tv BBC World News America PBS February 13, 2012 5:30pm-6:00pm EST
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>> and now "bbc world news america." >> this is a special edition of "bbc world news america,"reporting live from mexico city. i am katty kay. the big news of the mexican economy -- last year, this country grew more than brazil. kenneth everyone out of poverty? first, it will have to stop the drug violence. 50,000 people have been killed in the government's war against the cartels. security is mexico's biggest problem. it when bombs target israeli diplomats in india and georgia -- twin bombs target israeli diplomats in india and georgia, leading to increased tension between israel and tehran. welcome to our viewers on pbs in america and around the globe. we are coming to you live from
mexico city, where we have found a surprising story of economic success. but we have also found drug violence in alarming measure. five years ago, the government of felipe calderón launched the war against the drug cartels. the results have been dramatic. drug-related deaths have soared. security in this critical election year is mexico's biggest problem. my colleague is reporting from here in mexico city. >> the mexican army has been fighting drug gangs for five years. the mexican people are paying the price. 50,000 have been killed in the government's war against the cartels. many mexicans are asking if the prices too hi -- price is too high. 2007, less than 3000 were
killed in drug-related violence. since felipe calderón launched his assault on the drug gangs, the numbers have spiked dramatically. the violence is spreading fast. from traditional public spots like to warn and -- like tijuana and juarez to around the country. was hounded -- she was hounded by the drug gangs. hircine was writing an article the drug cartel did not like -- her sin was writing an article the drug cartel did not like. they threatened to kill her and her children. no wonder does not want to show her face. mexico is one of the most dangerous places in the world for journalists. ordinary people are caught up in the fighting through no fault of their own. is it time for a new approach? i ask the man responsible for the country's security strategy is the time had come to
negotiate with the cartel's -- if the time has come to negotiate with the cartels. >> what would that mean to the people who have lost their lives because of the actions of these cartels? the only way in which the level of violence will come down, the people will feel safe and free, particularly in those areas where the level of violence has gone up, it is when we make sure every single criminal who commits a crime is being tried fairly in a court and is paying for his crimes. that is when the levels of violence will go down. that is when the levels of safety and freedom will be significantly enhanced. >> this is an important election year in mexico with voters due to choose a new president in july. there are fears that the country's powerful drug organizations may try to influence the vote for -- through intimidation and
violence. at the moment, security is still the number-one issue in the voters' minds. challenge ahead for the three main candidates is to persuade ordinary people that they can get the spiraling violence under control. bbc news, mexico city. >> as reported, it is that arlen's which dominates coverage of mexico. there is also -- is that violence which dominates coverage of mexico. mexico is forecast to become the fifth largest economy in the world. is this the latest bric? in this village, the band spends saturday rehearsing military tunes. since our team is the proud of their country -- mexicans are famously proud of their country. here, only insecurity is
economic. nearly half of the population lives in poverty. today, much of mexico looks like this -- stuck in agriculture from a different age. this is not what the country wants for the next generation. the challenge now for mexico is, can it pull itself up from this and leave behind the relative poverty of a developing country? it is on the verge. there is a surprising story of economic success here. mexico is not quite what you might think. this is an economy on the move. last year, mexico grew faster than brazil. by 2015, it is expected to out france as the fifth largest economy in the world -- oust france as the fifth-largest economy in the world. he manufacture as jet engines for the french aerospace giant -- he manufactures jet engines
for the french aerospace giant, as high-tech as any industry in the world. he was lured here by cheap labor -- the company was lured here by cheap labor. >> it is easy work. we have very little turnover. it is far better than what we were expecting. >> the business here is not high-tech. she sells crafts in a poorer neighborhood, yet she considers herself a product of improving times, part of mexico's growing middle class. >> 10 years ago, we did not have a washing machine or heater. if we bought milk, we had to finish it the same day before it went bad. we washed our clothes by hand. now we can buy those appliances. >> mexico's economic progress is
hampered, most obviously by the government's war against the drug cartels. >> we are paying a very high price for this totally needless war. >> jorge is a former mexican minister. >> tourism has been discouraged by the war. other forms of involvement, even remittances -- why should i send remittances to my family if they are going to be slaughtered or held up? >> the people's of -- the people at this primary school also demand a better education. less than half of mexican children finish secondary school. things are slowly improving in the children here have big ambitions -- are slowly improving. the children here have big ambitions. what do they want to be when they grow up? if they reach their dreams,
mexico will be better for it. mexican children with aspirations like all of those around the world. for more on mexico's future, i am joined by a guest who form erly served as a representative of trade to the mexican government. let's start with the idea of the mexican economy and whether it is possible for mexico to become a truly developed country. >> i think we have a chance in a generation to do it. for the first time in our history, this is news -- people have perceived mexico as a poor country. we have a chance to become a developed country. >> we went up and saw the aerospace industry in mexico. i have also seen a lot of what i would classify still as poverty. it is still there.
