"Either write something worth reading or do something worth writing."

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

A Broken World

The industrious northern city of Monterrey has always been the one metropolis that the people of Mexico could point to proudly and say "Yes! this is who we are."  When The Gulf Cartel aided by Los Zetas, fought off  a hostile take-over bid by Chapo Guzman in 2005, Monterrey dodged a bullet. With the Gulf Cartel in charge, the city was relatively untouched and peaceful. However, the killing of a Zeta jefe in 2010, led to a split between the former partners and renewed violence. This time around, Monterrey would not be spared a bloodbath.  

Los Zetas made Monterrey their base, and now The Gulf Cartel wants to dislodge them. Los Zetas are not only biting the hand that once fed them, but like any snake, they also want to devour the entire body. Before long, victims were hanging from overpasses, having been tortured, shot or in one particularly hideous case, burned alive. Los Zetas boldly post recruiting banners across highway bridges that state "Join Us! We Don't Eat Ramen" which apparently is what Mexican soldiers are fed on a regular basis.   
 "As long as there are consumers and a critical mass of young people for these gangs to recruit, it's hard to imagine the number (of killings) will go down," said Jorge Domene, a spokesman for the state of Nuevo Leon. Mexican government officials excell at stating the obvious. In the meantime Mexico's drug cartels do battle like Godzilla & Mothra. Laying waste to one city after another.  As was the case in Juarez, Nuevo Laredo and Tijuana, the killings will continue until there is a clear cut winner...no more...no less.  

Two years ago, Mexican poet and novelist, Javier Sicilia was awarded Mexico's top poetry prize for  a poem that spoke of "The mystery of God in a broken world"  Then, in March of 2011 his son, Juan, a university student and six of his friends were found, murdered execution style in Cuernavaca. By all accounts they were innocent victims, in the wrong place at the wrong time. This has become an all too common occurrence in Mexico, where simple gatherings to celebrate birthdays, weddings or just to blow off steam are invitations to a massacre.

Now with his own world shattered Javier Sicilia explains that "I still have my faith, but it has sunk into a deep, dark place." To honor his son he wrote a poem "The world is not worthy of words, they have been suffocated from the inside..." He then declared that the public had heard the last poem he would ever write: “Poetry doesn’t exist in me anymore.” Now, Sicilia leads marches under the banner of "Hasta la Madre!" which could be translated as "We have had enough." Still, the poet's  marches and other protest efforts have had little effect, they are fighting raging forest fires with water guns.  

The world is not worthy of words
they have been suffocated from the inside
as they suffocated you, as they tore apart your lungs ...
the pain does not leave me
all that remains is a world
through the silence of the righteous,
only through your silence and my silence, Juanelo.
Javier Sicilia: Ode to A Son

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