Violencia sistémica, subjetividad del riesgo y socialidad de resguardo en el escenario de la ciudad fronteriza de Ciudad Juárez, México

Systemic Violence, Subjectivity of Risk, and Protective Sociality in the Context of a Border City: Ciudad Juarez, Mexico

Salvador Salazar Gutiérrez

Idioma original

Resumen

En el artículo se analiza, desde una perspectiva sociocultural y en relación con el contexto de violencia sistémica presente en la ciudad fronteriza de Ciudad Juárez, cómo se ha venido produciendo una subjetividad del riesgo a partir del análisis de diversos relatos de entrevistas aplicadas a actores sociales adscritos a los campos de discursividad político, empresarial, religioso y periodístico.

Palabras clave: violencia sistémica, subjetividad del riesgo, socialidad de resguardo, ciudad fronteriza, Ciudad Juárez


Abstract

Using a sociocultural perspective to examine the context of systemic violence in the border city of ciudad juárez, this article analyzes a subjectivity of risk has been produced, based on an analysis of excerpts from interviews of social actors related to the fields of political, business, religious, and journalistic discursiveness.

Keywords: systemic violence; subjectivity of risk; protective sociality; border town; ciudad juarez


Texto completo:

Idioma original


Referencias

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Salazar Gutiérrez, Salvador, 2012, "Periodismo y violencia: la producción de subjetividad del riesgo en el norte de México", Global Media Journal, México, Vol. 9, No. 17, pp. 63-80.

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Sánchez, Sergio and Patricia Ravelo, 2010, "Cultura obrera en las maquiladoras de Ciudad Juárez en tiempos catastróficos", El Cotidiano, México, UAM Azcapotzalco, No. 164, November-December, pp. 19-25.

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Local state legislator, (March, 2012), by Salvador Salazar Gutiérrez, "La construcción simbólica de la relación vida-muerte en colectivos juveniles urbanos, en el contexto actual de la ciudad fronteriza del norte de México", Ciudad Juárez, México, Universidad Autónoma de Ciudad Juárez.

Businessman, (March, 2012) by Salvador Salazar Gutiérrez, "La construcción simbólica de la relación vida-muerte en colectivos juveniles urbanos, en el contexto actual de la ciudad fronteriza del norte de México", Ciudad Juárez, México, Universidad Autónoma de Ciudad Juárez.

Catholic priest, (January, 2012) by Salvador Salazar Gutiérrez, "La construcción simbólica de la relación vida-muerte en colectivos juveniles urbanos, en el contexto actual de la ciudad fronteriza del norte de México", Ciudad Juárez, México, Universidad Autónoma de Ciudad Juárez.

Christian Pastor, (February, 2012) by Salvador Salazar Gutiérrez, "La construcción simbólica de la relación vida-muerte en colectivos juveniles urbanos, en el contexto actual de la ciudad fronteriza del norte de México", Ciudad Juárez, México, Universidad Autónoma de Ciudad Juárez.

Member of Christian community, (February, 2012) by Salvador Salazar Gutiérrez, "La construcción simbólica de la relación vida-muerte en colectivos juveniles urbanos, en el contexto actual de la ciudad fronteriza del norte de México", Ciudad Juárez, México, Universidad Autónoma de Ciudad Juárez.

First journalist, (November, 2011) by Salvador Salazar Gutiérrez, "La construcción simbólica de la relación vida-muerte en colectivos juveniles urbanos, en el contexto actual de la ciudad fronteriza del norte de México", Ciudad Juárez, México, Universidad Autónoma de Ciudad Juárez.

Second journalist, (November, 2011) by Salvador Salazar Gutiérrez, "La construcción simbólica de la relación vida-muerte en colectivos juveniles urbanos, en el contexto actual de la ciudad fronteriza del norte de México", Ciudad Juárez, México, Universidad Autónoma de Ciudad Juárez.

Notas

The report "Sistema de información geográfica de la violencia en el municipio de Juárez, Chihuahua: geo-referenciación y su comportamiento espacial en el contexto urbano y rural", a study conducted by researchers at El Colegio de la Frontera Norte, Luis E. Cervera and Julia E. Monarrez Fragoso (2010), supported by Conavim (Comisión Nacional para Prevenir y Erradicar la Violencia contra las Mujeres), undertakes a comparative analysis of the number of homicides in Chihuahua and Ciudad Juárez during the period from 2006 to 2008. In the case of feminicides —a term used to refer to the murder of a woman for gender reasons— it shows their increase, since between 2006 and 2007, 19 were registered in each state whereas by 2008 the figure was 111.

Sergio Sánchez and Patricia Ravelo (2010) in their article "Cultura obrera en Ciudad Juárez en tiempos catastróficos" show how, in the context of globalization and the free market, the maquiladora industry has established itself as the dominant transnational production strategy, outside Mexican state regulation concerning the Federal Labor Law. The maquiladora industry is characterized by labor flexibility, in which the dismissal of working men and women is common. They show how between 2008 and 2010, over 120 000 jobs were lost in the city, largely because this practice of dismissal was linked to the global economic crisis and the scenario of insecurity and violence that has prevailed in recent years.

In 2011, the international human rights organization Human Rights Watch published a report entitled, "Ni seguridad ni derechos. Ejecuciones, desapariciones y tortura en la guerra contra el narcotráfico en México", in which it analyzes various cities, including Ciudad Juárez, and refers to hundreds of complaints of torture against security institutions such as the army and various police forces.

Both the semi-structured interview and the in-depth interviews begin by providing an interpretation of society through the reconstruction of language, in order to analyze the narrative production created in the fields of discourse, specifically in the narratives produced by key actors that form part of these fields (Reguillo, 2000).

