Thursday, December 25, 2008

A Violent Christmas

Millions of Americans lay tucked in their beds, while images of sugar plums danced in their heads. On this Christmas morn', I awoke at 1 am to to sounds of reverberating shot gun fire and small arms fire dancing in the air. As I lay tucked in my bed, I counted 12 shot gun blasts echo off the El Paso Franklin Mountains swooping down into the valley, my neighborhood, below. I knew these were not the traditional celbratory shots fired on Christmas eve, but the violent and deadly messages the drug caretel have been sending for months to those living along the border. How grim to know that at the end of each blast, a man or woman lay dead in the streets of Juárez. I closed my eyes and said a prayer for the families each of the shot gun blasts would effect. They will not be having a Feliz Navidad y Prospero Año Nuevo.

I have been silent on my blog for months because I have been busy with writing and researching for my disseration, but equally as much, I have been speechless about what is going down just a stone´s throw from my home, the university, the place I call home.

For months, the violence has escalated to 12, 15, 21 murders EVERY weekend. The media quotes numbers at 1,400 or 1,500 people that have died in neighboring Juárez, but I believe that the number is much higher. Unmarked graves, a poor tracking system of the people, and an indifference for the Mexicans living on the border hinders an actual count of the people who have lost their lives. Just in the last two weeks, the cartel killed the chief of police of Juárez. The cartel has no respect, no care, no scrupels for the lives of anyone. This week, members of the cartel were throwing the decapitated heads of their latest victims from the window of their trucks! When will this end? The people of Juárez, Mexico cannot defend themselves because weapons in Mexico are illegal! Only the criminals have the guns.

I question the attention this issue has received from not only the American press, but also the American government. A war rages in a country neighboring the United States, and their response is to build a wall. The United States continue to take an indifferent stance toward the suffering and serious issues raging just across our borders. Many people feel may feel think "the killings and drug cartel are their problems." More than we know, the killings and drug cartel are our problems. Why? Fifty percent of the drug consumption in the world occurs here in the United States, for marijuana alone, there are 14.6 million drug user in the United States ( Yes, the killings in Juárez, a drug war fighting for the passage ways to sell their product in the United States, IS our problem.