A Spiral of Violence / Fernando Dámaso

In my city violence grows like purslane, making an appearance in all municipalities. Marginalization has taken root everywhere and, with the exception of the well-protected Cubanacán elite, in other neighborhoods and areas the offenders have the run of the place, with the passivity of law enforcement, more concerned with monitoring and controlling dissent, than to deal with crime.

They assault passers-by as they leave hard-currency stores, passengers on urban transport buses at night, where they force them to take off their belongings, or in broad daylight, they snatch necklaces and bags, and attack CADECAS (currency exchanges) and even banks, apart from other crimes. It has all been escalating in recent months, as the national crisis deepens.

I refer only to these massive events, which could be considered minor, and not to the widespread corruption, which diverts resources in large quantities and that sporadically, when the popular voice calls it out, appears in small press releases on an inside page of some newspapers. I could give a few lines to this topic which has already brought serious problems for those who simply have dared to point it out.

My concern is, given the start of the layoffs of half a million workers earlier this year, and their joining the ranks of the unemployed, with no real chances of obtaining another job (the only employer is the state and self-employment is just fireworks), that crime as a means of survival will increase, increasing violence and insecurity.

The national crisis brings us every day closer to the edge, created by the lack of deep measures that allow for real solutions. A dead-end does not benefit anyone. It is so hard to understand.

January 14 2011