modernity vs. tradition

In public and published opinion, the polarization generated by President Andrés Manuel is judged to serve nothing, more than an electoral and political purpose that allows him to identify with some and disdain the fifis, the others. The matter is more serious it seems to me. Because when that polarization is expressed on the ground, in everyday life, the enormous wounds that it has reopened and the dangers that this entails are discovered and that, because they are taken for granted, are not dealt with in articles such as the one I am writing in this moment.

A close friend tells me that last weekend, his son with friends went to a bar in Puerto Escondido, Oaxaca, reasonably late. They had a party on their backs, so the 100 percent truthfulness of their story is not possible, but the facts speak for themselves. The boys over 25 years old, from CDMX, arrived at the bar, notoriously outsiders and oblivious to the locals of that beach destination. They asked to speak to the owner, whom they knew from previous occasions, and he came out to greet them. At the door they meet and the owner offers them a prompt entrance and offers that instead of paying what any tourist would, they would charge what the locals would (first strange sign, since it is noteworthy that there is a distinction, in price, between locals and national or foreign tourists).

The owner returns to the interior of the premises and the head of security of the place: a place notoriously in power, of what in certain social groups is known as the cadenero, who has a little power to let in or not, who seems fit or subject to the right of entry.

For reasons that cannot be understood objectively, the bouncer tells one of the boys that, although the owner has said they would go in, he has decided that they will not go in (alcohol, bloody attitude, conspicuously fifi appearance, or more serious still, that they would pay as locals or whatever) and to step aside because others had to enter and the first event occurs, pushes one of them.

Immediately afterwards, the boy from CDMX returns the push and receives a blow to the nose that leaves him bleeding. They decide, given the fact, to withdraw from the place. In that they were, when 5 members of the security of the place come out to support their boss and attack, as if it were already a sung anger against the first boy beaten and another one next to him. Six members of the security, locals between words and blows accuse them of being from outside, of being fifi suckers and that, in Puerto Escondido, they continue to rule, even though in said port, the tourist industry is developing in an unprecedented way and there is an unexpected wave of real estate investment and services. They finish: you with your money do not even think that you are going to put us aside.

The beating begins: 2 against 6. The two Mexicans at the end of CDMX end up in a case with an open eyebrow, fractured ribs and notorious blows to the face. The other with a broken hand, a fractured rib and a broken nose.

The epithets and threats continue, from the speech that the CDMX boys were not from there, that they were suckers and that the locals would not be intimidated by money or their social status.

The matter could go through one of the many fights that usually occur in tourist places between the security of a bar and some tourists. It has, however, a content that catches my attention: the justification of the bouncer and his henchmen to beat up the outsiders. It’s not that they’re in charge and they don’t allow arrogant drunks or suckers there. It’s not that they weren’t allowed in because they were in an inconvenient state, no.

The speech of the cadenero and his cronies is loaded with social rancor. You do not enter, even if the owner has said, because you have to pay what tourists do (against the offer to pay as locals). You do not enter by fifis and outsiders. You do not enter because you seem rich and, therefore, left over. It is, if you want a hasty conclusion, but for me, the real division that AMLO has generated with his speech is that in which the locals, of uses and customs, Afro-Mexicans and who are hired as hitmen, because it is the only thing they can to do have become empowered and feel supported by a public discourse that has reopened wounds that in Mexico we considered were beginning to close. The affair ends in a beating and a brawl. It is possible that we are at the gates of a massive social confrontation between chairos and fifis, which is nesting and germinating again in Mexican society. Nothing more, but nothing less, too.

Miguel Gonzalez Compean

Lawyer, political scientist and economist

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Essayist and interested in legal and justice issues. currently professor at the Faculty of Law of the UNAM.

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