Reporting on the Mexican Cartel Drug War

Edelmiro's Last Request: Can you Play Imagine, By John Lennon?

Saturday, August 21, 2010 |

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Last Sunday, the mayor of Santiago, Edelmiro Cavazos Leal, while leading festivities for World Youth Day, made a special request. Within hours of this request, he was kidnapped, and later executed.

According to Joseph Silver, a correspondent for Millennium, that evening, the 38 year old mayor, despite losing his close personal friend and bodyguard in a questionable auto accident two days prior, was in good spirits. He was in the town he loved, with the people he cherished.

Accompanied by only one security guard, the mayor spent over three hours at that public event, surrounded by hundreds young people, with whom he discussed and recognized their unity and relief efforts after Hurricane Alex.

During these hours he laughed, ran, joked, shared ice cream, and sang. At one point, he walked to the stage and made his request: Can you play Imagine, by John Lennon? he asked, to which the guitarist readily agreed.


"Thank you, my friends from Santiago. Are you having a good time?" he asked while taking the microphone.

"What is most important, is the message that each one of us must carry with us, in our home, in our community, especially in these moments, in which unfortunately, we have lived and are living very painful and difficult situations."

At 11:20 p.m., the mayor left the town square, less than an hour later he was abducted from his home by a group of armed men. Fifty six hours later, his lifeless, broken and battered body was found dumped along the road less than 5 kilometers from where he was abducted.
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Using the words of his young widow, "Edelmiro's death shall not be in vain." He was a loyal and honest man who held true to his ways, refusing to bow before the criminal gangs which had forced their way into his beloved pueblo magico.

The was no reward for Edelmiro, quite the contrary, he paid a heavy price to avoid betraying the people who had entrusted themselves to his lead. It has been said by others as well as by his wife: Edelmiro knew the best part of Santiago was it's people. He was sure of it, and carried them in his heart until it beat it's last beat. He was one with them, and they with him.


QEPD Edelmiro Cavazos Leal

edemiropan

"I cannot teach you violence, as I do not myself believe in it. I can only teach you not to bow your heads before any one even at the cost of your life. -Gandhi"

Sources: Grupo Reforma, Milenio

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21 Borderland Beat Comments:

Buggs said...

RIP sir!

Abuela Chivis said...

@ ovemex; Well done~thank you very much for this tribute.

This murder really hit me hard. It is because this young man represented the future of Mx. and the future is being greatly compromised by Narcos. It is not so much what Cavazos had accomplished in his life time, but rather that now we can only guess what good he may have achieved had he lived his fair share of lifespan. I know this man was honorable because the people in Santiago are so grieving...May he rest in peace.

Anonymous said...

How ironic, that he chose John Lennon - imagine nothing to die and live for (what vanity) imagine no religion ( religion brings conscience to mind and brings self restrain i.e. hold back from doing evil)Imagine people living only for today; (precisely narco terrorist have no hope for tomorrow so they are only willing to live for today. Imagine living life in peace: not possible as we can see in a sinful world people are either restrained by conscience or by law i.e. the authority of the state which in Mexico is illegitimate.

Buggs said...

Excellent piece on Cavazos. It touched the soul and open the thought of hope and promise.

Anonymous said...

WHAT IRONY!!!!!! JOHN LENNON WAS A BIG DRUG USER........

Anonymous said...

What a sad day for Mexico. Que Dios lo bendiga.

Abuela Chivis said...

While I am recuperating in SoCal I wondered how much of Edelmiro' murder was covered by the media in Mx...so i called my staff & friends & found no coverage in the media in our area of Mx as of yesterday. My friend & former first lady of the region said she did know about the murder and details through her brother-in-law who is a Senator and from Texas Television. No one else had heard a thing about it, I sent the BB link. Maybe today ...I will ask, but essentially my staff says the things I report to them either they do not hear of; or is printed in dilatory limitation

Ovemex said...

I think, by reading different articles and the comments posted on them by Santiaguenses, that change is in the wind.

