The story of drug violence goes beyond killings. It’s also a story of displacement, of people being forced to leave their neighborhood, their city, and their country. That’s the case in Ciudad Juarez. The sad part is that rarely do people return home, even after the situation back home returns to a sense of normalcy. That’s been the case during the Mexican Revolution, peso crisis and now drug violence. To what extend have U.S. border communities from McAllen, Laredo, El Paso, Tucson and San Diego benefited over the years. We’re talking about Mexico’s best minds, people with deep pockets, those who generate jobs. The drug violence continues and so does the exodus.
Mexico City is known for a lot of things: crowded, smoggy, wonderful night life and now gay marriage. One of the world’s largest cities, some say a macho, conservative, albeit liberal in political thinking, metroplex just made gay marriage legal. I recently visited an old friend from Dallas to get his thoughts on this historic breakthrough. Jesus Chairez is someone I’ve known for many years, someone I have admired and someone I’m pissed off at: He has the coolest life. He lives in Colonia Maria de La Ribera and pays incredibly cheap rent. It’s a palace, lives better than many people I know back in Highland Park. Anyways, I’m showing my jealousy again. Here are Jesus’ thoughts and views.
I’ve worked on many stories related to drug violence. Few have moved me like this one. It’s been weeks, more than a month after the tragedy, but I still find myself wondering about the senseless killings, the impact on the families, the city and the nation. Yet, as time goes by, my initial feeling that this massacre would be a turning point in Mexico, fades. I’m coming to the conclusion that Juarez has yet to hit rock bottom. We’re a long ways from the marches that began in Juarez in the 1980s and changed a nation with the eventual political transformation. But then again, protesters were trying to kick the Institutional Revolutionary Party, or PRI, out power. That pales in comparison to kicking the drug traffickers out of power, men and women armed with Ak-47s, grenades and bazookas. How can you rise up against them when in this conflict there’s no black, or white, good guys versus bad guys. This, after all, is a conflict within the government itself. One thing is clear: where Juarez goes, so goes the nation. Let me refresh your memory:
All eyes are on the Tamaulipas-Nuevo Leon area as a long simmering conflict between the Gulf cartel and their former enforcers, The Zetas, has turned into a full blown battle. Helping the Gulf cartel, say U.S. and Mexican intelligence officials, is La Familia from Michoacan and a mixture of the Sinaloa-Milenio cartels. Their aim is to finish off the Zetas, who officials say, have become too powerful and greedy. But defeating them will be easier said than done. What’s clear is that the new battle may set the stage for the ongoing drug war. Check this out:
Turns out the U.S. and Mexico have no plans – as of yet – to mount joint operations, at least officially. But if you talk to law enforcement officials on both sides of the border an informal, cordial agreement exists between agents. No one likes to publicize the arrangement cause folks in Mexico City may have their nationalistic feelings hurt. Check this story out:
Juarez was quiet today. That’s huge news.
The U.S. State Department is offering rewards for information on the Zetas…
See alert here
In the weeks to come I will share my views on Mexico’s challenges as it struggles to redefine itself, much like me. We’re both coming of age.