Feature

Mexico: A legacy of perpetual warfare

Is anyone else sick of all the war talk?

Ricardo RaphaelEl Universal

 Is anyone else sick of all the war talk? said Ricardo Raphael. President Felipe Calderón spouts stirring speeches full of references to “arms, courage, will, and sacrifice.” His Cinco de Mayo address last week was no exception, a paean to the patriotic spirit of Ignacio Zaragoza, who led Mexican troops in repelling the French invasion in 1862. No doubt “the warmongering is part of our historical identity,” and our national holiday would not be complete without a reference to the battle that inspired it. But to go on and on about the glories of battle when no foreign troops are in sight feels misplaced at best and downright callous at worst. The violence that now mars our territory is Mexican on Mexican. “At this point, it’s hard to find pride and honor in the more than 60,000 lives cut short in our contemporary war.” Couldn’t the president “show a bit more sensitivity” for the hundreds of thousands of us who are mourning loved ones? Not Calderón. This is the man who launched years of bloodshed with his declaration of a war on drug cartels. Until his term ends, “cannons and gunpowder, soldiers and violence, will remain part of the national lexicon.”

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