Sunday, February 7, 2016

Introduction: Learning to Live With El Narco




 How do we learn to live with el narco?

By: Dulce Ramos | Translated by Valor for Borderland Beat


“You learn to live with the pain.”  Resigned, with glassy eyes, Emma Veleta Rodríguez recounts how eight men in her family disappeared on the same day in Anáhuac, Chihuahua, four years ago.

The local press said something, but no one asked, later, how a family survives on a day to day basis when it is left without providers.

In Tamaulipas, a reporter is summoned to a meeting with an organized crime boss.  They inform him, or rather obligate, to receive a bribe.  It can’t be denied.  A journalist who breaks this rule appears dead.

How does the disappearance of an ordinary man’s son from Guerrero convert him into a “dog”, as they call the professional clandestine grave searchers?

We know that on the roads of Tamaulipas, they kidnap, extort, and disappear…but how do those who have no other choice pass through there?

Organized crime not only makes us fear for our lives.  Its impact is felt beyond.  For example, in the closure of shops that sell common supplies by narco harassment, forcing entire communities to travel kilometers in order to buy something as simple as milk.

Since the government of Felipe Calderón declared “war” against organized crime, the Mexican media has covered missing or dead, but has forgotten to narrate the day after.

The digital project “Aprender a Vivir con el Narco” (Learning to live with El Narco) has those stories.

We know that organized crime breathes at our neck, but what have we done to stand up to fear when the State- either missing, an accomplice, or exceeded at its ability to react, fails to guarantee minimum security?

“Today is a fact that violence is declining in Mexico.”  Enrique Peña Nieto said this in his message for the third government report.  Their sustenance: the reduction in the homicide rate in 2014, which according to INEGI was 24.3% lower than in 2012.

However, to close 2015, there is a number of data that contradicts-or at least- questions it.  The first is that the downward trend in the denunciations of murder is over.  The first half of 2015 closed with a rising trend.  This is the first time in four years that something like this has happened.  Compared to the same period as last year, the number grew 0.4%.

The second fact: the increase in the perception of insecurity in the year that Peña took the reins of government and its sustained performance since.

Between 2012 and 2013, the percentage of Mexicans over 18 years that believed it to be unsafe to live in his or her own state because of crime grew by almost six percentage points.  It went from 66.6% to 72.3%.  From then until now, the figure has hardly changed.  This year (2015), 73% of citizens feels unsafe in their territory, according to the National Survey of Victimization and Perception of Public Safety 2015.

“The people in general that feel fear, is due to common crimes or property crimes,” said the director of the National Laboratory of Public Policy for the Center of Investigation and Economic Research, Carlos Vilalta, one of the academics who has most studied the fear in the country.

With that phrase, one might think that citizens fear common criminals and not drug traffickers, let’s remember that, for a decade, organized crime has changed the face of Mexico.

The Mexican “narco” has gone from settling as large organizations that traffic drugs internationally, to having among their ranks small local groups that terrorize the city with its power of violence, firepower, kidnapping, and extortion.  This “new narco” plays in the field of Mexicans on foot and has them in fear.

And how has the government acted?  At first, with silence.  Education, telecommunications, energy, and other reforms were their center of speech.  But incidents like the Tlatlaya massacre or the disappearance of the 43 normalistas in Iguala made the policy of silence fall under its own weight.

“To stop talking about the crime problem is not a policy of crime prevention.  Nor is it a control policy, nor is it a communication policy to reduce the fear of crime (…).  It is simply to silence things.  That doesn’t work,” Said Carlos Vilalta.

Why do the consequences of learning to live with the narco become so important as to create this digital project?  Not only because it is urgent to portray the faces of those who plant their face in fear, but because a country’s conflict, the fragility and the governance are being targeted by the international community.

Since the United Nations was running a discussion on the Millennium Development Goals-which countries had to complete in 2015- organizations such as Open Society Foundation, funder of this project, promotes a new more comprehensive agenda for 2030.

With an initiative called Goal 16, Open Soceity encourages states to not only commit to combating extreme poverty, its causes and consequences, but also to prioritize confronting organized crime, reduce all forms of violence, homicide rates, promote the rule of law, strengthen transparency at all levels of government, and involve citizens in public decision making.  All these goals have a direct relation to tackle and eliminate fear experienced by Mexicans since the state’s ability to keep them safe broke.

SourceAnimal Politico

23 comments:

  1. No se confien en sus fiestas. Mucho menos en funerales. - El Sol Perdido

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  2. That last paragraph Goal 16 I think will be extremely challenging for Mexico.It goes against everything they stand for.

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    1. They have until 2030 to implement the implementation of the statement of intent, canna, by then it will be all classified for another 30 years...
      --please, we have enough crooks identified and their dirty deeds to keep busy Nuremberg style trials until then, and it has nothing to do with the "mexican idiosyncarcia" or anything we mexicans stand for, I don't even know of any mexican having had anything to do with any human rights laws fabrication or implementation, ever! Unless it is for the benefit of the doubt for a favorite PRIISTA sanababitch...
      --Then again the goals of privatizing all of mexico including slave labor and government, and socializing poverty for the proles for eternity is not very attractive, I in my inmense ignorance can't see the "merits"...

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  3. Excellent article!

