if anything should change one day. “I think politics and corruption must also be changed first. Make a big clean. Mexico is always been with corruption. Money is the power. This attitude has to be improved”, he says.

My last question to Jair was if he still is proud to be a Mexican. He assured me “yes, I am and I always will”. Furthermore Jair said: “Mexico is a very beautiful country with a lot of nice people, I love it and I will go back for sure. It’s not just about drugs.”


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