Nils Gilman has a great article on this phenomenon https://www.the-american-interest.com/2014/06/15/the-twin-in...
States within the global political economy today face a twin insurgency, one from below, another from above. From below comes a series of interconnected criminal insurgencies in which the global disenfranchised resist, coopt, and route around states as they seek ways to empower and enrich themselves in the shadows of the global economy. Drug cartels, human traffickers, computer hackers, counterfeiters, arms dealers, and others exploit the loopholes, exceptions, and failures of governance institutions to build global commercial empires. These empires then deploy their resources to corrupt, coopt, or challenge incumbent political actors.
From above comes the plutocratic insurgency, in which globalized elites seek to disengage from traditional national obligations and responsibilities. From libertarian activists to tax-haven lawyers to currency speculators to mineral-extraction magnates, the new global super-rich and their hired help are waging a broad-based campaign to limit the reach and capacity of government tax-collectors and regulators, or to manipulate these functions as a tool in their own cut-throat business competition.
Unlike classic 20th-century insurgents, who sought control over the state apparatus in order to implement social reforms, criminal and plutocratic insurgents do not seek to take over the state. Nor do they wish to destroy the state, since they rely parasitically on it to provide the legacy goods of social welfare: health, education, infrastructure, and so on. Rather, their aim is simpler: to carve out de facto zones of autonomy for themselves by crippling the state’s ability to constrain their freedom of (economic) action.
This article is insightful, but it's unfortunate that it does not even mention the EZLN  (colloquially, Zapatistas), the majority indigenous and rural breakaway communities in the southern state of Chiapas which have been autonomous since 1994.
Sort of similar to how the Mafia is thought to have arose from protection schemes for Sicily's valuable, but vulnerable lemon crop. https://www.atlasobscura.com/articles/mafia-lemons-citrus-si...
Mexico is a country at civil war and in denial about it. The cartels and affiliated corrupt public officials effectively control large swaths of the country.
Yet when the central government tries to take action against them, naive people in Mexico City take to the streets to protest over civil liberties. The cartel problem is treated as one of crime, when it is really one of insurrection.
When the US had its civil war, Lincoln did what needed to be done: civil liberties were abridged, habeas corpus was suspended, secessionist state legislators were arrested, seceding states were blockaded, and Lincoln openly violated court orders demanding otherwise. Sherman’s March to the Sea had such a devastating effect on the South’s economy that it caused mass starvation among Southern civilians. The time for magnanimity and kindness came after the war, where a blanket pardon was issued on the condition of future loyalty. But until the final victory was achieved, nothing was off the table.
Mexico needs to eradicate the cancer within. Their survival as a nation-state depends on it.
Government statistics show avocado exports now bring more money into the country than petroleum.
Of the civic experiments listed, this quotation from a citizen in Neza seems to hit on a core issue - human trust and particularly in those who enforce laws:
Yazmin Quroz, a longtime resident, said working with police officers, whom she now knows by name, had brought a sense of community. “We are united, which hadn’t happened before,” she said. “We’re finally all talking to each other."
Anyone able to provide any context as to why the cartels would care about a town like this?
As far as I am able to tell, the town is not: a tourist area, on a main route to anywhere, bordering the US, etc.
It is fairly famous, in anarchist circles, that half of a state of Mexico consists of anarchist communes, independent from the state. It has been that way since at least 1994.
I wonder if this has to do with article I read the other day.
(From memory) there was a shooting in Acupulco a day or so ago which left like 8 dead. A local town security force arrested a guy and it turned into a gun battle. Then the feds showed up and attempted to arrest members of the local security force who fought back and some of them were killed also. It's nuts. Hope things stabilize down there. Feel awful for the people who have to put up with it all and used to really enjoy traveling in Mexico.
There's an excellent documentary about one of the first break away parapolice forces called Cartel Land.
"Tancítaro represents a quiet but telling trend in Mexico, where a handful of towns and cities are effectively seceding, partly or in whole. These are acts of desperation, revealing the degree to which Mexico’s police and politicians are seen as part of the threat."
Not to say this is far along the road of chaos, but chaos is always the correcting factor to things. At the end of the day people are going to look out for their best interests no matter the official state line/laws.
Did they really "break away"?
I skimmed through the article so I may have missed something, but what I read was about how the municipal authorities took over many of the state / federal responsibilities. The last one is engaged in a turf war with the state police.
What about the federal taxes? Infrastructure projects? Salaries of the state employees?
O Americans, I would like you to keep it in mind that the only country than shares a land border with USA and is not a NATO member is Mexico.
It is generally a bad idea to have a failed state on your border, but moreover to have one that will be eager to host few Russian tank regiments.
Soviet agents were all around Mexico during cold war years, there is nothing to suggest that they were recalled after the fall of USSR.
Thanks to weakening of the state, Mexico became in my eyes largest real world implementation of libertarian paradise where in the absence of state people are left to decide what's ok and what's not. Apparently plenty of weapons used on daily basis to resolve disputes about who has the right to what is two thumbs up ok.
I feel like a lot of Americans don't realize or chose not to acknowledge that most of the violence in the South and Central Americas is directly caused by the United States. The Bay of Pigs, the School of the Americas, the Iranian-Contras, the CIA supported coupe in Chile on September 11th, 1973, United Fruit Company, .. the list is as long as you want to make it.
It's intentional. The lower Americas are pushed into this state by various corporate interests in the US which are large enough to dictate policy. I've written about this before:
Dont forget how it all ends- every libertarian paradise ends up a italy and greek engulfed in eternal city warfare.
Its crazy that one of the most dysfunctional third world countries borders the most powerful and prosperous. Weird huh?
Sad to read. The US has a big problems, but nothing like the total breakdown of order that seems to have occurred in Mexico. It's an enormous humanitarian crisis, and our response is to build a wall. No, we should legalize drugs, and undermine the economic power of the cartels. I'd love it if someone more familiar with Mexican culture could explain the nature of almost universal institutional corruption.