Whatever simple differences the people may have had amongst themselves (politics, etc) seems to have been erased.

From what I can see, the people are united, and will now insure that their mayor's death, as well as all of the other innocent lives lost in Santiago due to cartels kidnappings, etc will be accounted for. They will not have been in vain.

If there is anyone that can stand up to the 'ties that bind them', I think it will be the people of Santiago....

It only takes one to begin churning the gears of change..

My thoughts and prayers are with them and all of Mexico.

Ovemex said...

@anonymous 7:56 a.m.

You are most definitely entitled to your opinion and personal interpretation of the song, however, what I see is totally different.

I see the song seeking unity..By putting aside or differences in religion, politics, etc. and by not allowing the past or an uncertain future to hold us back, we can begin to change. TODAY.

of course, that's just my personal interpretation.

Pink said...

@anonymous 7:56 a.m.

I agree with you it is an irony. However, people hear different things in that song as Ovemex pointed out. I like the tune, but the lyrics suck.
Mexico will always be Mexico.
The rich have subjugated the poor there forever.
Granted they did not invent the practice. Learned to behave that way from the Spanish for 300 years, the Spanish learned it from the Moors from their own subjugation, on and on it goes back. The mention of his last musical request is a good human interest story of his last moments, if at all true. He could have been like me and just liked the tune. The mayor was a Roman Catholic, John Lennon a professed atheist. The imagination the mayor might have been thinking about could have been a country free of graft, violence, and inequalities. The Mexicans will need to take care of that themselves. The country is home to billionaires and multi millionaires. It has been oppressive on the poor from the beginning. Some of the opinions mentioned are impossible to do. Arm the people? Militias? Contract killers? USA invasion?
Maybe this event will bring about the change within the hearts of the rich needed to improve their country. Where is the Patria now. Listening to words of gangsta rap glorifying the narcos? Flying around in their private jets? Scrounging pesos to buy a taco? Wherever they are they will need to stand up and stand tall. More martyrs will be forthcomming until then.
Expressing our opinions in America have no positive effect on the Mexicans. For many of them this is our fault. We can help, but it means we have to stop using drugs. Ha! Ha! Not likely. The bottom line is we feel for you, we want to help, but do it our way!

Abuela Chivis said...

His words & melody were purposely simple to appeal to a larger audience. He said if the elements that are diversive; religion, possesions, governments were erased imagine how peaceful the world would be; to free ourselves from the thought of inequality.
He knew this would never be but wanted everyone to imagine if it were.

His words were touted as naive anarcho but some people just missed the point, which was simple yet great.

Lennon was not my hero, far from it with his life style and arrogance, suggesting we should not live with material possesions yet he him self hung on to his, and did not give a great portion of his wealth to charity causes. Nothing wrong with hanging on to possesions and wealth ,,,just do not be a hypocrite as he clearly was, singing to us "you" rather than himself "I", Something Neil Young corrected in his cover. Lennon and his wife were supporters of drug trafficking with their heroin addictions, so he is no hero but I can separate that from a song with a cool & idyllic but unrealistic message

Anonymous said...

Abuela Chivis, maybe you are projecting your feelings onto his song.

If we are to take a person's word and if we are going to apply the accepted definition of a word in its context then he was gently singing a pretty melody inviting us to imagine anarchy as something pretty and soft and desirable.

Misrepresenting an evil thing as something attractive to seduce the innocent is a common practice of the elite class.

Valentina Isabella said...

Thank you Ovemex, for your words. Because for those of us who are far away from Mexico and did not know anything about the mayor until his untimely death, now, have a vivid picture of his character and his strength. Again, thank you.

RIP Edelmiro Cavazos Leal

Anonymous (August 21, 2010 12:22 PM):

Sir, there is no irony, although John Lennon was a known drug user, he is also considered one of the most genius artist that ever lived. He didn't believe in senseless violence and his music is brilliant, Imagine, in particular and it's melody, is absolutely haunting.

Abuela Chivis said...

