The News
Friday 21 of June 2024

Looking Away

The government does not have the necessary strength to end violence

It always shocked me that, during the presidency of Felipe Calderón, any subject, from a sporting event to the delivery of scholarships to the Bicentennial Generation, ended up in blood, sweat and tears.

There was no presidential intervention that didn’t end up in the war and fire unleashed by Calderon against the drug cartels.

Then began President Enrique Peña Nieto’s administration and with it a situation where everybody began to look away regarding violence.

Surely, the start of a new administration should not mean that violence is not on the priorities of the cabinet, since we still live in a reality that is stranger than fiction and that shows the consequences that terror and the absence of a truly strong government can produce.

Without going into numbers, what I do want to emphasize is that, as British magazine The Economist pointed out last week, the problem of violence has become increasingly serious for this government and looking away is not going to fix it. In addition, other problems have appeared which will surely end up being a big headache for those in the current government when they finally leave their posts.

We have played around with the number of the dead and missing. Although we don’t really play because we have allocated a budget to the National Commission of Human Rights since the time of former President Ernesto Zedillo for that purpose. However, it still seems normal to use that there can be hundreds of bodies in clandestine graves which have not yet been identified.

All this is not a problem of perception, but of abandonment by our government. In that sense, there is a great difference between the United States and us. Because although that country is home to the most powerful mafias, the government has always been stronger than any, a situation that we have been unable to consolidate.

And now we Mexicans have reached a point where, excepting that monstrous role of legal uncertainty to which we have condemned our armed forces, everything is unstable and where numbers are discussed or we look away. We have reached a point where we simply can’t know the number of dead and we keep living in our reality as if it was the set of the latest James Bond film.

You can’t defeat the bad guys just with declarations. You have to be stronger than them. And there are already to many events like those of Ayotzinapa and the Topo Chico prison that show that the government does not have the necessary strength to end violence, one of its greatest problems.

People gathering outside the Topo Chico prison in Monterrey, where a riot broke out on Feb.11 resulting in 49 deaths. (Notimex-Juan Carlos Pérez).