Days and Days of the Dead

Seattle PI

Guillermo Arias / AP

Today and tomorrow (November 1-2), is what they call in Mexico “El Dia de Los Muertos,” in translation the Day of the Dead. The tradition of this Mexican national holiday includes families taking the favorite foods and drinks of those that have passed on to the cemeteries and “decorat[ing] the graves of departed relatives with marigolds, candles and sugar skulls.”

These days there are many families visiting an abundant amount of graves since “Every day is Day of the Dead now…We have 40,000 days of the dead,” said a man quoted in a Seattle PI online article.

About 40,000 people have died in the Mexican drug war and the amount of graves continue to increase.

The reporter from the previously mentioned Seattle PI article said his last visit in Mexico was the early 90’s. He talks about how there were also cartels back in those days selling cocaine and marijuana to the U.S. and there were also killings of an archbishop and a head PRI (Institutional Revolutionary Party) government official but globally Mexico “was not thought to be particularly violent then. There was no running tally of the dead.” Which when I thought about it, it’s absolutely true. I don’t remember hearing anything dramatic or outrageous coming from Mexico since before the drug war. Of course you have your occasional immigration stories, but I can’t recall ever thinking of Mexico as an extremely dangerous place to be.

The reporter said the country has changed dramatically since he was last there. Especially economically. In present day, “Mexican politicians can be openly pro-American at times, and Mexico is truly multinational now, with everything from Costco megastores to Ferrari dealerships.” The economy is much more successful and changing from a poor based community to a more middle class population. But they have to be careful with the whole “pro-American” thing, because if they make any wrong decision, their economy could end up like the United States, which is down in the dumps currently.

Even though there’s a positive transformation of people moving up in classes financially, there are still those young adults “who neither study nor find legitimate jobs, and may seek work or be pressed into service by drug cartels,” which is the scary part. If they could just find jobs for those kids then fewer people will have an encounter with being forced into working for the cartels.

As of now, election time is coming up in Mexico and after 10 years of having Calderon and his party (National Action Party), people seem to be ready to turn the power back to the PRI in hopes that they could pick the country back up and reform it to a violent-free state. As of now the “presumed candidate” has not said anything on his plan of action towards the drug violence.

Since I’m not fully informed on the policies and beliefs of each party, I can’t really say which one I would the think the better choice to govern the country would be, but I do hope that whoever may take the reins will responsibly uphold the importance of the nation’s well-being and take full accountability for decisions made towards this issue, and consistently work on it until it can be mostly and/or fully resolved.

Seattle PI article:


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