I had an interesting conversation earlier this week about Hispanic politics and politicians. The discussion all got started over the Chiquita Banana Company being under fire from Columbians who want the company to pay out millions in compensation for their lost loved ones which they blame the company for saying the company supports “terrorist factions” in Columbia.
To make a long story short I ended up having to explain to my compadre that Hispanic politics do NOT operate on the principle he thought. That is, he assumed Latino politicians seek public office as an effort to change things in a Latino country and improve the lot of the people. Sorry but NOT SO! That’s not Latino politics at all in Latin America.
Fact is that most Latino politicians in Latin America seek public office in order to get a bigger piece of the burrito! That includes every public official from the dog catcher to the policeman to the el presidente. Bribery and payoffs are the norm not the exception in Latino politics. That’s the way “business” is conducted in Latin America and it’s the way “business” has always been done in Latin America. No true blooded Latino assumes any public official is there to improve their lot and make their lives easier. In fact, most assume just the opposite.
This is one big reason why Latin America including Mexico remain third world countries IMO. When you have public and elected officials who really don’t give a damn about the plight of the common people then how is that country suppose to move up out of poverty and into the modern age? When bribery and payoffs carry more influence than the demands of the common people it breeds mass corruption in public offices and that’s exactly what exists throughout Latin America. The plight of the common people is secondary concern at best IF even that.
This “culture” of public bribery and corruption has existed for decades in Latin America and it’s come to be the norm sadly. Problem is that it is the common people who suffer the most as their governments and elected public officials really don’t give a shit about their welfare or struggle. Oh yes, they see the poverty the masses live in and they see the hardship that the masses are made to endure but, frankly, they do not care. This is because what they care about most is padding their own bank accounts. So if you want a public official in Latin America to do something for you then it’s all about how big of a bribe you give them. Small bribes might get you a little but big bribes normally will get you a lot.
Latin Americas know all this and it is not news to them. That’s one reason why so many Latinos want out of Latin America including Mexico and South America. They know all about the corruption and they know that they are never going to have better lives because their leaders don’t give a shit about the people. So what is their next option? Illegal entry into the land of leche and honey called America! And that’s exactly what they do as we all already know.
I’ve seen the freight trains in Latin America. Hundreds of people are piled atop the freight trains that are headed north towards the US-Mexico border. They ride on top of the freight cars, on the sides, in-between, or anywhere else they can find a space. Some of these people fall off or have accidents and are killed or lose arms and legs. It’s a dangerous ride but in their minds it is a ride well worth it as nothing could be worse than staying in their own countries and enduring lives of gross hardship and poverty thanks to their public officials who don’t give a shit about them! Desperation does not even begin to describe what these people think.
Illegal immigration is a complex issue and the reason it is that is because in order to effectively stop it something must be done about the way “politics” are carried out in Latin America. Latino leaders are NOT providing jobs for their people because their primary concern is how much of a payoff or bribe they are going to get. But that is exactly what must happen in Latin America if illegal immigration is to be stopped. The people must have jobs and hope for better lives. That’s why they come to America. But if there were jobs and hope in their own countries most of them would not be coming to America but staying home. Sadly that is not the case.
It saddens me that this is the fact of Latin American politics. It saddens me that Latin America including Mexico has never had a leadership that actually gives a shit about the common people. It saddens me that these people are so desperate to escape the nightmare conditions in their own lands that they will risk coming to America illegally and risk their own lives trekking through the hot deserts just to get here. But, then again, people do some crazy things when they are desperate and desperate times call for desperate measures. They know well the risks they face crossing into America illegally. They know how hot and deadly the desert can be especially in the summer months. But they continue to come anyway out of desperation and hope for something better than what they had in their own lands. That’s very sad! Sad that these people care more about getting to the land of opportunity more than about their own lives!
I’ve long been an advocate that the solution to illegal immigration from Latin America is to change the politics and economics in Latin American countries. Of course I know that that solution is not very promising because I know the extend of the culture of bribery in those countries. As long as public officials continue to take and desire the bribes then nothing will change for the common people in Latin America and knowing that I’ve also advocated MASS REVOLUTION in Latin America! The way I see it that is the only way things are going to begin to change. When the common people rise up and throw out their corrupt public officials starting with the dog catcher and moving right up the ladder! Then, and only then, might these nations begin to get public officials who care more about the people than about bribe money. And then these countries might begin to build their economies providing jobs for their people. Short of these things nothing is going to change in Latin America and nothing is going to change in terms of the illegal immigration problem either!
Viva la Revolucion Mundial !!