What can you tell me about where you live in Mexico?
Mario: Well, it's a small city called Querétaro, it's very famous for its historic relevance. A lot of important events happened here, like the proclamation of the constitution and some of the independence main events.
It's considered one of the safest cities in Mexico, it's growing very quickly. The quality of life is one of the best in the country and a lot of people, going away from the crazy Mexico city is moving here, bringing some of the troubles of the bigger cities. Querétaro is one of the richest cities, has a lot of important industries like Bombarider (aircraft) Kelogg, Procter, Nestle, etc.
How do you think most of your peers view the United States government?
Mario: Well, we are not big fans of Uncle Sam. Bush wasn't very popular in here, one of the things that we like the least from the US government is its constant intervention on external issues. Bush called himself the world protector and has started more problems than the ones he has solved.
Obama was very big last year here, he had many "fans." We read a lot on him and we were also very excited when he won. I hadn't seen such hope since 2000 when we had elections in Mexico.
Right now we all have great expectations, and even if Mexico has stopped being of a great importance to US foreign policy... we are waiting to see if Mr. Obama will continue with the Clinton negotiations on the Americas free trade area. That was very big in here in the 90s
Tell me about those elections.
Mario: For 72 years Mexico was ruled by the same political party, it was called PRI (Partido Revolucionario Institucional) then, in 2000, after many fraudulent elections, the PRI finally gave the power to another party, the PAN (Partido Acción Nacional).
This new party was a right-wing party, but the presidential candidate, Mr. Vicente Fox, was someone who seemed to understand and cared for the people. He was supposed to be THE president and a very good thing to Mexico. He was like the president the country needed.
However, he didn't get the support from the congress and most of his ideas didn't happen and he wasn't very diplomatic or politically smart, which brought his whole image and Mexico's hope down.
Some Americans think that when Mexicans come here they take jobs away from people born in the States. Many Americans are angry that Mexican people come to America illegally. What do you think about that? Why do you think Mexican people come to the United States?
Mario: There’s plenty of jobs in Mexico. However you will never make as much money as you would make if you worked the same amount of time in the states. Wages in the US are way higher, but so are expenses. I believe that Mexican people see in the states an opportunity to make more money than they will ever do.
I call it the “trucka effect.” People in Mexico see others coming back with big trucks and nice tennis shoes. Then everyone wants the same thing, and after some years has also become a social issue, more than an economic one.
I've been in many "poor" communities, where I've met families (mom and kids) that have a house, have money, have a job, but still want to go to the States because, that's what everyone does.
It's now part of the culture, it has stopped being a necessity and now is part of "growing up" in those small towns.
Right now there are more poblanos (people from the state of Puebla) in New York City than in Puebla and LA is the city with the most Mexicans after Mexico City, more than any other Mexican city.
I have to tell you that I've been in Texas and Kansas a couple of times and being introduced as a Mexican has never been... let's say... something interesting for the Americans. Even if I've been there working for NGOs or making interesting and legal things…I felt I was being measured as every other Mexican that goes there illegally.
American people have learned to not like Mexicans. They see us as the rural people that use hats everyday and ride a donkey through the desert.
With that idea on their minds, I understand that they don't want our people in there, because they think we will give them troubles. However, most of the immigrants are there working, working jobs that many Americans wouldn't be willing to do.
I hate saying this, but there has to be people doing the jobs that others don't want to do. Especially in a capitalist world like the one in the U.S.
Americans say we take their jobs, but we are doing things they wouldn't do. I don't see any Mexican as a CEO or working in an office. I mean, there are some, but that's not very common. We are taking unoccupied places... Americans shouldn't feel threatened by our people, they are just trying to live, to have a better life.
The latest issue between Mexico and America - Hillary Clinton and other officials came to Mexico to talk about this - is that many Mexicans are dying in drug battles and the U.S. is worried that this violence is going to spill over into the U.S.
How do you feel about this drug violence? What should be done?
Mario: I don't mean to be rude but we produce the drugs that are consumed by the Americans. I understand that the U.S. government created the Drug Enforcement Agency(DEA) in order to prevent the drugs from getting into the country, but it has also become a tool to intervene on other countries’ issues. That's what I think about the DEA and the U.S. role of preventing drug traffic.
As for the situation in my country, I know that there's people being killed and that really bad things have been going on. For example there have been more murders than ever and people are scared.
However, I have to always think that the ones in trouble, are the ones that get into the drug traffic. People gets dazzled by the great amounts of money that drugs give you. You can really get VERY rich in very short time. Who doesn't want to be rich? However, the price you need to pay is way too high! You sell your life, your family, your safety!
The drug's war (as it's been called) is among those people. I have to admit that sometimes, innocents have been involved and hurt. But most of the times, it's the drug dealers killing other drug dealers.
Right now, the big drugs cartels are unstable. The leaders are being killed or taken into jail. There are power possibilities.. without a king every single man can become the king, right? So that's the reason for all this violence. Drug cartels are trying to take over and have more money and power.
Do you know anyone who was killed or hurt?
Mario: Yes...one of my uncles was killed recently... we weren't very close, but he was murdered. We all knew he was in the drug traffic (he got very rich from one day to the other) and well...it happened what it had to happen... he messed with the wrong people and he got killed.
I think that if you do the right things, you don't need to worry. If you live afraid, you're giving those people the power to control you. Don't mess with them, and live your life
You can't be a prisoner outside the jail. They are the ones who deserve to be afraid and locked, not the normal citizens!
Thank you very much for this opportunity, I want to be a journalist myself. Informing people can prevent way too many problems. Thank you very much!