Saturday, April 26, 2008

Speaking of Riot Gear

Turkey's comment in yesterday's post reminded me of something I keep meaning to mention: it's common here to see policemen armed with machine guns. My first several months in Mexico they made me very nervous. I was sure I'd get accidentally shot and heaven forbid I actually pass one on the sidewalk; I didn't know which way to divert my eyes.

Now I'm used to it. I know their very visible presence keeps crime away from my doorstep, and I pay them little attention when I'm in town. Here is Zihua we have local police, state police, federal police (those infamous federalies), and a special group called the tourist police. Tourism is big business here and the city wants to make sure nothing jeopardizes that income.

In the past couple weeks I've noticed a marked increase in the number of federalies patrolling the streets. They drive around in their gray or black trucks, the backs filled with helmeted men carrying automatic weapons. I was on the phone with a girlfriend a few days ago and while we talked she said a truck rolled by her house. She lives in a nice area so the fact that they're even patrolling in her neighborhood made me think something's up.

I haven't heard anything particular about an increase in crime, but we are part of Mexico's drug corridor so there could be something going on that we don't know about. I plan to stick to the touristy areas as much as possible to avoid any wrong place at the wrong time scenarios.

Today that means the beach!


spyscribbler said...

Wow, that would make me nervous! The beach sounds like a fabulous escape to me, though!

Be safe!

colbymarshall said...

Heck yeah for the beach...soak up some sun for me...I need some tan!