2) Calle 13 on Gun Violence

In “La Bala”, Residente starts off by personifying the bullet, showing the cold, feelingless nature of this object of destruction. He then goes on to philosophise about why there is so much gun violence, and how it could be stopped. One thing he doesn’t mention in depth, however, is how these gruesome confrontations are consequences of the selfish competition, and resulting poverty, of the capitalist economic system.


“No le importa si su destino es violento                  (The bullet doesn’t care if its destination is violent)

Va tranquila, la bala no tiene sentimientos          (It stays calm. It doesn’t have feelings)

Como un secreto que no quieres escuchar            (Like a secret that no-one wants to hear)

La bala va diciéndolo todo sin hablar”                    (It says everything without having to speak)


Luego de su salida no habrá detenida                  (After its exit, nothing will be able to stop it)

Obedece a su patrono solo una vez en su vida”  (It obeys its boss only once in its life)


Hay poco dinero pero hay muchas balas             (There’s little money around, but loads of bullets)

Hay poca comida pero hay muchas balas             (There’s too little food, but loads of bullets)

Hay poca gente buena                                                  (There are too few good people)

Por eso hay muchas balas”                                         (And that’s why there are so many bullets)


“Sería inaccesible el que alguien te mate                (It wouldn’t be accessible for someone to kill you)

Si cada bala costara lo que cuesta un yate           (If each bullet cost the same amount as a yacht!)

Tendrías que ahorrar todo tu salario                       (You’d have to save up your whole salary)

Para ser un mercenario                                                 (To be a mercenary)

Habría que ser millonario”                                           (You’d have to be a millionaire)


“Pero no es así, se mata por montones  (But that’s not the way things are, people kill all the time)

Las balas son igual de baratas que los condones               (Bullets are as cheap as condoms!)

Hay poca educación – hay muchos cartuchos      (There’s little education, but many cartridges)

Cuando se lee poco – se dispara mucho”                                (When people read very little, they shoot a lot!)


“Hay quienes asesinan y no dan la cara                 (Some people murder without showing their face)

El rico da la orden y el pobre la dispara                   (Rich men give the orders, and poor men shoot)

No se necesitan balas para probar un punto       (You don’t need bullets to prove a point)

Es lógico, no se puede hablar con un difunto       (It’s logical – you can’t speak to a dead person!)

El diálogo destruye cualquier situación macabra               (Dialogue can destroy such grim situations)

Antes de usar balas disparo con palabras”           (Before using bullets, I fire with my words!)


La Bala – http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RuVBjhEQkLo


About Ed Sykes

Independent journalist. Co-founder of Phoenix Media Co-operative. Author of Rojava: An Alternative. Ex-Canary editor and writer (2015-2020). Aka 'Oso Sabio' - see @ososabiouk on Twitter.
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2 Responses to 2) Calle 13 on Gun Violence

  1. Pingback: Como matar a alguien sin que te pillen "Mejor Consejo"

  2. Pingback: Calle 13: The Ayotzinapa Case Is a Disgrace | Resistance Is Fertile

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