|Tourism continues in Monterrey:|
See Travel Plus Wine
The immediate cause of the turmoil, of course, is the ruthless criminality of the Zetas themselves, but damage they do is made possible by several underlying factors. The incredible profits generated by U.S. demand for illicit drugs -- even marijuana -- has funded the rise of the Zetas. They readily obtain weapons from poorly regulated gun sales in the United States and more recently from the military-grade weapons with which we flooded Central America in the 1980s and 1990s.
Perhaps more important than either of these factors, though, is the huge income gap in Monterrey. While a few live in walled palaces and commute by helicopter, many work in factories for $5.25 a day. The low wages contribute to huge profits for maquila owners while providing those of us in the United States cheap access to a variety of consumer goods.