The unbearable urban violence in Córdoba

I have had this note rolling around in my head since Monday, perhaps even before. For various reasons it was postponed, but today it appeared before me again when I was looking for a topic. It is something that we all experience daily, but for some reason we do not end up making it a central issue. It is urban violence.

On Friday morning I was listening to the radio and they were talking about the security minister’s statements in reference to the super classic that was about to be played in our city. The thing revolved around the naranjitas and the mandatory contributions that those who go to see massive shows in Córdoba are made to pay. It was announced that it was prohibited to set a fixed rate and that a number was made available to people to make complaints. On Monday, on the same program, listeners said that they had had to pay $5,000 and that in some cases they had been asked for more. Ads without actions.

That Monday afternoon I started looking for a topic to write about. I chose the topic of Milei’s dogs, but I had been struck by the case of the young man murdered outside a bowling alley (and the fact that it was not mentioned what sport the attackers practiced, which sometimes seems so important). It was on all the news portals in the province. In each of these the magic of the algorithm did its thing and news related to homicides, robberies and other police events appeared below. The quantity and timeliness of them caught my attention.

Since this is not a police newspaper – nor am I a journalist dedicated to that – we are not going to do an exhaustive count, but there was everything: stabbed and shot in robberies, a body in a freezer, two brothers dead in the living room of his mother’s house, robberies in schools, a million-dollar robbery from a taxi driver or the arrest of the members of a soccer gang. All this in a single month and within the province of Córdoba.

There is a book that is studied when the issue of the media and its role in defining the agenda is addressed. That text is “The Construction of the News”, by Mark Fishman. In it, the author traces how the media can construct a problem or concern even though the data indicates that the facts are going in the opposite direction.

People are increasingly worried, thieves are increasingly violent and the consequences of the economic and emotional instability that many are experiencing are beginning to affect families. What role do the media play there in communicating the news that politicians may feel that the ungovernable situation of violence in the streets cannot cost them their jobs? It is difficult to know, because there are no daily police bulletins, accessible to the general public and with official data on complaints, events or arrests. They are all speculations in the air that tell us nothing about the concrete reality that exists in the province.

In one of the schools where I work there has already been a case of a teacher shot while waiting for the bus after class, assaults on students when leaving and even a brother of a teacher murdered in an assault at the door of his house. The thing is getting closer and closer. While this reality passes over us, we continue debating how much the Naranjitas have to charge instead of dwelling on how they shoot each other in the streets of the city, putting everyone around them at risk. We need fewer photos of patrol cars and more action data to know where we stand. Don’t worry about the next bullet hitting us.

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