Latin in the Media…Again

Global worry: Tucson attack augur more violent US?

BOGOTA, Colombia – The assassination attempt on a U.S. congresswoman seems tragically familiar to people in countries where political violence has been routine, and many expressed concern Monday that America’s increasingly polarized politics will lead to more bloodshed.

Politicians, intellectuals and columnists — including people personally scarred by political violence — said it matters little that evidence so far indicates the accused gunman, a 22-year-old social outcast, was mentally disturbed and acted alone. They see him as moved to action by a climate of heated rhetoric.

Zeev Sternhell, a prominent Israeli academic and peace activist, called the shooter’s mental state immaterial. “The argument that someone is not entirely sane does not absolve those whose incitement created the atmosphere for someone less stable to pull the trigger,” he told The Associated Press.

Saturday’s rampage, which critically wounded Rep. Gabrielle Giffords and claimed six lives, “indicates just how dangerous it has become to practice politics — true politics that effects change” in the United States generally and in Arizona in particular, said Colombian columnist Maria Jimena Duzan.

“It’s sort of a great alarm bell for understanding what’s happening in a society where politics is increasingly being displaced by violence,” said Duzan, whose reporter sister Sylvia was a victim of a political assassination in 1990. “It’s what happened to us (in Colombia). And it needs to be impeded.”

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