It’s sad to think that Latin America today has not changed much from how it was before. At the beginning of the course, Latin America was portrayed as violent, and full of internal conflict. Although I know things in Latin America are still not peaceful and still need to change, I was hoping along the way our topics would become a little more cheerful. Unfortunately, it seems Latin America is still as violent and chaotic as ever.
Something that really grabbed my attention was the Madres movement in Argentina. These women’s children had been taken from them, bringing them pain that I can only imagine. Of course these women wanted to get their children back so they began to protest. In my mind, their protests are completely justified and I cannot imagine why people would look at them in a negative light. They were deemed as “dangerous” and even considered terrorists for standing up against the military. The military, who took away their children! I may be wrong but as far as I know the Madres campaign was not a particularly violent movement, yet it was still deemed as dangerous and needed to be shut down. It’s tough to protest in Latin America. When you take a violent course of action, the military quickly retaliates with even more violence (and obviously they have more access to weapons) but if you choose to protest in a peaceful manner, your protest is ignored or shut down regardless. The sad truth is that neither of these are very effective and so you see people being violent towards a new target; themselves. In the video, there was some graphic images of people hung from bridges in Mexico as well as dead bodies laying in public squares with signs around their neck. Unfortunately, these tragedies are becoming increasingly common around Latin America.
The one thing discussed this week that gave me a little bit of hope was the idea that the introduction of media was helping people connect. Media is uniting people all over Latin America and encouraging them to spread their message and take a stand. The first step towards dealing with a problem is educating people and acknowledging that the problem is there. Perhaps if everyone in Latin America learned the truth about what is happening around them, they would understand that Latin America is not simply going to change on its own. I guess my question is, will Latin America ever be able to achieve peace or is there such a thing as a “point of no return”?