Today more than half the Mexican population live in poverty; small and medium farmers and ranchers cannot compete with cheaper agricultural and meat products imported (dumped?) from the
That lesson seems to have been lost on the Bush administration as it seeks to finalize a free trade agreement with
Reorganizing agriculture will have a great impact upon the rural population. Unable to compete with imported goods from the
If unable or unwilling to move into poppy production, the peasantry will vacate their lands and villages and migrate to cities to form vast urban slums populated by the poor, diseased, unemployed and discontented. Emptying villages overwhelm urban centers, where employment opportunities are few and work offered by the narco Mafiosi becomes attractive.
Migration abroad becomes an alternative, not a few will choose the
Gilbert G. Gonzalez is a Professor at University of California - Irvine