An Open Letter to Mexico’s Politicians and Criminals

Emiliano_Zapata_en_la_ciudad_de_Cuernavaca Javier Sicilia in Naked Punch:

The brutal assassination of my son, Juan Francisco, of Julio César Romero Jaime, of Luis Antonio Romero Jaime, and of Gabriel Anejo Escalera, is added to so many other boys and girls who have been assassinated just the same throughout the country, not only because of the war unleashed by the government of Calderón against organized crime, but also the rotting of the heart that has been wrought by the poorly labeled political class and the criminal class, which has broken its own codes of honor.

I do not wish, in this letter, to speak with you about the virtues of my son, which were immense, nor of those of the other boys that I saw flourish at his side, studying, playing, loving, growing, to serve, like so many other boys, this country that you all have shamed. Speaking of that doesn’t serve for anything more than to move what already moves the heart of the citizenry to indignation. Neither do I wish to talk about the pain of my family and the families of each one of the boys who were destroyed. There are not words for this pain. Only poetry can come close to it, and you do not know about poetry. What I do wish to say to you today from these mutilated lives, from the pain that has not name because it is fruit of something that does not belong in nature – the death of a child is always unnatural and that’s why it has no name: I don’t know if it is orphan or widow, but it is simply and painfully nothing – from these, I repeat, mutilated lives, from this suffering, from the indignation that these deaths have provoked, it is simply that we have had it up to here.

We have had it up to here with you, politicians – and when I say politicians I do not refer to any in particular, but, rather, a good part of you, including those who make up the political parties – because in your fight for power you have shamed the fabric of the nation. Because in middle of this badly proposed, badly made, badly led war, of this war that has put the country in a state of emergency, you have been incapable – due to your cruelties, your fights, your miserable screaming, your struggle for power – of creating the consensus that the nation needs to find the unity without which this country will not be able to escape. We have had it up to here because the corruption of the judicial institutions generates the complicity with crime and the impunity to commit it, because in the middle of that corruption that demonstrates the failure of the State, each citizen of this country has been reduced to what the philosopher Giorgio Agamben called, using a Greek word, “zoe”: an unprotected life, the life of an animal, of a being that can be violated, kidnapped, molested and assassinated with impunity. We have had it up to here because you only have imagination for violence, for weapons, for insults and, with that, a profound scorn for education, culture, and opportunities for honorable work, which is what good nations do. We have had it up to here because your short imagination is permitting that our kids, our children, are not only assassinated, but, later, criminalized, made falsely guilty to satisfy that imagination. We have had it up to here because others of our children, due to the absence of a good government plan, do not have opportunities to educate themselves, to find dignified work and spit out onto the sidelines become possible recruits for organized crime and violence. We have had it up to here because the citizenry has lost confidence in its governors, its police, its Army, and is afraid and in pain. We have had it up to here because the only thing that matters to you, beyond an impotent power that only serves to administrate disgrace, is money, the fomentation of rivalry, of your damn “competition,” and of unmeasured consumption which are other names of the violence.