Skip to main content

Between the trigger and the hole of a revolver

Stories and News No. 1224

Here is yet another plausible story trying to tell the bizarre world in which we live today. In the appearance of a rapid succession of clicks on the cell, we sometimes feel close, because we are connected to the network. Together, since we are concentrated on the same handful of bits, despite only a few moments. However, at the same time, we are equally divided. And, as in the case of what is hidden inside the amazing technological devices by which we are now possessed – whose functioning is comparable to some mysterious magic for most, I have the clear impression that what actually distinguishes and distances human peoples is further unknown. Consider, for example, neither borders, nor cultural differences and complexions, let alone the diversity of beliefs, but rather a revolver. Yes, the well-known wheel pistol, which you may have seen pretend to detonate countless times in a movie. Shooting blanks, as they say. Nonetheless, as far as we are in the relative shelter of a web page, the weapon I am talking about kills people. It does. But above all else, it divides. Divide the planet into hemispheres. Forget the exploited identifications of a geographical nature, such as north and south, or east and west. Let’s put aside for a moment the lines stuck on the surface of the earth from above, with cunning and interest, and for a few seconds let’s see things for what they are in these distinct portions of the world. One of them is on this side of the trigger, with millions of fingers aware or not on it to operate it incessantly, without asking any question about what happens beyond the deadly hole spewing death. Yet, from this last side of the story the cry that protests, by pain and anger, rises thunderously. I am talking about Mexican journalist Luis Vallejo, who mourns the death of his friend and colleague Israel Vázquez, without however ceasing to commit himself to seek for justice on him. According to The Guardian, Vázquez died on the job, that is the noble mission of informing his fellow citizens even at the cost of his own life about what is happening in the world, their world, which is everyone's. And this is where we are seriously connected, not with lies from a social network that pretends to hide loneliness with digital friendships and chronic insecurities with likes for a day. Because the only degree of separation between the sad end of Israel and probably whoever reads these words is the revolver mentioned above. According to a Cartel Project survey, since 2000 nearly three-quarters of the 119 journalists murdered in Mexico have been killed by firearms, most of them imported. Additionally, the non-governmental organization Stop US Arms to Mexico has documented that weapons manufactured in Europe and Israel that are legally sold to the Mexican military – as well as those illegally transported across the US border – are likely used to commit human rights violations and gang executions. And that between 2006 and 2018, European and Israeli companies exported more than 238,000 firearms to Mexico for use by state and local police. According to the law, with commercial agreements worth millions of euros, more than half came from just two companies: the Austrian Glock and the Italian Beretta. Reports show that European weapons have been routinely sold to states where security forces have a well-documented history of human rights violations and collusion with criminal groups, where local police and soldiers have been implicated in the enforced disappearance of 43 teachers in 2014. Erika Guevara Rosas of Amnesty International says about it: "In most cases where we have documented enforced disappearances, there is always this collusion between state authorities and organized crime, and there is always the exchange of weapons between these two entities." 

Do you see the revolver better now? Can you observe in the enlargement of our common human conscience the weapon that murdered the man who just wanted to be the messenger of the true, more than good, news for his fellow citizens? I am without glasses, do you happen to read the brand on the gun? Who knows, maybe it will be the Viennese company itself or the name of the famous brand from Gardone Val Trompia. Well, honestly and after what has been said, does it really matter what is the manufacture of this precise weapon? This does not change our position by one millimeter in this indignant tale, where a multitude of more or less unsuspecting citizens live on the safe side of a smoking gun, which continues to enrich unscrupulous people, and others dodge bullets when they are lucky and still fight for a better world. Nevertheless, like the latter, despite lockdown and red zones, we are still able to move and call ourselves out of this inhuman roulette where great human beings die. Because their death was born in our country too, maybe next to us, and we can no longer pretend to be anywhere else.

Subscribe to Newsletter

My new book: A morte i razzisti (Death to racists)