Ciudad Juárez lacks 'tangible' hope
[Leer en español.]
HOPE IS a very spiritual thing.
It's like love, or the sense of care we have for our mother or father or for a significant other, or affection for the city where we live. Peace is also something spiritual, like hope or any other profound sentiment. But if we do not act on those spiritual sensations so that people see or feel them, they remain invisible.
Ciudad Juárez is in need of hope. It is the only thing that can fortify the city enough to endure these difficult days, one of which will - someday - mark the end of the tragedies we have suffered. The violence we live with every day, and which is now entering its fourth year, has exhausted the people's capacity to even be shocked.
And now, people are leaving. 100,000 people have exited Ciudad Juárez at last count. And those of us still living in Ciudad Juárez have become world famous for the staggering number of cold-blooded murders in our streets. More than 3,000 people were murdered here in 2010 alone, and the pace of murders this year is even higher. Researchers predict the death count could reach 5,000.
We have also witnessed an extraordinary spate of killings of women in our city, but the gender of the dead should not be our primary concern. The innocent victims were people. They were human beings. I could never politicize or commercialize the gender of the dead. I at least understand the desire to politicize these deaths, but I cannot fathom the desire to profit from them. I just don't have the stomach for it.
One thing I do know: our city must recover some sense of hope. It must recover its strength. This is the heart of the matter.
But how can we accomplish this? How might we transform something intangible into something tangible? How can hope be put back into the hearts of our people? Where might we find sufficient energy to reconcile a city where the line between good and evil has simply been blown away? How would we transmit enough courage and conviction to convince people to fight and triumph for a cause everyone agrees is lost?
We're in this mess not because average citizens can't - or won't - fix the situation they've been handed. Instead, the will of the people has withered as they have come to realize that the leaders they elected to address these issues have no idea what to do next.
And the people recognize complete failure when they see it!
Our elected leaders, meanwhile, make a fuss doing anything except the tasks they were given when they took office in order to appear as if they are working on the urgent issues. Leaders consistently fail to implement plans, strategies and pragmatic adjustments that could stimulate hope in the citizens of Ciudad Juárez.