Monday, December 22, 2014


“Although it was neither an isolated event nor the largest massacre in recent years, what occurred in Iguala has struck at the core of Mexican society. . . .  it is impossible to overstate the effect of the attacks on the country. Mexicans speak of Iguala as shorthand for collective trauma.” That’s from John Gibler’s long article about last September’s student massacre. It ran last week in California Sunday Magazine. You can read it here. If you’re confused about what actually happened in Iguala and its aftermath, or what the Ayotzinapa normal school is, this is the best rundown out now in English — clear, thorough and based on primary sources, i.e. survivors. I worked with Gibler briefly during the APPO unrest of 2006-07, in which a young American photographer was killed. He contributed stories to the Herald Mexico from the scene in Oaxaca while I covered the Mexico City fallout. I’m pretty sure there’s no better chronicler of social unrest writing in English in Mexico today. 

ON THE 43: Attorney General Jesús Murillo Karam had this to say during a television interview last week with Carmen Aristegui, the energetic news face of CNN en Español: “Nobody has cast any serious doubt about the investigation of Ayotzinapa.” It was his way of dismissing a December 14 report in the weekly magazine Proceso that the official version of the events in Iguala leaves out the participation of the Federal Police and the army. Proceso’s version: “The attack was orchestrated and executed by the Federal Police, with the complicity or outright collaboration of the army.” Murillo’s version: “It’s clear to me that there’s no reason to suppose that there was any Federal Police involvement.” Yesterday Proceso dropped the other shoe with a follow-up article that goes right after Murillo: “. . . the Attorney General’s Office discredits, lies, hides and exonerates other possible responsible parties in advance and without investigation.”

From the work of Gerardo Deniz, the Spanish-born poet who was raised in Switzerland until age 8 and lived and wrote (and translated) in Mexico from then on: “I will not be reincarnated. That’s all false. When I die it’s fixed that I’ll pass on to purgatory. People assume I’ll be going to hell. Pure petulance.” Deniz died last Saturday at age 80.

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