Corchado, Cartels and Democracy: Mexican within

“We are building a community with the blood of our children,” said a Mexican man to reporter Alfredo Corchado following the brutal murder of his son.

Like millions of Mexican nationals, the man and his family could have rebuilt their lives in the United States.  Instead, this man and his family have dedicated their lives to preventing other children from having the same fate as his teenage son.  His son’s death will not be in vain, he says.  With a sheer brazen tenacity, the man declares war against the cartels that plague the country he knows as home.

Throughout his book Midnight in Mexico, Corchado describes the resilient spirit of Mexican people with daring spirits who believe against the odds in a world that does not yet exist.  He speaks of the first democratic president Benito Juarez, his colleagues who constantly challenged to see a different Mexico rising up, men who participated in the Bracero program and countless others who have sacrificed their lives for a better tomorrow.

Corchado describes them as bringing little more than hope and courage to the United States.   Even Corchado’s obstinate love for Mexico, his people and his homeland is manifested throughout the book.

Despite the on-going issues with the cartels, readers can’t help to dream of a better environment in Mexico.  There are millions of Mexican people who every day live their lives with dignity and a spirit that never stops fighting for their country.  People, including Corchado’s long-time girlfriend, Angela, who refuse to leave Mexico as violence and death tolls increase.  She pleads to Corchado,

“I need to tell these stories- if we stop- we only add to the silence that’s growing across Mexico.”

As Corchado describes in his book, the climate in Mexico is still violent and many governmental and media organizations have been infiltrated by the cartels, but there are still organizations and individuals who are dedicated to providing a different alternative to the Mexican people.  There are universities where students are encouraged to embrace progressive and democratic views.  There are programs in southern Mexico where local missionaries help meet the needs of Central and South Americans who are trying to make it to the United States.  And, there are still families and individuals who are still trying to create their own Mexican Dream within the world they find themselves in.

The past is past.  What matters the most is this present moment and what people as individuals choose to do with it.

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