Before congratulating the three levels of the Government of Mexico for the dejection of ‘El Neto’ and the capture of Ovidio Guzmán ‘El Chapito’, which is excellent news on the eve of the trilateral meeting between ‘the three amigos’, or the presidents of Canada, the US and Mexico, let’s look at the gang problem a little bit here.
Because triumphalism aside, it is not by placing all the blame on one or two actors and other scapegoats as the generational violence problems of our society are resolved in depth.
We understand in advance that resolving a social conflict as complicated as the growth in power of gangs in Mexico, which, historically, have been exploited by cartels as well as by the Police and even politicians, is not an easy task for anyone.
In the days of the federal judiciary (a few decades ago), the Mexicles were considered low-profile young car-stealing addicted gang members. Instead today, they are an organized ‘bargain’ with lieutenants, soldiers etc. So much so that, after the movie-like escape of which many people were victims, they were separated from Cereso 3 to other federal prisons, wisely but late, if we consider the violent history that occurred in Ciudad Juárez.
It is known that in the eighties the cartels, such as the one in Juárez, began to use gang members as executors of their policies of fear, and among some of them criminals emerged who stood out for their psychopathy and cruelty.
But here and in China, as they say, the gang problem starts from childhood, and after junior high levels, as studies show.
At those levels, and later in high school, misguided leaders who fall behind in school form gangs of “juniors.” In my time in Juárez, for example, the gangs of the Green Boys or Los Malditos (often the sons of drug traffickers, politicians or even doctors, and well detected by society) were the dominant ones in Juárez. When they found themselves in confrontations, they went to the bravest neighborhoods of the city and hired gangs of “cholos” to help them win and dominate their rival groups, which for one reason or another were in the mood. Many of those “juniors” and gang members ended up murdered, disappeared or being victims of violence, the list is long; or in his case, leading criminal cells some time later. Many others, the minority, survived and are witnesses.
Now, in the US, the poorest neighborhoods and the country’s education system itself are a breeding ground for young people with potential who end up committing crimes as a way of life and often serving their sentences in the prison system, if they don’t end up dead. , and they can’t get out of it anymore.
There are multiple academic studies that show inequality in the level of teachers and in public schools between upper-class and upper-middle-class suburbs in large cities such as New York, Chicago, London, and low-income Latino and African-American neighborhoods, a phenomenon that with The growth of the cities has moved rapidly to geographies such as El Paso and Ciudad Juárez.
Oppressive social structures exist, are real, and grow according to the urban sprawl. There are cases of those who manage to get out of this savage capitalist system, which worships supreme materialism, both exemplary educators and rehabilitated gang members, but they are few.
In metropolises like Los Angeles, one of the most storied criminal groups is the EME, for example, while in El Paso and Ciudad Juárez Los Aztecas, Los Mexicles and others are well known to guards and police.
The vile poverty, segregation and racism of which thousands of undocumented Mexican Americans –and other Latin Americans– and their children in the United States are victims, is a breeding ground for rebellion and the generation of criminal ‘gangs’ that, by end up in prison, by the way, the US has the largest prison system on the entire planet, these become real schools for murderers and organized crime and the rehabilitation of their inmates is really scarce.
Many, upon being detected, imprisoned and later deported to Mexico, and then imprisoned again, continuing the vicious cycle, expand their networks of corruption and violence, influencing the prisons and the black turns of the city from within, with the complicity of all those whom they corrupt.
Here it is worth asking this question: do we want to copy the model of the American system of savage capitalism that has the largest number of prisoners in the world, and where the majority are Afro-Americans, Mexican-Americans, Latinos or, to a lesser extent, the radical Aryan brotherhood? Or is it better to look at sparsely populated countries in the north, which really rehabilitate their prisoners (although with a white majority), like Norway and Finland for example?
It is very complicated and the answer is not easy, but I think that, as a society, we have to raise awareness. However, it is the responsibility, not only of the Executive Power, but also of the Judicial and Legislative Powers, to update and improve the course of our country. It is up to us, academics and journalists, to continue to constantly denounce corruption and exert pressure so that the world in which our children grow up and develop is not so savage. It depends on all of us whether our country evolves or regresses in humanitarian terms.