“There’s a proposal called autonomy, in the society from below, different from all those options that have been tried and that don’t work.”
- Gloria Arenas from “Mexico’s Hidden War”
Last night I read Chapter One of To Die in Mexico , by John Gibler. It’s well researched and reported, beautifully written - and so clear, so searingly angry and tender. From the first few pages:
The executioners of this killing ground destroy each person twice. First they obliterate your world; if you are lucky, they do so with a spray of bullets. But then, once you are gone, they will turn your body from that of a person into that of a message. You will appear as a flash on a television screen. You will be printed on tabloid front pages in full color and strung up on the sides of newspaper stands in cities across the country, your disfigured body hanging next to soccer players and bikini-clad models. You will lose your name. You will lose your past, the record of your loves and fears, triumphs and failures, and all the small things in between. Those who look upon you will see only death.
But names travel too far to be entirely erased or destroyed. Names always leave a trace. Even when they kill you, dismantle your body, or bind it in duct tape, and leave your remains on the side of the road, your name waits.
What do you think about the drug war violence in Juarez, Mexico?
Here’s the entire episode that aired tonight (and continues to air this week) on Al Jazeera English.
Sicilia’s son, 24-year-old Juan Francisco, was killed with six friends on March 28 in the city of Cuernavaca, where the Sicilias lived and which was until recently a peaceful town known for its artists. The young men had a dispute with members of a narco gang in a local bar. When they left, they were abducted and strangled. Shortly after, Sicilia announced that he no longer has poetry within him. He has since came to lead a popular movement against the drug war, beginning with a demonstration in Cuernavaca, then a rally attended by tens of thousands in the capital, and now this latest, daring caravan to the northern border. He and his loose coalition of activist groups cast their movement as civil resistance aimed at reforming the corrupt police, courts, and political elites that, Sicilia argues, doomed the militarized drug war strategy from the moment President Felipe Calderon rushed into it in late 2006.
Read more at The Atlantic
I missed this article by Michael McCaughan when it was published in last month, but it’s worth reading, especially in light of the arrival of the Caravan for Peace in Ciudad Juarez/El Paso over the weekend. McCaughan has been covering the Zapatistas since they rose up in 1994.
An article about the courageous journalists of El Diario de Juarez, written by John Gibler. It concludes with this challenge to US-based journalists:
Rocío Gallegos Rodríguez, otra reportera del Diario, menciona que los periodistas de Estados Unidos “llegan y hablan de capos y cárteles, pero ahí se queda todo, en la frontera. Yo quiero saber quiénes son los jefes de distribución allá”. En Juárez es otra cosa. Sí hay muchísima muerte, pero al menos, dice Rocío, “aquí no hay silencio”.
Fault Lines had the privilege of meeting and speaking with Diario journalists when we filmed “Impunity and Profits,” which airs for the first time on Monday, June 13.
Femicide in Juarez and Chihuahua: For more than a decade, the cities of Chihuahua and Juarez, near the US-Mexico border, have been killing fields for young women, the site of over 400 unsolved femicides. Despite the horrific nature of these crimes, authorities at all levels exhibit indifference,…
The new season of Al Jazeera’s Fault Lines returns Monday, June 13th at 2230 GMT with “Impunity and Profits,” on the drug war in Juarez, Mexico.
Great context and special coverage on Mexico’s Drug War from Global Voices.
(We especially like the relevant hashtags section.)
We are watching this march for peace led by poet Javier Sicilia (#CaravanaMX) closely since Monday’s new Fault Lines episode is all about Juarez’s drug war and its effects on the community.