Mexican Bridge is an Experiment in Social Engineering

A new bridge completed this month is a key element in a $1.5 billion "superhighway" intended to bring economic development and the rule of law to a place now dominated by some of the country’s biggest illegal drug growers and gangsters.
January 31, 2012, 9am PST | Jonathan Nettler | @nettsj
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Nick Miroff reports on plans for the 140-mile toll road that will link the Gulf of Mexico to the Pacific Ocean and its Baluarte Bicentennial Bridge, the highest structure of its kind on the planet. "With its long white cables and graceful towers rising 587 feet at opposite ends of the precipice, it may be the most breathtaking structure built in Mexico since the pyramids went up at Teotihuacan circa A.D. 100."

For all the optimism about the economic opportunities and Mexican ingenuity that the highway represents, there are fears that the project will actually facilitate the illegal activities and violence it is intended to help eliminate.

"But just as the highway will make Durango and other states in Mexico's northwest interior attractive to foreign companies looking to build manufacturing plants, it will drive up the area's strategic importance for the traffickers, who often smuggle their U.S.-bound cargo in legitimate commercial loads."

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Published on Saturday, January 28, 2012 in The Washington Post
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