Once Upon a Time in Mexico Predicts Future! Doc Brown stunned.

Posted on 05 April 2009 by Quaid

Hi all.  Quaid here, introducing you to a very strange young man.  His name is Colonel Mandrake, and he’s here to blow your mind with some out-of-character high-brow musings on our favorite Mexican director, Robert Rodriguez (as well as politics and why paradise ain’t what it used to be).  So without further ado, say hello to ColonelMandrake…

Gregori Rasputin…Cassandra…Tiresius…Rodriguez…? Move over seers and oracles; there’s a new kid in town. When widespread violence erupted in Mexico, one man had seen it coming. P.S.–he makes action films.

robert_rodriguez1In his prescient, epic Once Upon A Time In Mexico Robert Rodriguez foretold a future where the drug cartels were within reach of seizing control of the Mexican government.  Fast forward and see the prophecy fulfilled. Mexico has come to resemble Columbia or Afghanistan, rife with factional violence fueled by drug money. The body count in Mexico has topped five thousand with the potential to double in the second year of fighting. While these statistics are staggering, they merely speak to an underlying crisis of confidence in the Mexican Government that has allowed alternate power structures to assume its place. And in a country with a strong history of patronage structures operating as the defacto government, drug cartels are a natural fit.

The success of America’s war on drugs in Columbia has created an opening in the world of drug trafficking, and Mexico is clearly making a bid to be the new top dog. Its proximity to America’s drug users, and therefore markets, put it in an elite class along with several Caribbean nations. Rampant corruption among Mexican police, who treat kickbacks as an expected part of their salaries, has allowed the drug trade to proliferate over years.  Previously, there was a ceiling in terms of the total volume of narcotics traveling through the region. With Columbia slacking in its production, the market has shifted to its next logical producer. Throw in tons of armaments brought across the border from the United States due to its cache of weapons and loose gun laws, and what you get is a system of ‘roided out street gangs engaged in the mother of all turf wars – with the government. This is a perfect storm that would make even Wolfgang Peterson salivate. And it all adds up to the drug base of Latin America relocating to Mexico.

once_upon_a_time_in_mexicoNow Mexico is finding itself in a role it hasn’t been accustomed to in nearly one hundred years–that of a contagious source of violence and upheaval that alarms its neighbors. The passing of the anniversary of the Mexican Revolution augers poorly considering this milestone has coincided every century with yet another revolution. Remember Pancho Villa?  You know…that guy Antonio Banderas played in another action film? Yeah, that’s right. He was involved in the last revolution, so the actor’s casting in both pics is an inspired act of genius. At the very least this turn of events grants OUATIM an extended shelf-life and provides the mother of all inside jokes to those in the know.

As the Cartels arm themselves with 50 Caliber sniper rifles, anti-tank rockets, appropriated military hardware, and stolen munitions that may next reappear as IEDs, something appears dreamlike about it all. I half expect Bob Rodriguez to end the take and watch the carnage vanish like on oh so many of his digital special effects. Andy Dufresne could return to Zijuatenjo (an epicenter of the violence) and all would be well. I am loath to admit that such a return to normalcy is just not in the cards at the moment. But we can all draw succor from Señor Rodriguez’s words of inspiration, “Are you a Mexi-CAN…or a Mexi-CAN’T?” So get in there, Mexi-CANs, and take back your county. And to the Mexican Chuck Norris, Danny Trejo, I entreat you – Mexico needs you and your throwing knives to dispense justice. Personally, I sleep better at night knowing that OUATIM ended with the cartels losing and the people retaking their country.  I will take Rodriguez at his word. Though if he was right about this one, then maybe I shouldn’t have laughed at those Enquirer stories about vampires and alien faculties…


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