Wednesday, July 29, 2009

How fish feel around sharks

So I’m sitting here at my desk and the HR Manager comes in my office with a serious look on his face.

I don’t know about you but I’ve always considered HR people sorta like owning an exotic pet like a lion or maybe a Komodo Dragon or something. Nice to chat with and generally pleasant but in the back of your mind you always wonder if they are going to bite you one day.

It’s never a good thing to have the HR manager come to your office looking serious. He comes in and sits down and tells me he’s got something to tell me so I glance around the office to see if I want to take anything with me.

He proceeds to tell me that my boss’s brother has been killed during the weekend. It was a kidnapping gone wrong and the “sequestadores” as they are known killed him. The brother was a “yonkero” or junkman. This title refers to people that own auto junkyards or scrap metal yards and they are high on list of targets for the kidnappers in Mexico as they usually have lots of money and plenty of cash on hand.

I feel a nervous chill come over me. The sort of reality slap you get when your wife leaves you or you get busted by the police when you are a teenager. I realize that I’ve seen far too much of this. This is the second person related to someone in our plant to be killed (earlier it was the nurse’s husband, who was sitting outside a friend’s house drinking beer when a group of hit men showed up for the owner of the house and shot everyone outside). My brother in law tripped over a body in the dark while walking to work a few months back and I’ve personally seen five different shootings. A supervisor at one of the other plants was gunned down (he was apparently involved in the drug business) and a car chase ended in one of the other plant parking lots with gunmen shooting two people in front of everyone. The gruesome bloody Nissan Murano just sat there with the wipers on and blood oozing down the door.

Since the local police have their dirty little hands full with the drug war (and trying not to get shot themselves) gangs of bank robbers and kidnappers have set up shop in Juárez with impunity. The cops never catch anyone (that would require actually looking for them) nor is there ever any justice. Oddly, this activity increased dramatically since the PJF and the Mexican army came to town under the guise of getting things back under control. Makes me wonder.

After a while you start to get immune to this stuff, it just becomes numbers on the nightly news (10 today, over 1,100 year to date). You get sort of this sense like you are a wildebeast in a herd and when someone else gets picked off by lions you just keep running. When it happens to someone you know, it quickly comes back to you that Mexico is a very dangerous place to be.

I would advise all of you to stay away from here unless you can’t avoid it like me.

1 comment:

Jackhammer said...

Come home, Leroy. It's time to come back home...