Last September 26 forty-three student protestors on their way to a protest rally were abducted in Iguala, Guerrero, Mexico by the police, then handed over to a drug trafficking gang that most likely murdered them. Since that time widespread protests have erupted in Mexico over this outrage. Although the United States shares a border with this troubled nation and a significant percentage of our population is either Mexican or of Mexican ancestry, very few reports surrounding this atrocity have appeared in the American media. This begs the question of whether or not this information is being deliberately concealed from the American public and if so, why?
Although my wife is Mexican and stays more attuned to what is going on in Mexico than I do via the Spanish language media, the first I heard about the abduction and massacre came from the cover of the Wall Street Journal, which I happened to glance at last Saturday. On the way home from work I expected to hear more about the explosions of protest that included throwing Molotov cocktails at the doors of the Presidential Palace in Mexico City, but all I got from the KFI Los Angeles talk show host I was listening to was news about how Beyonce’s boob job may have been responsible for a teenager’s suicide. While this is certainly a tragedy in its own right, I think it pales in comparison to a Mexican Mayor essentially ordering the deaths of 43 students and bringing a country to the brink of revolution in the process.
Could the silence surrounding the 43 murdered students have anything to do with reassuring the stockholders that Mexico is a safe and stable place to do business so that high paying American factory jobs can continue to be exported south of the border? When the stockholders see the Mexican President dodging Molotov cocktails lobbed at the legendary wooden doors of his residence at Los Pinos, they tend to get antsy and want to keep their money closer to home where they can keep an eye on it.
Or could it be perhaps that any country that is not being set up for immediate invasion gets shuffled off to the back pages and to the bottom of the browser window because the primo spots have to be saved to advertise the war and convince the American public that spending another trillion dollars fighting ISIS in IRAQ is in our best interests, although it is mostly in the interests of the Cheneys and Haliburtons of the world. So here we go again; our TVs are hijacked off to Baghdad even though it is nearly 10,000 miles from Washington, DC. Meanwhile, Mexico frowns at us from across the Rio Grande River and Americans only have to glance out the window to see who is picking apricots in the field down the road or washing dishes in the restaurant the next block over to be reminded that Mexico is very relevant, and news events taking place in Mexico should be relevant too, regardless of whether or not they benefit the corporate bottom line.
President Obama has been conducting High Level Economic Development talks with Mexico; a euphemism for “Let’s sell out the American worker” by putting him out to pasture for fresh, cheap, less demanding labor across the border, and in the process if the shop doors of the Mexican small businessman can be shut and replaced with Wal Mart then that’s certainly an added benefit. The Commerce Department has been pumping up these talks like they are the cure for everything from Ebola to Islamic fundamentalism, but if NAFTA gives us any clue to how these economic summits turn out, I think we can only expect more stagnant wages at home and more south of the border disorder.
Is it any wonder, then, that the chefs who cook the news have been keeping a tight lid on the simmering Mexican pot?
Mel Carriere is a San Diego-based writer.