Friday, August 8, 2008

The Most Hated Gringo in the World Report – 15

Crime Attacks in Guanajuato

I have written a few articles on the issue of crime in Guanajuato. For my trouble, these stories have helped earn me The Most Hated Gringo in the World title. You would have thought that these articles would have been met with gratitude for the heads up on alerting the Gringos to the possibility of being attacked on the streets. But, oh no. I've been labeled a liar.

When I told the story of my wife being sexually attacked on the street, in broad daylight, not only did the Gringolandians of Guanajuato marginalize the horrid experience my wife and I went through, but they also actually said I made it up.

The most amazing thing to me is that the Fakepats, American tourists, and even some Expats will come to Guanajuato, and in light of the articles I've written, will pronounce the city the safest place they've ever seen. They say things like, "I feel perfectly safe here," then proceed to do things like they would never in a thousand years try in the States.

Young co-eds, graduate students, and elderly women will do the unthinkable and walk back to their houses in the night alone without a thought in their heads that perhaps this is not a very wise thing to do.

I am at a total loss to explain it.

My wife was walking back from the store in daylight when she was attacked.

However, Americans come to Mexico and for reasons that only the Divine must know, they will walk around the city in the night as though they were in a sinless Heaven.

I don't get it.

I was just talking with a young woman who told me that sometimes she just feels like walking back to her host family's home after dark after some event in the late evening.

In that same street where she's staying, a friend of ours has a coffee shop. At ten at night, he was locking up the store when a gang approached him. He was consequently robbed of the day's receipts and stabbed. He lived.

Two American college girls recently tried walking to their hostel in the wee hours of the morning when they were attacked and robbed.

A personal friend of ours was walking home when she was set upon by robbers with guns. The friend with whom she was walking was uninjured but the robbers thought it appropriate to beat up on our friend. She is an elderly woman and was injured.

Why do the Americans come to Guanajuato, or really anywhere, and suddenly all caution is thrown to the wind? Why do they regard Mexico as a place where they will never be hurt? Why do they engage in careless behaviors they would never think to do in the USA or anywhere else?

It is insane.

But, it isn't limited to Americans. I believe their presence will help to draw in a degree of crime never before seen in this town, but this is just my opinion.

A dentist in a fairly nice barrio was attacked along with his receptionist. The receptionist fought back and almost had her fingers bitten off for her efforts. Her assailants were intent on rape. She fought and won but not without damage. A week later, her boss, the dentist, was coming into work when he was set upon. He got the crap beaten out of him in broad daylight and was robbed to boot.

The lesson?

You've got to use the same precautions that you would in any big American city. Don't do stupid things. And, as much as it may pain you to believe this, you are a target if you are an American.

That's real life here.

Do not miss the point. What I am not talking about is that this sort of crime can happen anywhere.

What I am talking about is about a targeting of the members of a sub-culture: Gringos. The myth running rampant among lower-class Mexicans is that Americans are all, without exception, filthy rich. If you see one walking the street, especially the retiree-aged one, they are not only an easy knockoff but you are also going to get fistful of money.

While the rich Mexican is certainly targeted and attacked, now there is a new variable added to the mix: Gringos. And, amazingly, Gringos will still go strolling along late at night.

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