The horrifying murder of the five young people from Lagos de Moreno, which circulated on social networks, aroused a reaction that we had not seen for a long time: indignation. Outside of López Obrador, a man whose darkness and complicity in crime is as thick as that of a hitman, few stopped reacting with the force of awe and rage. Unfortunately, after a few days, that human and healthy reaction was displaced by the frivolity of the campaigns and the intolerable became part of normality again.
For almost twenty years, these crimes have not stopped happening and for almost twenty years we have been accepting them. Only when one of them, like the youth of Lagos de Moreno, escapes the abstraction of the figures and we see his inhuman cruelty, does our indignation wake us up. But, the outrage lasts less and less and society is less and less capable of mobilizing to try to stop the horror.
More than 12 years ago, a similar crime, that of my son Juan Francisco and six of his friends in Morelos, mobilized society, created a great movement of victims, publicly sat the rulers to account for them and created the Law General of Attention to Victims and its executive body. Three years later, the disappearance of the 43 young people in Ayotzinapa brought society back to the streets and created the National Commission for the Search for Disappeared Persons. Both, unfortunately, destroyed and rendered inoperative by the State.
The crime in Lagos de Moreno only mobilized a thousand people and the indignation lasted a few days. The same thing happened with the massacre of women and children in the LeBarón community in 2019. We are getting used to hell. We digest it faster and faster, hiding its horror under layers of media dirt and cheap ideology.
I don’t know if Mexico is a dictatorship. The guy who governs us and his party have biases of that nature. What I do know, however, is that from Calderón to López Obrador, Mexico looks like a concentration camp whose center is everywhere. Similar to Lager, ours is not only intended to produce death and horror, but to normalize them.
In What Remains of Auschwitz, the third part of his philosophical work Homo sacer, Giorgio Agamben reproduces the testimony of Micloz Nilsy, collected by Primo Levi in If this is a man.
Nilsy was one of the survivors of the last Sonderkommando, a Special Unit, made up of prisoners who were in charge of managing the crematoriums, and whom the Nazis later murdered to erase any testimony. What Nylsi relates is a soccer match between the SS and the Soderkommando. The match was attended by “SS soldiers and what was left of the Special Unit: they showed their preferences, applauded, cheered on the players as if, instead of at the gates of hell, the game was taking place on the pitch of a town.”
That match, which could seem like “a brief pause of humanity in the midst of infinite horror,” was actually the expression of extreme debasement, of inconceivable horror. Not only because it was played “at the gates of hell” between victims and perpetrators, but because of its apparent “normality.” That simple “shell” was the naturalization of hell.
You might think that ended Auschwitz. But in reality, that match “is repeated in each of the matches in our stadiums, in each television broadcast, in all forms of daily normality. If we don’t understand it, if we don’t get it to end, there will never be hope.”
Mexico, far from having understood it, repeats it with more vigor: it is played out every morning in the conferences of the type that governs us, in the frivolity of electoral campaigns, where violence and justice are not part of the inanity of its proposals, and the parties that shelter them are captured by crime; It is played on a citizenry that quickly forgets the hell in which they live and reduces the life of the country to the dispute for an empty democracy, it is played on the media and on social networks, where the horrors have the same rank as the latest morning occurrence, the most recent gossip from the show business or the market offers and your multiple desires.
The creation of Nyls is the intention of power. Auschwitz, says Agamben, was not, in essence, an extermination camp, but one of production of people that the prison jargon of the Lager called Muselmänner: beings who, by dint of horror, were stripped of their capacity to react to violence. and death. They were the expression of the “limit between man and non-man”, the strip where the human and the inhuman meet.
Obedient to power, they could, like the Soderkommandos, live with horror, indifferent even to the death to which they were destined, or wander through the Lager without vital reactions.
The psychology of the Muselmänner has settled in us. As long as we are not capable of understanding that the function of power –be it political or criminal or, as happens in Mexico, both in an unprecedented symbiosis– is to lead us to normalize hell; As long as we are not able to stop it, there will be no hope.
I also believe that the San Andrés Accords must be respected, stop the war, free all political prisoners, do justice to the victims of violence, try governors and criminal officials, clarify the murder of Samir Flores, the massacre of the Le Barón, stop the megaprojects and return governability to Mexico.