MP3: Los Macuanos - “☠ / ⚑ / ✞ (Sangre, Bandera, Cruz)”
After six nightmarish years, Felipe Calderon’s presidency is finally coming to an end. Still on course (until Enrique Peña Nieto takes over in December; we’re doomed anyway), the president’s War on Drugs has developed into one of Mexico’s most brutal periods. Insecurity, paranoia, extreme violence, and thousands of deaths (over 70,000) have been the result of this bloodbath. Fortunately, unlike what was declared in Proceso’s article about “Generación Zoé,” there are artists who are aware and won’t hesitate denouncing their country’s deplorable situation through incisive manifestos. Tijuana’s conscience-awakening ruidosón (or should I say technosón?) prophets Los Macuanos deliver an iconic anthem for the end of this catastrophic era with “☠ / ⚑ / ✞ (Sangre, Bandera, Cruz),” an exorcising track that echoes and pays homage to all of these souls’ voices, victims of an unnecessary war governed by self interests.
Los Macuanos’ ghostly experiments have always been linked to Mexico’s deepest roots. Influences of classic authors like Juan Rulfo to contemporaries like Heriberto Yépez, sharp social critique, political awareness without being scared of defining a conscious posture…all of this fuels and nourishes the contending high art. With “☠ / ⚑ / ✞ (Sangre, Bandera, Cruz),” Los Macuanos have reached an even more elevated level of criticism that could be compared to Sergei Eisenstein’s masterpiece ¡Que Viva México!, it is that honest, inspiring, and true. “Sangre, bandera, cruz” is the mantra of a somber panorama colored in red, one that summarizes a whole population’s suffering through daily exposure to corruption, oppression, bloodshed, and shameless social control through manipulated realities via television networks (yeah, mainly Televisa). “Pero a pesar de todo, México está de pie,” Calderón claimed in a speech earlier in March. The song takes this quote as a naive announcement as you’re losing yourself to its haunted scheme. Then in silence questions, “¿Está de pie?” I don’t think we ever were. Los Macuanos, in a mourning, subtle way make it somehow clear, yet leave a small trace of light behind all this darkness for a country’s wounded spirit.