Week 12: Speaking Truth to Power

Much like last week, this week’s chapter has also not failed to shock me with the thought of how recent these events occurred, however, this week’s shock was far greater. ‘Speaking Truth to Power’ focused on how the truth, perpetuated by the increased use of social media, and increased accessibility to news worldwide through technology, has placed pressure on governments to be more ethical, showing the power the truth has in creating change. Unfortunately, the true power it has is limited as we see that corruption continues throughout Latin America, and many parts of the world.

Reading about the “Madres de la Plaza de Mayo” in Argentina made me sad, especially thinking about my own parents. Growing up, they always told us that there is nothing worse for a parent than to lose a child, and the fear of losing a child is greater than anything that we could imagine, and I believe that the “Madres” video on Youtube conveys their anxieties and sadness. While I understood their words, I couldn’t understand their pain, as in, I don’t think anyone who hasn’t lost a child could ever truly understand. And to think that hundreds of mothers throughout Latin America had their children taken away from them is a truly disturbing and saddening thought. It is clear that corruption ran rampant in Latin America, and as I began to watch Doc. 10.3, “Matanza de Aguas Blancas”, I was overwhelmed with a lot of emotion thinking about how this took place slightly over 20 years ago, a few years before I was born. I read the comments in Spanish, and I felt even more sad as I read one of the comments: “nothing has changed.”

This week, the readings also discussed the War on Drugs, another problem that truly troubles my home country of Mexico and many other countries, if not all, in Latin America. This war continues to this day, and it seems more and more difficult to win this war due to the economic state of the countries in Latin America. I hear people around me talking about drugs. I’ve seen documentaries about people in prison who were there due to their drug addiction. I’ve heard talks about the damage that drugs can cause to an individual. But only now do I truly see the drastic effects it has had on Latin America. This brings me to think about some of the  corrupt policemen or soldiers who have worked with or as drug traffickers, and I think to myself: many of these people do it because it is a more profitable alternative. Most likely, it is not because these civilians are greedy for money in order to buy material goods; it is because they are looking for ways to survive and to feed their families, especially in suburban areas. When the economy is, quite frankly, so shit that they have to work 60 hours week and even then it is still not enough to put food on the table on a daily basis, part of me can see why they would turn to helping the distribution of drugs to support their families. Which brings me to my question of discussion: Are you able to sympathize with them? If you were in their position, what would you do? Honestly, I would feel like I’d have no other choice.

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