the country gathers on Wednesday night for the ceremony of the "grito"
— the call to arms that began the war for independence from Spain — we
are enduring another violent crisis, albeit one that differs greatly
from those of a century and two centuries ago.
In 1810 and 1910, revolutions erupted that lasted 10 years or more and
were so destructive that both times it took decades for the country to
re-establish its previous levels of peace and progress. Both episodes
furthered Mexico's political development, however, and our collective
memory centers on these two dates that have taken on such symmetrical
and mythical significance.
In 2010, Mexico is again convulsed with violence, though the size and
scope of today's conflict does not even remotely approach that of 1810
or 1910. This war is unfolding within and between gangs of criminals,
who commit violent acts that are fueled only by a competitive lust for
money. This is strikingly different from the revolutions of 1810 or
1910, which were clashes of ideals. '