Reporting on the Mexican Cartel Drug War

Two hours in the Company of a Mexican Soldier

Wednesday, October 20, 2010 |

doshoras

This report was sent to Collateral Damage by JorgeXs, who is an active participant in the Reynosa, Tamps. community watchdog Twitter group, #ReynosaFollow.

It was Monday, September 13. I was preparing to leave for a trip to a Caribbean paradise. For logistical reasons, a family member of mine had to drop me off early at the Reynosa airport. Although the airline states you must early, arriving almost four hours early was a gross exaggeration.

After checking in my luggage I decided I'd pass my time at the boarding gate and download applications for the new I-phone 4 I had recently purchased. After several minutes of being alone, enjoying my phone, I heard a voice saying to me "What happened young man, did you miss your flight?"

I turned and I saw that it was a person dressed in a military uniform.

I smiled and responded: Ït's just because of my ride I was forced to get here way too early."

The soldier, with a sort of distrustful smile and seeing that I was playing with my cellphone, asked me about the telephone. He wanted to know if it was new, what were it's characteristics and so forth. Me, being the tech fan I am, began to explain to him the phone characteristics, the main differences between the new and the previous version and soon we were deeply immersed in a conversation about technology. I lent him my phone so he could try it out and see it's different functions.

At one point, feeling confident, I decided to ask the soldier something that has always kept me wondering.

"Officer, can I ask you a question? Of course, answer me only if you want to, if not, just tell me you can't."

"Well, let's see, ask me", he replied.

"Why, if you (the military) confiscate huge amounts of weapons and modified vehicles, etc., don't you use them yourselves?"

"In all honesty" he responded, "I think we don't do it for two reasons: fairness and foolishness. Because it's not possible that you're patrolling in a Hummer, which we know has limited motor potency and range, and some asshole comes at you in a Suburban or something similar. They hit you, the Hummer is fucked, you start shooting and soon realize nothings happening, you're getting no where, your bullets simply are not penetrating their armor. Before you know it, they return fire: a fucker opens a hatch, comes out, and starts shooting you."

"That's messed up," I said "Because for the people of Reynosa, and no doubt, the rest of Mexico, you are the only ones we can trust. We've always thought you deserve more support, in Twitter, there are those of us who have been talking and we feel there should be a bank account opened in which we could make deposits as token of appreciation."

The officer seemed taken by surprise, but after realizing my comment was sincere, he asked: "What time's your flight take leave?"

"In about three hours", I replied.

"Well then", he said, "come with me so you can see how we live."

I accompanied him to the back of the airport, a couple floors below the control tower. When I got there and looked closer, I see a soldier trying to thaw chicken with tap water in an old plastic paint bucket.

As we moved in further, we entered into, what I guess you could call a kitchen, made up of what little they had: a 30 liter gas tank, a single gas burner, and a small table which looked as if it had once been part of a desk. They were cooking rice with chicken, which actually smelled really good.

After the kitchen, I saw where they slept. A large room whose western facing wall, was for the most part, a large window covered with cardboard and tape. I can't deny it, it was a comfortable, almost cool, temperature and seemed to be filled with the steady, constant sound of a nearby helicopter, which in reality was the air conditioner.

"We just got this air conditioner" said the officer, "because the heat in this city was really fucking with us, we couldn't sleep, it was even worse in the afternoons when the sun hit all day along the windowed wall. It was a real bitch finding all the cardboard. As for air conditioner, some guy that works here at the airport offered it to us. We asked him if he would lend it to us, but he didn't want to. We had to buy it from him, then on top of that, we had to pay someone to fix it and install it. We found some bunk beds that nobody was using, they were just cast aside, in the military academy, so we brought them here."

"The good thing is Calderon raised your salaries when he came into office", I said.

He turned to me and said "What?! I got screwed! He standardized the salaries, I made more before."

I began to ask about the other soldiers, how much they earned.

"Hey buddy, how much do you earn?", he asked another
soldier.

