Table of Contents
The Hispanic people living in the United States mostly come from Mexico and other Latin American countries. They make up a significant number in the States, and as it was found in 2003, they form the largest minority group in the country. The mother country, Mexico, is affected by numerous atrocities drug cartels being chief amongst them. However, through all the diversity, the Mexican is one of the best known cultures in the United States. The paper discusses the Mexican culture in-depth, linking it to some effects of drug and human trafficking which are done with the help of numerous cartels in the country.
About the Mexican Culture
The Mexican culture has been constantly changing. In particular, life of the major cities has changed to suit that of the neighboring United States. However, the native Mexicans in the villages have not adapted to the contemporary life that is exhibited in the cities. More than 45% of the citizens are found in the cities, and this is a factor that cannot be ignored when studying the contemporary Mexican culture. The major cities include the Mexico City and Puebla-Tlaxcala. The Mexicans are known for the indigenous art that they have which might have been partially borrowed from the Spanish culture. The art of the Mexicans mostly thrived between the year 1800 and 1500 BC and AD respectively. Those artistic characteristics later widely spread throughout the country. The most prevalent artistic feature was the three-dimensional art.
The Mexicans are additionally famous for the pre-Columbian architecture. This is evident in the public buildings and, additionally, in monumental ones. When it comes to architecture, the Mexicans are one of the most famous people in the world. Indeed, Mexico has the largest number of buildings registered in the UNESCO world heritage compared to any other country. Most of these buildings reflect the architectural history of Mexico. On the other hand, the urban art is based on the contemporary Rican influence gaining the name Mesoamerican. In an interview with a native Mexican Richard Rodriguez, he said that the American culture has greatly influenced the current way of Mexican life, including architecture (Rodriguez 6).
The Mesoamerican architecture is further divided into three basic categories. The first one is pre-classics, the second being classics and, finally, the post-classics. In the early years, the Mexicans cities were dominated by the Spanish colonialists. This greatly influenced the way that the natives lived in the country and the way that they related it to art. This is typical to any other cultural background in a country that had a colonial master. The decorative art in the country was greatly influenced by the colonialists.
The literature of the Mexicans has been greatly influenced by the Mesoamerican culture. Perhaps, the most notable of the Mexican poets is Netzahualcoyotl. The modern literature in the country was additionally influenced by the colonialists of the country. There are several outstanding authors of the colonial period that can be used as a suggestion to the way the modern day culture is run in the country. They include Juan Ruiz de Alarcon and Alfonso Reyes. It is also notable that the Mexican culture was greatly influenced by the German descendants in the country. During the 20th century, the Mexican cinema industry rose to fame as many people were starting to join the trade. The other most probable cause is the Mexican revolution that took place during the aforementioned period. The period between 1935 and 1959 is termed as the golden age in the Mexican cinema. This is the period that the economic and quality success of the Mexican films was at its highest. It was a good period since the some of the contemporary, legendary filmmakers nurtured their art during that time.
This would be a disservice to mention the Mexican culture but ignore the music. The Mexican music is founded on the indigenous culture of the people. The most notable instruments that are employed in the music scene include the drums, flutes and seashells to bring out rhythmic excellence in the native tunes. Music is still a great part of the Mexican culture and many people still play it to entertain themselves. However, as of the film, the classical period in the music scene came into play during the golden era of music. This was the time just after the Spanish colonialists had left the country. However, the most outstanding fact is the heritage of the cultural music (Sanchez 106).
Perhaps, the most notable type of sport in Mexico is soccer. However, the sport of bullfighting should not be ignored either. All in all, when it comes to culture, the Mexicans are some of the most devout traditionalists. This is due to the fact that the natives have conserved the culture for decades and it seems to grow stronger and more influential wherever they go. This, to some extent influences, the modern-day American culture.
The culture within Mexico is full of conservatisms. This is because the native Mexicans are not yet ready to sacrifice their traditions in exchange for the modern day way of life. However, the emigrants who come back greatly influence the lives of native young people, thus exerting a great influence into the culture.
The Need to Immigrate
The Mexican people make up the biggest figures of immigrants in the United States. This is explained by the fact that they were influenced by the ranching and mining prospects in North America and, in addition, by the political and economical oppressions in the home country. The policies of the former president Diaz Porfirio were viewed as tyrannical and this led to a high rate of immigration by the Mexicans to some new country, which was the United States. The other factors that forced the Mexicans move to the United States were probably the expansion of agriculture and railroad in the newly created country. These factors influenced many of the Mexicans so that they immigrated to look for better lives trying to respond to their need to have a better living. Additionally, the American dream to the US, as they wanted to share in the rewards of the new country (Compean). The number of immigrants began to increase drastically, and this led to the formation of communities to counter the cruelty witnessed from the natives. This took place was at the beginning and at the end of the1940s. During and after the Second World War, there was a deficit of workers in the agricultural fields and, definitely, this pulled many Mexican employees into the United States. During the late 20th century, there was an additional increase in the number of Mexicans that went to the United States to look for labor and have better lives.
In order to ascertain this better, it is imperative to look at the number of the Mexicans residing in the United States as a fraction of the total population of Mexico.
The Immigration from Mexico to the US
There are many risks involved with immigration to the United States by the Mexicans. The figure below summarizes the number of Mexican Immigrants into the United States and this is key in studying the impacts that they have on the society and why the numbers are decreasing.
