Mexicans are raised on conspiracy theories. To a skeptical outsider, people can sound pretty crazy. But this changes after living a few months in a country where dudes mount heat seeking missiles under the front bumper of their Hummer’s and the older citizens can still recall how President Polk prodded Mexico into war by convincing America that the country was being invaded by Mexicans when in reality the US was building forts in disputed Mexican land. (Another interesting Polk related conspiracy theory is that he was a triplet. He used his siblings to cover for him during boring meetings and while he had affairs with his mistresses.)
Here is an evolving list of theories I have come across. I would appreciate any comments on proving or disproving these ideas. If you have any theories of your own please post. Personally I’m starting to think it’s like the X-Man movie, the world economy is shattered, war loom everywhere, and there is nothing like unleashing a pandemic to bring the world together.
1] Obama gave Mexico the swine flu.
Taxi driver 1: “When Obama came to Mexico he shook the hand of the director of the Anthropology museum. The director died days later. Within a week this swine flu arrived here in Mexico.” Update: this has been picked up by the mainstream Mexican media and is close to being a fact. Update 2: This may be losing some currency, it has not come up in a couple days.
2] The government started the Swine Flu way to distract the people from poor governance.
Taxi Driver 2: “It’s the right wing politicians currently controlling the country. (Note: the current president Calderon stole the last election in a striking similar way to the Bush/Gore fiasco. The loser of the election Lopez Obrador started his own government even going so far as to give out ID cards.) The government wants to distract us from the huge economic and violence problems we have. The peso has gone so high!” Update: This is the clear winner right now, another taxi driver told me that the distrust of the government came from a 1988 scare in which some kind of animal came out of people’s necks. It was a way to distract the people from inflation problems. (note: I was tired so my Spanish was lacking during this conversation and even the taxi driver wasn’t sure it was 1988. It could have been 86.)
3] The Narcos threatened to bomb the schools. Flu is political cover.
Taxi Driver 3: “One of my friends told me the narcos threatened to bomb all the schools, in retalitation against Calderon’s drug war. The government was afraid of the political reaction to this, and that’s why we have the school closure. This is the first time Mexico has ever closed all the schools in the country.”
4]Sanofi Aventis started the Flu
According to an email being passed around like a hot potato the Swine Flu was started by Sanofi Aventis to make money for their new “100 million dollar” vaccine plant in Mexico. This somehow involves the G7 (and Obama).
5] American pork lots started the virus in La Gloria, Vera Cruz
People on both sides of the border are starting to think this virus must have formed in one of the massive confined animal feeding operations around Mexico. The main suspect is a US owned Smithfield Foods feedlot on Veracruz. It is thought by some that flies alighting on massive pools of pig shit were the vectors. El Dragon at FairFoodFight.com has some interesting thoughts on this matter. Update: My girlfriend visited one of the of the feed lots today, and come back totally traumatized. Check out her photographs below and you will see why. Still no clear connection between pig contact and people getting the disease, but regardless this town has some seriously messed up health issues due to these feed lots.
(Left) Dead pigs in a mysterious holding tank. There are dozens of these in the area. Nobody is sure what they are for. Imagine the smell. Photo: Benedicte Desrus (Right) A lake of pig “waste” Photo: Benedicte Desrus