"I get paid bimonthly, $2850 (roughly $220 U.S.) every 15 days." the soldier responded.

"Do you think that's fair?" he asked, and added: "They told us if we agreed to come into high impact operations (that's what the call Tamaulipas, Nuevo Leon, Chihuahua, Coahuila, etc) they'd give us an extra daily allowance, but the bonus is only $30 pesos per day."

"$30 pesos?", I asked in amazement. "That's a fucking soda and a small bag of chips. What bullshit!"

The officer just laughed and got up to walk to a small freezer.

"Look at the meat they send us.", he says.

"That's meat?" I thought to myself. The only thing I saw was a big ball of red ice.

"Look at this," he said to me again. We bought it ourselves, it's a variety pack chips and bottled waters we found at Sams Club."

He kindly handed me a bottle of water, but after everything he had said, I felt bad for having accepted it. After hearing and seeing all of this, I couldn't help but make the following comment:

"No wonder narcos are so tempting to you all."

The officer immediately changed his expression and with a tense tone he responded:

"I know. I've had bastards come and offer me money and I've always sent them straight to hell. I've been kicking asses for the Army for twenty years now. Here they teach us values and loyalty, as well as discipline. How can one of these little fucks come around, try to tell me what to do, and laugh at me, just for fucking money? They are fools, fucking idiots, that's why we always come out on top and end up killing the little bastards."

Seeing I had really worked him up, I decided to change the subject.

"Sir, you have my complete respect. How do you go about identifying the narcos?" I asked.

"I don't know if you noticed," said the officer, "but with the conversation we had at the boarding gate, I was actually interrogating you. I realized you knew what you were talking about and never once tried to be evasive. Imagine, some dirty smelly thug walks in. I'm not trying to discriminate, but I know what type of people come to the airport, you can quickly identify when someone is abnormal. I start asking him questions and he tells me he is the owner of a packing company in the United States. I ask him the name of his business, but he just tells me it's a packing company. Then I notice he has around $5000 U.S. dollars, who knows how many thousands of Mexican pesos and a wad of Guatemalan quetzales.

Another one I came across just had certain peculiarities that raised my suspicion. I went over to him to ask to see identification and the first thing he does is yell: MURDERER! I asked him to please calm down, I only wanted information. He doesn't stop screaming until finally one of my subordinates comes over willing to calm him down; I had to back down and pull away. We can't afford those types of luxuries, so I just had to drop his identification and swallow my anger."


"You should have given him a good beat down" slipped out of my mouth.

"No!" he said "Don't think I didn't have the urge to, but we can't give into nor afford such luxuries"

"Ya, apart from that with what happened in Nuevo Laredo", I said in reference to the April 2010 death of two children, Martín and Brayan Almanza, in which the military presumingly fired at a vehicle in which their family was travelling.

"It's sad and messed up" he said sincerely "That was an operative error and it was handled all wrong. I still have my doubts over exactly what happened, why the man driving ignored the signs, but, well, it's all being investigated." he replied.

"Ya, I know", I answered. "And the Feds?" I asked referring to the Federal Police.

"Those sons of fucking bitches, They get paid salaries and extra per diem rates, they sleep in hotels, and with all that, they still get corrupted. We don't trust them, they're a mess. We prefer to work alone and for that reason, I don't let them enter the airport with their weapons. With me, they're fucked, they already complained. But, what the fuck, they shouldn't be in all that bullshit. Anyways, we're going to be rotated and begin new rounds, who knows where. Well, your plane has arrived, I enjoyed meeting you and hope you have a great trip." he said as he told me good-bye.

"Officer, I'm going to do something and I hope you don't take offense. I'd like to give you a little money." I said.

No!, what are you thinking? I only did this to show that even though it's not easy, we're still here." he says.

"Accept it, please" I reply.

"Fine", he says as he reluctantly accepts it "It'll be for the guys, we can buy a pizza with this. Thank you very much"

I boarded my plane thinking about how they are in a place with bathrooms, running water, and more, but what about the other soldiers in kilometer 30, or the ones left out in the brush and wilderness?

