Confronted with the escalating violence of state-supported narco-capitalism, ordinary Mexicans are increasingly taking matters into their own hands.
By Alessandro Zagato
A vicious war is tormenting Mexico: a silent war that rarely reaches the headlines of the international media. An inner war which many occidental powers have been following carefully, always monitoring their own interests in the area. This is a war for the appropriation of resources, for infrastructural development, for control over territories, for the implementation of a new order — a war waged against whoever tries to resist or strike back. Between 2007 and 2014, at least 164,000 people have been murdered in Mexico, more than have died in the conflicts in Afghanistan and Iraq over the same time period. According to the Secretary of Public Security, more than 25,000 people are currently reported missing. These are enormous figures that still fail to account for the amount of brutality afflicting Mexican society, the trauma suffered by countless communities from Sonora to Chiapas, and the magnitude of the social transformation underway.
A peculiar aesthetics of militarism is felt when traveling through the country; ubiquitous military bases and checkpoints, high-caliber weapons displayed by policemen and soldiers in ski-masks. All this along with the military presence in the news, videos of gunfights, and graphic photos of brutalized bodies splashed on front pages. All becoming part of everyday life right throughout the country.This visual landscape is pushing people into a culture of aggression and fear, generating disorientation and social meltdown. In the military domain, each operation is open-ended and comes backed with intelligence and psychological warfare. “Military operations are truly a manner of speaking,” noted the Invisible Committee “hence every major operation is above all a communication operation whose every act, even a minor act, speaks louder than words.” Waging war today is “first and foremost to manage perceptions, the perceptions of the set of actors whether close by or far away, direct or indirect.”