We have lost. We have lived in defeat for years. The statistics of the violence, the details, disguise the scenario and protect an absolutely false sense of control. There is no war between cartels that is worth it, nor settling of scores. There is no collateral damage, no missteps, no listings of any kind that reflect even a shred of truth. Does the sum of murders explain the cruelty? No, but it reassures, it conveys action, the existence of a strategy, the promise that everything will change.
Of course, things change. Ruthless killers try out new forms of cruelty every day, like those seen these days in Lagos de Moreno, Jalisco. Crime bureaucrats accumulate mangled bodies in freezers, as we saw on Monday in Poza Rica, Veracruz. Always one step further, the most difficult yet, geographers of horror, dedicated cartographers of hell. People want to know why, of course. Any answer works because the reason is the least of it, deep down. Anything but the void. Because the void is a huge mirror that shows the fear that corrodes us.
“We are not facing a security problem, we are facing barbarism,” said academic Ernesto López Portillo this Wednesday, at a forum on violence, peacebuilding and citizen security. He is right. The words are important. Security is a cotton word, aseptic. reassures. A security problem can be solved, but what about barbarity? I tremble to think that tomorrow or the day after, one of those in charge will project a couple of graphs and a spreadsheet, to demonstrate the absurdity: homicides are going down.
Mexico does not count murders, it counts massacres. The rawness of what we see demands fantasies. Looking at the sun in the face leaves you blind. The greatest fantasy, the longest-lived, places the other in an increasingly remote place, causing one’s own isolation. That cannot happen to me, the dead are others, the families that mourn are others, the disappeared are others, the boys forced to kill their friends are not my children. Besides, they would be up to something. Do you remember the dead children of Villas de Salvarcar and the answer that Calderón gave? Well that.
In Los Muertos Indóciles, Cristina Rivera Garza cites a concept by the Italian thinker Adriana Cavarero, contemporary horrorism, “forms of spectacular and extreme violence that not only threaten human life, but also -and perhaps above all- against the human condition ”. We have accepted everything, calculating the severity of each case with a like, accepting the explanations and channels of power. And for what? Underneath it all there was nothing. And the arguments sound more and more absurd, ridiculous.
In the same forum as López Portillo, the academic Pietro Amaglio, a veteran of the Movement for Peace with Justice and Dignity, who had denounced the terror for more than ten years, spoke of a “massive and selective state of war.” Massive, by the numbers, the more than 110,000 disappeared, the hundreds of thousands of murdered these years, the displaced, etc. Selective because in the midst of the storm, they eliminate the resistance, activists, defenders of forests, butterflies, water, land, journalists… Amaglio pointed out the need to resist, to do so in a manner proportional to the blows. But what is proportional to barbarism? It is not enough to march, but what is there to do?
They are already more than 15 years of extreme violence. Resistance experiences run out. The demonstrations in protest of specific cases, demanding justice, exhibit the institutional incapacities for everything that is not hiding. The theater of investigation and accountability struggles with the desperation of those who take to the streets. The bureaucracy engulfs and divides active experiences of civil disobedience, such as those of the seeking mothers. It’s hard to be optimistic, to have some hope. River Garza says it’s not so much hope as being stubborn. Let’s be stubborn then.
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