Commentary by James Turnage
For the people of a nearly forgotten nation, life is becoming intolerable. A corrupt government has allowed heavily armed drug cartels and simple thugs to control the country. The murder of women is received with indifference. After a bus with 43 students went missing in September of last year, protests and demonstrations have been constant. The possibility of a revolution in Mexico is very real; no one seems to care.
The United States of America is quick to engage in warfare. Even when our nation is trillions of dollars in debt, it finds the funds and resources to rush into battle against enemies who pose zero threat to the people of our country.
We have two neighbors, Canada and Mexico. Our focus should be on our relationships with them, and display genuine concern for the well-being of their people.
The people of Mexico are defenseless. The cartels have a cache of weapons which is superior to the nation’s army and police. Many of those sworn to protect Mexico’s citizens are in the employ of the drug lords. When 43 students disappeared in Iguala, the mayor and his wife were ruled complicit. They disappeared immediately after the incident.
Sadly, without assistance from outside of the country, the citizens of Mexico will see few if any changes.
A preventable pandemic exists in Mexico; six women are assassinated every day. The murder of women has become so common it has been given a name; ‘femicide.’ For the women of Mexico, domestic violence is a frequent occurrence which often leads to death. The authorities, including the President of the Country, Enrique Peña Nieto, appear to condone violence against women.
3,892 femicides were committed in 2012 and 2013. A mere 24 percent of them were even investigated, and only1.6 percent were sentenced for their crimes. An estimated 64 percent of Mexico’s women are physically abused at the hands of men. It is so common and accepted that statistics are not kept by the government. An advocacy group compiled the numbers through press clippings and conducted door to door interviews.
Femicides are frequently brutal, demonstrating rage and hatred. Some are beaten so badly that they are barely recognizable. Faces are slashed with knives, and breasts are cut off and thrown in the trash. All too many of the so called investigations include little more than questions such as, ‘what was she wearing,’ or ‘was she sexually active.’ And when a woman is killed, police readily accept the word of the man involved. In one such case, the wife of a policeman was found dead laying across a bed; her body covered in bruises. The man told fellow officers that she hung herself with a thin cord which was laying across the room. The cord could not have supported a 20 pound weight. Police accepted the man’s claim.
Instead of waging continual wars in the Mideast, the United States needs to intervene and make attempts to end drug wars and violence against women taking place in our neighboring country to the south. Only token efforts have been made by our nation’s government to aid the Mexican army in their fight against the cartels. It’s time to take the loss of life in Mexico seriously. Our Congress is quick to talk about the loss of life in Syria, but not a single word is said about those of the Mexican people.
By James Turnage