Occasionally, a book is published which, while providing a myriad of details on a subject matter, also conveys the complete gestalt — the big picture. Wakeup Call From Mexico is such a book. Immensely readable, this book describes Mexico’s violent history, its class-based society, its ineffective and corrupt political system, and the serious threat that Mexico as a nearly failed state poses to the United States. The historical perspective alone makes this book required reading for all concerned with U.S.-Mexico relations and unending illegal immigration across the unsecured U.S.-Mexico border.
The author, Wilson Beck, possesses substantial credibility as one who has spent more than forty years in Mexico as his second home. As a true Mexicophile, he has studied Mexico’s history, people and cultural differences that have now taken it to the brink of catastrophe. Mexico Lindo (beautiful Mexico) has become Mexico Pilogrosso (dangerous Mexico). An examination of Mexico’s enthralling history reveals why.
Mexico’s Golden Age
When Cortéz landed in 1519 and claimed the region for Spain, there were between 10 and 30 million inhabitants in Mexico, yet when the Pilgrims arrived at Plymouth Rock in 1620, there were probably fewer than 5 million inhabitants in the region known today as the U.S. The floating gardens of Tenochititlán (Mexico City) were surrounded by a million people while the largest European cities supported about 300,000. Beck states quite succinctly that “Pre-Columbian civilization in the U.S. was rudimentary to that of Mexico.”
For 1,000-1,200 years prior to 1250 A.D., agriculture-based cultures had evolved into an advanced society known as Mexico’s Golden Age — the Classical Period. Beck notes that “The people of the Valley of Mexico experienced perhaps the longest period of peaceful and quasi-peaceful human existence ever recorded.” Mexico flourished. Advances in astronomy, math, art, engineering, and agriculture were truly staggering.
It came to an end around 900 A.D. with Mexico’s first cultural collision. The nomadic Toltecs invaded, burned and looted the great city of Teotihuacán and usurped control of the Valley of Mexico. The Aztecs arrived three centuries later to complete the descent into barbarism.
Beck states that “When the Aztecs arrived in1250 A.D., the Valley was crowded with perhaps 5 million of Chichimec barbarians and Toltecs who had been assimilated into the new barbaric culture.” He notes that “The way the Aztecs snuck into the Valley was analogous to the way millions of illegal Mexican immigrants are sneaking into the U.S. today. They arrived uneducated, unskilled, and poor.”
Contrary to popular misconceptions held by Mexicans today who idolize the Aztecs, “The once great Teotihuacán culture was not advanced by the Aztecs. The Aztecs had nothing to do with the Golden Age of Mexico. Quite the contrary, under the barbaric stewardship of the Aztecs, the Mexican culture degraded and reached abysmal states of human existence.”
As occupants of the Valley, the Aztecs were the most brutal. “The beneficent gods of the Teotihuacanos had been exchanged for the blood-thirsty gods of the Aztecs and Chichimecs. A common sacrifice ritual was the extraction and consumption of the human heart while the human still gasped his last precious breaths of air.” The arms and thighs were cooked and eaten by the masses and the torsos were fed to jaguars.
The Aztecs sacrificed 20,000 to 50,000 people a year in the fifteenth century — 2 to 5 million people every century. “Imagine,” Beck writes, “50 to 150 people being brutally sacrificed and eaten every single day in the Central Valley of Mexico” — one percent of the total population. “It was a 300 year blood fest. This became the Mexican nature!” This legacy is inextricably woven into the fabric of present-day Mexico.
Collision with Europe
The arrival of the Spanish initiated Mexico’s second cultural collision, when in 1521, the Aztec tyranny came to an end. Beck writes: “Cortéz defeated an empire… twelve hundred Spaniards defeated 10 million Aztecs!... It is mind-boggling! To understand how this happened is to truly understand the nature, the psyche of the Aztec culture, and the ancestors of modern Mexico.”
At the time, wars were fought between various city-states of Mexico, but not on a grand scale. Small skirmishes were fought to obtain people as slaves and for sacrifice. Beck succinctly notes that “the commerce was humanity…. It was not a political confederacy which was ruled by the Aztecs. It was a system of accommodation built around fear, survival, and cowardice.” Thus, when Cortéz defeated the Aztecs, it was in large part due to the fact the Aztecs did not join together to defend their neighbors. The habit of deference and subordination already had been engrained into the Mexican soul.
Mexicans refer to the
Spanish conquest as
La Chingada — the rape and destruction of their culture - and still consider
themselves as “children of the great violation.” Yet Beck reflects that “The
bleeding hearts…who want to marginalize the destructive, horrendous nature of
the Aztec culture are not looking at the facts…. Cortéz was the beloved
peace-maker…not a war-monger…. What happened in Mexico, however, was not only
inevitable but from a humanistic perspective imperative.”
The Collision of Race
By 1600 A.D., the population had decreased markedly from an estimated 18 to 30 million people to 1.1 to 3.5 million. The Spaniards quested for gold while “The Catholic Church was tasked with converting the cannibals into Christians,” notes Beck.