@ 6:58
You make a strong point and honestly I confess I want to view this message as being a simplistic message of peace...that is the interpretation of my heart, however my intellect clearly defines it as anarchy...but how is it I love the song? Knowing this? The answer is I isolate the peace message to stand on its own.
So...you outed Buel on this one!

the first paragraph I wrote was from an interview I saw with Lennon and his words answering the Q to explain the meaning of IMAGINE

Anonymous said...

All my respects para el Gran Senor Edelmiro Cavazos. He died for his people and for what he believed was right.. He made a choice and stood by his words , words that would be a dream, for many of us..A person to admire always for his honesty and courage..We all have the choice to do bad or do good, unfortunately we always lose the good people, along the way ..To his family ,I am so sorry for your loss. Esperemos que su fallecimiento no haya sido envano.Esperemos la justicia divina porque Dios esta mirando. Lets pray For the people to find a way to get rid of all these evil people..Our fellow human brothers and sisters need peace , they need to feel a sense of protection. Why do the people who are supposed to protect us , hurt us? Please give the soldiers strength and more courage to help the people...peace

Anonymous said...

Make what you want of the song "Imagine," it is what it is. You can make it fir however you want. Both men had a huge following, were both admired, made a contribution in their own way and were both executed.

That is what is ironic!

Personally, I like the song and I like the lyrics. Better than the narck corridos that parise the capos and promote violence.

Anonymous said...

"So...you outed Buel on this one!"
Señora, no era mi intención por favor.
This discourse at BB is not a contest for me. We are here because we care and we want to understand better and hopefully be of some positive consequence.

Words, using and understanding them is so important. Commentators sit patting the keypad with emotion and concern, sometimes we use a word or expression that is common to the writer but it sends the reader's mind off into an entirely different perspective than meant or intended.

Thank you for taking time to read and the courtesy of response.

...and as August 21, 2010 8:59 PM said:
"To his family ,I am so sorry for your loss. Esperemos que su fallecimiento no haya sido envano.Esperemos la justicia divina porque Dios esta mirando. Lets pray For the people to find a way to get rid of all these evil people..Our fellow human brothers and sisters need peace ,... Please give the soldiers strength and more courage to help the people... ..."

Abuela Chivis said...

I had no doubt that your comment was not combative or competative in any way or I would not have replied. What I meant was your words were in my head and the fact remains I trimmed all other aspects of the song and just pulled out the message of peace. I was a young teen in the 60s we created the era of Love & Peace. We were so young and idealistic. Reality hit hard as I matured and my ideology alignment changed, but my heart still , certain that my generation was going to show the world that universal peace is possible.

I went to Eldelmiro's facebook page and sent my message...hopefully his wife shares his and will get the message..there are several but I went to his personal page...Paz

Anonymous said...

Imagine is a song about world peace. How can the song Imagine be interpreted in any other way? No Religion clearly means not putting up walls in between people muslim,catholic,baptist etc that people might argue about or be prejudice toward someone about. No heaven or hell same point no walls between peoples beliefs so that the world can get along and live for today rather than the petty arguing we have amongst the world today.

Anonymous said...

.."We can help, but it means we have to stop using drugs. Ha! Ha! Not likely. The bottom line is we feel for you, we want to help, but do it our way!"..
i agree with your comment....mexico has always been a resort to those who have money & power and respect no human life-terribly sad..everyone there is afraid to question authority bc the authorities do not do what they are hired to do, what with the low wages they earn it's so easy to bribe them with 200 pesos...what a shame

Anonymous said...

Interesting report and even more interesting comments. I praise the author and the participants of this forum. I offer a simple comment, illegal drugs are NOT the enemy. Nor should the trafficing of them be. Just as "legal" drugs, alcohol, guns, knives, cars, wild/domestic animals and their distributions are not. People perish everyday from misfortunate accidents. The real enemy is he who focuses ONLY on his well-being. Be thy brother's keeper. Love thy neighbor. Peace. R.I.P. Edelmiro, R.I.P. John Lennon.

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