The truth is we do have many anonymous heroes, what a shame we do not honor them as they deserve.






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43 Borderland Beat Comments:

Anonymous said...

this guys really deserve respect and salaries rises, I live in Monterry, Nuevo Leon, Mexico one of the "high impact operations" zones he mentions.
Belive me, the only ones doing their jobs are the soldiers and marines.
Local police officers are either corrupt or the ones that aren't corrupt cant do much against cartels.
God bless our marines and soldiers!

Anonymous said...

Long live Mexican Soldiers. And Thanks for doing the right thing and kiling those bastards good for nothing zetas. Kil them all!!!

Anonymous said...

fair and about time some real loyalty!

Anonymous said...

I hold the Mexican military in very high regard. They have a extremely tough job in very tough conditions, and yet discipline and high morals are respected. This is truly what separates the thugs from from the true Mexican people. I pray daily for the return of peace to Mexico. I fear for my parents and relatives who live in Mexico. God Bless the Mexican military and all who oppose the low down sons of bitches who are tearing my beloved Mexico apart.

Anonymous said...

Damn,
this story almost made me teary eyed.
with so much focus by the media on both sides of the stream on the negative, it is sure refreshing to read about the noble Mexican Heroes going about their daily strugles.
Borderland Beat.
Do more of these stories, Educate the rest of the world with the true facts. and those facts are that
Mexico is not a Narco State.
Mexico is not a Failed State.
Mexico still has honor
Mexico still has Heroes.

Anonymous said...

I am happy to see this article. About a year ago, I was in Farmacia Benavides and some soldiers were in line behind me. I almost offered to pay for their drinks and chips, and thank them for their service, but then I wondered who might be watching the pharmacy. I thought of a couple of bad scenarios. First, the soldiers could accuse me of trying to bribe them, or second, a sicario could see what happened and then pick me up for being nice to his enemies (this episode occured at a time when there were a lot of staged protests against the military). So, I did nothing. I paid for my medicine and went on my way. I also hold the soldiers in high esteem. I have been stopped at many checkpoints along the gulf coast, and I have never had any experience other than complete professionalism with the soldiers. May God bless them.

Anonymous said...

Good article about our forgotten heroes. One thing I do have an issue with...why did they give you such easy access to their quarters? In the USA we don't give civilians such freedom...wonder if this is a bad thing...too easy for corruption?

Anonymous said...

Interesting read....
http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/story/2010/10/18/ST2010101806011.html?sid=ST2010101806011

Buela Chivis said...

Wow! great job Ovemex!
Would love to see a piece on how this time of violence effects the children of Mexico...

Ovemex said...

@ anonymous 8:48 am

First, I need to make it clear this report is not a personal experience of mine. It was posted by a member of Reynosafollow.

I have been following comments and responses made on the original report and from what I can gather, this was not a common occurrence, but also wasn't a base camp.

It is not at all uncommon in Mexico to see soldiers forced to "set up camp" in public areas, especially hospitals where they have taken detain narcos for med care after a gun battle.

You will see them, sleep, eat, even wash up in the open air, with little more than a plastic tarp hung in a corner and buckets of water for washing.

This is the life of a Mexican soldier.

Anonymous said...

What a great story!!! Thank you so much for posting this positive story about the troops. I am sick of people attacking the President and the troops over the actions of criminals. Thanks again!!!

Anonymous said...

Thank you for the clarification, Overmex. Do you think increasing their salary will help curtail corruption within? Will it make a difference? If anything, they should at least get better living conditions.

Anonymous said...

anyone else think this account is bullshit? Sounds too made up

Anonymous said...

Wow, powerful article.. It actually gave me the chills..
Good job to the Mexican Military and Marines. Hopefully this mess will all be cleaned up soon!

Good Bless you!

Anonymous said...

What does the Mexican Gonvernment do with the confiscated money?

Anonymous said...

