In the recent weeks, public officials in Mexico have turned to focused on another form of violence which plagues its society: school bullying.
While not much attention has been given to bullying thus far, the public movement and outrage picked up after the death of a 12-year-old boy in Tamaulipas who died in May after being grabbed by four student bullies and flung him multiple times against a wall. Even Mexico’s President, Enrique Peña Nieto, made a personal visit to the victim’s family, and made a speech in the state of Tamaulipas in which he spoke against bullying. “The government has made a commitment … to make schools free of acoso escolar,” he said.
While the government has proposed with two anti-bullying legislation on the table, it is not the only group that turned its attention to bullying. Many Mexican celebrities joined the movement with the Twitter hashtag #ElBullyingNoEsUnJuego, which means “Bullying is not a game.”
However, as much as the nationwide movement has been gaining momentum and attention it deserves, few have reservations about how it is being played out by the media. Monica Garza, a columnist for La Razon, said that the word “bullying” risks becoming a “convenient, trendy and superficial catchall in a country rife with social ills, where the mistreatment and abuse of people of all ages and of laws – often by authorities or drug cartels – has long been rampant.”
“Mexico is a violent country that tolerates violence,” Garza wrote. “Bullying,” she said, “has become the word of the moment, signaling any kind of violence, at school or at work, and it’s time to call things by their names. Murder is not bullying. It’s murder. Assault is not bullying. It’s assault…. Many violent children in the schools aren’t bullies, they’re potential delinquents.”