In the night and fog of the war on drugs, children are being massacred

The United States declared a war on drugs and sent Mexico, and in particular Mexican indigenous and rural women and children, straight to hell. The Mexican army repeatedly massacres women and children, and each incident is greeted with shock and outrage … and the ticking of a stopwatch until the next bloodletting. Last June: Tlatlaya, in Mexico State. Last September: the Ayotzinapa massacre, in Iguala, Guerrero. This weekend, it was Santa María Ostula, in Michoacán. The weekend before, it was Calera, in Zacatecas. In each instance, and in all the non-instances in between, children are disappearing, sometimes spectacularly, sometimes silently, other times `without notice’, and it is all part of the plan.

Last year, Mexican Army soldiers swooped down on Tlatlaya in an ostensible drug raid. According to documents made public this month, they had orders to kill. For the few who survived, like Clara Gómez González, this was old news. They saw the soldiers come in, guns and eyes blazing. For a year, Clara Gómez González has charged the army with premeditated murder. According to Clara Gómez González, it was night, and she was sitting in the corner of a cellar when the door burst open and the soldiers poured in, firing tracer bullets. She immediately went to find her 14-year old daughter Erika Gómez. She found her lying on the ground, face down, shot in the leg. She took her pulse. She was alive: “I couldn’t speak. Then more shots poured in. I turned to hide. I never saw Erika again.”

Now, all Clara Gómez González wants is justice for her daughter. The State might possibly offer Clara Gómez González money. But justice? Never. Children are disappearing. Sometimes spectacularly, sometimes silently, other times `without notice’. None of this is new.

More recently, on July 7, in Calera, seven day laborers, farm workers, were abducted by the armed forces. Their bodies were later found in a pit.. They were all shot at point blank range, almost all in the neck. Two women and five men tried to make some money working the land to send home to their families. Their children are also disappearing.

This past weekend, the army descended on Santa María Ostula, guns blazing. It’s not clear how many were killed and injured, but this much is clear: the army killed 6-year-old Neymi Natali Pineda Reyes and 12-year-old Idilberto Reyes García. According to the boy’s aunt, Edith Balviera, Idilberto was out buying diapers. According to the girl’s aunt Guadalupe, Neymi was playing. The army claims the children were bystanders caught in crossfire. There were no bystanders. There was no crossfire or any accident. There was a massacre … again.

In the world in which everyone is deemed criminal, the army is trained to go in guns blazing, tear gas canisters and incendiary bombs flying. Don’t worry. The State will or won’t pay. Children will continue to disappear, sometimes spectacularly, sometimes silently, other times `without notice’. It’s all part of the plan.


(Photo Credit: Alejandro Amado, (Photo Credit:

About Dan Moshenberg

Dan Moshenberg is an organizer educator who has worked with various social movements in the United States and South Africa. Find him on Twitter at @danwibg.