Jan 20, 2007, 8:11 PM
Post #11 of 41
Re: [esperanza] A Death on the Carretera
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I agree with Ed.
esperanza, have you lost all touch with your Baja roots? Just a couple of month's ago, there was a big march against crime which was covered extensively in the press. Here's one article that, I think, supports my belief that the "average" Mexican is fed up and ain't gonna take it any more:
Anti-crime marchers take to Baja cities' streets
Tijuana is latest stop on journey to MexicaliBy Anna Cearley
UNION-TRIBUNE STAFF WRITER
October 30, 2006
LAURA EMBRY / Union-TribunePeople carried signs and white balloons at the bullring in Tijuana yesterday to protest kidnappings, killings and other crimes plaguing Baja California.TIJUANA – A march through Baja California to bring attention to the region's crime problems picked up steam in Tijuana yesterday when thousands of people joined the walk.
Wearing white T-shirts and holding white balloons, the group cut a long swath through the border city's streets, stopping in front of mostly empty government buildings to hold brief rallies.
Celia Buenrostro, 63, strapped her feet into good walking shoes for the march. Buenrostro said she has never been the victim of a violent crime but has known four people who have been kidnapped.
“It hurts me to know our city is in the hands of the criminals,” she said. “I've always lived in the downtown area, and now I'm afraid. The son of a friend was kidnapped, and they paid the ransom, but he ended up being sent back dead, wrapped in a blanket.”
The 16-day march, organized by members of Baja California's citizens advisory committee on public security issues, started in the Valley of San Quintin, about five hours south of the U.S.-Mexico border. It will conclude Nov. 4 in the state capitol of Mexicali.
Mexican media covering the march estimated between 10 and 50 people showed up at stops through rural communities leading up to Tijuana. Those numbers quickly grew yesterday in Tijuana, a city of about 1.4 million. Police estimated there were at least 2,000 marchers; organizers said up to 9,000 joined in.
The march's emphasis wasn't on drug-related violence, but that is what has plagued Tijuana recently. September has been the city's most violent month this year. Many believe a significant number of the 44 killings were drug-related because they come on the heels of the arrest of suspected kingpin Francisco Javier Arellano Felix. In recent years, the region also has seen an upswing in kidnappings, some of which have been committed by members of drug groups.
Yesterday's event was billed as a chance to reflect on the victims of crime, and it became cathartic as participants shared their experiences with others.
Waving SOS signs, the crowd cheered as speaker Sara Elena Ruiz Meza was introduced. Ruiz's 15-year-old daughter died after she was pushed from a car with her hands bound and struck by oncoming traffic in Tijuana. Ruiz and her family have asserted that state investigators didn't act fast enough last year to arrest a leading suspect. The crime remains unsolved.
“Here in Baja California, all the good people reject the violence that the authorities have allowed to grow,” said Ruiz, dressed in a flowing white peasant-style dress.
She ended her speech by recognizing that some police are honest and some have been gunned down.
Relatives of Teresa Sanchez Gonzalez, 50, a psychologist strangled in her office three years ago, carried a banner that included her photo. The killer was sentenced to up to 42 years in prison, they said, but they were marching in solidarity with other victims whose crimes haven't been solved.
“There are thousands of people who are affected by crime, and we feel very sad for them because so many people are killed and kidnapped,” said Alma Sanchez, 69, a sister of Teresa Sanchez Gonzalez. She said her sister had been killed by someone in desperate search of money for drugs.
Cristina Hodoyan stood quietly on the sidelines. She is the mother of Alejandro and Alfredo Hodoyan, who were linked by U.S. authorities to the region's main drug cartel. Alfredo was imprisoned, and Alejandro remains missing after being snatched from Tijuana's streets nine years ago.
Her sons' story has come to symbolize the infiltration of the region's most powerful drug group, the Arellanos, into Tijuana's upper-middle-class society, and the tragedy of wasted human potential.
“It's very complicated, all of this,” Cristina Hodoyan said.
March organizers said the only public figure they recognized during the first four stops of the march through Tijuana was Luis Javier Algorri Franco, the city's secretary of public security.
Algorri held his young daughter's hand as they dropped by one short segment of the march. He peered at a transparent coffin displayed at each of the stops that included newspaper clippings about crimes and items associated with violent crimes, such as a knife and a ski mask.
Algorri said the march could have a positive outcome if “the citizens wake up and participate actively” in denouncing crime. But handmade signs held by some marchers reflected a lack of confidence in police. “Corrupt Police Go to Jail,” one said.
As Algorri left the crowd, the other marchers continued on. They left in their wake a trail of white balloons that had escaped their grasp and drifted gracefully into the air.