>> of course. 45%, 46% of mexicans are below the poverty line. a few years ago, the vast majority were poor. now there are not so many. we can invest in our future and in developing. >> part of the thing that is hindering you is the government's war against the drug cartels. violence is affecting the mexican economy. the mexicans that i have spoken to here have suggested this is a war of choice. was the status quo viable? did the government need to take on the cartels? >> lack of rule of law is the main problem we have. imagine the -- >> you could be france. >> imagine the potential for mexico if we became a country
where the law was respected. the fight against the drug cartels -- against drug trafficking and organized crime that many people see as a problem? i believe that is incorrect. it will end up developing mexico. it will force mexican to take a look at ourselves, introspection, look at ourselves in the mirror. we can truly become a modern country. >> whoever is elected the next president to succeed felipe calderón will not continue this war against the drug cartels, chances are. what happens then? >> i do not think that will happen. i depend if -- the middle class is demanding a stable state.
we are growing. have to invest significantly on the rule of law -- we have to invest significantly on the rule of law. the development is synonymous with that. >> we'll be back to cover the elections. thank you for joining me on the program. we will be back with more from mexico in just a few minutes. let's look at the news from around the worst of the world -- the rest of the world. in israel, the prime minister has accused iran of carrying out simultaneous attacks against israeli diplomats in georgia and india. iran has denied involvement. tensions are running high. from delhi, sanjoy majumder reports. >> two attacks in two international capitals targeting israeli diplomats. in delhi, witnesses say a man on a motorcycle drove up to an
israeli embassy vehicle and attached a device to the back. minutes later, it exploded. the car was extensively damaged. four people were injured, including a woman belonging to the embassy. she has been taken to a nearby hospital. her condition has been described as stable. almost simultaneously, a bomb was found near a car outside the israeli embassy outside the georgia capital, tbilisi. the device was defused. binyamin netanyahu has been quick to point figures.-- fingers. >> the state of israel and its security forces will continue to operate in cooperation with the local defense forces against acts of terror like this. we will continue systematically and with determination with a strong hand against
international terror. forensicn delhi, experts examine the debris, trying to get a sense of what might have happened. police are on the lookout for those behind the attack. the city is on high alert. you can see right in front of the vehicle the crater caused by the explosion. members of the bomb disposal squad are going through the debris of trying to get a sense of how it might have happened. all of this in one of del he's -- delhi's high-security zones. sanjoy majumder, bbc news, delhi. >> now to greece where, unlike ini mexico, tough, new austerity measures have caused violence.
they are still cleaning up after the mess. from athens, gavin hewitt has that story. >> in athens, a department store destroyed. firefighters still inside. this had been a health food store. burned out. this was a fabric shop -- all ruined in hours of burning and rioting. >> it's a bunch of people who destroyed everything. they destroyed greece. >> this was one of the major department stores on one of the busiest stores -- streets in athens. it is one of nearly 40 buildings that were set alight during the disturbances. a protest or against parliament approving new spending cuts -- the protests were against parliament approving new spending caps. -- cuts. some believe the greek economy
cannot stand any more austerity. these rights are the most serious in the years and they raise questions as to whether the latest round of cuts can be implemented, such is the level of resistance. government supporters insisted greece wants to stay in the wrote it has to go along with demands made by the eu -- in the euro, it has to go along with demands made by the eu and the imf. >> the disorder over the default of greece would be a much worse outcome with devastating consequences for the greek society, especially for the elitist members. >> those who came to stare out at the burned buildings know that the minimum wage will be 1/2seshed to well under that of britain. >> this is going to happen in
greece. soon it will happen in italy, portugal, spain. >> although european officials generally welcomed last night's vote, there is very little faith left in greek promises. gavin hewitt, bbc news comes at athens. -- bbc news, athens. >> we continue our coverage from southern mexico, a region where my and traditions -- mayan traditions still survive. can they continue against the push of modernization? united nations, a stinging condemnation of the crisis in syria has been made -- at the united nations, asking condonation of the crisis in syria has been made -- a stinging condemnation of the crisis in syria has been made by navi pillay, the un high commissioner for human rights.