    This kind of thought provoking and revealing writing is a real threat to the organized crime at the core of our society (aka 'the government') so be careful at BB!

    Homocides and/or disappearences not being reported is a typical phenomena in high crime areas. Why? Because in ALL high crime areas there are either no authorities around or when around ALWAYS in collusion with organized crime (in which case those wanting to report a homocide/disappareance are 'eliminated' as well).

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    1. Because prior "government" regimes have gotten cities and states and even the whole ho COUNTRY VERY DEP IN DEBT, and there is not much to steal or room for loans or funding or credibility for "tortibonos del gobierno" politician's have resorted to dealing with criminals and these to forced sales of drugs, it has worked for some politicos like cesar duarte, or peña nieto, but not for everybody, that is not colusion with narcos, that is being a narco 100% at the top of the feeding chain...

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  4. Does it always have to be this way? Such a beautiful country, able to achieve and be a world power? Our location on the continent alone is Prime.
    God help Mexico, Amen

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  5. Mexico will never be the same again, it should of never declared war against the Cartels. Things were better off before Calderon. Cartels are winning this war. Mex Gov should of just stood quiet.

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    1. Do not say, "Why were the old days better than these?" For it is not wise to ask such question. Ecclesiastes 7:10

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    2. Not true, the height of violence, at least in Tijuana, was with Fox.

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    3. Agree 100%, on the other hand, in the US people feel safe, but are not aware that adding regular homicides + gun accidents + drug related deaths (illegal and legal) numbers round up very close to Mexico's homicides (about 65K/year or 24/100K, in Mexico we don't have gun "accidents").

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  6. How can someone participate here when comments are posted once every two days! Borderland Beat moderators need to be a little more active or maybe they don't care.

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    1. Late news is better than no news. And of course the BB staff have thier personal lives to tend to as well.

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    2. Late news is better than no news? Tell that to the person who was diagnosed with a form of cancer that could have been treated had they received the news/info/diagnosis sooner...

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    3. 8:17. Let me be the first to call you Pendejo. How dare you say these people don't care. Shame on you. Put your balls out there like these folks if you "care" so much.

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  7. I understand MainStream Media has limits and self censors, because of a strange need to be "Politically Correct" due to plata o plomo, or ethical or political deficiencies... ...but BB?
    --As long as WE at BB skirt the root causes of drug trafficking and state terrorism we will never get rid of any of it...
    --commenting forever on "yesterday's murdered" is not really what this is all about, someone needs to look in the mirror...

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  8. epn does not spend 1 billion (usd or pesos?) On televisa and another on national media to have them reporting on negative shit like that

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  9. NTR zacatecas, vende BANXICO 200 millones de dolares para estabilizar el peso...
    --peña nieto bought them for 200 pesos to stabilize himself...

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  10. the way I see it, the Mexican government has the book of rules/laws, but lacks the tools to implement them. Why no one calls on the police to help them, because the so called upholders of the law are more than likely in cahoots with the criminals. sad

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  11. Why doesn't the Mexican government just level with the people and tell the truth. They can't control all the corruption at every level. Too many palms to grease so there is not enough mullah to go around. That's why there are way more extortion rackets and kidnapping crews in Mexico. Even the Narcos can't protect the public from the extortion, robbing and kidnapping crews. It's way out of hand and that's why I think the military is assassinating suspecting crews on the spot. It doesn't make it right but what else is there to do?

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    1. Is called justice and following the law...is capital murder is a good start. For all alleged drug trafficking. The problem is having a fair legal system to uphold the law. Like america, make it a business...you break it they take all the money away..it works.

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  12. Wow!What happens when the money dries up?They are going after the poor or middle class now.I guess just going to be more bodies.

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    1. The recent peso devaluation, cuts everybody's wages to 1/2, the public debt is in dollars, owed to the politicians that brought the peso value down, nice return on the $2.95 peso rise in official minimum DAILY salary, it is not per hour, entiendes?
      About $0.20 USD twenty centavos de un dollar...
      --the mexicans will become billionaires now,
      --"tenquiu" canada and US for the redemption and the drug trafficking and the TPP, NAFTA, and all those treaties and liberation remedies through mining our countries of people money and resources, all we got was the mines shafts, as warned...

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  13. Same thing in Canada too.Our Canadian[petro]dollar has lost 30%.Prices of US/Mexican fruits and vegetables are out of this world.I paid $1.00 a piece for Mexican tomatoes[taste better than US 1's]$5 for Mex blackberries.No 1 can afford to go to US with the exchange and Mexican packages are based on US dollar.Our jobs in auto industry have all gone to Mexico[I wouldn't mind if it bettered Mexican lives but it didn't]Canadians are the world masters in mining worldwide but prices are down a lot.Best uranium in world here and potash all down.Starting to look like a world crash.Only a matter of time before US dollar goes down too.1 good thing about high US dollar is tourism going to boom in Mexico and Canada.Environmentalists are going crazy here.Transcanada pipelines who Mexico uses we have trouble getting a pipeline built even in our own country to get the oil out instead of shipping by train.Obama struck down the the XL pipeline and TransCanada pipelines is now suing US government for lots because it went against free trade agreement,7 years and big money for environmental studies.There is 2 sides to every story.

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