Mexicans Discharging on Genocide,  Reclaiming Indigenous Identity

original: Spanish

After attending an RC workshop for Indigenous people raised in other identities, I now understand more about genocide and the distress recordings that I and other Mexican RCers have been trying to discharge.  

Thanks to what I was able to re-evaluate at the workshop, I understand better my relationship with my partner. I had been discharging fears of losing him, harming or being harmed physically by him, being killed or preferring to die rather than fight with him; feelings of distrust and our not belonging to one other. I now see these feelings as distress recordings from my family, who were survivors of genocide, and from living in a colonized nation with Indigenous heritage. My feelings of suspicion and permanent danger aren’t occupying my mind as often as before.

It’s made a big difference to learn that many other good people have feelings or experiences every day of being ready to die; of everything being a matter of life or death, killing or being killed; of not trusting; of not belonging to any place or to anyone, and no one belonging to them; of their existence being permanently imperiled; of being bad for the world or insignificant; of having harsh humor or being treated badly by people who love them.

The shame I’ve felt about having these feelings and experiences has diminished, letting me see that they are not based on reality. If my partner and I find it hard to feel that we belong to each other, it’s not because something is wrong with our relationship. If I feel endangered when I choose to trust him, it doesn’t mean he is plotting against me. If I am harsh toward someone, it’s because I am acting out my recordings; it doesn’t mean I am bad or don’t love the person. For the first time in my life, I can see that I have a family. Perhaps I am finding my way back home.

As an Area¹ Reference Person, I have been trying to think about the feelings that many Co-Counselors in Mexico City have about belonging to the RC Community. Some of them find it difficult to feel that RC is their home, that they belong in this Community; they feel that they are merely visitors or passing through. Others feel that RC is their only resource and the only place where they belong. Now, with the information on genocide, I can think better about how to help them discharge these feelings.

Every day in Mexico, we experience a sense of terror and danger. During the last six years, the Mexican state has conducted a war against drug trafficking, to the total detriment of the Mexican people. Sixty thousand people have been assassinated, including Mexican civilians and soldiers, Central American immigrants, and alleged narcos². Forty-six percent of the population of Mexico lives in poverty. The genocide of the Indigenous peoples, for the purpose of taking their land and other resources, is ongoing. These are facts, and it has been very difficult for me to offer my fellow Co-Counselors perspective on all this. I now think that if we work on early memories of genocide, we can find another route to discharge on what is happening and maybe gain perspective on the real problems.

It hadn’t occurred to me that we needed to reclaim our Indigenous identities, because it hadn’t seemed important. The ethnic history of our families was deliberately erased, altered, or hidden, including in official documents. Denying the Indigenous identity was key to our families’ surviving the genocide.

As long as we don’t claim our Indigenous identity, we will continue to feel bad and hidden in a corner. We know that we have Indigenous blood in our veins. But to survive, our families hid and negated it, for generations, and we have lived as if it is something we have to be ashamed of.

Beginning this work will be complicated. Some people will be very frightened, and they may become  defensive. Nevertheless, we need to do it. Our ability to fight for ourselves, claim what is ours, and know we deserve good lives has been beaten down by genocide. As long as the distress recordings have not been discharged, we won’t be able to have an accurate perspective on our power and ability to act in the world.

A visitor to Mexico said she noticed that the people here held their bodies in a posture of defeat, as if they were carrying some heavy weight on their backs. I think this is true about us, and that as long as we don’t discharge on genocide, we won’t stop living inside a feeling of permanent defeat. We won’t be able to see that our people actually won, because we are alive. If we put attention on discharging on genocide, I think we’ll discover an efficient way to face and discharge our feelings of fear, paralysis, anger, and low self-regard. 

Co-Counselors from Mexico and the rest of Latin America have a fundamental role to play in the RC Communities. We bring important insights into the liberation from colonization and imperialism. As we become stronger, reclaim and occupy our space, and share our perspectives, we will enrich RC theory and practice.

With love and hope,

Iliria Hernández Unzueta
Area Reference Person for the Mexico,  
D.F., Mexico, RC Community
Mexico, D.F., Mexico
Translated from Spanish by Iliria Hernández Unzueta, Andrés Mares Muro, and Yara Alma-Bonilla


1 An Area is a local RC Community.
2 “Narcos” are drug traffickers.


Last modified: 2017-04-06 16:01:36-07