Brief Notes on Violence in the Borderland by Dr. Juan Gómez-Quiñones

Portrait of Dr. Juan Gómez-Quiñones by Salomón Huerta, 2017

Violence is not the only way. Fortunate twisted events of fate do happen. Some unwelcome rain can encourage needed sunlight. According to official press releases from both U.S. and Mexico national administrations, drastic forceful methods and means have not thwarted violence of their criminal elements. These elements have expanded their violence onto Mexico City, but, even more tragically, have the expansion of these anti-social elements resulted in the spread of injuries and death to honest folks who are their critics or innocent bystanders and even clergy.

To add to ongoing government means, there are public means that would be quite different than simple force. Both national societies have citizens and institutions to address these ills which would be different than current law enforcement and means and agencies. Including among them are students with language, and socially sensitive expertise. Those would focus on the human dynamic context, accelerating and strengthening people’s instruction and critical knowledge.

Currently, U.S. higher education should increase post high school students through affirmative action policies and greater social sensitive student and greater research productivity for border studies, generating border specialists. Enhanced education centered on individual and research programs may be focused more sharply than currently the case will be beneficial. Trained college graduates and greater development of research programs may change the context of violent, ruthless players. These habitats are the U.S. and Mexico borderlands; results or gains, whether major or modest, would be a positive contribution for borderland residents.

About Author: Dr. Juan Gómez-Quiñones is a Research Professor of History at UCLA, specializing in the fields of political, labor, intellectual and cultural history. As a prolific scholar, key figure in the Chicana/o movement and mentor to countless students and academics, Dr. Gómez-Quiñones (or JGQ) has a long trajectory in higher education, civic/political engagement, the arts, poetry and related activities. Born in Parral, Chihuahua, Mexico, he was raised in Boyle Heights (East Los Angeles). He earned a Ph.D. in History from UCLA.

Note: Minor edits by Dr. Álvaro Huerta.

Dr. Álvaro Huerta is a Religion and Public Life Organizing Fellow at Harvard University and an Assoc. Professor at Cal State Polytechnic University, Pomona.