Mexico’s secretary of the interior dies in plane accident

Photo (c) La Jornada, 2008
Photo (c) La Jornada, 2008

Or, was it an accident? There’s plenty of speculation about the plane crash that cost Juan Camilo Mouriño, Mexico’s secretary of the interior (Secretario de Gobernación) and (so far) 12 other people their lives. Theories ranging from a simple accident to a narco-fueled vendetta abound.

But the fact is that the tragedy should be looked at from a humanitarian point of view. 13 dead and over 40 injured, 3 of which might also die in the next few days. It’s a time for mourning, yes, but for us to mourn for all the people who died, not just mr. Mouriño; a time for the entire mexican society to give their support to the families of the deceased, just as we would in any other tragedy.

Let me be cold-hearted for a while and state this: Mouriño’s death will not have a great impact for Mexico or even for president Felipe Calderón’s team, his plans or aspirations. Because for all the power his position brought, Mouriño himself was a rather grey politician. So yes, let the president give speeches about how we lost a “great mexican” (he was born in Spain so even that is debatable). But the truth is, Mouriño will get replaced by someone else, with similar political prowess, capabilities, aspirations and a similar position to further Calderón’s plans, whatever they are. And in the public eye, Mouriño will fade and then disappear, to become a footnote like Ramón Martín Huerta (whose name, incidentally, has resurfaced in connection with the Mouriño tragedy).

He will disappear, that is, in the eyes of everybody but his family and friends: these people didn’t just witness the death of a high-ranking government officer; they lost a friend, a father, a husband, and a son. To them, and to all the relatives of the deceased, the tragedy has a very personal feel. This is the level at which us normal people can empathize and understand the magnitude of what happened, for any loss of human life is to be regretted. So indeed, let our prayers (for those who pray) and our condolences and best wishes be with mr. Mouriño’s family, as well as with those of all the others who lost their lives or were injured in the tragedy.

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