Friday, June 06, 2008

"If you're going to go, baby, won't you please...

...go all the way to Mexico?" Mexico by Jump Little Children.

Machine guns mow down people in a park in broad daylight. Mutilated bodies are found in the streets after a night of uncanny action while the innocent and uninvolved stay at home--with every door locked, and every light dimmed. The intrigue and corruption with the government could fill several novels of competitive disturbia with All The King's Men. The violence is not limited to the players in this awful game, however, even children are murdered in the cross-fire as the ruthless killings continue.

Sounds like The Godfather, doesn't it? Or perhaps what we imagine Afghanistan to have been like under the Taliban, or Baghdad to be like in the midst of its current struggle. But this is much closer to home--this is Mexico.

The state of Chihuahua is currently experiencing a face-off between two major drug-trafficking cartels. There have been over 2,000 deaths this year, and American newspapers haven't even bothered to count the mere injured. The action down there is, in fact, comparable to The Godfather, including some of the gorier scenes, with the Mexican state of Sinaloa equivalent to Sicily for the Italian Mafia.

The two main sides in this conflict appear to be drug lord Joaquin "El Chapo" Guzman Loera's Sinaloa cartel and "La Linea," the Juárez cartel.

Legend states that
El Chapo strolled into Juárez one day, with a gang of sicarios (hit men) and claimed the Juárez smuggling corridor as his own. Naturally La Linea in Juárez did not appreciate this, and whether that is how it all began or not, the animosity between the two sides is only two clear as the death toll grows daily.

"How awful," we say, "How savage and sad."

A few of us might even get excited enough to follow the few news reports about this. Some of the video game enthusiasts might sit around imagining themselves playing a heroic role--perhaps reminiscent of Indiana Jones--in this battle. But very few of us actually care to get involved.

Indeed--I myself have much too much to do this summer. My sister is getting married in a month, I'm doing my senior internship, I've got papers to write, and books to read, and money to save. Oh, and I'm a girl, did I mention that?

Yes, I'm just full of excuses, and so are you. We'll go back to our lives now, and enjoy complaining about the economy, or the price of gas, or the up-coming elections, or something else (that's what we Americans do best).

And to be honest, I don't know what else we should do. We can't all up and sign up for Border Patrol--though some can and should. We also shouldn't run down and set up a vigilante-style Freedom Fighter squad. But I can think of one thing which may possibly effect this...

Possibly the fact that the United States is the #1 customer of all the drug trafficking in Mexico. We buy such a high percentage of their drugs, they don't even have to go looking for other customers. I live near one of the drug trafficking capitals of the west, and it's not pretty, even in our very law-enforced United States of America.

I guess our culture has become so selfish and self-absorbed that perhaps we don't even see the consequences of our actions. You high-school potheads out there--do you realize that you are accruing blood on your hands? I doubt it has even entered your fuzzy little brains. And why should it? What can your "guilty pleasure" have to do with some gangster-style war going on in a foreign country--a third-world foreign country at that. Send in the marines, right?


Seriously--if you have a single, solitary good instinct in your body left, please realize this and act on it. Peer pressure is stronger than your sense of self-preservation, stronger than your moral fiber, stronger than every piece of you that has ever been touched by thought, maybe realizing that you must stop using these drugs--stop smoking, snorting, and shooting, stop the miserable nights of hazy forgetfulness and terrifying blue smoke. Stop the lethargy, and the ignorance, and the damage to your body, soul, and mind--stop it! You aren't just killing yourself, you're killing others. You're paying for the Zetas (trained assassins from the Mexican Army) to kill in as heinous a fashion as any action flick you've ever seen.

If you think Lord of War was bad, try real life.

So, friends, I realize this is somewhat of a departure from my normal post, but as I studied it, I couldn't help but spazz a little.

Isn't it ironic?

Just in case you want a real, live, official version of this story from the news, this link is a good synopsis:

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