About Secret History

Commentary on Latin America.
Mostly about Mexico - but not always.
Designed to encourage readers to learn about
the apparently "secret history" of 500 million people
spread across two continents
- but not always.
You can always count on a little snark.

Saturday, May 2, 2009

Ozumba...Or, More on Violence in Mexico

Recently I was looking at videos onYouTube for the town where I did some of my dissertation research. Ozumba is a great little town - religiously a bit of an odd duck, but as a community it is quite a place to visit (like any of the medium sized market towns in rural Mexico). Clearly most of the videos were a celebration of community civic/religious culture and probably as important to Ozumba "ex-pats" as to the town itself. That's when I found:

Ouch. Again, my concern on violence in Mexico has less to do with organized crime and more to do with the insidious form taken in the video (and the same concern I have for violence in the US or anywhere else): Violence of hate between two parties as entertainment for others. US snuff films, torture-porn, Mexican tabloids...this is the violence that concerns me more than the clash of two cartels. Even TV violence, that generates up to 40 acts of violence an hour doesn't disturb me as much as this personal expression of lust for blood. What distinguishes the psychopath from the rest of society is the inability to feel compassion or sentiment for other people as people. They see them only as objects that revolve around the personal sphere of the psychopath, deserving of care or attention only when they fit the needs of the psychopath. Understandably, the materialist US society generates more psychopaths than Mexico, but this video reminds me that the crumbling of community in Mexico and the link to personal violence is very real.

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