Influenced by Influenza, Fear and National Security

Influenced by Influenza, Fear and National Security

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By Nieves Capote Figueroa

How can a country with more than 100 million inhabitants be paralyzed? It is a very useful question ... especially for who is asking it. For now, for the control of the population and the implementation of policies that have great opposition from social groups.

How can a country with more than 100 million inhabitants be paralyzed? It is a very useful question ... especially for who is asking it.

In the last week we have seen an ebb and flow of inaccurate and changing figures on those infected and killed by swine flu. On Thursday, April 30, we actually no longer knew what they were talking about, first that 176 dead (without specifying anything else), then that in reality there were 12 dead and 358 infected. However, the WHO on the same day spoke of 156 infected for Mexico.

Interestingly, in other cases, names, ages and origin of those who died due to accidents, illnesses, etc. are immediately provided. In this case it is absolute silence.

Finally, the figures for acute respiratory diseases, "normal" influenza, swine influenza… and we don't really know what else. We still do not know if it is as deadly as it is said or if the deceased have been due to deficiencies in care or late care or other types of complications. And while the contagion occurs through physical contact, the country is covered with mouth covers when the same WHO affirms that they do not prevent contagion.

And with all this, as if there were a war, the Presidency of the Government tells us that the safest place for the population is their home. How did we get here? Who benefits from this chaos?

Control of the population.

The use of chaos and fear is a very old matter to control the population. The threat of a Pandemic takes us back psychologically to a certain extermination, our collective and universal memory brings to the present the deaths from plagues in the history of mankind (the plague, cholera, the Spanish flu). Historical stories in the news remind us how many people have died in pandemics before; or that schools, theaters, cinemas, stadiums, restaurants, bars, air routes are closed, that tourism returns and… be careful !!! Anyone by your side could infect you if they shake your hand. For this it is better to stay at home.

And yet, “Pandemic is what happens every year with the global epidemics of common flu. But we reserve the term 'pandemic' for epidemics caused by a new influenza virus, different from the viruses that are currently circulating in the human population, "Dr. Alan Hayes, director of the WHO Influenza Center, told the BBC. the United Kingdom.

Several data are surprising if we compare it with the current "state of exception" that we are experiencing. The common flu causes about 36,000 deaths a year in the United States and between 250,000 and 500,000 around the world.

The influenza virus annually affects about 10 to 20% of the world's population during seasonal epidemics, causing between 3 and 5 million cases of severe illness and between 250,000 and 500,000 deaths per year. Approximately 1 billion people belong to risk groups for severe illness from influenza, including pneumonia.

Each year in Mexico about 14 thousand people die from acute respiratory infections. In comparison, as of May 1, 2009, there are 12 deaths from swine flu and 358 infected.

From the avian flu that broke out in 2003, 421 affected have been registered so far, of which 257 have died, and in the same way it occurred in several countries. However, at no time has the WHO raised the alert for this influenza from birds above phase three.

Do we think of many other diseases that come from animals? Leishmaniasis, for example, kills about 70,000 people in the world every year and an estimated 12 million people are infected.

Continuing with swine flu in the United States there are, according to the WHO, 109 confirmed cases in 10 states (as of Friday, May 1, 2009), from New York to California, and yet school activities have not even been suspended. What will the difference be?

Putting all of this in context, many issues come to light and many things don't seem like they are. In other analyzes we will give clues to try to understand the dimensions of this “state of exception”. Now we will start with the use of fear as a form of population control.

What then makes the safest place for an entire country today to be inside its houses?

Fear is the most common emotion of the human being, it is an emotion with which we are born.

According to our history and our learning processes, it is more or less part of our character. Fear is an alert system of the body, it is activated in the face of some danger and to that extent it is useful to us.

Now, fear is activated in the face of real or imagined danger. This is a strip where paralyzing fears, anguish, anxiety and even panic creep in, depending on the environment.

If we know the danger, we know how to face it and we put into action prevention responses, or defense as the case may be. If the danger is not known, it puts people and entire populations in a state of helplessness.

The state of impotence, precisely, has to do with the experience that danger overwhelms us. When the threat is internalized as a vital danger, the possibilities of personal and group protection-action are weakened, and the active response is paralyzed. The message has been clear: the only thing people can do is sit still.

Dangerous, right?

"Disinformation is a communication or version that aims to consciously confuse people, impose a misleading, misrepresented and simply false idea on them. Disinformation is presented in sensational, stereotyped, images, news, etc. " (Volkgonov, 1986) For this the mass media are very effective.

We are already talking about disinformation and we would have to add censorship. Criticized by several journalists during Calderón's administration but especially in the handling of the influenza crisis, the censorship of independent media is denounced, starting with the lack of access to the names of those who died from the influenza outbreak as well as well as access to information about what was happening in their environment and how they could have been exposed to the strain.

Disinformation and censorship make it very difficult to interpret reality, to know what is happening, and this definitely transforms the meanings. Then, the population can only give adaptive responses for physical security (adapting is not the same as taking action), for self-protection from a danger that-you-don't-know-well-what-it-is, and then we adapt to what it is said that we have to do, towards non-contact, towards isolation and towards non-participation. What would have happened to the protests against economic policy this May 1 if we had not had a pandemic of influence? Sorry, flu.

