Must-See TV

October 14, 2010

As astonishing as some of the stories I’ve posted on this website in the past few days might seem, they don’t give you a true appreciation of the gravity of the problem Mexico is facing right now. That’s why you need to watch a stunning documentary produced by Vanguard entitled The Narco War Next Door. For those of you unfamiliar with Vanguard, it’s a brilliant documentary series shown on Current TV, which I highly recommend. This particular documentary focused on the narcotics-based culture that has gradually consumed vast swathes of Mexican territory and infected law enforcement at all levels. 

The correspondent covering this story, acclaimed investigative journalist Lisa Ling, also delves into the impact Mexico’s narco culture has on the United States, interviewing several experts who assert with confidence that the violence that has claimed tens of thousands of lives in Mexico will inevitably seep into the United States. Perhaps the most chilling portion of Lisa Ling’s report is her visit to the Mexican state of Sinaloa, whose prosperity was generated in large part by the head of the Sinaloa drug cartel, i.e. “El Chapo,” the intimidating figure whose mug shot is seen above. 

The upshot of The Narco War Next Door-although Ms. Ling never articulates it during this documentary-is that Mexico is fast-approaching the point where it will become an ungovernable, anarchic state. The future can be discerned from looking to the past. Specifically, 1990s Colombia, where drug lords like Pablo Escobar effectively dictated government policy. That is something Mexico can look forward to, but also something that will impact American lives if we continue to treat border security as an afterthought. 

If you don’t do anything else this week, watch that Vanguard documentary.

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