The Free Deaths
A few years ago, the rich kids of Medellin and Pereira, along with the sons of the first druglords who thought themselves almost omnipotent, had their nightly dose of fun by shooting up beggars in the street, just to give themselves the luxury of hatred. Gonzalo Arango had published, back in Nadaismo 70, the magazine of the movement, the best of his chronicles: 'Planas - a crime without punishment'. An indigenous boy from Meta told how a general placed electrodes on his testicles. And he also told about how the mayors, the public defenders, the policemen and settlers went out every afternoon to practice the sport of nobles. A sport which consisted in the hunt for indians in the wilderness. Such a healthy activity was called 'cuiviar'. Which in turn is related to the hunting of 'cuivas', prey such as deer or gurres.
One of those involved in the radio interview - an interview is always a part of the rigour of the rituals behind murder - said that he did not know that he was doing something bad. Everybody was doing it. Once, they even invited the indians to eat poisoned sancocho. Those who took their time in dying were finished up with sticks, or buried alive on the garden.
These things bring up fearsome questions, since they involve us, about the true nature of Colombians. Even though they have the most solid democracy in Latin America and are one of the happiest peoples on Earth according to polls on the subject.
The medical students of a university in Barranquilla, faced with a lack of cadavers for their anatomy courses, performed them in the rotting meat of the beggars that always slept at their campus. They shot them to death, so as not to harm them. And then they dropped them in the frigid tables used to train the future experts in hygiene. A gang of lawyers in Ibague, in another fearsome plot in the fun adventures that make up the Colombian legal world, adopted homeless people. They fattened them, took care of them until they were left shining, and then threw them down a bridge. The practice of law can sometimes be confused with the trickery of indian malice. And the practice of medicine...
The latest scandal of the superb national terror, the iniquity of the boys from everywhere left shot up in the fields of everywhere, recruited amongst the hungry of the cities to exchange their rags for holidays at the barracks, is just the latest episode in a long list of extreme infamies. The places lack importance; so do the circumstances, and even the executioners and the names of the victims. They are but appearances, coincidences. What matters is the failure that these things imply. Cold blood as a symptom of a surrendered society.
To assign blame is impossible. It must fall on all of us. In the dialectic of Evil, the victim and the executioner form a single animal that seeks to redeem itself in degradation. They represent the drama of failure. The failure of the preaching bishops, of the politicians that conduce the masses to their fates, of the teachers in charge of the education of all of us, of the philosophies, the system of communication and even of the writers of the journals and the editors of the books. Like me. Each word that I say just multiplies the horror, like a rotten comment, or a light one, fanning the flames of hell, just like my secret dreams ruin my vigil.
A nation where people no longer kill for love, for hatred, out of sheer spite, or for money, like everywhere else. Where you can buy a body with a soldier's license. And where a hand that has been cut off is just tared at the barracks.
But the defect does not lie in the laws. Nor on the apparatus of whistleblowers and rewards. The worst lies in the devaluing of life, the abusive minimization of the Other, the confusion of everything, the unconscious vacuum, the decomposition of everything in a broth of shadow. In pure paranoia, in pure disgust, in pure hopelessness. Andre Breton once said with a perfect lack of responsibility that the greatest surreal act was to walk up the street and shoot at the passing crowd. That is no longer surreal amongst us. For us, it's our daily bread. And it is not poetic in the least.
N.T. - very depressive.