I read all these articles about the goings on of the cartels, or the government, or the media dealing with the Mexican drug war, but I wanted to know about the innocent families that are going through this…especially the children. At a time like this, of violence and intense war, these young kids could be suffering negative psychological effects, and it’s important to take notice of this. Just try to imagine if it was your own child, or your little brother or sister, younger cousin, nieces/nephews, anything. If it’s someone that’s near and dear to you, you wouldn’t want to ignore what they’re going through.
The Bang Bang Generation was a term coined by Francisco Benavides, a reader of El Norte news, referring to the youth under 20 years of age that are “growing up in a society terrorized by violence.”
The age group most affected by this are teenagers. In the case of adolescents living in Mexico now, this society of war, gangs, shootings, killings, kidnappings, is something that they had to get used to. This major outbreak happened in 2006, so before that, they were able to go out by themselves, or hang out with friends on the weekends, or go to parties, etc. But now they are unable to because they always have to be on the lookout for dangers and be aware of their safety. I could only imagine how challenging this may be, to get accustomed to a completely different lifestyle, and not be able to have fun without worrying for the sake of your life.
Two 13-year-old friends were very upset about this issue that they even took the time to write a letter asking why all the parties involved, the government, the police, or the cartels themselves, don’t keep the children in mind.
These young girls said, “They don’t even consider us, maybe because they had a peaceful adolescence. Now we want the same, we want safe streets. We want to go out without seeing masked men carrying weapons.”
They feel as if they are trapped and alone because they aren’t allowed to have the freedom to grow up as a normal teen. No social life and no communication can really drive someone insane. The only thing these girls have as a means to communicate with the outside world is Facebook. But in a sense, these girls are more fortunate that they have the technology to be able to use Facebook. Imagine those really poor children that have no money to have a means of using the internet or for that matter any social networking media.
The girls ask that the aforementioned affiliates put themselves in the shoes of the younger generation and respect what they are going through, to create some kind of change, even if they can’t stop the war, at least give back the happiness that these kids once had.
Another teenager going through this hard time is a young man named Emiliano. He fears for his life everyday and grieves, “It bothers me that I am not allowed go out by myself or at night, and we always have to be very attentive, listening for gunshots, watching for kidnappers. We must always be careful. It’s tiring to always be so attentive, I would really like to just relax a little.”
The poor guy must be so stressed, all those nerves I’m sure make him really tense which in turn cause extreme fatigue. I bet it’s difficult for these kids to sleep at night, let alone keep a constant eye out during the day.
Throughout communities, adults are teaching their kids to take care and protect each other.
The youngsters are learning to simply accept the environment they currently live in and be extra cautious in everything they do. What else can they really do except just deal with it and do their best to live everyday to its maximum potential.
The article provides an inspiring statement given by professor of the UDEM Department of Education and Academic Director of Formus, Andrés Bolaños Werren. He said that “The world and history have taught us that the personalities that have transformed the world have come from difficult times, maybe it is human nature, man’s will to not just survive, but to overcome, move forward, thrive, and succeed, regardless of the circumstances. Although it will not be easy, there is great potential to become like those from our past.”
This is exactly what these young teens are having to prove. They will simply have to continue to push through these trials and adversities and hopefully…come out on top.