It pains me deeply to watch the turmoil afflicting Mexico and Venezuela, two countries I love. Both are suffering so much internal strife that they seem on the brink of war—not with each other, or with other nations, but with themselves. Mexico is privileged both culturally and geographically—a country rich in solidarity, color and humor. It’s hard to feel lonely there, since the people are so welcoming. (And the food is quite tasty.) However, the International Institute for Strategic Studies recently described Mexico as the second most dangerous country in the world. Only Syria surpassed Mexico in deaths by violence in 2016—despite all of Mexico’s official denials about the body count. In the five years of President Enrique Peña Nieto’s tenure, more than 79,000 people have died violent deaths in Mexico. These days it’s hard to find a Mexican family that hasn’t been affected firsthand by violent crime. All you need to do is ask, and you’ll hear horror stories. Two recent images of Mexico’s carnage have been haunting me. One photo, widely shared on social media, shows a bloodstained hat that belonged to Javier Valdez, a journalist known for covering drug trafficking. He was shot to death earlier this… Read full this story
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