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The State Violence Victims Memorial is at the farthest western stretches of Chapultepec, even beyond the Campo Marte military installation. It’s one of the most controversial and unsettling of memorials in Mexico City.
The project was planned under the administration of President Felipe Calderón in 2012. It was only opened when the new administration of President Enrique Peña Nieto took over in 2013.
Many anti-violence organization took part in the original planning phase. But one by one, nearly all of them dropped out. It wasn’t enough to commemorate merely the victims, but government involvement needed to be directly called out too.
The names included in the memorial were those who died during numerous and very bloody incidents involved with narco-trafficking especially. But the mishandling and overt involvement of various governments in many of these episodes led many to insist that the word “State” be included in the project’s scope. It’s never sat entirely well with the various authorities.
Needless to say, the names of victims have been added to, even countless times. The oxidized steel surfaces are simply too inviting.
Today the State Violence Victims Memorial is unfortunately placed. It’s a bit too far from the center of anything to draw much attention. Many are probably pleased enough that that’s the case. It’s a positive place for reflection. It’s also a rather somber walk in the park.