Travel Log - Mexico - May 2024

May 24, 2024

This blog, and probably several more, will be travel logs. I am on a lecture/consulting tour of Mexico, Serbia, Northern Macedonia, Montenegro, and Israel.


On June 2, Mexico will have an election for the next president, members of parliament, and governors of the different states. The leading candidate for the presidency is Claudia Sheinbaum, a Jewish woman, the first-ever woman to be president of the country and the first-ever to be Jewish. The competitor for the position is also a woman. The streets of Mexico City have posters of the candidates for membership in parliament and for governors of the different states of Mexico. Most of them are women.

Mexico is a macho country in its culture, so choosing women to lead the country is a significant departure from the norm. Choosing a Jew for the presidency is no less surprising, considering the rising antisemitism in the world. In Mexico, no one is making an issue of her ethnic background (she is not practicing the religion nor a member of the Jewish community). Mexico exhibits no antisemitism. In talking to my Jewish friends, they all confirmed that there is no antisemitism in Mexico.

I believe what is causing this acceptance is that many of the non-indigenous Mexicans have Jewish roots. Many escaped to Mexico from the Spanish Inquisition, later from Central European pogroms, and recently from the Holocaust. Many converted to Christianity, but subsequent generations know their roots.

What is preoccupying people is the strength of the drug cartels. There is a belief that the cartels are stronger than the military, and there is suspicion that many in key government positions are on the cartels' payroll. The claim on the street is that no one can become a leader of a state or the country unless he or she is approved by the drug cartels. Those who oppose the cartels face the danger of being assassinated.

The drug network appears to be a sub-state, a state within the state of Mexico. They dominate, and the formal state does not move in legislation or carry out legislation unless the drug cartels approve of it. A big question is how and if Mexico will be capable of freeing itself from the drug industry's grip. It appears that it will not be able to do so if the demand across the border in the USA is alive, huge, and accessible. The USA putting pressure on Mexico to control the supply of drugs is useless. To kill supply, one must kill demand first. The demand is so huge and thus so economically rewarding that the cartels will always find a way to ship drugs to the USA if there is demand. It is the task of the United States to control demand. Supply will match the demand.

I am on my way next to Belgrade, Serbia. Report on it, next week.

Written by
Dr. Ichak Adizes