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  • I live in a country where it has become kind of normal that more people than in any other country on the planet get kidnapped.

    Money is paid and often the victim is still found dead soon after in some city dump (as happened to the uncle of my friend Maruca last year)
    A few huge drug cartels where smashed into many, many small ones by President Calderon´s WAR AGAINST DRUGS, much pressed into by the US Government, yes: Obama.
    As it became harder to import and export drugs, the criminal organizations concentrated on more kidnappings and asking businesses for protection money. Wars started in between the different cartels. With every huge drug boss that was captured, their cartels were divided by inner wars for power, which means many, many dead people. I think around 12 thousand per year.
    In several cities ( Saltillo, Morelia, Veracruz) people suddenly looked at the bodies of individuals who had been tortured and hung from bridges over the highways. These were members of other cartels or entrepreneurs, who could or did not come up with the protection money asked for.
    98% of all crimes committed in Mexico are never denounced in any police station.
    98 % of the ones denounced are never resolved.
    The murder of 43 students by a drug cartel in the state of Guerrero in October finally got world attention. The wife of the mayor of Iguala and he himself were the criminals. A month before the man had tortured and killed another man and even though a witness denounced the crime, nothing happened, nobody investigated. No wonder: in many places the local police are the police of a drug lord. The governor of the state was involved and is still free and not under arrest.
    I am shattered.
    Mass graves are found in many places and: who are these victims?
    The men, who confessed to having shot and burnt the 43 students, explained in detail every single horrible detail of their doings. What most impressed me was that they talked about it as if they had killed a bunch of chicken.
    Meanwhile our president travels to China, bought a new home for 8 million dollars and now attends the G 6 meeting in Australia. Mexico is great for investment, he sustains.
    Last night I watched a report of thousands of tourists NOT travelling to Acapulco because of what is happening. A reporter questioned the secretary of Tourism in Guerrero about this fact. He answered,” Oh, I hope everything will be just fine Christmas, all this will be resolved!”

    How can you resolve mass graves, the 43 students, and a country run by narco politicians?
    I hoped for unity, a national strike.

    But there is no unity. There is no party or movement to believe in on a national level.

    So extremists groups, desperate as I am about the lack of solidarity start looting trucks and stores and burning vehicles. Every group pretending they do this for the 43 students, but they do it for their own little interests, often just to steal for themselves.
    I have no idea how this can get any better in the near future.
    I love Mexico, San Cristóbal, and my life here…
    I do not know at all what I could do, even though I ask myself that question all the time.

    So I went to see a new patient, a boy of 14, severely depressed since many years. As soon as his parents leave us alone he tells me that when he was 5 his grandfather started abusing him sexually and that was his downfall. The grandfather comes regularly to the house, no, he does not abuse him anymore, but he hates his grandpa and never calls him that: Grandpa! He never talks to him. He just wishes the old man dead. A year ago he finally confessed the whole thing to his mother. Instead of making a huge scene and confronting her father, she kept quiet. She just told her son, that she understands, because the old man abused her also when she was a girl….
    We work on the shame and guilt that the boy feels and how they belong to the abuser and not to him. He takes a trash can into his hands intending to symbolically free himself of all this shame and guilt and give them to the old man, who we imagine in front of him.
    The boy cries and says,” Grandfather, what you did to me was absolutely terrible. Here: take my shame and guilt; they do not belong to me…”

    Then I hear that he continues and I am flabbergasted.” And also thank you, Grandpa, because I now realize that this horrible pain also has made me the young man I am: not superficial, but deep and sensitive. This pain has pushed me to write and paint and play music…..”

    Later my taxi driver picks me up. “You know, Doña Kiki,” he tells me,” To be honest, why should I lie to you, I lost my wife, son and daughter many years ago and it happened, because I was unfaithful. Later my wife changed to a Christian religion. As I want to stay catholic they are friendly with me, but don´t let me come really close. My son and daughter are adults now and do not want to see me very much. I try again and again to get closer to them. It keeps being a struggle. I have fought for 8 years to get my family back, but my ex wife said NO. I cried. I was close to committing suicide.

    Now I am calm. I live alone and you know what: what I really and fully enjoy in life is my work: yes, being a taxi driver, making in good months 5000 Pesos (a bit more than 350 Dollars) a month. I drive around for 12 hours every day 6 days a week and I truly and completely LOVE it!”

    How can I loose hope?
    Photography by Kiki
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