Welcome to Fear City.
An exploration of Fear Culture in Mexico City.
The affluent Southern suburbs of Mexico City are dotted with large, secure housing complexes. Their beauty as dwellings, marred by the ever present fear of crime.
Armed security guards, checkpoints, C.C.T.V, reinforced gates, razor wire and electric fences all act as a barrier to help its inhabitants, usually rich business families, deal with the fear of being targeted.
It is alleged that Tourists and rich Mexicans are being kidnapped by bogus taxi drivers who take their victims to a secure hide out, releasing them, usually unarmed, after emptying their bank accounts, you are advised never to carry a credit card. The taxi drivers themselves can also become targets, the kidnapper, posing as a client, guides the taxi driver to a chosen destination where he/she is tied up, the kidnapper then tours the city looking for prospective clients in a legitimate taxi, robbing them at knife/gun point or taking them to cash machines until the money runs out, so it would seem that anyone can become a target, the chasm between rich and poor is, as usual, at blame.
The failure of Socialism combined with decades of endemic corruption has left Mexico in a Third World state, even though it is the Worlds ninth biggest economy and exports more than all South American countries put together. The gap between the rich and the poor is said to be increasing, the knock on effect is an accelerated crime rate, prompting Government action in the form of hiring, in an advisory capacity, the Ex-Mayor of New York to implicate the "Zero Tolerance Policy" deemed so successful in the USA, increasing pressure on the near "Police State" system already imposed on many Mexican Cities.
In modern Mexico, the mainstream press lean toward National, as opposed to International News stories and have a flavour for the macabre, their front pages carrying grotesque images of burned/bullet riddled corpses on a daily basis, Kidnapping and Murder, so it would seem, are the Nations favourite pastime.
Conditioned by this type of extreme reporting, the population of Mexico seem to share the same paranoia as many in the UK, but instead of, in the case of the UK, Paedophillia, the Mexican obsession is with Kidnapping, which we are told, usually occur for financial rather than political gain, the Media, as in the UK, relentlessly fan the flames.
This Media Spectacle, cleverly prepares and administers, daily, lethal injections of "Violent Crime" images, creating a perverse belief system based on Fear. The murder victims who adorn the front pages of the Mexican newspapers are almost entirely involved with Drug Cartels and are therefore not a true reflection of, and cannot be connected to, the behavioural patterns of the major population at large.
This "Illusion of Threat" is juxtaposed by the "Illusion of Safety", the images of corpses, kidnapped and violently murdered are used to condone the protective measures so clearly visible in the Fortress Complex, they are used to transfer these safety measures to all public areas, and the heavy Police presence nourishes the Illusion, the "Illusion" is quite simply, the "Protection of Wealth".
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