I can’t imagine the rage Mexicans must feel today.
To look now at the faces of those five boys, clean-cut and handsome, so exuberant with young adulthood, is to feel the people’s fury.
In those snapshots from happier days, the young men beam with unmistakable decency.
This is how they looked before the monsters got them on or about Aug. 11 — the day they all disappeared.
Those 5 boys knew they would die
The narcos, the cartel thugs, according to Mexican press reports, kidnapped those boys in the western state of Jalisco.
They tied up the five friends all between the ages of 19 and 22 and taped their mouths. Then they beat them bloodied them and put them on video.
In the last grainy image of the young men together, they are kneeling, looking up at the camera.
Their hands are tied behind their backs. Their faces are taped and battered. Their bloodshot eyes are filled with dread.
They know they are about to die.
Cartels prove there is evil in the world
The other day, my daughter, who is about their age, asked me a philosophical question. Do you think there is such a thing as evil in the world?
Yes, there is evil.
Only evil could have stolen those young men from their mothers and fathers, brothers and sisters, and tortured them in the most horrific way.
These five friends who collectively shared a love of cycling and boxing and fútbol and the great Lionel Messi, according to the Spanish media outlet El País, had recently gone together to see the movie “Oppenheimer” and were last seen at a festival in the city of Lagos de Moreno.
It is now believed that one of Mexico’s criminal syndicates kidnapped the young men, took them to a nearby ranch, and forced one of the boys to stab his friends and saw off their heads.
While Mexicans still hold out hope that the boys will be found, relatives have identified them in the video images that were posted online, and CBS reports that Mexican authorities have found four decapitated bodies in a building near where the kidnapping took place.
A fifth body may have been found in a burning car nearby, reports CBS.
Mexico lights candles to mourn their dead
Mexico is mourning.
Tens of thousands of votive candles have been lit across the country for the childhood friends Jaime Adolfo Martínez Miranda, Dante Cedillo Hernández, Diego Alberto Lara Santoyo, Roberto Olmeda Cuellar and Uriel Galván González.
In a press briefing on Wednesday, Mexico’s President Andrés Manuel López Obrador, known as AMLO, called the killings “very regrettable.”
That hardly begins to describe the nation’s despair.
AMLO is near the end of his six-year term as one of the most powerful presidents to rule Mexico. His popularity rating is high — in the 70th percentile — and it is widely reported he hopes to shape his legacy in the year he has left.
He rode into office promising to quell the violence that erupted when earlier Mexican administrations more forcefully challenged the cartels. He summed up his soft approach to the narcos in a slogan “Abrazos, no balazos” (“hugs, not bullets”).
“But his ‘hugs, not bullets’ paradigm has claimed more lives than (former President Felipe) Calderon’s ‘war on drugs,’ ” explained Arturo Sarukhan, the Mexican ambassador to the United States from 2007 to 2013, writing in Foreign Affairs.
AMLO leaves a dreadful legacy
The cartels have taken over roughly one-third of the country, according to U.S. military estimates. They have insinuated themselves in the major institutions and industries in Mexico and now routinely bully and intimidate the country.
AMLO “tolerates criminality and violence to justify the militarization of the country,” writes Denise Dresser, a professor of political science at the Autonomous Technological Institute of Mexico, in Foreign Affairs.
“He has displayed a willingness to curtail the civil liberties of critics, including those in the media. Reports of Mexican democracy’s death may be exaggerated; it is not dead. But it is grievously ill.”
The evil that kidnaps tortures and decapitates the children of Mexico cannot be hugged.
It must be crushed.
If AMLO does not marshal the forces of his nation to start to destroy the cartels, those five young men will be his legacy.
And his eternal shame.
Source: AZ Central