It is hard to reconcile this sophisticated metropolitan Mexico with the grim reality of the country’s brutal narco-wars that are ravaging parts of the northern region as rival gangs battle for supremacy and market share in the lucrative business of trafficking drugs northwards into the United States. The savagery that they inflict on each other and to members of the public unlucky enough to be caught up in their crossfire is breathtaking.
Unfortunately, it is this version of Mexico that often informs the impression outsiders form of the country, particularly across the border in the United States. For some, Mexico is not just the location of brutal narco wars but with its cheaper labour, an easy scapegoat for the loss of manufacturing jobs in the US. In an election year, it is easy for the triple concerns of jobs, immigration and drugs to be fused together unfairly distorting the US – Mexico’s principal trading partner – view of the country.