State Capacity Fail

You know citizens don’t have much trust or confidence in authorities when they turn to the local drug lord instead for help in solving a missing persons case.  VICE News recently published an article entitled “Parents of Mexico’s Missing 43 Students are Asking a Local Drug Lord for Help Finding Their Sons” and it’s hard to figure out what the most depressing part of the story is.  Here are some candidates:

1. There has been a dialogue going on between a local drug cartel (Los Rojos) and the parents of the missing 43 students.  As far as I can tell, this dialogue so far has consisted of signs posted in prominent places. For instance,

“In February, Los Rojos sent public messages to the relatives of the missing 43, hanging banners in towns across the neighboring state of Morelos — which according to the national defense secretary are under its control — claiming they had no involvement in the students’ disappearance, while insinuating they have additional information.”

The parents responded with a message on a local highway, saying “Mr. Santiago Mazari… we ask you to please help us find the whereabouts of our sons, because this bad government has not been serious with us. To the contrary, it has hurt us with its lies. We are poor people, and they have stepped on our dignity.”

2. The fact that the authorities have declared the case to be “solved.”

3. The sad fact that the parents still expect to see their kids alive again.  As one parent declared “As always, we demand that the government deliver our sons to us, alive, because that took them, and they know where they are.”

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