This week’s lecture is also the main subject my groups video project, so there have been several main aspects that we’ve looked at together that I found to be particularly interesting. The first one which I found to be really compelling was history of the Madres de la Plaza de Mayo in Argentina. The story in itself is an amazing one of the mothers of kidnapped children coming together to protest the violence that had swept through in the 1960s and 70s. However, perhaps even more interestingly, was the international attention that this captured. It pointed towards a future trend of the globalization of inter-regional protests that took place later in Latin America, including the likes of the ‘No’ campaign in Chile. The story of the Madres is an important one also because it brings up the question of whether change is only really accessible when there is a real worldwide focus towards that subject, bringing global attention to topics such as the drug wars in Mexico has certainly enhanced the number of efforts to combat it.
Personally, I found that the most shocking aspect of the corruption and violence that erupted from the 1960s in large parts of Latin America to be the involvement of state governments and political individuals. As Dawson highlights in this chapter, there were many examples of the government being involved in killing and kidnapping their own citizens. Moreover, it certainly makes sense as to how all of this was able to be kept under wraps to an extent, and it was not until major events like the Madres protests would come up that the government was forced to face these questions. Its one thing to fight against corruption and violence in the form of separate groups, but when the country’s own government is the one behind these acts, its an entirely different prospect altogether.
I think the subject of the war on drugs is one that can be related to the aforementioned role of the government in corruption and violence. This is because there has been a huge disillusionment with the way that the war on drugs is being combated, particularly on the part of the USA and their huge intervention in Mexico. Whilst one could commend the nation for giving seemingly generous amounts of money to combat the war, and helping the government to stop the huge rise in killings and kidnappings, it is also very easy to question their methods and intentions. Is it to end the production of dangerous drugs? Why would the USA want to end an affair that has been so profitable for them? They have and continue to make tons of profit from lending Latin American countries money in exchange for them using this to buy US made weaponry! Moreover, the role of the Mexican government has been called into question on numerous occasions in the last 20 years. How deep does this corruption go? And is it even plausible that the war on drugs can reach a suitable conclusion? These are just some of the questions that arise in my mind when thinking about this subject.
Thanks for reading,