Anon 11:29,
I was thinking that it either didn't translate well or it was awkward fiction...possibly by some army dude assigned to PR duty.
Awkward article notwithstanding, I sure as hell wouldn't trade places with anyone in the MX Army

Buela Chivis said...

Mexico does not respect its most precious and critical human resources. Mx educators are paid a pitiful wage apx 50-65 USD directors slightly higher @ plus 10. Most are not certified, and I am yet to meet one educated & certified to teach special ed.

This story hit home. Some of my work takes me to schools in rural, marginalized, areas of great poverty. So isolated that they "board" teachers. typically 3 and a director. They have deplorable living conditions. No ac/heat..no privacy just one room which often divide with blankets to create private areas, often with leaking roofs and windows boarded up which is cheaper than replacing the broken glass. Somtimes there is a toilet but no bath so they makeshift a system of buckets and plastic draped for privacy and one pours over the bathing teacher. No hot water. They cook on hotplates and micros and usually have a small fridge.

they come sunday night and stay until friday early afternoon at which time they return to their homes in the cities where they live. usually young "newbies" are sent on this assignment for one year. more often than not they quit within weeks.

This is Mexico.

Anonymous said...

If America allowed us to join the Mexican Army without forfeiting citizenship (like they do with Israel) I'd join up in a heartbeat and bring as much money and equipment as I could gather before I did. You guys have my respect.

ReynoWarrior said...

Hello:

Im the editor of “Daño Colateral” the blog in which the original story was posted.

Let me clarify a few points:

- The story was griten by JorgeXs, the guy who lived this anecdote at the airport.

- Neither JorgeXs or myself are “some army dude assigned to PR duty.” Instead, we are ordinary citizens. I try to gather stories for my blog to chronicle the actual situation in our region and, more specifically, in Reynosa.

-The story is not fiction. I don’t write or publish fiction in my blog. All the articles present real facts. Many of the articles have been deeply researched in newspaper archives, information access institute (IFAI) or interviews.

-I got partial knowledge of this story the same day it happened. JorgeXs wrote a tweet to #ReynosaFollow through his cell phone in which he said: “I talked with some soldiers. Its impressive to see their values despite the conditions in which they live.”

In his tweet, he seemed genuinely impressed, so I got interested in the story.

For me it looked like a valuable anecdote. We listen a lot to politicians in Mexico. They, whose lives are protected by their bodyguards, do most of the talking. We never listen to soldiers, ordinary citizens or criminals, the actual guys who risk their lives in this war.

That same day, I asked JorgeXs if he would be willing to share his complete anecdote for the blog. He agreed, so I asked him to write down a narrative in which he would describe how it happened, what they talked about, what he saw, what he smelled, etc.

JorgeXs promised me to deliver the story when he would be back at home from his trip.

And then, about a week ago, he delivered me the story. And that’s when I got complete knowledge of all the topics they talked about. It was a very powerful story, that didn’t require much editing. I did change small details and omitted a physical description to protect the identity of the soldier.

-As you can see, it was neither a formal or planned interview. It was just a situation in which a soldier got comfortable and confident enough to open up his mind and space to a citizen, and passenger.

If JorgeXs would have been a journalist or asked for an interview with publication purposes, I’m sure the soldier would not have said a thing.

My only concern is that, with the publication of the conversation, we might have betrayed the confidence that the soldier had, but we think that the Mexican society needs to have a better understanding of what a soldier suffers to protect us in this war.

Of course they have made serious mistakes and, in some cases, human rights violations. But that’s not all the army. There are individuals, like this soldier, that are brave, loyal and honest.

That’s it. This is how the anecdote happened and how the story was published.

So, please, stop the conspiracy theories about “awkward fiction” or the “army dude assigned to PR duty.” If the Army and Mexican Navy had a PR office, I’m sure things would be different. They dont care about PR.

JorgeXs and myself, ReynoWarrior, are ordinary citizens living extraordinary things in this region. Just like you.

Thanks so much to Borderland Beat for the translation and republication of the story.