Fear and National Security.

The fear of death is one of the most basic and common fears in humans, along with the fear of madness. The pandemic, as it collectively resonates (not based on its medical definition) especially activates the fear of collective death, of the disappearance of human groups, of something too big to be faced. The introduction of death into national life is also an old issue from which it seems that we still have to rescue many lessons: it produces disorganization, and disorganization generates inadequate responses, and leads to finally asking for an "order" that brings everyone back again. to "normality" ... and in election season!

Not long ago we saw this especially clearly. After 9/11 2001, the fear of dying from an anthrax attack spread throughout the world. Death was even closer, not so much in bomb attacks and less in a war-invasion outside the United States: it was in the air. This led the United States to the largest violation of individual guarantees in its own territory, being able to carry out searches without a warrant, freeze bank accounts, arrest without charge and indefinitely, tap telephones and the media, among many other aberrations (or what say about the war in Iraq and the prisons and secret flights of the CIA in the world). The pharmaceutical companies who rubbed their hands then are the same ones who rub them now ... but that will be the subject of the other analysis.

Following the thread of North American policy, while we locked ourselves at home preventing our almost certain death if we got together more than two, President Calderón issued a Decree (April 24) where he establishes, among others: -The inspection of passengers who may be carriers germs, as well as luggage, means of transport, merchandise and other objects that may be sources or vehicles of pathogens; -The entry to all types of premises or home for the fulfillment of activities aimed at controlling and combating the epidemic; -The free and priority use of telephone, telegraphic and postal services, as well as radio and television transmissions, establishing the necessary information guidelines in order to transmit clearly and in a timely manner the measures adopted to face the contingency.

This legal movement is actually "good", because since last year the reform that aims to regulate article 29 of the Constitution was already on the table, with the purpose of including the figure of a state of exception, which is currently not in the national laws, and that would allow the federal Executive to limit the exercise of individual guarantees. That is, it would allow the President to declare a State of Exception without any consultation.

Regarding the declaration of a state of exception, in 2008 the Third Chamber of the Supreme Court of Justice of the Nation said that “. Individual guarantees can only be suspended by the Congress of the Union, at the request of the President of the Republic, in agreement with the Council of Ministers, in cases of invasion and serious disturbance of the public peace, or any others that may put society in serious danger or conflict; Thus, in the meantime, the suspension of the corresponding guarantees is not agreed, in the manner indicated, neither the Legislative Power of the Federation, nor the Legislative Powers of the States, may issue laws that have as a consequence the violation of the guarantees. "

Curiously, all this happens prior to the electoral process that will renew half of the Congress in July; prior to the celebration of the 2010 Bicentennial (1810 the Independence of Mexico and 1910 the Mexican Revolution) when some analysts foresee strong social mobilizations; preparing the electoral scenario for 2012; within the framework of an erratic strategy to combat drug trafficking that has the country in check; in the context of the participation of the Mexican army in military exercises with the United States; in the approval of the country's largest foreign debt, receiving, among others, more than 40 billion dollars from the IMF. More absurd when the news announce that all acts and public spaces are prohibited and that the only thing that will not stop working are the sessions of Congress, behind closed doors, without the public or the press for the supposed safety of the population.

At the same time on April 30, 2009 (we are still on epidemiological alert) the approval in the Senate of the "Federal Police Law" was announced, which allows:

-The use of police officers without uniform in cases where an investigation warrants it.

-The intervention of telephone calls. Although they modified the original proposal of the Executive since they considered that this is unconstitutional and they amended the minute to specify that the commissioner must make this request to the Federal Public Ministry, which will be the one who authorizes or not the telephone interception or any private communication.

-The federal police will now be able to intervene and even withhold emails if required.

-They are given every facility to request personal information from their clients from private companies for the purposes of their investigation.

-The corporation will carry out surveillance, identification, monitoring and tracking actions in the Internet Public Network on Web sites, in order to prevent criminal behavior.

Managing this swine flu outbreak is serving a lot, it seems. For now, for the control of the population and the implementation of policies that have great opposition from social groups.

In future analysis we will see how Pandemics and National Security are closely linked to Corporations; the link with the Merida Plan and how the fight against pandemics goes through the fight against the Corporation-Nation Model and the Free Trade Agreements.

Nieves Capote Figueroa - Others Mundos, AC - San Cristóbal de las Casas, Chiapas, Mexico; May 2, 2009

Francisco I. Madero No. 49, Barrio Guadalupe - 29200 San Cristóbal de las Casas, Chiapas, Mexico - PO Box 43


La Jornada newspaper.
A virus of easy diffusion and low mortality. El País newspaper. Alicia Rivera -Madrid 01/05/2009
Individual guarantees at risk. Jorge Camil. The Conference…
Social Psychology of War; trauma and therapy. UCA Editors
The law on a state of exception is halted in San Lázaro. Ciro Pérez Silva and Enrique Méndez. LaJornada. Friday, February 29, 2008.
Senate approves the Federal Police Law. Notimex 04/30/2009 La Jornada.

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