Ever since the panic at the Tuesday Carnaval parade I have been thinking about the illegal drug business and how I feel about my personal security and our home in Mazatlán.
Those of you that keep up on the Mazatlán news will know that there has been a very real change around here recently. A person was shot at point blank in broad daylight a few weeks ago. Not way off in a remote colonia, either. It was on Rafael Buelna just East of Valentino’s. The Mega supermarket is a block away. Paul and I were at the intersection and saw the police scream by – and of course the thing that we thought about was “what if our errands had us turning right on Buelna instead of continuing straight?” This was a targeted hit and no bystanders were injured. The sicarios responsible were not apprehended.
A couple of weeks ago was the biggie. Sicarios brought a handcuffed informant to a local nightclub, as he had said he could identify someone they wanted. They entered, shot the people they’d been looking for, the informant, and a waiter, taxi driver, and a security guard. All in all, six people were killed. The sicarios responsible were not apprehended.
Other things happen here and there around town. Six months or so ago sicarios broke into the Chevy dealership and stole a bunch of new cars. They brought gasoline and drivers. The cars have shown up here and there, left behind after criminal activity. Cars get hijacked on the highways occasionally, especially new model SUV’s. Of course, the people responsible are not apprehended.
I don’t want to go into too much detail about these crimes, and I didn’t even take the time to look up the actual dates that they occurred. But there is no way that you can live here in the city and not be aware that there is criminal activity here.
I still believe that if you don’t hang out with people involved in the drug trade, visit night clubs, or walk or drive in unfamiliar places late at night that you are just as safe as you always have been. The panic at the parade, though, illustrates just how jumpy people are, and how quick they are to assume that the worst might come their way.
Last Friday there was a peace march to unite people after the panic at the parade, and to send a message that Mazatlecos love their city and abhor violence. I wish I could have marched with them, but the pictures included with this post tell the story.
I love my home here. I love the city and the people. I am not afraid. So now you know.
By the way, the paper said there is a proposal to run the parade again during Semana Santa. I think that’s a great idea.