Blog dedicated to reporting on Mexican drug cartels
on the border line between the US and Mexico

Wednesday, October 8, 2014

The new dictatorship

Proceso (10-6-14) 

By Javier Sicilia, 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
Military personnel after a confrontation with sicarios in the Lagunitas mountains in Jalisco
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.


  1. That applies to the United States of America.
    The domination of the people by (just one) a brutal police force that has always been on the wrong side of the law. Ironic, isn't it?
    All you have to do is look at video from the civil rights movement by blacks in the 60's.
    And now, countless videos by citizens showing these thugs with a badge doing what they do best: Brutalizing innocent citizens.
    Let's clean our own house.

    1. October 22nd national day to protest against police brutality...fuck the police state

    2. Nobody is saying the US is holy. This place is about MEXICO.

    3. 5:17 bitch you dont know shit.

  2. thank God I have guns in the US r my country would be like Mexico. Le t the Mexican have guns

  3. Slavery by low wages creates crime, desperation and starvation.
    Compensation through higher wages creates motivation, ambition and self esteem. Share the wealth and create a better quality of life.

  4. It would nice if this exposed the corruption of Mexico Federal government to the world, but unfortunately the government has already taken out the people in the know!

  5. 5:17 you stole my words from my mouth and made them prettier, you complement beautifully mister sicilia falcon's words, naming the godfather of all the mexican criminals sponsored by the mexican government.
    Let's remember that the global cabal david rockefeller was proud of being accused of belonging to, is pulling the strings of all crimes against humanity, in cahoots with henry kissinger and his creation, the bilderberg group and the sons of the devil himself, the rothschild, without their say so, the world would be so different, and the US would not be their puppet, but it is what it is, ???
    Last but not lastly, thanks un vato for the english version, you are lornin'

  6. Shit is bad in Mexico but until everyone keeps being a poet and not a pissed off citizen of action, ain't shit gonna change. It won't be easy but change never is, sitting around crying to proceso about it ain't gonna change a fucking thing. Sitting around crying on the Internet ain't gonna change a fucking thing. With as many cartel cheerleading internet Rambos as there are out there (both american and mexican born) one would think finding those people would be easy. Me? I'm just pointing out the obvious. And the obvious is, as bad as it is in Mexico, auschwitz (only one of the death camps in ww2 by the way) and the mexican drug war don't compare on any fucking scale. 100,000 ain't millions. Those people got slaughtered with slave labor, guns and fucking gas by the train load on the daily for years on end. I would think a poet would know better than to make such a poor analogy.

  7. Citizen accountability is the real threat to a government. Only by neutralizing its citizens can a government exist without accountability.

    By combining their forces the government and organized crime can together fight their common threat: the uprising of the people.

  8. It's really to bad that when people get a taste of a little wealth they always let it go to their heads. It's also a sad fact that the population always puts these scum bags in positions of power, maybe because they can afford to get recognized maybe, I don't know but why can't people just learn from our own bloody history's? Mexico has to be one of the most beautiful countries on this planet, as well their people are some of the nicest I've ever had the pleasure of meeting and calling my friends, but theirs always a tendency for nice people to give others the benefit of the doubt, and scum bags always take advantage of those who are nice. I do hope that at some point the nice people rise up and show the scum that when you finally go to far, if you think the drug punks are inhuman, people who've grown tired will paint the streets with the corrupt politicians as well as the criminals blood, and till it's needed once more there will be peace.

  9. "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"

    Good analysis of a kind of apathy that borders on self hurt.It almost allows you to be treated this way as a direct consequence of authoritarian neglect and downright contempt.Said before the Mexican political elites treat other Mexicans as second class citizens,a fodder that can be exploited,killed and murdered with total disregard and haughty indifference..The way they have behaved in this particular instance has shocked many countries,but what can be done?Mexico is still very insular and so are its people leading to a kind of unsophisticated view of outsiders?The people have to start a train that gathers momentum,but easier said than done..

  10. excellent story, thank you for the translation

  11. October 8, 2014 at 11:02 PM
    This is millie the race hater,living in the US wouldn't you know.

    1. Is that all you can say, why is he/ she wrong?

  12. It really does seem like Mexico is dictatorship. You take away the citizens right to bear (decent) arms to protect themselves is complete bullshit. By the way a .380 is not enough to protect yourself from the kidnappers and the Narcos.

  13. Excellent article. Until the people stop being apathetic to the corruption surrounding them, nothing will change. Thinking that minding your business under those types of circumstances will not keep you safe. Refusing to join the corrupt, working hard at legitimate jobs just makes you a target.

    Also, pay no mind to the rantings of Mex-Ams, they're Estadounidenses. Born, raised, housed, and fed in the US. They, like the rest don't have to worry about living in a house made of scrounge trash, no fresh water, no food, or police throwing dead tortured bodies around. No lack of government accountability at any level in the US is comparable.

    These are things that Mexicans in Mexico are dealing with on a daily basis. The people need to wake up and rise up with one voice.

    Do not go quietly into that gentle night!!!

    1. These ppl are worse than the white racist!

  14. 100,000 killed + 30,000 missing does not equal Auschwitz by a long shot lol

  15. October 9, 2014 at 3:49 PM
    Great comments dude,its about facts,not making points on each other.
    There sadly is no comparison,and it is sad..Because Mexico could be so much more,and should be so much more.But,the political elite and familial greed at the top just couldn't care less..

  16. at 8:05 PM
    Go back asleep,wake you when we catch one..


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