Thursday, April 12, 2012

Mexico's "Inconvenienced Children"

The drug war, through a child's eyes

A powerful political clip made by a private non-partisan group is creating controversy in this campaign season, and is drawing responses from many, including of course the major contenders and their supporters. Entitled Niños Incómodos ("Uncomfortable Children" or "Inconvenienced Children"), the four minute spot portrays narco violence and corruption from the perspective of society's youngest members. In a country where the median age is just 26, it's a compelling reminder to all of the very human consequences of the drug war.

I encourage readers to watch the clip. The message is primarily visual, and the minimal Spanish doesn't present a problem for non-speakers. Pay particular attention to the last 30 seconds. The little girl addresses each of Mexico's four presidential candidates by first name. She urges them to look beyond their own parties, beyond their personal political ambitions and fortunes, and focus on the Mexico they will be leaving to their children.

Notes: The stereotypical corrupt politician is played by the young man dressed in a suit and tie. The businessman in a jacket who bribes him is kidnapped soon after. A crooked cop drives up and demands a cash payoff from street thugs. A group of "undocumenteds" is taken north to the border by human traffickers, where they are arrested by waiting U.S. immigration agents. Their desperate search for a better life has already ended in failure. The morning news announcer warns of dangerous environmental contamination, while city streets are filled with protesters who block traffic and demand an end to corruption and a dysfunctional national government: "Ya basta! - Enough already!", their signs read.

"Mexico has already hit bottom. If this is the future waiting for me, I don't want it," says the young narrator.



Se reúne Peña Nieto con los llamados "niños incómodos"

What Mexico could be, from a child's perspective:


Mar. 18, 2013 - Drug war, common crime are killing off Mexico's future
Mexico's presidential campaign begins
The Daily Obscenities of Mexico
Mexico's Continuing Agony
Mexico, will you free yourself?

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