Oct 31, 2003, 12:06 AM
Post #12 of 27
As for the people with the Bassett, they should probably do what I am doing. I mean, this is what people have told me I should do.
Kidnappers listen to the local radio station, which announces "lost" dogs on Monday mornings. The cost of running a message is 50 pesos per day. I ran one last Monday but got no calls. I was told this is because I offered only a "substantial reward." The kidnappers are listening for a definite peso figure. That is what I'm running this coming Monday. We shall see what happens.
Incidentally, this also holds true for items that have been lost or stolen. Except wallets or purses containing money, of course. Banditos can get more money for that stereo they lifted from the person they lifted it from than they can get fencing it to a reseller in Queretaro.
Speaking of correo comidas or correo breakfasts, that restaurant on the corner just down from the centro bus terminal on Insurgentes, I believe it was called el Colon, used to have a good breafast for 250 pesos, including coffee and juice. It got a good crowd every morning, a mix of resident gringos, Mexican locals, and some tourists.Yesterday I went past it and the place was gutted and construction people were working in there. Does anyone know if this is going to become yet another tourist shop, or are the restaurant people expanding to meet the demand?
To answer your question about the homicide rates, Colombia has the highest in the world, by a very large margin. Next, I believe, is Venezuela, followed by South Africa and Jamaica. Then Mexico. I believe it would be the big cities, primarily Mexico City, that would account for most of the murders in this country, plus the border towns, and the drug trade would have a lot to do with it. Just the 200+ unsolved murders of women in Juarez over the past couple of years would raise Mexico's overall standing by quite a bit. (And I am betting that if the murders are ever discovered, at least one of them is going to be a policeman.)
One thing that disturbs me about SMA, however, is learning that many youths are coming into this town on the weekend from as far away as Mexico City. Why? Because the town has a terrific bar scene. Not only can they get sloshed in a nice tourist town, but they increasingly have good access to drugs. Three days ago I saw two young American girls completing a deal with a local Mexican youth in broad daylight near the Biblioteca. I don't know what was exchanged, but I'm betting it wasn't breath mints. To be blunt, I think the War on Drugs should be declared a failure and abandoned because all it is doing is forcing dealers and users into ever more criminal activity. Illicit drug dealing is a harbinger of worse things to come.
I have also been told that SMA is a relatively recent discovery for the out-of-town youths. They found out about all the bars here on their way to attending the Cervantino in Guanajuato over the past few years. We know what the Cervantino has become. Can we expect something of the same for SMA?
I am not personally all that worried about my neighborhood being an infamous home for SMA's worst gangs. I think they're all pretty scared of me and my remaining big, black dog. Anyway, the house here is about the best I can afford. And as I said before, when these guys want to do their thing, it's more likely they would do it in a neighborhood more densely populated by wealthier Mexicans and gringos. The worst crime here in the past few months, aside from the home invasion by a bunch from Queretero, was the invasion of that health club down on Sterling Dickenson. The bandits had to know that place was patronized by people who had the money needed to patronize it. And, judging by the massive police response outside my windows following that stick-up, the gang responsible was evidently from my neighborhood.
You are correct about the gangsters kicked out of L.A. being disease carriers down here. I have been told tagging did not exist until it was brought down here. And I talked to an expat on the bus one day who had been a social worker who worked with prisoners in the States. He said he recently bumped into one of his former charges from California down here.
But, frankly, I look at the kids who collect across the street from me, and all I can think is "these idiots will never make it, even as gangsters." They just seem like a bunch of ordinary teen-aged doofuses. So I'm not really all that worried. I just see a potential for greater crime on the part of their older brothers.
However, you are no doubt correct. For the present, the situation here is much better than it was in the L.A. Basin.