Monday, September 1, 2008

Scary Update

Back in May I posted about a raid in a town half an hour south of here, Petatlan, that ended with many people killed and one young woman kidnapped. Things have been pretty quiet since then, but we have avoided going to that town.

Yesterday at work Ibis discovered that the man whose daughter was taken (Man #1) finally took out his revenge. He sent men to kill the other man's (Man #2) wife and daughters. The wife's sister was also in the house so she was killed, too.

This morning as we walked into town the "radio cars" as I call them (vehicles with loudspeakers attached to the roof, blaring the latest news) were excited as always, but a couple words stuck out: cabeza (head), casa (house), and Petatlan. Ibis raised his hand to stop the questions about to burst out of me and listened as the car approached. He flagged the driver and held out five pesos for a newspaper.

Apparently the best friend of Man #1 disappeared yesterday and no one could find him. This morning his HEAD was found on the front step of Man #1's house.

The circle of violence continues. Stupid me looked at the paper and saw the head, close up.

Ibis was also told that Saturday afternoon a group of men attacked a truckload of federalies, killing several of them. This happened on the SAME road we were driving on, only a couple hours earlier. I guess the gunfight lasted for almost half an hour - or maybe just the spectacle - but there were helicopters and everything.

We passed a couple places where people were collecting money to pay the ransom for a kidnapped loved one, but no signs of a gun battle.

I think it's a good thing I'm going home for a couple weeks.

18 comments:

Janna Qualman said...

You are kidding me?! They posted the picture of the... um... cabeza? (Sounds less obvious in Spanish.) I'm really stunned at that, but I guess Mexican media handles things differently. Wow. I hope precautions are taken and justice is served.

Melanie Avila said...

It's a rare day that there's not a dead body on the front page, blood and everything. I've told Ibis not to bring the paper home because I don't want that in my home.

spyscribbler said...

I don't blame you, about the paper. There's just some things I don't want in my home, either.

That is freaky, Melanie. It's like a war that keeps escalating. And how is it going to stop? When everyone is dead, I guess. That's horrid.

Ibis better be safe while you're gone! When are you leaving, again?

Melanie Avila said...

Spy, it's awful because they don't just kill each other, that would be too easy. Instead they kill their friends and family.

While we were walking we passed a couple police officers and Ibis said we should be careful how close we walk to them. They're targets here and we don't need to be caught in the crossfire.

I leave Wednesday afternoon!

Robin said...

I'm glad you're coming back to the states! Is it just a visit? If you're anywhere near Philly I hereby invite you out!
OK - I know this is weird, and my mind is totally twisted - but if you're going to go to the effort to kill someone, isn't it more honest to go hog wild and cut off their heads? It's a sign of hate, and you'll probably get caught, so why not let go and just cut off their heads? Personally, I think it was a good choice. If you're going to kill someone, that is....

Melanie Avila said...

Robin, I appreciate your insight. :) We were watching Supermax on one of the Discovery/History channels last night and they interviewed a man who killed and dismembered a "rival." He described it all very calmly, like it was the rational thing to do.

I'm going home for ten days, nothing permanent. The furthest east I'll get is Detroit so I'll wave over Ohio at you. :D Or, over Spy, I suppose, lol.

ac said...

"it's awful because they don't just kill each other, that would be too easy. Instead they kill their friends and family."

Killing friends and family members is cowardly. Because in doing so, the criminals ensure they are not targets for murder. They put those they "love" in harms way.

aaroncrocco said...

I am shocked and amazed at the amount of violence you're encountering. I don't know what the area is like where you live, but I would only imagine that you have a desire to get out of there and move to place that seems safer.

While I'm relieved you guys are okay, I would think people constantly worry that they may become a random victim of a crime.

Turkey Lurkey said...

I am pretty sure you can find lunatics in every country. This is why I try to stay away from the news. I like to try and keep a more positive outlook on my fellow humans and not focus on the crazy few. :) I hope you stay safe, and have a wonderful trip back in the US!

WendyCinNYC said...

Oy, what a brutal world in which we live.

Stay safe.

Melanie Avila said...

AC, I often wonder how the friends and family feel. Do they live in fear knowing they're a target? Do they have bodyguards? It must be awful.

Melanie Avila said...

Aaron, our town is quiet idyllic. You don't SEE the violence and there are police everywhere. These things happen outside of town. Aside from this vacation, I stick close to home and really only go where the tourists are.

Melanie Avila said...

Thanks Turkey. :)

Robin said...

(This is the other Robin) If I were you, I would grab Ibis by the nape of the neck and drag his butt out of that place to a safer place where you could at least feel safe going to the mall or just a walk around the block.

Have a wonderful trip and strongly consider not returning and make Ibis come to you.

Melanie Avila said...

Robin (#2), that's funny. We don't have a mall. :) This is a small town. Ibis guesses maybe 200,000 people, but I think that's a little high.

This really is a safe place. We chose it because there's a large police presence and they take tourism very seriously. Anyone who messes with tourists is punished and since I look like a tourist, I'm relatively safe.

That being said, I NEVER go out alone after dark - not even driving. My girlfriend walks all over the place by herself and I know another woman (Canadian) who's been attacked a couple times, but they aren't cautious. I spend most of my time behind a locked metal/barred door. I'm secure in my cage. ;)

Robin said...

Yeah, but that would be a problem for me. I'd feel trapped, much like animals in a zoo must feel. Sometimes we go to bed at night and leave the front door standing wide open. Heck, sometimes my wife will even sleep all night on the front porch in the hammock.

I live in a small town (pop <2,000). You live in a large town comparitively speaking. Crime rates are always larger in a bigger towns, but still, CUT OFF HEADS ON THE FRONT PAGE OF THE PAPER!!!!! Wow! I'd have to make a bee line out of that place.

But, if you're happy there then that's what matters, just please stay safe.

Melanie Avila said...

Robin, I hear you. My parents live in a small town (where I was raised) and they don't lock the front door.

This is a different country. Everyone publishes the violence, it's not just here. They do the same all over the world, it's really just the US that is more sheltered in terms of what the public sees.

Yes, there's more violence here - in Mexico - but this pocket of the country is mild compared to Mexico City and Juarez.

Melanie Avila said...

Ibis is correcting me. He says it IS violent here, but they don't target tourists because the US & FBI would come in and investigate. The violence is primarily targeted against drug dealers and very rich people, both of which we are not.