Thursday, October 09, 2008
How to live in Mexico without moving an inch of your body... or your ideas
On that sad sad day in San Salvador Atenco, he, as a member of the -federal, sate, local- police forces, participated in denigrating acts against the men and women who were being arrested and transferred to various prisons. He remembers it well: he forced a young woman to go down on him shortly after they had been dragged inside a truck with no plates. She may or may not remember everything that was happening around her, but she does remember the awful event, the beatings on her breasts and buttocks, the pulling of her hair, the angry male voice: "trágatelo todo, hija de tu chingada madre" ("swallow it all, bitch!").
A few months after the events, he was one of the few policemen who were sentenced to prison. They were not sentenced for life, no. After all, they did not kidnap anyone: they merely forced innocent people to jump on a dark bus on the road to nowhere (these buses drove around quite a few hours before they arrived to the prisons. On the bus, policemen tried to force people to spit out the names of the movement leaders, by torturing them), depriving these people of their freedom (oops! my dictionary says that kidnapping = depriving people of their freedom for want of a reward).
Anyway, this man was sentenced to 3.5 years in prison, or a bail of nearly 9 thousand mexican pesos, which is more or less equivalent to USD $900.00 Today, the newspaper reads that the Supreme Court of Justice in Mexico has decided to lessen the degree of his criminal charges. So, he is going to walk out of prison very soon. However, Ignacio del Valle, a man who defended the territory against neoliberalism, on that same day in San Salvador Atenco, is facing a 112-year sentence.
On other matters, I have managed to collect quite a few reports from the newspaper, 6 to be exact, that witness the impunity that is gradually becoming established in my country. For example: 35 cops in northern Mexico were arrested due to them providing protection (security?) to drug dealers; do you remember the case of the kidnapped boy who was son to one of the richest men in the sport industry? Well, turns out that a few police officers from the federal agency of investigation (AFI, the Mexican FBI, say) were involved in planning the kidnapping; 14 police officers, again in northern Mexico, were arrested due to their links to drug-dealing groups; another AFI officer was arrested due to links with drug trafficking, and in the last two months, 114 justice processes have been initiated against police officers that are thought to have been participant in criminal acts.
To top it off, the young sons of our past first lady were involved in huge frauds (they stole money aided by their privileged position, and in addition, they owe a huge amount of federal taxes).
In my country, police officers chase tortilla-making women out of their market stands, allegedly with sanitary purposes: traditional tortilla-making has been deemed "not healthy", while buying pre-packed tortillas from MASECA, one of the big corporations, is applauded.
In my country, farmers and indigenous people are blamed for endangering the conservation of natural areas, while it is farmers and indigenous people who are sick of having governmental agencies wasting the administration of natural or achaeological parks. Recently, a group of farmers took over the administration of an archaeological area in Chiapas. Their purpose was to take good care of the park, not to charge too expensive entrance fees, and to use the profits for maintaining the park. What did they get in response?: repression from federal, state, and local police forces, who murdered 6 farmers.
In my country, state education is right now in the process of being privatised. Teachers have been protesting for the last few weeks. Just yesterday, they encountered a myriad police officers while they were demonstrating on the freeway from Mexico to Cuernavaca (look it up in Google Earth, please). What did they get in response?: repression, beatings, and an ominous silence in the media, just as the Chiapas farmers have gotten.
How to live in Mexico without moving an inch? Think big, think profit. Be neoliberal.