Tri-color lights twinkle along the main avenues and in the plazas. Songs likeMéxico Lindo y Querido, Mi Ciudad, and El Rey play on the radio. Chiles en Nogada, Mole Poblano and Pozole are on the menu… It is Fiestas Patrias, Mexico is celebrating its independence.
But are we independent?
Or are we are hostages of the media, the politicians, organized crime, and the entrenched elite class that call all the shots. We do not have small issues to deal with. Very serious social-economic-political problems are not being effectively addressed. Sure there are programs, campaigns, and platforms, but they are as helpful as slapping a Band-Aid over a hemorrhage… they lack planning, they lack follow-up.
The media has become as polarized as the politicians… Uh, in fact, it’s hard to tell the difference between the media and the politicians. People say they support the PAN or the PRI; a few are members of the other parties. But once aligned, there is no listening to the others – no back and forth.
Getting half of a story is often worse than getting none of it. Because we tend to read one newspaper, and interact with primarily one group of people, we don’t get the full scoop, as it were.
For the international community in Mérida and other Mexican cities, the difficulty of getting information is compounded because language is often an issue. Without Spanish, many extranjeros must depend on interpretations of the (already hazy) facts.
The common people of Mexico are afraid to stand up, because the reprisals are too terrifying. The powers that be, protected by wealth and position reign supreme, and they perpetuate (narco wars, cronyism, corruption and impunity) the chaos that we cringe from.
In Yucatan, we are fortunate that many of the ills affecting much of the country are not our daily reality. People from other parts of Mexico (not just from abroad) are moving here in droves. Does the heavy security and police presence protect the peace? Is our state’s geography a lucky coincidence? We feel grateful for whatever it is that keeps us safe, but don’t the residents of other parts of the country deserve the same quality of life that’s available here?
It could come from an external power, but that’s difficult because the countries that could press for change have too many of their own problems. They don’t have the resources to help Mexico.
That leaves only one option: change from the top. Mexico desperately needs a leader, one who cares and who is not afraid. .. one who is fully informed, and not dependent on his “advisors.” We need someone who can think, then act! 2012 is an electoral year. Let’s hope that whoever the next president is, he will be different. We need a knight in shining armor… Hope springs eternal!
Even if we cannot be “political”, we need to be informed and realize what’s going on. We need to be good to our neighbors and support our community in any way we can. Although Mexico has many problems, what country doesn’t?
It is Fiestas Patrias. What we should celebrate is the incredible potential of this country…