Belize in Central America, a member of CARICOM, displays the contradictions of securing the state that are common in the Caribbean island states. The urban strip of Belize where the population is concentrated presents the case of incessant urban gang warfare and gun violence fed by the illicit drug trade. Whilst in the rural areas especially along the border with Mexico and increasingly with Guatemala the affiliates of the Mexican cartels control these areas to the detriment of the state. Precursor chemicals for the production of methamphetamine are moved through Belize for production labs in Mexico and Guatemala, drug flights from South America land on Belizean landing strips including its paved roads, Belize is an entry point for humans smuggled into Central Mexico for transit via Mexico to the US and drug production labs operate in Belize in areas under the control of the affiliates of the Mexican cartels. In the urban areas it is now apparent that the Mexican affiliates have intervened into Belizean gangland by eliminating leaders who were recalcitrant when faced with the hegemony of the Mexican cartels. In areas under the control of the Mexican cartels in Belize Mara Salvatrucha/MS 13 is operating in Belize. The evidence indicate that Los Zetas is operational in Belize. Successive Belizean governments have attempted to deal with this reality with the same measures commonly used throughout CARICOM which have all failed miserably. So in Belize we have joint police/army patrols in hotspots, then there are the anti gang measures from draconian law to social programmes including sport etc to the down and dirty paying gang leaders to make and abide by truces. All have failed miserably because the state, the politicians and the national security apparatus are not defining the dynamic and calling the play they are simply responding to the dynamic and strategy of the Mexican cartels with Los Zetas in the lead role. The state is then condemned to playing catch up and will never win because the order of the illicit drug trade creates a new social order that is intent on exercising hegemony over the dominant social order. So when you abdicate large swaths of your national territory to the illicit order you are in fact granting space for the erection of an alternate social order. The politicians of the Caribbean must now accept that their only choice is now an assault on the illicit order as all other measure have failed miserably. Fail to accept this only choice then prepare for endemic violence and all that it brings into play. The latest failure is the strategy of the broken windows man send in the military to suppress an armed enemy that remains armed and the illicit enterprises are all intact as you have surrendered control over your borders. Why suppress and not disarm? Why suppress and not seize control of your borders? Why suppress and fail to interdict a single arms merchant? Because suppression is perceived as a political strategy to win votes from a specific bloc of voters. Nothing else! The failure of the politicians in CARICOM therefore ensures Pax Mexicana.
I have listed just two links which indicate the reality of Belize. Much more could have been listed dealing with political impunity, gang violence and the collapse of state structures.
Click on the link above for Damian Marley’s song. All the questions Damian raised in this song are answered by the new life today of being an affiliate of a Mexican cartel. Damian needs now to sing on the new life that has appeared with the hegemony of Pax Mexicana. Even the songs need updating.