On more than one occasion it’s caused me to utter, “I’d rather vacation in Afghanistan than Mexico,” to my co-workers in the newsroom.
One of my closest friends growing up visited Mexico several years ago. He and his brother were riding a bus when a couple of people pulled out there guns and told everyone to put their valuables in a bag. At gun point, what else could you do? The bandits got away. The bus driver was likely in on the caper.
A few months ago, over a dozen people, mostly kids between 13 and 19 were gunned down in a home while they were celebrating at a soccer party. 14 dead, 14 seriously wounded.
Year after year tens of thousands of Americans flock to the resorts of Mexico. Whether in Cancun, Acapulco, Mazatlan or other tourist heavy area’s, young people during spring break or couples retreating to white sandy beaches for all inclusive getaways rave about their experiences. I’ve never been to Mexico and certainly have no desire to spend any of my money or time in a country that is so seemingly out of control in its lawlessness.
The government of Mexico has battled the drug cartels and they’re losing the war. Badly. Many decapitated bodies or bodies riddled with bullets have turned up on school grounds or in urban corridors that visitors and locals horrifyingly play witness to.
When innocent people whether they’re Mexican or American are gunned down in front of their young children (see the story of the three U.S. consulate workers, two who were U.S. citizens--were killed in their cars in broad daylight). Some say legalizing the drug trade would kill the value of the “commodity” coming across the border and thus bring an end to the bloody battles with the cartels. Legalizing drugs probably will never happen.
I don’t care if the crimes are committed by the cartels or by independent gang bangers seeking entry into a cartel, the fact that the violence appears so frequently and violently diminishes the beauty of the landscape and culture of the country we call our neighbor.
Mexico has a rich history and beautiful culture reflected in its ancient city’s as well as Mexico City, which is as close to European richness as any city in North America. There is beauty in Mexico and in its people that, as an average white American, I can only appreciate from afar because the richness of the Mexican culture and its proud people is as threatened as any man, woman or child is who may reside in Ciudad Juarez or other parts of the country.