Yesterday morning, I left home early to cross over to the U.S. Nothing about the day could have warned me about the events that were to unravel in the following hours.
After meeting my friend for coffee to discuss our living situation, my mom called me and told me to meet her at a restaurant, where she had been for the past few hours at a bridal shower. The restaurant was nearly empty, save for a table crowded by aunts and cousins.
Then my mom received a phone call from my dad. He told her things were dangerous back home and that we should stay in Brownsville. I, of course, turned to Twitter to verify this.
The #matamoros search resulted in many confirmations, including the streets that had been blocked by the military (the military has replaced the police in my town). And then, a tweet about a priest who had been shot and, consequently, had been taken to a nearby hospital caught my attention.
I announced the disheartening news to the group of women in front of me, and like me they were in disbelief.
An hour or so later, somebody called my aunt to tell her that Marco Antonio Duran, the priest, had just died.
So many questions sprung up in my mind upon learning about his death. As Silagh questioned, is there nothing sacred? It could have been anyone else, but it was a priest, and a very well known priest at that for he had a show on TV. But what about those who are not well known, what about those who are not associated with the Catholic church?
The answer, sadly, is that it would have been just another day in my hometown. Wrong place, wrong time.
The point is that every human being is sacred. I’m not trying to take away from Marco Duran’s death. He was loved and cherished by so many, including myself. But why does it take a well known person to “publicize” the ongoing warfare in my hometown and Mexico? Every death, from stray children to politicians, should be treated equally, in my opinion.
(Am I contradicting myself by writing about this priest and then declaring that every cartel-related death should merit the same amount of attention?)
I can imagine that the death of a man of God is a blow to the president and to local and state officials, considering that Mexico is a very religious country. People will be further convinced that Calderon’s offensive is not working. They should have been convinced long before. And this is where I’m no longer sure what is best for my country.
I do believe that the president’s attempts at combatting the cartels are well-intentioned. He is not the reason cartels have such control over the government and over the country. The problem was deeply rooted in Mexican politics long before even he was alive. He, with a certain naivete, is trying to eradicate this corruption. His strategy, though, is claiming more lives than triumphs. So, do we go back to the old Mexico? Less violence, more “stability”? Or do we fight it and create the Mexico we desire?