After several days in Boston, I am once again home in rainy Ursulo Galván. My kids and grandkids live in Boston and its environs as do some very good friends. Every time I go, I wish I could find some way to get beamed to Boston and back here, a la Star Trek, because the trip is not short, especially coming home. Unless you want to risk missing the only flight to Veracruz until the next night you have to wait over four hours in Houston. In spite of the title of this post, it is not really going to be about contrasts between Boston and The Greater Xico Metropolitan Area (thanks again, DT), although there are many, but between Italy and Mexico. And only briefly, at that.
In Sunday's New York Times, there is already online an article with the enticing title
beautifully written, captivating, and melancholy by Marco de Martino describing Rosario Crocetta, current president of Sicily's governing body, and also life in Sicily, or rather political life in Sicily and Crocetta's perhaps doomed efforts to change it. Sicily appears like an evil caricature of Mexico, with corruption
Crocetta, center, with two bodyguards, Paolo Pellegrin/Magnum for The New York Times
and extortion and threats of murder, often carried out, shadowing every move a politician or a businessman makes.
"Everyone" (whoever everyone is) knows that corruption and so on are also rampant in Mexico. But it seems to me, it is not on anything near the scale it is in Sicily (or possibly in the US, or at least the Highway Department of the State of Texas [just kidding]). It has been charged, for instance, that corruption played a role in the apparently shoddy highway construction on the Autopista del Sol between Mexico City and Acapulco where landslides during the continuing torrential rains caused considerable damage.
In Insight Crime, Patrick Corcoran reports that the giant corporations of Mexico have written a letter to Peña Nieto complaining of frequent extortion threats in public works projects, especially in northern Mexico. The leaders of these companies are the richest men in Mexico (and some, in the world). This of course leads me to one of my favorite tangents: aren't these business leaders also guilty of some crime against the ordinary citizenry of Mexico and the world?) . Insight Crime concludes that corruption of this sort increased dramatically under Calderón My point with all of this is that in Mexico, people can COMPLAIN about it, can put possible perpetrators on the defensive, etc. etc. Mexico does not feel like Sicily.
And, of course, Boston is not squeaky clean, either.
Read Marco de Martino's article. It's really why I wrote the post.