ReynoWarrior

Editor, Blog Daño Colateral
http://reynowarrior.wordpress.com

Buela said...

I have posted multiple times my belief that municipal police departments and polic should not exist, they are 100% corrupted, untrained and low wages compromise ability to reject colusion with cartels. I felt either state or fed police should run municipal police. APPARENTLY CALDERON FEELS THE SAME WAY...

TODAY PRESIDENT CALDERON ANNOUNCED THIS:

http://www.latimes.com/news/nationworld/world/la-fg-mexico-police-reform-20101006,0,7799956.story

Ovemex said...

@ReynoWarrior,

Thanks for coming in and setting the record straight.

I've followed you, Cruz and others in #ReynosaFollow since you started up. Your dedication has no doubt saved many lives.

When I read this account with the soldier on your site, I knew it had to be made known and made public on a much greater scale (for English speakers).

So often we are quick to report the misery, violence, corruption, and death we are forced to live amongst, yet forget to report other happenings: the good, the stuff that actually allows us to continue moving forward, regardless of our daily struggles and inner fears.

This report stirs up so many powerful emotions: anger, awe, despair, sadness, shame, but mostly it inspires hope, knowing there ARE thousands of brave, loyal, and honest anonymous heroes fighting, risking life and limb, to free Mexico from it's evil.

I didn't know how to get directly in touch with you or JorgeXs for permission to translate and republish your report here on BB, so I wrote it up (making it clear your Blog and JorgeXs were given proper credit) and sent a rough draft out to Cruz.

Please take care, and don't be a stranger!

Ovemex said...

@anonymous 11:29

I think, personally, the military are probably the least corrupted at this point. I'm not saying their hasn't been and aren't at this time any "loose cannons or wildcards", but for the most part, they are the only force people not only respect, but trust.

As for salaries and corruption, there are so many forces (local, state, federal police, military, judges, etc) involved and so many possible scenarios to consider.

Better pay and benefits would go along way in some cases, in other cases, such as government officials like Godoy, he was already making nice cash, yet was more than happy to receive another reported $40k per month from La Tuta.

Apart from money corruption, there's the whole Plata o Plomo deal. Accept the money or be killed (or watch your family be killed)...

I whole heartedly believe salaries MUST be raised, but I don't believe it will be an overnight end to Mexico's overall problem with corruption.

As for the living conditions of soldiers, it is sad, very sad. I remember seeing one a while back scrounging for change to buy a $7 peso sopa Marucha (ramen noodles) and a coke. When he finally heated it up right there in the convenient store, he ate it as if it were a fine ribeye.

I've seen them camped out in these open areas. It's pitiful, but you must also remember, much of this war, and it's hot zones are in cities, urban warfare.

Anonymous said...

I regret my posting of "I was thinking that it either didn't translate well..."
I didn't mean to take a shot at any one. The article sounded "out of tune" somehow or forced; that all I meant.
So I really irritated ReynoWarrior and when I saw his response I winced, I am not a troll nor unsympathetic to the point of this whole website, my heart aches for the MX citizens especially. I rarely post and now that I have it has been thoughtless and detrimental.
Then Ovemex posts afterward to try to clean up my mess. I apologize to ReynoWarrior, I should read these posts with my heart alone. And Ovemex, thank you for your patience and further illuminating the daily challenges of the soldiers. I hope my rudeness does not pollute your reputation with RW.

Ovemex said...

@Anonymous 10:07 pm

No harm, no foul. I translated as it was written, but you must take into mind and heart, that most of us, myself included ( and I would imagine JorgeXs as well) are just normal citizens trying to shed light on this war. We are not (at least many of us) professional journalists or reporters.

That's exactly why you don't see or learn of about many of these happenings of day to day living in your local newspaper or on the 10 o'çlock news.

I can understand, it's difficult to really grasp what's happening in Mexico. Hell, even those living in Mexico are confused and uncertain.

Imagine living in in Mexico. The world says Mexico is in war.