>> the ongoing bombardment of homs. the destruction was documented by local citizens. it was brought about by what the u.n. calls indiscriminate attacks on civilian areas. more than 300 people have been killed since the assault started 10 days ago. residents have to queue for bread as food becomes scarce. there is a shortage of medical supplies. electricity has been cut off in some neighborhoods. that is the account the un human rights chief brought to the assembly. she criticized last week's veto of the security council resolution on syria, saying this has emboldened the government to try and crush the opposition. >> i am outraged by the serious violations. i am very distressed that the continued it ruthless repression indeliberate starring of sectarian tension -- and
deliberate story and irring of sectarian tension might soon stir the country into war. >> syria has rejected arab- league proposals to end the violence. russia remains wary of international intervention. however strong the words at the un, it will not translate into action to protect civilians on the ground -- at least not for now. >> when it comes to trade relations, both mexico and the united states have their eyes firmly set on china. it is a country rife with opportunity. that is why, even the few who have not heard of ---- his attention -- his visit will get
a lot of attention. he is expected to be named the leader of china's communist party later this year. on the eve of his meeting with president obama, we have more on the man in the spotlight. >> they are the men in black -- all powerful in china. soon they are expected to elevate this man to the very top of the communist party. on the left, he is what is called the princeling -- a princeling, communist royalty. his father was purchased by chairman mao, -- purged by chairman mao, but later rehabilitated. he was sent to labor here as a teenager. villagers stop us from filming outside of his former home. digging too deep into the past of the man who might be president is not welcome. it might be sensitive, but for him, the time he spent out here matters for his image.
the communist party wants to paint him not as a privileged princeling, but as someone who has experience the life of china's poorest. he himself has claimed the hardships he faced year gave him the willpower to take on any challenge -- he faced here gave him the willpower to take on any challenge. the family here has no vote to choose china's next president, but what they think of him still matters. >> he lived here nad knew -- and knew this place. if he becomes leader, it will be good for us, he says. he seems to have little time for china's critics. >> some with nothing better to do point fingers at us. we do not cause trouble for them.
what else do you want? >> what the communist party wants is to keep the economy growing. business-ina's most minded -- growth arend slowing. finding new ways to give impetus to the economy may be the biggest challenge. >> he knows the flaws in our economy. i think he will make economic and political reforms to make a strong and prosperous china. to americaing trip will test whether he is ready to represent china and the world stage. his task will be to convince his people to keep faith with the communist party and its rule. bbc news.
>> the push for modernity is hardly isolated to china. one culture in mexico is having growing painsthgrowinge mayan -- is having growing pains. the mayan calendar runs out at the end of the year. descendants are among the poorest people here. we traveled to a small village for this report. >> in the mountains of southern mexico, mayan traditions going back millennia still survive. [no audio] >> he is treating illness he says modern medicine cannot help. >> doctors cannot cure illnesses
like fright. they did not even know how to diagnose and that sort of thing. even with specialized equipment, doctors cannot detect sickness of the soul. >> and the chanting and the incense burning, there is a new tradition for the dealers -- healers' armory. a more modern way of life. mayans are some of the poorest people in the country, especially so here. they live off the land and make what little money they can offer of coffee -- can off of coffee. the pressure is on to modernize. this brand new suburb is the mexican government to fighting poverty -- a world city -- a rural city, but few people live here. andrea was one of the first to move in.
after just a few weeks, she was disappointed. "the house is coming apart," she says. she thinks it will not be long before it falls down. there is no running water and cook on wood fires. the houses have wood floors. she had to build the kitchen next door. the brand-new hospital on the hill might as well have come from another planet. equipped to tackle in an unmarked of -- tackle infant mortality, the biggest health challenge here, but, again, pretty much empty. they were competent people would move in -- they were confident people would move in. >> you are trying to find solutions that reduce poverty levels and bring the community closer to basic services.
>> and they do have very colorful customs. this is saints' day. religion and dress from the spanish five centuries ago. the ritual is from a lot further back. there is no escaping the mot dern world. bbc news, southern mexico. >> one square mile there. we have found a large complex country -- large, complex country. there is alarming violence related to the drug wars. there are signs of surprising economic optimism. in this critical election year, mexico is going to be a very interesting country to watch. that brings our coverage here in mexico city to a close. i am katty kay. from all of us here at abc world news america " -- at "bbc world news america," thanks for joining us. i will see you back in washington tomorrow.
>> make sense of international news at bbc.com/news. >> funding was made possible by -- the freeman foundation of new york, stowe, vermont, and honolulu newman's own foundation and union bank. relationship managers work hard -- >> @ union bank our relationship managers work hard to understand the industry you operate in, working to nurture new ventures and help provide capital for key, strategic decisions. we offer expertise and tailored solutions in a wide range of industries. what can we do for you?