Sunday, July 4, 2010

Getting Out the Vote

Miguel Carbonell says that the big conflict today is voting Mexicans versus Mexican mafias:
The strategy of organized crime has had a lot to do with the dissemination of terror, whether as a message to the authorities charged with chasing and punishing criminals, or as a way of frightening the general population. This is probably the intention of many of the "narco-banners" or "narco-messages", which appear on streets and boulevards with relative frequency. And the same can be said of the executed people hung from highway bridges with lots of traffic or other similar activities. The message is: be afriad, we are present.

Before this message the population must demonstrate that there are rational arguments through which we can settle our differences. The best that we have been able to invent is called democracy and we have to nourish it periodically through the exercise of our citizen rights, such as the right of suffrage.

Going to vote on Sunday is no longer a symbolic act and has turned into a bet on the most essential values of our social interaction. Voting is the most direct response for terror, criminal blindness, the threat that looms over all of us.

Not voting means letting the criminals win. They seek to paralyze the society with fear, impose their ferocious law of the jungle, traffic with our hopes, and profit off of the pain of millions of families harmed by criminality.
I'm not sure if the conflict is quite so cut and dry, but there is no question that more apathy equals weaker mandates and less attention on those in government, which encourages corruption and also makes it harder for an anti-crime crusader to make an impact.

Relatedly, as Chihuahua heads to the polls today, four dead bodies were hung from bridges this morning in the state capital.

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