"Meanwhile, far away, in another part of town"
Cries out, "My God, they killed them all" - Bob Dylan
All eyes are on the Middle East, naturally. But our condition has a global narrative, and we need excellent peripheral vision to follow the plot.
For instance, remember this story regarding Mexico's ring of elite paedophiles and the persecution of journalist and human rights activist Lydia Cacho? It touched as well upon the Finders case, and the unsolved murders of hundreds of women in the borderland maquiladoras. There's "something about Mexico," I wrote, "and at least some of that has to do with its proximity to hidden American hands." (And not as well concealed appetites, I should add.) I thought of it last night when I read this bloody story's official note of closure:
Mexico quietly ends probe of killings along border
Federal officials have quietly closed a three-year inquiry into the rape-strangulation of 14 women and teenagers in the border city of Juarez, leaving relatives with little hope the killings will ever be solved.
The federal Attorney General's Office intervened in 2003, promising it would try to solve cases plagued for years by allegations of state police corruption and incompetence.... They were among about 100 young women who were sexually assaulted, strangled and dumped in the desert outside Juarez since 1993. The killings appeared to fit a serial pattern. Most of the victims were young, slim brunettes who worked in foreign-owned assembly plants. Many disappeared walking home on unlit streets in working class neighborhoods.
Guadalupe Lopez Urbina, the first special federal prosecutor assigned to Juarez, recommended criminal charges against dozens of current and former law enforcement officers for alleged negligence in handling the cases. However, only two state investigators were charged with negligence, and a judge later threw out the cases.
Marisela Ortiz of Bring Our Daughters Home says "At this point our best bet is to look for international justice." Another mother has even less faith in the reckonings of institutions. "I no longer believe the killers will ever be found. If there is no justice here, there will be divine justice."
This is happening, of course, in the same Mexico that just witnessed another election stolen from the poor and society's progressive forces (though unlike in the United States, Mexicans are doing more than just passively watching), and the world's opinion makers have moved on in a way they didn't when the Ukraine's pro-West contender challenged the theft of his votes. López Obrador is the "losing leftist", according to the New York Times, because the wealthy and their executors, who bear no allegiance to nations and are unconstrained by the "will of the people," need to get on with building the North American Union.
Meanwhile, our attention elsewhere, the atrocity of Katrina grinds on. FEMA's trailers are toxic sumps, exposing their human chattle to extreme levels of formaldehyde. "Pediatrician saw unusual illnesses," says MSNBC, and Becky Gillette of the Sierra Club states "It’s simply wrong that the government would spend billions of dollars to poison people in these toxic tin cans." Wrong, but they're doing it. And like most every other wrong thing they're doing, no one is making them stop.
Then there's this stunning report from the FEMA camps:
Katrina victims "not allowed" to talk to media
The Federal Emergency Management Agency prohibits journalists from having unsupervised interviews with Hurricane Katrina victims who have been relocated to FEMA trailer parks, according to a report in the Baton Rouge Advocate (7/15/06).
Dekotha Devall, whose New Orleans home was destroyed by the storm, was in her FEMA-provided trailer telling the Advocate reporter of the hardships of life in the camp when a security guard knocked on the door.
"You are not allowed to be here," the guard is quoted as telling the reporter. "Get out right now." The guard reportedly called police to force the journalist to leave the camp, and even prevented the reporter from giving the interview subject a business card. "You will not give her a business card," the guard said. "She’s not allowed to have that."
Later, at another FEMA camp in Plaquemines Parish, Louisiana, the reporter attempted to talk to camp resident Pansy Ardeneaux through a chain link fence when the same guard halted the interview. "You are not allowed to talk to these people," the guard told Ardeneaux. "Return to your trailer now." The reporter said she and an accompanying photographer were "ordered...not to talk to anyone or take pictures."
The Middle East is in the centre ring, but there's a lot of activity elsewhere under the tent of Circus Apocalypse. It doesn't matter where we're sitting, or in which direction we look, we'll find something so dreadful we won't be able to take our eyes off it. But as the Mexicans are doing, we had better do more than sit back and watch the spectacle, if only to tell our children we tried.
It's like Robert de Niro says in Brazil - "We're all in this together, kid."