Following up on my previous article on Mexico, I want to add something else I've been thinking on for the last few days: the cultural landscape of Mexico. Specifically, the mixing of Aztec and Latin culture.
As I've mentioned Prof Carroll Quigley several times, his theory of civilization re-generations have changed my view of events. Spain's colonial period has layered a Latin veneer over Latin America. The Latin-Mediterranean-Spanish culture meshes fairly well with Hispanic sensibilities, so it may sometimes be difficult to detect any leftover signs from the native civilizations like Maya or Aztec. There have been Indian revolts throughout Latin American history, reflecting the continuing undercurrent of native alienation. [Recent examples include FARC, Shining Path, basically all of the land-reform movements.]
Communism had co-opted native discontent during the 20th century, but the ending of the Cold War and the narco economy has fueled an alternative model. The narco economy is serving as the instrument of the society, and the vestiges of the native culture serving as the glues of the society.
The narco death cult, Santa Muerte, may be a synthesis of Aztec death cults and Catholicism. Its veneration of death hearkens back to Aztec times. The narco industry promotes this alternative religion to increase cohesion. This definitely merits a deeper look into the cultural mixing and gestation in Mexico and the rest of Latin America.
One more note on Mexican culture: The Mexican elites (Spanish descendants) have been afraid of the Indian peasants throughout history. The current gun ban (only people with connection or bribes can get a gun permit, to buy guns of NON-military caliber like .380acp) is a symptom of that. The lack of economic reform and exporting of economic refugees into the US is another. [Holding up the status quo for the elites and send the suffering poor to the US.] The on-going Indian revolts in southern Mexico constantly reminds the elites of this problem.
One reason why the drug cartels in Mexico have gotten so powerful is because of elite snobbishness. The drug cartels arose from the Indian peasantry and gray economy. The elites saw the cartels as country bumpkins with more money than they know what to do with. The elites ignored the cartels because they're a Yankee problem, but also because they didn't expect these rednecks to start making trouble in the upper class neighborhoods. Thus they were surprised by the scale of the cartel problem today.