Beck writes that “The biggest difference between Mexico and the U.S., historically, is that the Spaniards interbred with the indigenous people… and the English did not.” Social hierarchy was established: Spaniards born in Spain were the upper class. Children of Spaniards were called Criollos and were white (by Spanish standards).
Mixed offspring of Spanish and Criollos with Mexicans were called Mestizos, who did not advance in society. Beck observes that “These Mestizos, their offspring, and the pureblood, non-hybrid Mexicans became the new Mexican. Their interaction with the Spanish-born immigrants and the Mexican-born Criollos became the third cultural collision of the Mexican culture spawning the 1810 war of independence from Spain.”
Illegitimacy became the norm among Spaniards and Mexicans. Beck reports that today illegitimacy is a normal mode of life in Mexico and that in 2005, approximately 75 percent of illegal alien families in the U.S. were single-mother families.
After 1570, intermarrying came to a halt, leaving society stratified into distinct brown and white components.
Beck comments that “The
vast majorities of modern day Mexicans identify and cling to their indigenous
roots more than they do their European or Spanish roots. The opposite is true
with the minority, twenty-first century whites. They value white skin and blue
or green eyes obsessively… Black is so reviled that it almost does not exist.
Blacks from around the world know this and basically do not immigrate to
Mexico.” This attitude undoubtedly contributes to the conflict between Mexican
illegal aliens and native Black Americans in our overwhelmed U.S. public
In 1824, a Constitutional government was established in Mexico, much as in the United States. Yet during the first 30 years, 50 presidents were sworn into office. “Mexico continued to experiment with five different constitutions during its first thirty-five years of existence,” writes Beck.
By 1910, 95 percent of Mexico’s wealth was held by three percent of the population. In 1938, in a blatant example of governmental theft, the PEMEX oil company was formed from nationalized American and British holdings. The PRI one-party rule dominated from 1924 to 2000.
Modern-day businesses routinely keep dual sets of books, thus denying tax revenue desperately needed for infrastructure. The mordida — the bite, the bribe — is now commonplace in Mexico and is seen as a routine requisite of conducting business.
Beck concludes that “Most Americans do not understand the depths of Mexican political incompetence and corruption.”
The Mexican Culture
Beck points out striking deep-seated cultural differences between Mexico and the U.S. — with roots that can be traced back to the Aztec culture. He notes that the prevailing paradigm is that a person can be “either the f*%ker or the f*%ee” — either the victim or the perpetrator.
A derivative of a historically subjugated people is the engrained Mexican characteristic of the inability to trust anyone. “The concept of cheating is accepted. It is universal in Mexico. It is a holdover from the Aztec system of accommodation.” Similarly, the rule of law is not held in high esteem in Mexico as it is in the U.S. “When Mexicans do abide by the rule of law it is not for conceptual or moral reasons. They abide by the rule of law in order to not get apprehended by the police.”
Beck reflects that “The inability to accept responsibility for any mistake is a dominant Mexican characteristic… Mexicans are taught from an early age to discount personal responsibility. The idea of apologizing does not exist in the Mexican belief system… It is just part of their culture. This behavior existed 500 years ago and still exists today.”
These cultural aspects contribute to a less cohesive society where effective self-governance is extraordinarily more difficult to sustain than in the U.S.
U.S. – Mexico Relations
In 1824, Mexico was approximately twice as large as the organized parts of the U.S. By the end of the Mexican-American war in 1848, Mexico lost approximately 60 percent of this territory. Beck observes that “Most Mexicans believe that the gringos, one way or another, stole that portion of Mexico. They think it was an unjustifiable, illegal theft… Many Mexican historians equate the California Gold Rush to the Spaniard’s stealing the Aztec gold and silver in the sixteenth century.” It is not without irony that Mexican nationals are slowly reclaiming their lost territory of California.
Beck also notes that
tangible reasons for the Mexican’s dislike of the gringos go back to the
Spanish hatred of the Anglo-Saxon,” which originated in the fourteenth century.
He observes that “The Mexicans have been incapable of creating a modern
society. This is the root cause of the hatred the Mexicans have for the
More that $26 billion are sent as remittances by illegal aliens back to Mexico each year. Beck asks us to consider what that amount would do for the American economy: it would purchase more than 1.5 million cars or 15 million computers. $200 billion sent back to Mexico over the past 10 years would have purchased the staggering number of 15 million cars along with 150 million additional computers. “As the U.S. struggles with the worst financial crisis in eighty years, it is time to realize the negative drain that the Giant Sucking Sound from Mexico is having on the American economy,” says Beck.
Furthermore, Mexico’s population continues to rapidly expand, along with a commensurate increase in demand for oil. Beck projects that “By 2014, a few short years from now, Mexico will no longer have excess oil to export. This calamity will be momentous!”
The Reforma newspaper reported that 3,148 people were killed in drug-related violence since 2008. Forty-five journalists have been killed since 2000. Mexico has edged out Iraq to become the most violent country in the world. Beck observes that “More Mexicans have been killed in the drug war in Mexico in 2007 and 2008 than American soldiers have been killed in Iraq and Afghanistan in almost seven years.” This violence is visibly spilling over into the United States. Twenty-seven percent of the total U.S. federal prison population now consists of illegal aliens. Beck notes that unjustifiable sanctuary city policies protect these habitual criminals living in our midst.
