1sunfight’s Weblog

February 18, 2010

FROM THE OTHER SIDE OF THE RIVER

Filed under: Free press,Mexico,War on drugs — Centella @ 7:33 pm

Writing is the only profession where no one considers you ridiculous if you earn no money.

Jules Renard (1864 – 1910)

Writing is not my profession. I am a Mexican lawyer who makes money working as a bureaucrat in my native country. However, I enjoy writing, and the only thing I like about my real life job is dealing with people, the rest of it is plain dull.

Julie invited me to write in her blog. We met through BBC and became good virtual friends, which is neat. Thanks to her, here I am, writing about issues and subjects that are important to me. So, I´ll start with Mexico.

For many people, it is tough to live here. Around 30 million of Mexicans live below the poverty line, there is great gap between the rich and the poor which becomes the source of social and economic inequality, and currently, the federal government is engaged in an ineffective “war” with the narcos (drug lords), that has produced lots of deaths, the detriment of the army forces and generalized insecurity.

Today, Ciudad Juárez is “land of no one”, a city immersed in blood and fear. Mexico City drowns in dirty water after a torrential rain because of lack of infrastructure in its sewage system. Many people fear about the lowering of the “remesas” that come from Mexican workers in the U.S., due to the economic crisis in that country. The political parties only care about power, not the people´s needs. And on and on…

It is harder to live in Mexico –or any developing country- when you have lived in a developed country. The main reason is that you know things could be better, if there were the willingness and compromise to do so. But usually, those in power (political/economic) don´t want change; they are powerful and rich because of the status quo, so change is not suitable for them. I am aware that there is not such thing as the “perfect country”, but the gap between the developed and developing world is huge. I don´t know if the later would ever overcome the problems they face. Some countries have tried the “rampant capitalism” way, and clearly it has not worked; on the contrary, it only made things worse. So, I don´t think we can escape poverty and inequality. Not with the leaders and the system we have at the moment.

And then, there is the press. Although there are objective and brave reporters/editorialists that work in difficult -and sometimes dangerous- circumstances, there are others that perpetuates the status quo, the lies and the half truths that those in power feed the people in order to maintain –or regain- their credibility, specially regarding the “war on drugs”. I am still surprised when I read someone saying that this war is getting results, especially when you take into account the approximately 15,000 deaths related to it.

That is the greatness about blogging. You can write whatever you want, because in principle, you are not looking to make a buck out of it or get the recognition of the powerful. I bet many people that blog make their money doing dull stuff like me and, at one point in the middle of one of those boring days, they decided to write because they enjoy it, without the feeling of coming across as ridiculous.

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