Jan 24, 2013

Honoring Drug War Dead, and Spurring a Debate

The NY Times

By Randal Archibold
Published: January 23, 2013

MEXICO CITY — Reeling from a drug war that has killed tens of thousands and a boom in violent crime in general, Mexico has built a memorial to victims of violence. But like a crime scene still under investigation, it sits off limits behind white tarp, wrapped in questions and uncertainty.

A series of rusted metal slabs amid reflecting pools in a corner of Mexico City’s biggest park, the memorial now stands as an accidental metaphor for the fog and doubts that swirl around the country’s layered debates on violence and victimhood.

Rushed to completion by President Felipe Calderón, whose six-year term was overwhelmed by the explosion of violence, the site has not yet publicly opened. On Nov. 30, in Mr. Calderón’s last 90 minutes in office, his administration sent a short e-mail to reporters announcing that the memorial was complete and in the hands of the civic groups that had called for it.

But in fact the transfer of the military-owned site has been mired in bureaucratic delays, and there remains disagreement over who the victims are — particularly in the bloody war against drug cartels and other organized crime that has consumed the country.  Read more. 

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