“Mexico has embraced and accepted organized crime as a part of their culture,” writes Beck. The drug industry has grown to a $50 billion per-year business. Beck observes that $30 billion in drug cash, $50 billion in laundered money, $30 billion in remittances, and $75 billion in NAFTA trade deficits amount to $185 billion “blowing south to Mexico each year.” Interestingly, the escalating violence between rival drug gangs is reminiscent of the Aztec pattern of grotesque torture and beheadings — deliberately so. The main objective is to intimidate and terrify their opponents — and the populace in general — into submission.
Amidst an outbreak of lawlessness, President Wilson sent troops to the border in 1917 to restore the law. Beck suggests that “American intervention is probably what is needed now in order to stop the violent drug wars engulfing the country… Obviously, it is time for the two governments to secure our common borders again.”
Organized Mexican crime is a critical problem, yet the media is ignoring it. Beck soundly criticizes the Obama administration for failing to take the situation seriously, noting that the U.S. is spending the same amount of money to fight the opium industry in Afghanistan as it is the drug problem in our own back yard.
Kidnapping has become a significant source of criminal revenue. Mexico was the kidnapping capitol of the world in the sixteenth century, and it is again today. The difference is that now kidnappers are seeking ransom instead of dinner. The number of kidnappings in Mexico (called “sequesterings”) exceeded 10,000 in 2008. Kidnapping is now so common that kidnapping insurance is routinely purchased.
Beck observes that “Mexico has decided to prey upon its neighbor in lieu of establishing neighborly relations… There is a large element of Mexicans who do not have respect for the rule of law, the nation, or others. Unfortunately, they respect America and Americans even less.”
Beck clearly understands the consequences of unending illegal immigration into the U.S., asking “If, for example, 40 percent of our rivers and lakes are unusable for swimming in 2008, what will the result be in 2060 with 468 million people? Will the U.S. be like Mexico where 90 percent of the rivers and lakes are polluted and can no longer be used?”
Beck observes that Mexico’s unfortunately high birth rate of 20 per 1,000 will drive its population to double within the next fifty years. “Mexico,” he says, “is a country of babies having babies,” and “immigration to the U.S. (legal or illegal) is not the solution to Mexico’s twenty-first century population or poverty ills.”
Beck proposes the following steps as part of a viable solution:
- Congress should limit
immigration to 300,000 yearly and establish educational and skill requirements.
Beck notes that an official with the Mexican CONAPO (National Population
Counsel) official has suggest the total number of illegal aliens and offspring
living in the United States is close to
32 million. Up to 20 percent of the
Mexican labor force is employed in the U.S. “The poor Mexican family has become
splintered and dysfunctional. Their government which has become content to
export its workers instead of developing its economy is even more dysfunctional
than the Mexican family.”
- No amnesty, which would
promote continued over-the-top levels of immigration for decades. Beck astutely
observes that if 20 million illegal aliens are given amnesty, the result will
be an additional 5 million Democratic voters, based on existing voting
patterns. Beck then castigates President Obama as 100 percent wrong in
- Complete the border fence
to secure the border.
- Use E-Verify across the
- Increase ICE agents along
the border to perhaps 100,000. Currently
19,000 agents intercept only 10 percent of illegal drugs and 25 percent of
illegal aliens. Bring home some or most of the 289,000 troops stationed
overseas, which includes 120,000 in Germany, Japan, and South Korea. Build at
least seven military installations on the border.
- Fix visa overstays, which
account for one third of illegal aliens in the U.S.
- NAFTA has become an
unintentional windfall for drug cartels. NAFTA should be reevaluated in the
context of the best interests of the U.S.
- Perhaps a controversial
point, Beck recommends a path to citizenship for a maximum of 5-million illegal
Mexican aliens, based first upon repatriation and re-qualification.
- Set new immigration levels
and standards to avoid importing crime and eventual dumbing-down of American
citizenry. He notes that the Australian model would work particularly well,
stating that “The old concept of inviting the masses to the shores of the U.S.
will not work in the twenty-first century.”
“As altruistic as Americans tend to be, they cannot afford to pay for the social services and education of twenty or thirty million illegal immigrants who have not been participating in the tax-paying system which supports social benefits.”
Beck observes that “We are out of focus as a country, as a culture with the negative impact that both the drug-industry and illegal immigration is having on the U.S.” He notes that “Congress can change a fifty year-old, obsolescent immigration law that was written to address racism yet continues to be a serious impediment to the development of twenty-first century America.”
He warns that “If the U.S. and Mexico do not start down a new path of cooperation Mexico will be a failed stated within ten years” with clearly disastrous consequences for the United States.“America’s negative response to illegal immigration is not fear. It is a desire to maintain its level of education, values, and integrity.” Beck cautions that history is trying to repeat itself: the Aztecs are migrating northward by the millions, and he asks, “Will America become Mexamerica? It is our responsibility to decide.”