Thursday, April 30, 2009

Swine flu steals narcos thunder

Well today while everyone was distracted by the possibility of an unsavory, snotty death the cartels of Juarez decided to come out of hiding.

I stopped off at S-Mart for some beer to drink in the long customs line (it's hot now and most of us daily crossers drink to pass the time in line in the summer). As I drove down Plutarco Elias Calles, one of the major arteries in the city I suddenly came to what appeared to be a roadblock by the police and the Mexican army. I quickly stashed my beer and drove forward to find the road blocked off because one of the cartels decided to shoot up a woman in the middle of the street as she was driving.

Plutarco Elias Calles, a major four lane one way street blocked by police

I've talked to alot of Juarenses and they all tell me the same thing - they are more afraid of "influenza porcina" than the narcos. I guess after so many years of shootings in the street, you get used to it. Seven people succumbed to "acute lead poisoning" today. No one died of the flu or for that matter was even diagnosed with it. Even the people who beg and sell useless crap on the bridge were wearing masks.

"Un Peso Jefe?"


Rick said...

This is typical. Instinct teaches you to be blase about dangers you cannot avoid, but paranoid about new potential threats.

Automobile accidents kill about 40,000 people per year in the US and are one of the largest killers of young people, but nobody thinks twice about driving.

How often to the Cartels hit innocent bystanders or kill the wrong target?

fiat128 said...

To answer your question, they shoot reasonably straight. What does happen quite freqently is that small children that are in the cars with the targets are killed. About a week ago, a family of 6 were attacked (the decscription usually given in the news is "acabrillon una camionetta", or "sprayed the truck with bullets"). The couple and three of their children were killed, two survived.

This was not random, certainly there was a reason for shooting them but still the "sicarios" (hitmen) don't concern themselves with innocent people who are with the target. Bystanders do get hit but rarely.