22 September 2006
Mexico prepares for December's massacres
Mexico may be limbering up for a time of great wailing and smashing of teeth, at least according to senior police sources that have been speaking to the Exile.
When asked if the state was prepared to deal with any eventuality with mano dura tactics, one cop replied that it would not be mano dura but mano blanca. A great belly laugh followed this remark.
For the benefit of those uninitiated into Mexican ways, the mano dura, or hard hand, refers to what we would call the heavy manners. Basically turning the state's bootboys loose on all and sundry. However, mano blanca (white hand) is a cynical reference to the Tlaltelolco Massacre of 1968. Then troops and police were used to coral the demonstrators - indeed many were killed by them - but then men in civilian garb, each wearing a white glove on one hand to identify themselves, were sent in to carry out the rest of the dirty work.
So, what is likely to happen after Felipe Calderon is sworn in on the 1st December? Probably the riot squad will be used to disperse large groups of demonstrators, then the "outraged citizenry" will pile in to really apply the treatment. If the international press runs photographs of corpses, then the Mexican state has deniability: it's not us, guv, it's the people taking matters into their own hands.
Washington will be kept advised and will not complain - the last thing that the USA wants is chaos on its southern border. If the Americans are happy then the mainstream media and the wankblogs that are currently screaming for action in Darfur will also keep quiet. The corpses will be cleared away and life will go on as normal, is the theory.
If this comes to pass, remember that you read it first at the Exile's blog.