Wednesday, June 30, 2010

blood in paradise

I despise rumors.

Especially rumors about violent deaths.

But it appears my small fishing village by the sea has lost a bit more of its innocence.

Before I get to the lurid details, let me be clear.  Melaque is not a pristine church town.  I live in a seaside town that attracts tourists -- mainly from Guadalajara.  And where there are vacationers, you will find vice.

Anyone with eyes can find sex, drugs, and some rock and roll on the streets of my village.  Just like the seaside towns in Oregon.

But on Friday, the violent mask of narcoterrorism came home to my town.  Two local young men were "executed" in the afternoon -- with the trademark bullet-riddled bodies capped off by a coup de grâce.  In front of Melaque's huge earthquake-ruined hotel.

Symbolism galore.

The news does not surprise me.  Melaque sits on the border of control between two drug cartels.  And the shooting looks as if it could be a traditional "turf" struggle. 

That is pure speculation on my part.  But two young men are dead.  And the circumstances do not look like the usual crimes of passion.  This is different.

If this story plays out as most tales do in my village, there will be plenty of theories and "facts" that start showing up in local conversations and on message boards.  But they should not be confused with the truth.  Something that most likely will never be known.

I will admit I find it unsettling that people died so close to my house in Melaque.

But more people have died from drug violence just as close to my house in Salem.

I also know that some of the people I have met during my stay in Melaque will not be returning.  I just read another survey of retirees in Mexico.  The retirees who were surveyed said the chief reason they would leave Mexico would be the fear of drug violence drawing near to them.

I guess I will now find out if that is true.

As for me, I will be a bit more cautious.  But I am going to return home to Mexico in November.  By then, this incident will be no more than an echo.


Anonymous said...

I share your philosophy. Be aware, but don't let an incident deter your plans for a fulfilling future. Mary

Chrissy y Keith said...

You are right. It can happen anywhere. Just about a year ago a body of an executed woman was found on the side of the road only a block away from my house. Nothing else was ever mentioned about it again. "Ssshhhh, not in Scottsdale...we cannot say that the drug wars are in Scottsdale, what would the tourist think?"

Tulum Living said...

I was not far from many unfortunate ends when I lived in San Francsico. It is a shame- especially when then flip side of the coin is so wonderful- peaceful and serene.

Leah Flinn said...

I wonder if something like this will ever reach Veracruz. I suppose there's not much that could be done to prevent it anyways.

NWexican said...

As you so eloquently stated, "more people have died from drug violence just as close to my house in Salem." Unfortunately, or fortunately (depending on how jaded you are) odds are pretty slim that you'll get killed if you are not involved in the drug trade north OR south of the border. Just in case though, duck a lot...

Croft said...

We have spent the past three years touring Mexico in our motorhome. It would be a lie to say we are not watching the news closely and considering our options. As was stated above, the violence is restricted to those in the drug trade but, unlike as little as a year ago, there are exceptions to this. Regular tourists and RVers have been hijacked in Mexico. Is this going to continue?

There has always been much drug related violence in the States north of the border. This is likely to increase as the Mexican narcos are forced north and will start conducting their business in the USA.

It always has been a dangerous world and it is likely to get more so everywhere, not just in Mexico. We will be watching the news closely before November! What a shame we have to.

Anonymous said...

Forced North of the border? Oh wait, it's Croft baiting again.


Calypso said...

"Especially rumors about violent deaths."

I know who started those rumors about Jimmy Hoffa anyway?

American Mommy in Mexico said...

So are there any real statistics on random violence hitting someone in USA vs MX?

I agree with your thoughts.

Be prudent. We did not drive through MX this year. I just had a converstaion with local friends who share our concern about motor travel in some parts of MX.

We are cautious and comfortable at the same time ...

Steve Cotton said...

Mary -- Fear has to be one of the greatest stumbling blocks to enjoying the lives we have been given.

Chrissy -- If people did not travel where people had been killed, we would be a rather provincial people.

Tulum Living -- And, of course, it happens almost everywhere. Even in grassy suburbs.

Leah -- I would be surprised if it has not happened already. Big turf fights in your area.

NWexican -- Very good point.

Croft -- It is a shame. But crime existed on both sides of the border before there was a drug trade, and some will survive the legalization of drugs. Being aware is always wise.

Pookie -- Are the hooks bare?

Calypso -- Touche.

AMM -- There are numbers. There always are. But the difference between the collection methods makes an across-the-board comparison difficult. We do know that violent crime in most of Mexico is lower than in most of the United States. I have always felt far safer walking the streets of Melaque than I have walking the streets of Portland.

Jane said...

It is happening everywhere, because poor people sell drugs to survive, and rich people buy drugs (to survive?) and someone is making a lot of money. Several years ago, while my daughter was moving into in what some think is an upscale, trendy, yuppy Mpls. neighborhood, she was stopped by police cordoning off her apt. building--a man had just been shot dead on the sidewalk in front of her security-locked door.