Let's see, we've got military patrolling the streets, constant shootouts, grenades, bazookas, blood, guts, collateral damage, you name it...

According to text book definition it is most definitely a war.

But at the same time, people are still LIVING: driving back and forth to work, buying groceries, playing with their kids in the park, getting married, traveling, etc, etc. Does that keep happening in war? I don't know. Does it fit the textbook definition?

Everyone is being forced to learn new rules, take new precautions. Nobody has all the answers. You just take it one day at a time and keep living, until you don't.

The idea of this blog is to create awareness. To show the truth, the realities of life in Mexico.

Your comment, did not offend me (It might have pissed me off a bit, but I was certainly not offended jaja). Just coming to this site shows you are interested in learning.

Your questions and comments are always welcome with me (as with all BB reporters). Questions and answers are the only way to combat ignorance (and no I'm not talking slang or stupidity, I'm talking about the literal definition of ignorance:lack of knowledge) and create a much needed awareness of what is happening in Mexico.

Thanks for your comments, and clarifying your thoughts.

Saludos y Paz

Anonymous said...

This syrupy and sappy defense of the Mexican military degrades the reporting that Borderland Beat has been doing to almost a comedic level. The soldiers and their commanders, far from being saints, have been engaged in committing many, many atrocities against ordinary Mexican citizens. Further, oftentimes they have turned over entire towns and cities to the cartels for weeks and months at at time, instead of engaging them in combat and restoring law and order, which is supposedly their job.

Let's be real here. The Mexican military is no more a group of saints than the Colombian military has been. Check out this report by Amnesty International written less than a year ago.

http://www.amnesty.org/en/news-and-updates/report/mexican-civilian-authorities-must-investigate-pattern-serious-abuses-mili

And here is similar info about how the Mexican military has been known to operate....

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2008/07/11/AR2008071102765.html

Ernest1

Anonymous said...

Ernest1.

first off it is a very good article.
second the Mexican military is doing what it can with the resources it has at hand.
would an American G.I. do this for what the Mexican military doing it for?
answer is NO.
American Panzies would be suing everyone or going AWOL and complaining that their Mcdonalds on a tent is not working.
60 minutes would run a story of some boo hoo hoo
commander etc.

Anonymous said...

Plan Merida, like Plan Colombia before it, has made the Mexican military an extension of the American military by US tax payer financing of this ongoing militarization of Mexico.

'would an American G.I. do this for what the Mexican military doing it for? answer is NO. American Panzies would be suing everyone or going AWOL and complaining that their Mcdonalds on a tent is not working.'

True perhaps, but largely irrelevant. I'm sure the US created Iraqi and Afghan puppet troops are braver than the US troops now occupying those 2 countries, too. Who cares? ...because it changes nothing.

Ernest1

Anonymous said...

how dare you compare the mexican military with the might of the american armed forces. the u.s. has always answered the call and tried to make a difference ....right or wrong we go where the need arises...thats what you sign up for when you join.....conditions for any soldier involved in war suck regardless of the battle zone. the grunt always gets the short end of the stick but thats what hes traind to endure. the bottom line is where his loyalties lay and his commitment to the fight...........

Anonymous said...

dont be an a hole anonymous the american military has a legit chain of command thats not as easily corrupted as your mexican leaders

Matanzas said...

@ ReynoWarrior & Ovemex, thanks for sharing this encounter with the forgotten foot soldiers of the republic. They are like the Roman legions fighting for civilization on the limes of the empire. Hopefully they will prevent the dark ages to fall on MX.
@ Ernest1, just go shoot yourself. You just don't get it. You're a disgrace. Disappear. Go back in your hole.
The hottest places in Hell are reserved for those who, in time of moral crisis, maintain their neutrality. Dante, “The Inferno”

Anonymous said...

