I've mentioned before that the police in Mexico carry automatic weapons - machine guns - and while it was shocking at first, now it's just one more thing in the background as I go about my day. They drive by piled in the back of pickup trucks, they patrol the sidewalks on foot, sometimes they're even at the beach. But what worries me are the ones that travel by car.
They have police cars but they aren't the luxury cruisers like you see in the US. Here they look just like the cabs, usually an old Toyota Corolla type model except there's the flashing light on top. My point is they don't have a lot of legroom and there's almost always four or five cops crammed inside. Who knows what they'd do if they had too arrest someone. I guess they'd have to call for a pickup truck. Ha! Because they pick up people. Right, right, right.
Now imagine you're driving alongside one of these police cars, or better yet, you're walking past one stopped at a light. You take a peek because it's the police and who doesn't take a peek? Bodies are jammed shoulder to shoulder, the window down to provide some relief from the stifling air inside, and you notice a small metal cylinder poking out through the window.
Hmm. I wonder what that is?
You take a closer, yet still discreet, look and realize it's the tip of a machine gun. Sticking out the window. At YOU!
Most police officers point their weapon barrels up in the air, but there are quite a few who rest their weapons on their laps and let the tips rest on the window ledge. RIGHT OUT THE WINDOW AND AT THE INNOCENT PEOPLE OUTSIDE.
I was reminded of this last night on our way to Ixtapa. We were behind one of these police cars and I watched horrified as the passengers bounced along, their weapons waving every which way out the window. I'm amazed no one's been killed.
Can someone please explain the logic of this to me? I get that if the gun goes off they'd rather not shoot themselves, but aren't they supposed to be protecting us?
(I also noted that someone was tailgating the police, then passed on the right, on a curvy mountain road. Only in Mexico...)