10 May 2012

Socio-Political Revolution Through Art

Miguel Aragón, Retrato #1; Negro, 2011
The violence and death emerging from Mexico’s recently escalated drug wars has almost become commonplace. Nearly every day, we read or watch a story about someone who has been killed in Mexico, whether it’s someone directly related to the drug lords or an innocent bystander.

For many of us, these faces are strangers. For me, one of these faces was a childhood classmate, who I saw almost every day for seven years: Bobby Salcedo. We weren’t the best of friends. He might have resented my status as teacher’s pet for being so brainy, and I was jealous that he was so popular for being the class jokester.

It took me several years to forgive him for sticking me with a Saturday afternoon altar-server assignment (Catholic girls were very progressive in Los Angeles) so he could go play with his friends. But I never would have wished such a horrible ending to his life – in fact, we had reconnected on Facebook and had begun to restore a new friendship based on the fact that we had more in common than we’d realized as kids.

In 2009, Bobby Salcedo had traveled with his wife, Betzy, to visit her family in Gómez Palacio, Durango, Mexico. They were eating late in a restaurant when armed men barged in, forced everyone onto the floor and abducted all the men. Early the next morning, Bobby was found dead in a ravine with bullet wounds through his head and chest. He had been in the wrong place, at the wrong time.

Read the rest of the original article published in LatinoMetro.

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