The document is the result of a research project entitled, "Socialidad del resguardo: la producción simbólica del riesgo en el contexto transfronterizo", held from january 2011 to September 2012, designed to analyze how the subjectivity of risk is produced in various social actors belonging to these four fields of discourse and in relation to the context of violence in Ciudad Juárez. The methodological strategy focused on actors belonging to these four fields: an entrepreneur, a receiver, two priests, an Evangelical Church pastor, and two journalists. General criteria for the selection included: a) belonging to an organization or group attached to one of the fields, b) having a type of membership which encouraged links with the transborder scenario: Ciudad Juárez-El Paso, Texas, and c) being considered socially relevant in decision-making related to the presence of violence.

It was decided to establish a distance from those perspectives that continue to promote the idea of a "city network" or "global city" that will be assisted by the efficient promotion of various dominant factors in the current context (the development of major information technologies, the free market of flows and goods and market deregulation, reduced state presence, etcetera), because as Mary Louise Pratt has said (2007), the term "globalization" and its various characterizations is devoid of a theoretical basis and has only served to attempt to legitimize political-economic projects that have favored the consolidation of predatory capitalism.

As Erving Goffman (2001) says in his text entitled Estigma. La identidad deteriorada, refers to the recurrent practice of a group to mark an individual with the aim of discrediting him.

The beginning of the article states that at the structural level, the securitization policies promoted by the Mexican government are mainly present as a result of two strategies: an international one, namely the Merida Initiative, and a second, more local or regional one, which has been the implementation of the joint Operations involving members of both military and police public safety groups. For a detailed analysis of this securitization project, see the text, Ciudad Abatida. Antropología de la(s) fatalidad(es), by Salvador Salazar and Martha M. Curiel (2012).

Several projects were carried out by businessmen and politicians from the three levels of government, with the intention of "promoting" the city to the national and international market. This was exemplified by the program "JuárezCompetitiva", supported and financed by local businesses, characterized by the promotion of concerts and consultation forums with the shared aim of, "Changing the image of the city, winning respect, showing the good side of the city, its products, its good people..." (Juárez Competitiva, n.d.).

Although it is not the aim of this article to analyze how the modern project was configured, the reference to Rousseau's social contract was a key element of a project that fostered a sense of universality and equality in a pact in which each individual makes his person and powers available to a general will emanating from a moral and collective body created by the association of all persons.

The phrase belongs to a billboard in one of the busiest avenues, and presents an image at two levels: one at the top showing various young people, accompanied by children dressed in white, with arms extended horizontally, on a background with a city lit by rays emerging from the center, and on the lower level, against a black background with distorted images of individuals as if they were "zombies" expelling fire from their limbs. The billboard contains the question, "Where will you spend eternity?" at the bottom, accompanied by a reference to a website (Eternidad, n.d.).

Although most people belong to the Catholic Church, recent years have seen a significant increase in Christian churches (Pentecostals, Baptists, Presbyterians), and other groups such as jehovah's Witnesses. There is also a large Mormon community in the region, and in the past two decades, the presence of Christian communities, not attached to any formal institution, has been a constant (one example of this is the "New Wine," community, regarded as one of the most important ones, with the greatest presence).

One of the most important newspapers published weekly by the Diocese of Ciudad Juárez. The weekly newspaper "Presencia. Palabra y presencia de la Iglesia Católica en Ciudad Juárez" has been one of the most important strategies in the city implemented by the Catholic Church, based on testimonials by various members (priests, religious or lay persons) in promoting institutional principles and events, but especially in the wake of the eruption of violence, there have been several speeches by priests linking events to biblical resources.

The classic definition of the term, referring to the art of persuasion, was used.

Anecdotizing means the practice which has dominated much of journalism in Ciudad Juárez, whereby the event is decontextualized, with the focus being placed on the specific conditions of the event. The description of what happened was reduced to the reference to the lifeless body and the arrival of the police forces or the army to preserve the scene of the crime. A number of journalists and reporters interviewed agreed that further investigation that would expand the information on what had happened was not possible due to the number of violent events recorded, but above all to the threat involved in gaining access to information that would highlight the link between the victims and the authorities and organized crime or drug trafficking groups.

In a panel discussion entitled "Rights and obligations of journalism," held in October 2012, several reporters stated that they constantly face censorship by members of their profession, from the person in charge of the editorial, to the owners of the newspaper or television channel whose interests are affected.

During the past two years in the cities of Chihuahua and Ciudad Juárez, there has been an interesting debate among groups of journalists (both local and national), requiring the development of security protocols for journalistic practice in contexts of violence and militarization. While some efforts have been made in this regard, such as the series of meetings between groups of journalists, Chihuahua state government officials and Human Rights organizations, this has not been formalized, meaning that the vast majority of journalists and reporters live in a constant state of vulnerability.

While it is not the purpose of the text to expand the debate on the concept of ideology, for the purposes of this paper, the discussion by Slavoj Zizek (2003) in his essay The Sublime Object of Ideology, is taken up. From recovering Althusser with an interesting twist from the psychoanalysis of Lacan, it is argued that the problem of those interpretations that began to separate ideology as an axis of analysis from social issues was the limited perspective of citing it as, "False consciousness," without taking into account the dynamism and direction of the process revealed through the cynical logic of certain groups to promote a sense of domination.

Further analysis is required to deal with this dissident subjectivity that has recently occurred in the scenario of Ciudad Juárez. Various groups of artists, human rights groups, and civil society in general have promoted practices of resistance on the basis of activism observed through the implementation of strategies such as generating groups against violence. Foremost among them is the group "Our daughters back home," young women's art groups such as "Female Battalions" or "dwellings."





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