Friday, May 22, 2009
The Changing, Dangerous Scene In Mexico
I used to go to Mexico all the time, and not just to border towns.
Along with my ex-wife, who is of Mexican heritage, I would travel into the interior, where we would enjoy the culture by living with relatives - giving us an insight we wouldn't have experienced by just going to tourist areas and hanging out with fellow norteamericanos.
My parents, too, were winter Texans, living near McAllen on the Mexican border. So when I'd visit them, we'd just walk across the bridge into Reynosa and enjoy the town, the culture, and the people. And, as a reporter, I've traveled to Mexico City on assignment.
I have such fond memories of Mexico. But I fear, that if things continue the way they are today, they will remain just that - memories. Because today I have no desire to travel to Mexico, for business or for pleasure.
The drug wars there, frankly, give cause for pause. The deaths of four young people traveling from California to Mexico recently underscores how dangerous it is to go there now. And today comes word of a prison escape. A prison escape that, if not aided and abetted by guards, was certainly not stopped by them.
The guards stood by as more than 50 prisoners walked out. That's right - they just stood by. Of course, the fact that those who broke them out were armed and dressed as police officers may have contributed to their reticence to take action.
Now, these were not just your ordinary run-of-the-mill petty criminals. Those who escaped include some of the most dangerous men behind bars in Mexico.
So, forgive me if my love affair with Mexico is tarnished by all this. But at least, like with all love affairs that come to an end, I have my memories.