In Guatemala, children, adolescents and women can be raped and murdered without the guilty party or parties being brought to justice, because violence is the norm: rape, disappearance and murder are the daily bread. Writes Ilka Oliva Corado
As if it wasn’t enough to live with a narco-state that violates with police and army, by air, sea and land, and imposes curfews and a state of siege on the native populations who fight to defend their lands and natural resources from foreign mining companies that come to steal the bowels of the mountains and, in the process, to carry out ecocides; in the process carrying out ecocides with the authorization of these criminal cliques that, from the seat of government, which is also corrupt, racist, misogynist, homophobic and extremely macho and patriarchal, the Guatemalan population violates itself.
A sea of neurotics, sociopaths, rapists and feminicides roam the streets freely. In Guatemala, children, adolescents and women can be raped and murdered without the guilty party or parties being brought to justice, because violence is the norm: rape, disappearance and murder are the daily bread. In broad daylight, with worlds of people watching, the rapists and murderers know that they will not interfere, because in the country of cowardice the norm is the norm: “they were up to something”, “if it’s not with me, I won’t interfere”. And that is how we prefer to judge rather than act in the face of these high levels of violence that cannot grow any more, because the country is not bigger. Mobs of swindlers queue up every day in the traffic, in their recently built cars, with their hair gummed up and ironed, with their ties and high heels, their faces washed, well shaved and made up. No one would think that these graduates launder money, or that these engineers clone credit cards, or that these lawyers embezzle the savings of their undocumented migrant relatives in the United States.
That this megalomaniac university professor, awarded more than once, in addition to asking his students for sex in exchange for points in their grades, is also part of a gang of kidnappers that operates within the university, and that he is the mastermind behind the operation. In Guatemala you don’t know who is who, because double-facedness is our speciality. No one would imagine that the doctor who publishes motivational phrases and timely news about respiratory infections on social networks is also part of a criminal gang that traffics in organs, because in Guatemala our specialty is to live by appearances. And as appearances can be deceiving, we point out that the newspaper seller is a rapist because of his physical appearance, as well as the person who works in the cemetery as a gravedigger, we would say that the young woman who works in the maquiladora on the corner is part of a gang of kidnappers because she has tattoos, when in reality she is a single mother with 3 children that she leaves in the care of her parents and is so miserable working in the maquila that she doesn’t even have time to sleep 4 hours a day.
The level of corruption that is rampant in the government is just a sample of what we are as a society. If the government burns planes and planes that brought drugs into the country, to eliminate all evidence, “I too as a citizen can burn whatever I want and nothing will happen to me”, thinks the criminal, the murderer, the rapist, the one who disappears people. He knows that impunity is the country’s DNA. If the government runs official cars without number plates, as in the times of the Ríos Montt dictatorship, why does an ordinary citizen have to put number plates on his car? He also takes them off or covers them up, does not pay the registration tax and knows that he can commit a crime and that nobody will investigate him.
If the government uses shrapnel to attack an unarmed indigenous community, burns their crops, their houses and their belongings, and throws them off their land, why shouldn’t a common criminal get on a motorbike and extort money from people? If the narco-state in the country allows planes loaded with drugs to land, why wouldn’t a common criminal sell drugs on the streets to teenagers who also smell drugs? But who gives these drugs to the common criminal, is it part of the drugs that land on the planes? What moral authority does the government have to tell him not to do it? If there are not even ministries in charge of providing the population with education, health, work, for development and an integral life. In Guatemala it is all about plundering the resources of the State and this is nothing new, it is like in Herod’s Law…, he who enters a government post and does not steal is a mule and slow: this is the thinking of the average Guatemalan and the great majority would like to be in the posts of those people in the government who are called lucky.
We should pay attention to why teenagers ride around on motorbikes stealing and killing in broad daylight, if they are people who have been violated from birth, if their parents and grandparents were institutionally violated: taking away their jobs, their right to education, their right to health, and sending police squads to carry out assassinations and disappearances in what they call social cleansing. If these police murdered their brothers, cousins, parents, grandparents, because of their physical appearance or to diminish the population of the slums as they regularly do with prison riots. If they took away all their rights, if they made them feel like rubbish, they turned them into the armed wing that does the dirty work of the criminal cliques that govern, not only now, but always, because the president in office is only the puppet of today, tomorrow’s president will be someone else. If they robbed that teenager of his dreams, killed his loved ones, left him with nowhere to turn emotionally, affectively, what do they expect them to do? They are going to give what they received: violence. And they are doubly victims of a repressive state. Because a common, impoverished adolescent cannot get a firearm, much less a large calibre one, nor a vehicle, they are given them to carry out the job of intimidating the population day by day, because a people on their knees and afraid is a useless people, who do not think, incapable of acting and demanding their rights. They become a cowardly mass from which the government even pulls out the crowns of their molars in order to traffic them.
In Guatemala they look for contacts, not study; people know that with powerful contacts and that they can manage clandestinely they can gain access to positions where they can do and undo, because they are covered by the cloak of impunity. That of making an effort and studying and achieving things by hand was left for the generation that gave their lives in the times of the dictatorship, everything that has come after that has been bagasse. We are the bagasse, we are the ones who do violence to each other, who judge and point fingers instead of helping, who push others to the beginning, who if we could get into a position of power in the government would also be swaggering around in armoured cars, with bodyguards with two shrapnel each, we would pay with state credit cards and we would order food for the whole family with government money. And the men would have access to VIP brothels and like the biggest cowards they would also take pictures and videos to prove how macho they are. Of course, they would. Women would spend their money on nails, shoes and brand name clothes, on expensive make-up and lotions, on surgeries, to publish their photos just like deputies and public employees in high positions do, yes, that’s how we would do it because we are Guatemalans, it’s our gene for swindling, looting, abuse, conceit, double-facedness and lukewarmness.
What we see in the government is only a reflection of what we are as a society, no politician came from another planet, what we see in the state came from the very bowels of a rotten country: from a lukewarm, racist, classist, misogynist, homophobic, sexist and patriarchal mestizo society. A mediocre, narcissistic, psychopathic, egomaniacal, sociopathic and feminicidal society. The range of mental disorders is an understatement, we all have at least one or two.
Will this corrupt society be able to clean the weevil out of the bean and save new seed for the next sowing?
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