Violence is the problem that has marked Mexico in this century. A problem that has been impossible to overcome despite all the efforts, and financial resources, invested in different strategies that have been useless to stop the hecatomb. A tragedy where thousands of young people have died and others were disappeared, to the misfortune of their families… and of all.
The war on drugs started by Felipe Calderón and continued by Enrique Peña Nieto unleashed a spiral of violence that not even López Obrador’s strategies have been able to contain.
Until now we have repeated the same variants without making progress, perhaps because it is not just a matter of discussing how to deal with violence but of exploring its causes and the social foundations that sustain it.
Perhaps what is missing from the equation is to re-appreciate the value of life. Something simple, but at the same time so complex.
In the hardest days of the armed conflict in Colombia, when the bombs exploded in the streets and that country shook between massacres, disappeared, mutilated and kidnapped, an exceptional politician, Antanas Mockus, made a call to recover the value of human life .
Mockus is a special politician who has always bet on social pedagogy. When he was mayor of Bogotá, he hired some mimes so that, by example, they would teach drivers to respect the rules and protect pedestrians, but perhaps the most important thing he did in recent years was that call to revalue life.
Because without reaching the extremes of Mexico, in Colombia they also lived that bloody feast in which the perpetrators of violence lived in such a dehumanization in which the other, the neighbor, the neighbor, the citizen, did not matter at all.
Something similar happens here. We are living an epidemic of violence whose manifestations are increasingly brutal, to the extent that in schools in Tamaulipas, Michoacán, Sinaloa, and Guerrero, among other states, children just want to be hitmen while they play rebels, disappearances, cowering.
The dead seem to matter no more than their families. Neither society, nor the media in particular, revalue the value of life to avoid a language or a discourse that naturalizes violence and its horrors.
We are facing a problem that will take a long time to solve, more than the space of a generation, but we must start now.
At the beginning of the century it was insisted that in schools we should have an education for peace. Twenty years later, and without results, perhaps we could try the bet of an education for life, to recover that slogan that Antanas Mockus preached: the supreme value of human life.
Of course it goes beyond a mere policy of “hugs and not bullets”, but the discussion towards amnesty, emptying the prisons and, rather than increasing them, reducing the penalties for common crimes is not so misguided.
We must work to recover the dignity of the police, to improve their salaries, their social conditions, but also that of the teachers and, above all, to recover the value of politics, there may be a solution there.