Monday, March 15, 2010

How Will Mexicans Perceive the Attack on U.S. Consulate Employees?

The attacks against our Ciudad Juarez consulate employees and their families were horrendous even by the contemporary standards of the Mexican border region. Murdering pregnant women and shooting into cars full of toddlers are acts likely to be particularly offensive to the Mexican public, maybe enough so as to provoke a reaction against the narco gangs that committed those atrocities.

Jose Rene Blanco Vega, the vicar general of the Diocese of Ciudad Juárez, is quoted in today's El Diario denouncing the murder of innocent people with specific reference to the murder of the three connected to the U.S. Consulate.

My translation of the article's key phrase:

"The point of view of the Church is that from the first moment of conception in the womb until the last moment of life of an elderly person, human life is sacred, nobody can touch it, nobody can destroy it, no one can take it away." This crime against any person, from the smallest or poorest to the highest official, will always be a grave offense, he said.

It makes me wonder whether Saturday's attacks might have the potential to be a turning point in the Mexican government campaign against the border's narco gangs. Talk about having the moral high ground. Even the gangs themselves are likely to be ashamed of the perpetrators of those attacks, since they do have their own moral codes, and moral codes are far more binding than laws in a lawless environment. Shooting women and children is not what Jesús Malverde, the patron saint of drug traffickers and mythic figure adopted by the narcos, would do.

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