The Infrarealist Journalism Manifesto
"Who thinks that the daily sorrows are because of confrontation between one cartel and another? Infrarealist journalism wants to completely destroy this narrative."
By Diego Enrique Osorno
Special to The Narco News Bulletin
August 22, 2011
A couple of sensationalist journalists in Nuevo Laredo watch an execution and feel as if death—their only ideological enemy—were with them. Suddenly one says: “This is not a war, it’s a massacre.”
Writers with scholarships from the Gabriel García Márquez foundation go to a gala organized by the capo and the governor. A year later, the capo dies by gunfire in a Guadalajara restaurant and the governor is appointed Secretary of the Economy.
A president without a people declares war on the tornadoes.
The day soldiers kill him and put a goat horn beside his body, a student at Tec de Monterrey learns the state lies by habit.
A young poet in Ciudad Juárez has just been hit in the stomach by four young leftist journalists: They were convincing him to be more engaged with the current reality.
Let’s be committed. Too many wolves run loose. Everyone put on an olive green cap and jacket at least once a year, preferably in our size.
Let’s have a national gathering of young, militarized or Zeta writers. If some idiot
the thirty thousand
or forty thousand,
or fifty thousand,
or sixty thousand,
or seventy thousand,
or ninety thousand,
or hundred thousand dead,
then we’ll do something extra: we’ll write an opinion piece defending the institutions or read a haiku about war in the Zócalo at the end of the march; singing the national anthem or a narco-corrido before the start of the next session of our literary workshop.
In the words of Carlos Slim Helú, success is not about doing things well or even very well and being recognized by others. It is not an outside opinion. It’s an internal state. It is the harmony between the soul and your emotions, which requires love, family, friendship, authenticity, integrity.
The politician of the hour puts on a white guayabera shirt and smiles for the TV cameras.
Infrarealist reporters take the photo.
But they don’t laugh.
Infrarealist journalism is a game.
A game of life and death.
Infrarealist journalism knows that the rhetoric of war and the war itself are not the same. Infrarealist journalism does not count deaths: it tells the stories of the dead. Infrarealist journalism looks for the version of the story told by those who have no spokesperson or media office, who have never held a press conference.
Infrarealist journalism is not a fucking vulture or a dead fly.
Infrarealist reporters write:
About the smell of tear gas.
About weak governments seeking legitimacy through force.
About certain journalists with inflated egos.
About golf courses built on top of natural reserves or entire villages by the bureaucratic elite.
About a rich lady who walks a brown Chihuahua named “Terminator.”
About a lynch mob.
About those with few human values.
About lords and rebels.
About the Blog del Narco and the guys who created it and how it became one of the most horrific and successful websites in Mexico.
About urinals and their secret messages.
About the Black Christ.
About the violence of Nazis and the violence of Lucha Libre wrestling.
About the new and current honor code, where there exists the right to rape and kill and have big funerals, the right to assassinate, betray, expose, humiliate and be loved and respected; the right to slaughter and burn people alive; the right to life and death, the right to kill seventy-two people who won’t work for your company, or the right to kill those who are an affront to morality, or the right to kill just because one can kill.
There is more violence. Less obvious but omnipresent.
Tuberculosis kills more than drug trafficking.
Infrarealist journalism jumps into the ring of fire: It wants to wrest the narrative of what happens to police and drug traffickers. Who thinks that the daily sorrows are because of confrontation between one cartel and another? Infrarealist journalism wants to completely destroy this narrative. This official narrative’s days are numbered: It’s already screwed. It will come from another place, another imagination. We have to stop being a crowd of walking dead. Infrarealist journalism dreams of life.
Infrarealist journalism is written:
Among cartridge casings, wounded bodies, stones thrown by hand, dead dogs, glass bottles flying, blood and destruction.
Among bare feet, among people inhaling the contents of a polyethylene bag filled with chemical solvents, among the fake drama of politics, among those who don’t sit at the table when it’s time to eat, among the nameless dead stacked in mortuaries and cemeteries on the southern border and the northern border, among the little devils of light, among the pigs crossing the streets of Acapulco at full speed and among the arcade games with their corroded wood.
Among killer shadows.
Infrarealist journalism does not avoid the fateful nights, the fateful days, the fateful hours. It doesn’t watch from the outside. It intoxicates itself with everything that happens. It runs through a dark tunnel.
It resumes the work of Ryszard Kapuscinsky and Jacobo Zablodowsky, of the great José Alvarado and Luis Villoro, of Mario Santiago Papasquiaro and Beto Quintanilla.
Infrarealist journalism does not publish to taste, nor does it enliven cocktail parties or cabinet meetings. Infrarealist reporters do not put on the tie of self-importance, writing for and becoming part of a huge propaganda machine they barely know.
Infrarealist journalism is not a machine, it refuses to be.
(Note: Infrarealist reporters can also write about other things such as the indigenous Tojolabal people, wild boar, unidentified objects, rainbow headbands in the hair of Yaqui girls, golden owls, noisy beds during lovemaking, horse racing, cotton underwear, cedar, pigs, conch, the violent sounds of noisy streets and squares, climate change, mauve sunsets and the fermented corn drink, Teshuino.
They do not write about dogs in Parque Mexico or the realism of Colonia Condesa.)
We know it’s cold.
There is an icy fear.
The streets rain.
The night carries an axe. (The allure of the word “axe.”)
Suddenly the streets do not exist.
Infrarealist reporters do not exist.
But you have to believe in them.
Someone is cleaning a rifle in his kitchen.
*This artifact was made in August 2011 in the Municipal Library of Caborca, Sonora, and read during the Third National Writers Meeting in Monterrey.
Translation by Katie Walsh for Narco News.
Lea Ud. el Artículo en Español
Narco News is funded by your contributions to The Fund for Authentic Journalism.
Please make journalism like this possible by going to The Fund's web site
and making a contribution today.
- The Fund for Authentic Journalism
For more Narco News, click here.