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Matt Chais 7516-6176 Due: 10/28/08 Urbanization & Moving to the city in Latin America Urbanization, a process in which an increasing proportion of the population lives in cities and suburbs, has been growing rapidly over the past few years. This trend has been noticeable within Latin American countries. However, urbanization in these countries has both promises and negative assets. The promises include increase in employment as well safety, in certain areas. Some pitfalls are a lack of security, excessive use of drugs, corrupt government, and congestion within the cities.

Urbanization varies dramatically throughout Latin America, as it such a broad area. For the most part, the bigger cities in the Latin countries have higher employment rates along with higher household income. In most of the larger cities of these countries it is safer for the most part. There still is violence everywhere you go, however it is at a much lower rate than in the suburbs and jungles that lie within these countries. Government headquarters lie in the urban areas, along with the mainstream police and security systems.

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Political corruption and the abuse of drugs are the biggest problems in Latin American cities. A study conducted by National Autonomous University of Mexico estimates that the cartels in Mexico have bribed the Mexican government with $500 million dollars a year to help in the process of transporting drugs. Police are paid such a low salary that the bribes are very hard to resist. They can be offered up to ten times the amount of money they make working for the government to help drug traffickers.

Mexico has become the leading drug trafficking country into the United States. “Since 1990, about 70% of the cocaine reaching the United States has arrived via Mexico. It is a major source of marijuana and supplies one quarter of the U. S. heroine market. ” Mexico has surpassed the notorious country of Columbia in the cocaine department. (An Inferno Next Door by: Robinson, Witkin, and Whitelaw) The Mexican government is a lot to blame for this fault. They are the ones who are supposed to be in charge and step up to end this corruption.

However, a good majority are working for the drug dealers, helping them smuggle drugs and stay out of trouble. The U. S. has prepared comprehensive indictments against major drug lords in Mexico, and all the Mexican government has to do is make the arrests, yet they resist to this. They governemt is very corrupt, making the dug/gang problems ten fold worse. (An Inferno Next Door by: Robinson, Witkin, and Whitelaw) U. S. officials have noticed a pattern where each successive Mexican government has protected one cartel while putting another in jail, in attempt to placate the U.

S.. DEA agents think it’s been the most tense its been in years, since agent Enrique Camarena was tortured to death by Mexican traffickers back in 1985. Carlos Salinas de Gortari was in government from 1988-94, and was thought to be great by the Mexican population – until the truth came out. His brother was charged with murder and illicit enrichment. His top antidrug officials made millions from drug payoffs. He delivered up the cartel boss behind the Camarena killing, only to shield off the gulf cartel Juan Garcia Abrego. An Inferno Next Door by: Robinson, Witkin, and Whitelaw) The saying ‘the rich get richer and the poor stay poor’ is definitely true for Mexico and other Latin American countries. The government is helping the drug lords run the country, while taking a very large cut in the profits. Military officers are now being put in antinarcotics posts in Mexico, which has been said to be a last resort from officials. U. S. officials are operating on the assumption that Mexican cooperation means nothing as long as the cartel leaders run free.

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