Thursday, October 9, 2014



Note: "Defenseless" For those interested in such things, the key word in this is "Defenseless"
The goal of the draconian gun control laws enacted by the PRI government in Mexico back in the 1970's was to prevent any successful revolution or uprising by the people against the pervasive corruption of the party. Armed citizens, a nightmare for criminals in and out of government, everywhere.
BTW, not just Mexico.

The translation from the good folks at Borderland Beat.

Borderland Beat Reporter un vato
translated by un vato for Borderland Beat
As most readers know, Javier Sicilia was a poet until his son was murdered by sicarios. He became an activist for victims' rights. -- un vato

The new dictatorship

MEXICO, D.F. (Proceso).--

Crime in our country has two faces; that which comes from criminal organizations is called a criminal offense, and that which comes from the State is called a violation of human rights. This last was, fundamentally, what motivated Felipe Calderon to entrap the General Law for Victims (Ley General de Victimas) in a constitutional controversy during the last months of his mandate. He did not want to accept -- he still refuses to do so-- (the existence of) crime by the State. The law was enacted, nevertheless, at the beginning of Enrique Pena Nieto's administration. But the government, every time it makes reference to it, reduces it to simple crime.

Amidst the 100,000 deaths, the 30,000 disappeared, the hundreds of kidnappings and the constant, serious denunciations by national and international organizations of human rights violations, not only do we not know yet how many of those crimes are attributable to the State, but instead, the governments who administer the State continue to deny the crimes or blame them on the crime that they live with in an almost natural way.

Mexico lives like this -- it has been said many times -- a failed State, an interpenetrated State, a criminal State or a Narco-State. Whatever it may be that these characterizations are still unable to define, in reality it is a new form of totalitarianism, or that "perfect dictatorship" that Mario Vargas Llosa once referred to.

In his book, Remnants of Auschwitz; The Witness and the Archive, (Zone Books, 2002), Giorgio Agamben, points out that the ultimate finality of Auschwitz and the Nazi concentration camps was not the mass murder that was carried out there, bur rather, the creation of a class of human being that in concentration camp argot were called "muslims": perhaps -- says Agamben, among the various hypotheses he proposes in trying to explain the epithet-- because in the imagination of that period, a "muslim" was a fatalist, a being who had submitted to blind fate, to a determinism.

Those beings who, through force of brutalization, had lost any dignity, had become a species of animals so tame they could be used for anything. They were completely exploitable. They would never resist anything. Agamben saw in them a continuation of the figure of "the holy man" -- men that, under ancient Roman law, the State would not protect, and whose torture, murder or exploitation was not a crime in a legal sense--. He also saw in them one of the conditions, to a greater or lesser degree, for the existence of the State, which combines in itself sovereignty -- the power to destroy life, the legitimate use of force-- and government: the combination of arrangements or institutions to administer it.

In Mexico, both the crime that the State says it pursues, but which it does not punish, or does so selectively, as well as the violation of human rights that the State denies, seem to be going in the same direction as the construct of a "muslim" in Auschwitz. Crime, the bloody and horrifying dimensions that it has reached in Mexico, and its systematic impunity, have been getting a large portion of Mexicans used to living in defenseless docility. Instead of protesting, many are becoming indifferent to the crimes that others suffer, and, for that reason, coming to accept, fatalistically, that one day they will also be murdered, kidnapped, tortured, disappeared or extorted with impunity. The abdication by the State of its duty to protect us under its institutions and programs for as long as we live has been creating a perception in many of us that living means submitting to fate, to "that's the way things are", to "what are we going to do about it".

On the other hand, the violations of human rights appear to be directed at those who refuse to accept the situation. Those who rebel against the vulnerability that is the result of crime, impunity or abuse of power are, in many cases viewed as criminals and subjected to confinement, isolation and torture, sometimes physical, sometimes psychological.

The case of Jose Manuel Mireles and his 383 self defense members, in Michoacan; that of Nestora Salgado in Guerrero, and of Mario Luna in Sonora, to name just those most mentioned in the media, illustrate this well.

All of them rebelled against defenselessness. Crimes were also fabricated against all of them to cover up the violations of their human rights. Their confinement and their reduction to a criminal condition carries a message: either you accept living in defenselessness and docility like everybody else, or we will force you to do so.

This form of totalitarianism or dictatorship is new in appearance, but not in nature. It is a previously unknown form of State violence that has lost its ideological mask as its reason for existing. Mexico's state machinery, that through its institutional orders pretends -- as it tells us every day -- to regulate conflicts in a rational and legal manner, each day reveals itself to be more compatible with an extreme violence of a new coinage that day after day erases the gains of the civilizing process and is converting us into slave material or animals for slaughter.

In its debacle, the State is becoming less of a judicial and political apparatus and is turning into a machine for submission and destruction, governed not by political imperatives, as in Nazism or Soviet (ideology), or military juntas, but rather by purely economic motives.

In addition, I believe that we have to respect the San Andres Accords, stop the war, liberate Jose Manuel Mireles, his self defense forces and all the Zapatistas and Atenco people who are in prison, do justice to victims of violence and prosecute governors and government officials who are criminals.


No comments:

Post a Comment