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The Company of the Cartel

Stories and News No. 1302

Yes, I know, the title seems like a parody of the first volume of Tolkien's masterpiece, the Fellowship of the ring, but there's really nothing satirical or funny here.
It is a tragic and old story, which repeats itself all over the world, and it is always the same who pay the costs. The bravest, individuals with a clear conscience and an iron will, an adjective that is most fitting in this case.
I remember a sentence from a character in a novel I don't remember now, but I recall the words. The guy, a man of the same kind mentioned above, stated that for people like him the most difficult thing is not to understand which is the right and most honest path to take, but not to do it knowing it.
In today's story, we fly to Mexico, in the state of Michoacán, in the municipality called Aquila, which bears the name of the homonymous capital.
The eagle has always been the central element of the coat of arms of the Mexican nation. The current one, with the bird standing on a cactus with one paw and holding a snake tightly with the other, seems to represent the triumph of good over evil.
On the other hand, the eagle is also the symbolic animal of a class of Aztec warriors, who stood out for being the most fearless and capable of prevailing over the greatest number of enemies.
Well, the two protagonists of this story have as much as boldness and antagonists. The oldest and the youngest, heroes of the local indigenous community, perhaps the most cohesive and coherent idea of community imaginable in this world: Antonio Diaz Valencia, the leader, and Ricardo Lagunes, the lawyer. And even so we wouldn't say it all. Because in the rest of the western world, when we find ourselves reading or listening to these definitions, something else comes to mind that has nothing to do with them.
The leaders to us are famous people with great power in their hands, while the lawyers are almost always rich and equally influential, especially when they reach the front pages of the newspapers.
The difference is that in the case of Antonio and Ricardo it is necessary to add the fundamental sequel: "of human rights".
If the latter represents the main feature inside the path of the lawyer and the leader, as well as the politician and the reporter, or anyone else engaged in a mission, more than a profession, especially in places where the risk due to this juxtaposition it is deadly, often they deserve the brightest lights of the news in the worst instant of their life, or when the nightmare becomes reality.
Nonetheless, in parts of the world where reality has been a nightmare for too many years, amazement is out of place and should leave room for indignation and participation. Well, I repeat, this is a common situation everywhere.
Nonetheless, let's observe what the apparently distant plot leading us to reflect and draw the necessary conclusions that concern us more or less closely.
For the record, the leader and lawyer of the indigenous community of Aquila, both environmental activists, are currently reported missing since last Sunday after having attended an anti-mining protest against the multinational Ternium.
Some witnesses claim that they were threatened and then chased by vehicles with armed men. Their pickup truck was later found on the side of the road riddled with bullets and while no traces of blood or anything were found, that doesn't bode well.
In fact, the relatives of the two have no doubts and point the finger at the well-known mining company, in their opinion colluded with the criminal cartels in the area.
In response, as is customary, nothing but words arrived, the weight of which, however, can be assessed by anyone. In fact, unsurprisingly, a spokesman for the mining company expressed solidarity with the families and denied any involvement in the possible yet another heinous crime. Obviously, neither confirmations nor denials came from the cartels. Nonetheless, if you wish to drop the more or less formal statements, it may be useful to recover the rest of the story that counts, the one written from the facts and narrated by the real protagonists since the least suspicious times, from which it is really difficult to get out without suspecting that among those who, albeit with different approaches and styles, plunder the earth and the soul of its inhabitants side by side, there is not even the slightest tacit agreement...
In the meantime, the indigenous communities of Mexico and the rest of the world do not give up and fight tenderly, and like the eagle of the coat of arms they resist motionless on the shield to bear the bites of the snake and the thorns of the cactus.
That is, criminal cartels and gentlemen in ties.

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