With Issue 9, n+1 begins the Magazines of the Americas project (MOTA), an effort to establish a network of intellectual magazines in North, South, and Central America. Our goals are to share information and manuscripts across Spanish, Portuguese, and English, and to publicize the conditions of 21st-century life throughout this hemisphere. The republics of Latin America and North America have always had a lot in common, but economic and political divergence for a long time obscured their similarities. Recent years have seen more convergence: the consolidation of democracy in Latin America and its hollowing out in the United States; redistributive programs from Bolivia and Brazil to Mexico coinciding with increased inequality in the US; the rising relative weight of the bigger South American economies along with the declining relative weight of the American one. The absence, from Tierra del Fuego to the Yukon, of the fighting between religions and across borders that afflicts so much of the rest of the world is another condition in common. The Americas, increasingly resembling one another, should learn to talk to one another too.
Our inaugural articles concern Mexico and the narco-violence there. In the United States we have kept our eyes on Afghanistan and Iraq, a world away, and ignored the civilian massacres and the collapse of peaceful society on our southern border—funded in large part by our domestic desire to smoke weed and snort cocaine without taking on the responsibility of legalization.