Monday, October 20, 2008

Drug Killings Haunt Mexican Schoolchildren

"The little boy, his school uniform neatly pressed and his friends gathered around, held up 10 little fingers, each one representing a dead body he said he saw outside his school one recent morning. He was not finished, though. He put down the 10 fingers and then put up 2 more. Twelve bodies in all."

This is what I read this morning when I opened the New York Times. In Tijuana, Mexico schoolchildren found 12 bodies outside of Valentín Gómez Farías Primary School. Mexico's drug-related violence has now come to the childrens' attention. Or rather, drug-related violence has become a regular occurrence in the lives of Tijuana's children.

Can you imagine the kind of trauma this would cause anyone, let alone children? The article states that across Mexico, the carnage is impossible to hide. I can't stop thinking about the huge impact that these images will have on these children. I don't know what's worse: the children bragging about the bodies they've seen, the ones bound and toungeless, or the fact that these bodies were disposed of at a school.

Are these children going to grow up thinking that this kind of violence is normal? Are they going to perpetuate this kind of violence when they grow older? In my opinion, a traumatizing image, or an experience, stays with you forever. You may try and bury it within yourself, but it will come back to haunt you later in life. You cannot get rid of your life experiences, no matter how hard you try. What does this mean for Mexico's children? This violence is not normal, but if killings like this keep happening, these children are going to grow up thinking that violence is the answer to everything.

These children already know the names of certain drug traffickers, not only from the news, but from songs praising their heroism.

Oh my God, this disturbs me so much.

NYTimes article

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