<i>"The Name of Our Country is América" - Simon Bolivar</i> The Narco News Bulletin<br><small>Reporting on the War on Drugs and Democracy from Latin America
 English | Español August 15, 2018 | Issue #67

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Al Giordano

Opening Statement, April 18, 2000
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The Best Political Reform for Mexico is the Reformation of the Citizenry

Words of Julian LeBaron in Front of the Presidential Palace During the August 14 March for Peace with Justice and Dignity

By Julian LeBaron with Antonio Cervantes
Special to The Narco News Bulletin

August 14, 2011

While I speak here I know that today, on this very day, somewhere in Mexico, some Mexicans are raped, murdered, mutilated, unjustly imprisoned, robbed, tortured or kidnapped. And I believe this happens because we, the Mexican people, has such low self esteem and dignity that we let it happen.

Maybe we believe that, with our indifference, we can somehow escape the effects of the violence, like that unleashed by the current atrocious war. But I am here to say to you that there is no escape from this terrible reality: My own indifference at what had happened around me led to the death of my most loved ones.

In my ejido, the town of Galeana, and nearby, we knew about various aggressions. My friend, Miguel Angel Mota, municipal police chief, was assassinated for defending the community. But I decided to remain silent, as if nothing had happened, as did many others… until they kidnapped my little brother, Eric and after that, irredeemably, my brother Benjamin and my friend Luis Widmar.

Remaining silent is a way to validate the beating that is happening to someone right in front of us. To do nothing in the face of violence is to be in agreement with the violence. Even if we get rid of drug trafficking, the violence will continue. If in our indifference we lose the compassion, humanity and conscience of The Other, the violence will continue. Brothers and sisters, the responsibility of ending the violence belongs to us.

Neither the government nor anybody else is going to do for us what we are not ready to do for ourselves. I believe that we trick ourselves constantly with the idea, the dream, the illusion and even with hope that the next politician, some savior or populist messiah will be the Quetzalcóatl who will come to emancipate us from evil. But this Quetzalcóatl is inside every one of us. The hope in Mexico for the poor, for the small middle class that is left, and for the rich, too, is in every one of us.

It would seem that the 112 million Mexicans that we are have still not learned the Power of Unity! If we unite, there will not be anything that we cannot change. But we can’t change things with proposals and demands, or only by criticizing politics, because we would be demanding what we are not prepared to do for ourselves. The time has come for us to behave like adults.

Mexican citizens, brothers and sisters, I live with the conviction that there has never been a slave that stopped being one until he decided to do it. It is time to change our discourse, to accompany our words with action. The power of many, even in silence, can be gigantic. If we struggle for what will every day be more energetic, every day with more people, every day with more power and dignity, then YES we will have a better national security policy, with solid institutions, strengthened and functional. It is time to act peacefully, yes, but with firmness and decision. The best political reform for Mexico is the reformation of the citizenry.

As Pablo Neruda said, “I believe that the route goes through mankind, and from there is where destiny must pass.”

Translated for Narco News by Al Giordano.

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The Narco News Bulletin: Reporting on the Drug War and Democracy from Latin America