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The difference between vengeance and justice
La Voz Staff Photo

By David Conde

Not too long ago we changed our cable carrier and also our television programming to a Latino package. As a result, I have been watching more programs in Spanish.

I also have been watching a number of third-rate narco-movies that look to represent the human experience behind the trafficking of drugs and people. They generally are stories of maximum violence related to grievances, greed and corruption.

In watching some of these movies, I detect an effort to find a rationale and justification for the life these people lead. Chief among the reasons for causing violence and death are the histories of family-related involvement in the expansion of the illegal drug and people smuggling business at the expense and betrayal of other families that are doing the same thing.

These activities create personal rivalries that divide the narco-community and lead to bloody scenarios and tragic consequences. In portraying the stories of people in this community the movies divide the protagonists into “good guys and bad guys.”

In some of the movies the “good criminals” are in the business as a way of seeking vengeance or justice for past acts against their family. “Bad criminals” are those depicted as having gone overboard in their ambition to create a culture of greed, intimidation and death.

Accompanying the stories are music and songs related to the activities at hand and the protagonists that do the deeds. The most important of the musical pieces are the “corridos” that tell about the tale of the protagonists in bigger than life portraits.

As I think about the narco-movies and their themes, I cannot help but compare the stories to a real-life current event featuring the President of the United States. John Bolton, Trump’s National Security Advisor not too long ago, called the President’s bribery attempt with Ukraine, as carried out by Rudy Giuliani, a “drug deal.”

The culture of violence created by President Trump against Latino immigrants in particular began with the first words announcing his candidacy for the presidency. From then on his vilification of the Latino community has continued to go downhill.

In the narco-movies, this sort of behavior has to be answered. The narco-family way of doing things calls for vengeance.

The Latino community however, is also a political family that lives within a set of rules corresponding to its place in the national landscape. There is no room in America for vengeance.

There is room however, for justice, redress and fairplay. The President is acting much like an organized crime figure seeking to expand his personal fortune at the expense of others including the Latino community.

The Office of the President is spelled out in the Constitution as one of three equal branches of government. The powers allocated to each of the three branches are also inscribed in this sacred document.

No individual or branch of government is above the law. That means that the President of the United States must submit himself to the constitutional order.

Impeachment is one of the mechanism that the Constitution provides against individuals that consider themselves above the law. That mechanism is currently in play to ascertain the level of criminality, if any, the President has been engaged in and his worthiness to remain in office.

The Constitution also provides the vote as another mechanism to determine who is worthy to lead us. The opportunity to exercise that power is coming soon.

For Latinos, the opportunity for justice is at hand. Vengeance can be left to the narco-movies.





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