Kristin Bricker is a freelance journalist and translator. She specializes in militarization, social movements, and the drug war in Latin America.
Kristin is a contributor to the CIP Americas Program. She previously served as the Security Sector Reform Resource Centre's Latin America blogger. Her work has appeared in NACLA, the Huffington Post, IPS, Foreign Policy in Focus, Counterpunch, Telesur, Rebelión, Left Turn, The Indypendent, Upside Down World, Por Esto!, The Guatemala Times, and The News (Mexico). Kristin has appeared on Al-Jazeera, Democracy Now!, Radio Mundo (Venezuela), Morning Report (New Zealand), Radio Bemba (Mexico) and various Pacifica radio programs. Her work has been cited in the Los Angeles Times, Proceso, and the Congressional Research Service's Report for Congress.
Kristin contributed a chapter about Mexico's peace movement to Global Fire, Local Sparks, published by the Indypendent.
A good friend of mine Bety Cariño (39?) who I lived and worked with in Mexico was killed in southern Mexico by paramilitaries. The paramilitaries acted with the support of the State and National government to eliminate opposition to their plans and their way of thinking. Bety was one of the most charismatic and caring people I have come across in my 27 years. She has 2 young childen and hundreds of friends who have been touched by her passion and courage. She was the leader of the organisation CATCUS which supported local indigenous communities and in securing projects for small business and agriculture initiatives. Together with the organisation she informed about womens and childrens rights to basic services. She also informed about the dangers of transgenic crops and pesticides and the damage caused by massive mining and damming projects which are proposed for Oaxaca.
Bety participated in various movements and forums in Mexico and Central America and travelled to Europe to increase awareness about the situation in Mexico and particularly the situation Oaxaca. Bety went to every length to make people feel welcome and had amazing power in her spirit to overcome personal loss and illness for the sake of her beliefs. This infectious passion will outlive her many lifetimes over.
This is one of many horrible crimes committed everyday in order to maintain the flow of capital, and the power it holds, in the hands of the few. While I am no longer inclined say eye for an eye and I don't want vengance for the pain this act has caused. The world needs very profound changes. This is not a call to arms but to reflect and change our minds. Our physical world is a reflection of our thoughts.
Our way of life mandates these conflicts. Those who refuse expansion and destruction and call for the right to a dignified life are being exterminated for suggesting change, for creating change or simply not bowing to the demands of capital (the rich). More money more power, get in the way you'll be defamed, mocked and if that doesn't work you'll be killed. I have lived this reality first hand and through history books.
Fortunately ideals and ideas will never be exterminated by the bullet. Bety's death only reinforces that we have no option but to try to live by our ideals. The opposite is self-extermination and condemnation to our own enslavery within this system.
Those who are concentrating power understand that the majority cannot continue to be allowed to consume in the way we are today. Their plan is an economic collapse which will leave the majority dying or on the edge of survival, vulnerable and controlled by police states. Under privitised systems those who can't pay die. Most of the world is now living this reality. Misinformation and the distraction of pop culture are the principle weapons of control. For those who get through the gap like Malcomn X, Che Guevara, Martn Luther King, Ghandi and my dear friend Bety a more sinister fate awaits.
The only option for the majority to escape this fate is to take power and look for a new economic, social and spiritual model which can avoid this genocide. Putting our heads under our pillows is no sollution.
Don't take my word for it. Think it through.. who holds power today? Why are most people not interested in politics, history or economy? What are the plans of those who have money (power)? What about the people who have very little money who are interested in the fate of the world.. why are they invariably anti-capitalist? Why do they buy less stuff? Why do they talk about spirit and love? Why don't they watch so much TV.
A good friend of mine is dead because she believed in a better world. Her two young kids and the thousands of people she influenced now have the responsibility of continuing her struggle.