Blog Carnival: Mexico – Verbalizing the Violence

This post is part of our special coverage Mexico's Drug War.

After reading the 36 participating blogs for the Blog Carnival: Mexico – Citizenry, Violence and Blogs, there is little doubt that despite everything that has been written, commented and analyzed on the subject of violence in Mexico, there is still more to be said. In posting on their individual perspectives of the violence, some have struggled with putting it into words. This has been an exercise in exorcizing, processing and transforming the violence. By doing this, it is hoped the vicious cycle is broken for the next generations. It is generating not just acts of resistance and protest, but also steps to avoid future violence. It's not a secret: violence will not be condoned; it will not easily be legitimized.

#nosoncifras @tienennombre. From user Daniel Gershenson

#nosoncifras @tienennombre. From user Daniel Gershenson

Verbalizing the violence.

We start the collection of posts submitted to the Carnival with “A Shout of Pain” [es] from Ana Lilia Rodríguez Olvera in her blog Poeterno (en honor al arte). She lets us know: “The following text was written as a scream of desperation and releases the tremendous anger I have against the attackers of my grandfather…”:

Seguramente tú los perdonaste, de fe, de ley, los perdonaste porque así eres tú, pasible y seguro, y maravillosamente empático. Pero yo no los perdono, yo no soy capaz de decir ya ni modo, la resignación llegará, la resignación es una vaga consecuencia de nuestra historia por el mundo. Yo no los perdono porque te mataron a ti de cuerpo y a mí de alma. ¿Cómo puede perdonar un cuerpodesalmado? ¿Cómo puede perdonar un árbol seco?

Surely you forgave them, out of faith, out of respect for the law, you forgave them. That is how you were before it happened, calm and confident, marvelously empathetic. But I don't forgive them. I'm not capable of saying those words. Though eventually resignation will come; resignation is one of the undeniable facts of life. I don't forgive them. They killed you; they took your body and a part of my soul. How can a person without a part of their soul forgive? How can a dried up heart forgive?

If some of us deny forgiveness of recent events, others deny forgetting of these events. This is what we are told [es] in the blog Papás DF by Diana Medina through references to recent events, and her words “The news story shelf life has already expired. The news is from last week and for the modern news cycle, where what happened an hour ago on Twitter is ‘old news’, what happened the past May 31st is far from our consciousness. For this reason I'm writing. So that we don't forget this event.”

Los niños y niñas que vivieron la balacera en Monterrey siempre la van a recordar. Hay una generación de futuros ciudadanos que tienen en sus recuerdos actos violentos dentro de su país, su casa de identidad cultural. Por otro lado están los niños y niñas que viven otra realidad, como si vivieran en otro país, pero que han aprendido desde pequeños que el país ya perdió, que la violencia nos derrotó ¿Cuál será el futuro de esta generación en la que la idea de su país se quebrantó? Esa es la que me preocupa.

Children that survived the shooting in Monterrey will keep remembering it. There will be an entire generation of future citizens with memories of violence in their country, forming a part of them, a part of their personal identity. On the other hand though there are children that live in another reality, as if they were living in another country. These children have learned since they were young that the country has already been lost and that the violence has beaten us. What do you suppose will be the future of a generation of people that already believe the country is broken? This is what worries me.

Also discussing the forgotten, Daniela Pérez Michel reflects [es] on her blog La Trinchera. The act of forgetting in her post is not voluntary; it has been imposed:

Decir que duele es repetitivo. Oímos, leemos y vemos a diario el rostro del dolor en una provocación mediática diaria, que se nutre de una pantomima escandalosa sobre un deber ser democrático de palabras efímeras y vacías. Tan sumamente vacías, que se congratulan de acuerdos sobre dejar de informar entre medios que cuentan entre sus publicaciones periódicas, aquellas que muestran las imágenes despedazadas y crueles del #Mexicorojo.

Saying that it hurts is redundant. We hear, we read, we see daily the face of pain in a constant media onslaught that nurtures a scandalous fiction about what must it mean to be a democratic nation in ephemeral, empty words. So empty that the there is a self-congratulatory agreement among the media to not report on what is happening. This media releases publications that show cruel, shattered images of #RedMexico.

Leonor Reyes Pavón on the blog El Gallinero Revuelto writes [es] about the daily violence and the effect that violent images have, despite the fact that the writer lives in an area that hasn't suffered as much as the rest of the country:

¿Como no vamos a vivir con miedo, si estas imágenes son el pan de cada día? Es cierto, ahora la tecnología nos permite muchas veces enterarnos rápido de lo que esta pasando, sin duda también es usada irresponsablemente lo que fomenta el miedo y la incertidumbre, recuerdo por ejemplo cuando estuvieron hace un par de meses los narcobloqueos en Guadalajara y las balaceras, por lo que leía realmente me asuste y en seguida me puse en contacto con dos amigos muy queridos, resulto que no era tan grave como parecía, aunque en el momento por la información que circula, no siempre responsablemente, se crea un panico generalizado. Sin duda hay casos exitosos como #reynosafollow en twitter o El Blog del Narco que buscan ayudar a informar a la sociedad de manera veraz de lo que esta aconteciendo en el país.

How can we not go on living in fear, if we're fed these violent images with our breakfast every day? Of course, technology lets us find out what is going on much quicker now. There is little doubt it is used irresponsibly when it spreads fear and uncertainty. I remember for example a few months ago when there were roadblocks by criminal organizations in Guadalajara and shootings. When I read the news I really was scared. I immediately got in contact with some close friends near the violence. It turned out it wasn't as bad as it seemed although at the time the information being published, rather irresponsibly, created a general panic. However there are good counter-examples of responsible reporting such as #renosafollow on Twitter or Blog del Narco that try to keep people informed in a truthful manner about what is going on right now in our country.

Ernesto Priego on #SinLugar, goes a little further and speaks about weapons and drug trafficking [es], a traditional source of violence:

¿De qué manera hemos normalizado el papel definitivo del acceso a las armas en el conflicto de la droga en México? ¿Cuáles son los peligros de acostumbrarnos a su presencia y apariencia, y hasta cuando lo vamos a tolerar? ¿Cuándo quedará claro quiénes son los verdaderos culpables de que el periodismo cotidiano se haya vuelto una nota roja permanente?

In what way have we normalized the accepted role of access to guns in the drug conflict in Mexico? What are some of the dangers of getting used to their presence and visibility? Until what point will we tolerate them? When will it be clear that the truly guilty ones are the daily papers and media that seem to be becoming sensational, tabloid news?

El Grupo de Información en Reproducción Elegida AC (GIRE) brings [es] us another aspect of the violence, the women that suffer:

A las mujeres en este país se las agrede por el solo hecho de ser mujeres. La Ley General de Acceso a las Mujeres a una Vida Libre de Violencia define esta violencia como “cualquier acción u omisión, basada en su género, que les cause daño o sufrimiento psicológico, físico, patrimonial, económico, sexual o la muerte tanto en el ámbito privado como en el público”.

The women in this country are being hurt just by being women. The General Access Law of A Violence-Free Life for Women defines violence as “whatever action or omission, based on gender, that causes women psychological, physical, economic, sexual damage and/or suffering, including death, as much in a private setting as in a public one.”

This post is part of our special coverage Mexico's Drug War.

Editor's Note: Due to the article's length and to make it easier for you the reader, we have decided to publish this article in several parts. This is the first part, shortly the second part will be available.


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