what does matter

In memory of Sergio Gonzalez Rodriguez

With the strange “revocation” referendum concluded, it is urgent that the government and the opposition deal with the issues that do matter to the citizenry. Instead of imagining themselves as heroes of “historical” deeds, it is time for the rulers to listen to the real stories that make up the lives and daily experience of millions. That story is the one that matters, the one told by the vanquished, as Ricardo Piglia wrote, not the biased “History” that the holders of power intend to confuse with the truth.

The triumphalism of the official discourse would be laughable if it did not evade and veil the harshness and cruelty of reality for millions of people, the atmosphere of uncertainty that weighs on everyone and the insecurity that surrounds the lives of women and men exposed to disappearance, murder , femicide and atrocities such as massacres.

The violence does not stop, it expands and worsens. It wounds and kills individuals, families and communities, corrodes the lives of all, even those who strive to deny or ignore it. This weekend, in Tultepec, 7 people were murdered, including two girls and a boy, one more of the endless massacres that bloody this country. Girls and women continue to disappear, some are found murdered, others return damaged, many do not return; their families, not the authorities, continue to search for them.

Violence not only ends the life or health and tranquility of those who suffer directly; its effects also contaminate the perception and attitudes of those who “only” find out about them through the media or social networks. The normalization of violence is not a set phrase, it is a phenomenon that affects coexistence and judgment.

Let us think, for example, of the recent murder of Victoria Guadalupe Rodríguez, murdered in Querétaro when she was only 6 years old. She went to the bakery near her house and allegedly a neighbor of hers took her away and killed her. To the condolences of many, critical social networks were added to her parents for letting her get out of it alone. What is abnormal? For a girl to walk alone for a few minutes in a known direction? Or that not even in her own neighborhood can she or any girl, boy or adolescent be left alone? Why not question the insecurity and impunity that prevent us from leading a life that is still the rule in other countries – even with exceptions?

The normalization of violence goes hand in hand with the negligence of authorities who have made impunity their hallmark. This criminal negligence calls into question the validity of the rule of law (already trampled on by the highest authorities in the country). This is demonstrated by the terrible case of Irene and her daughter in Chimalhuacán where it was the police who deprived her of her liberty, drugged and raped the girl, then 13 years old, in 2019, and, this April 1, they kidnapped and tortured her mother for having denounced the rape and subsequent attacks against both of them in their home. How can the high degree of misogynistic violence continue to be tolerated in Chimalhuacán and throughout the State of Mexico?

We read with horror that dozens of women have disappeared in Nuevo León. Feminist collectives protest the femicide of María Fernanda Contreras, whose disappearance was immediately denounced by her parents, without the police acting immediately. They were suppressed. Of course, the governor “participates in the search” for another girl. Photo opportunity? The cynicism of certain opposition is also outrageous.

For families and communities to stop living this torment, to create a viable present and future, a profound rectification of the government and an awareness and action of the “opposition” and society are urgently needed. “History” or the seizure of power are not at stake, life is at stake, which is not surviving in the midst of horror.

Lucia Melgar

culture criticism


She is a professor of literature and gender and cultural criticism. She has a doctorate in Latin American literature from the University of Chicago (1996), a master’s degree in history from the same university (1988) and a bachelor’s degree in social sciences (ITAM, 1986).

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