Friday, November 14, 2008

Denying the Safety Issues in Mexico

If you want to see a very interesting dynamic that takes place whenever one American expat confronts another expat or confronts a group of American expats about the crime in Mexico, try suggesting that it is dangerous in Mexico.

From online forums to dinner table talk, you will discover, in general, that those Americans who live in Mexico, especially those who have retired here, will not tolerate a negative thought about Mexico. They live according to a well-defined safety illusion about Mexico—A Concept and not the Reality—and in their gushing idealism, all the while rhapsodizing about how wonderful it all is, will hate you to the grave for suggesting otherwise.

Whenever you confront them with the facts, something you heard on the Spanish-only news or read in the Spanish-only newspaper, they stammer and stagger about as though their airways are obstructed and then, knowing they can't deny your objective findings, they will say something like:

"Of course, one would have to be very unlucky to get caught in middle of any of this violence. On any given day in New York, Washington, Atlanta, or other large city, there is the possibility of shootings, and other violence." (Blog Comments)

I hear this so often. No American Expat seems to want to admit that the violence in Mexico not only exceeds the United States in viciousness but they also go to great lengths, and predictably so, to make some kind of bizarre comparison to crime in America in a vain attempt to downplay and soften Mexico's woes. One guy I know, a fruity-tooty American lawyer I am convinced is on the lam from America, said he felt perfectly safe in Guanajuato compared to a town in America of the same size. I find this all unfathomable.

It has to be that Americans do not read the news, can't read the news, or refuse to read the Mexican news lest it shake them to their cores because of their decision to move to Mexico. I mean, my God, that has to be it. Because no thinking person, no one with the slightest semblance of rational thinking would make such hideously ignorant comparisons.

I was at a dinner in early October just after Michoacan's Independence Day Celebration in September 2008. This was the event in which members of a Cartel, which one I don't think was ever conclusively determined, threw shrapnel grenades into the midnight cheering crowd as the governor read "El Grito." This killed many and wounded even more. I brought this up and whether Guanajuato's Cervantino Festival would suffer a similar fate. One man sought to rebuke my protestations by telling me I was being an alarmist and that he was cool as a cucumber with the whole affair. Since he wasn't involved in the Narco-Drug Trade, he had not a thing to worry about.

Ok, here's why I go off at dealing with my fellow American Expats when comes to being "In" or "Out" of the loop: They really do not know what end of the stick is up or down. Such a bubbled existence is the life of the typical (not all, of course) American expat who lives in their perceived Shangri-La here that they actually think this rising crime is limited to drugs. What world are they living in?

In the Associated Press, November 2008 Yahoo News, the story makes this point:

"Corruption is widespread, reaching as high as the federal Attorney General's office, and the drug gangs often control more than the drug trade, extorting money from business leaders and even teachers."

The Narco-Trafficantes or Narco-Terroristas are more than drug runners. They are The Mexican Mob or Mafia. They are the extortionists that exact protection money from the vendors in Embajadoras, Mercado Hidalgo, and Dolores Hidalgo. They are the same people. And, they are not above attacking innocent children.

"On Wednesday, an anonymous banner appeared at the door of a public Ciudad Juarez kindergarten, threatening to attack the school's children if the teachers don't hand over their Christmas bonuses. Classes were immediately suspended as police decided what security measures to take."

So, just when, Mr. and Ms. American Expatriate sitting so high and mighty, warm and secure in your knowledge that you are not going to be an Alarmist, will it be time to sound the alarm?

And, just when, I would ask Mr. and Ms. American Expat, have you heard such a plethora of beheadings happening within America's organized crime and promising to attack kindergarten children if the teachers don't ante up their Christmas bonuses?

Story Source:
Crime reporter killed in Mexican border city;
Yahoo News
Associated Press


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