The immigrants into the United States mostly settle in Texas and states’ bordering it and this is due to the close proximity that the state has to the country, in fact, it is the border point. The smuggling of individuals into the United States is facilitated by many factors and the chief amongst them is immigrants who are transported to America illegally carrying drugs and other matter that is, probably, illegal in the country. There are numerous risks involved with illegal immigration and one of the major risks is being attacked by drug cartels while in the border to add on others. It is evident that the United States is one of the most prominent countries that a person can wish to visit and, therefore, it would take a lot of risks to allow all people to come in. There is also a risk of incusing terrorists who are pretending to be illegal immigrants and this is a key factor that is usually looked upon by the border patrol (Chomsky 12).
Drug Cartels in Mexico
Mexico is one of the most affected countries around the globe when it comes to drugs and drug cartels. There are seven groups of drug cartels in the country. Nevertheless, there are also other drug rings.. The aforementioned seven cartels are the most influential ones. The most prominent ones are:
The cartel is one of the most powerful; and it is known as a center of procedures is in the northern state in the country (Rivera). The center of operations of the cartel borders Texas on the south. This center is used as one of the key transit points of drugs into the United States. The cartel is led by Osiel Cardenas Guillen who was transferred to the United States in the year 2007 and faces multiple charges on the matter concerning the conduct of the gang he led. The leader is additionally facing charges of threatening United States agents in the country of murder. The organization is, in addition to this, extremely violent, and is the first one in the state to create a military wing with which it could operate from. There are lots of murder incidences in Mexico that are known to be instigated by the members of the cartel, which makes the cartel even more dangerous. The Mexican authority has been constantly looking for ways and means of battling the gang but to no avail since its members are very strong and control a major chunk of the government operations.
This cartel is headed by a family named Arellano. However, due to numerous arrests, it is not clear who the leader of the gang is currently. On the other hand, during the hit the highest point of the gang, it was solely responsible for the supply of 40% of the drugs in the United States. Although it is currently weaker than it used to be, the cartel controls the trade routes in Tijuana and San Diego (Beittel 112). This is the most violent state in Mexico and has over 400 murders. Form the year 2000, the gang has been further weakened by the almost yearly arrests of the gang leaders. This has considerably weakened the gang.
This cartel is headed by Vicente. It is based on the border of America, namely Texas. This is one of the factors that led to the strengthening of the gang. In the year 1990, after the death of the cartel leader Fuentes the power of the gang was considerably reduced to minimal numbers. The Maxiproceso effort primarily targeted this gang and it eventually managed to sabotage its movements in a periiod of five years
This is one of the most prominent drug cartel groups in Mexico. Its main focus is the generation of synthetic drugs. It is a family led cartel and the leaders are fondly referred to as Methamphetamine Kings. However, the three most prominent brothers of the gang have been in cells since the year 1997. Contrary to this, the gang is still operational in many Mexican countries and it is still unknown as to where the proceeds generated are channeled to (Beittel 141). In the end of the year 2005, the cartel has been re-strategizing and this has led to the formation of unions that have seen it start control the drug business in Mexico.
This cartel focuses on the sale of Marijuana and is mainly operational in the south of Mexico. The leader of the gang was arrested in the year 2007. He had earlier been arrested and sentenced to 33 years of jail time but he managed to escape twice. He also ordered the murder of a presiding judge of his conviction. The trade of this gang is usually with countries that are on the southern border of Mexico namely Guatemala. The cartel later formed union ship with the Tijuana cartel and this saw the rise of the gang’s supremacy in the cartel in the southern part of Mexico (Beittel 107).
This is a strong cartel and it is rumored to be operating in the southern Mexico. In addition, it is additionally very tough. The cartel is headed by some of the most prominent people in Mexico and is also linked to the government agencies (Beittel 109).
It is noted that Mexico is a Latin American country and the natives try as much as they can to maintain their culture in reference to the increasing number of people who may view it as weak with times. The American people have borrowed a lot from the Mexican culture including food and code of dressing (Sanchez 13).
There are very many Mexicans residing in the United States and the table below summarizes the numbers.
There were three included interviews in total that were conducted with the members of the Hispanic community in regards to their culture, the first interview was with Mr. Rodriguez who is a Mexican national that turned American and tries to demystify the Mexican culture to Scott London a renowned reporter. In his interview, Mr. Rodriguez says time and time again that the Mexican culture is changing due to the numerous influences by the American culture. However, he is quick to point out that the culture of the Mexican people is still strong and it will take much time to change it. He additionally talks of the Mexican way of life and art in regards to music and bull fighting, and how they hold a sacred place in every Mexicans heart (Rodriguez).
In the second interview, a renowned public figure Mr. Bill O'Reilly talks to Rivera Geraldo a Mexican turned American who talks of the life in Mexico and the way the Mexcian culture is one of the strongest in the world, as well as intricacies involved in the culture in a bit to bit analysis. This is a good reference interview as it suits the interviwee, who was born in Mexico and has an upper hand information on the matters of violence, culture and the new trends in the mexican society (Rivera).
In the thrid interview, Mr. Noam Chomsky is interviewed by Luis Cardenas on the current state of affairs in Mexico and the way the wave of the American culture is infiltrating the American culture, this is a good example of a review of the classical Mexican in a first hand basis (Chomsky).
In a personal basis, it is evident that the Mexican culture is changing and at a fast rate. This is owed to the numerous changes in the culture of the people and influences of the American culture. However, one fact is evident and that is the strong culture that is upheld by the Mexican people. The latter will take a lot of time to erode.
In conclusion, although there are numerous factors that hold the Mexican people back, the most prominent factor is that they have preserved their culture. This makes the Mexicans be one of the leading people in the world to maintain their culture no matter the adversity presented. Through this writing, it is evident that Mexican American culture is one of the most influential in the United States and therefore, it is imperative to protect it at all costs. The issue on drug cartels is also an issue that is affecting the Mexican and American authorities and through joint forces, they are attempting to eradicate it. This is a good starting point in the war on smuggling.