Are you kidding me? Really? I read the Amnesty International article. There is a, Hello!, war going on in Mexico. Statistically speaking, the amount of complaints, if accurate, is only a smudge compared to the Millions that live in Mexico. Hmmm, let's see if Amnesty International has Narco Money in their pockets. The Mexican Military is going to do what it has to do in this inhumane war, yes war. They have my full support. In my opinion from what I read about the six men apprehended at the car wash by the Military and one was found dead. Well you know the whole saying, "If it walks like a duck,quacks like a duck, then guess what?" My hat goes to the Mexican Military.

Anonymous said...

People, you think that the Mexican military is all that great and beloved in rural Mexico? No, it is not. But compared to the even much greater corrupt and murderous policing, many will say great things about the Mexican military units in comparison to what they say about the various Mexican police units.

However, the Mexican military is a crony military of a foreign power, which is the US government. No military that begins to operate as stooges of a foreign power will maintain many fans in their own nation for all that long. They can only appear partially popular for the common people, because there might appears to be an even worse enemy which is total chaos.

Usually the biggest fans of crony militaries are going to be the middle classes in the bigger cities, and the popularity drops quickly for these foreign trained and maintained armies in the poorer sectors of society.

'Are you kidding me? Really? I read the Amnesty International article. There is a, Hello!, war going on in Mexico. Statistically speaking, the amount of complaints, if accurate, is only a smudge compared to the Millions that live in Mexico.'

Well, Anonymous, you don't really know much about the Mexican military or political situation, do you? The ruling gang is not widely popular and the Mexican army is nothing more than an extension of the unpopular Mexican elites. The government is not even widely thought to have actually won the election that brought US puppet Calderon into power. Nobody really will be much mourning his near departure, I can assure you of that.

Ernest1

Buela said...

@ Ernest 1
I did read the amnesty article and the UN Human Rights Council report. The complaints in 2009 were 1046 in ALL of Mx. So I am thinking sure there have been violations, horrific ones, mostly aimed at the same group of poor souls tormented forever by the Mx Gov and their forces and that would be the indigenous people of Mx, 1000 complaints and you want to condem and entire force? Sweet Jesus I hope to hell I never serve on a jury with you.

Anonymous said...

'You don't really know much about the Mexican military or political situation, do you?" Well actually I do. Having family -victims of and living around the narco war there. I can actually say I can pretty much back my opinions and knowledge of what's going on there. I do not get my information to base my opinions from liberal blogs,Liberal television, or liberal books and a couple of tree hugging events. It appears that you don't know much about the mexican military and the true opinioin of the vast MAJORITY of the Mexican people. Not to get into some liberal anti american debate in reference to opinions that you have no facts to back it up, with the constant usage of "U.S puppet" "Crony Military". It is quite clear where you allegiance is at. The Mexican Military is all they have at this point. The FACT of the matter by the way. with the situation as bad as it is in Mexico, Amnesty International's opinion and whiny complaints will have no bearing on on how the military is handling business. Every profession has bad apples -Dr's,nurses,teachers,ect. Please don't lose sleep over it. My Guess is that you are neither Mexican, and obviously by your anti american sentiment, or American. If you are American - The next boat to North Korea leaves at 8:00 P.M.

Anonymous said...

Once again I am delivered the US Right Wing mantra, ´America, Love It or Leave It´ line.... this time probably from a richy rich, Monterrey señorito. Too funny for words!

´My Guess is that you are neither Mexican, and obviously by your anti american sentiment, or American. If you are American - The next boat to North Korea leaves at 8:00 P.M.´

LMAO... To you , I say, ´Garza García... Love it or Leave it!´ What a little twerp. I can see you heading for San Antone for the weekend. ..lol...

Ernest1

Anonymous said...

ROFLMA..Name calling. Really?? Typical. No actually New Orleans Bound!

Buela Chivis said...

@ Ernest & everyone

If you want to see how mexicans really feel about their military, see the comments left with respect to this story. They love, care for and are appreciate of their soldiers. The human rights violations reported in 2009 was just over 1000...in ALL of Mx. that is 1000 too many but hardly an amount to condem an entire force over.

Ernest ...you are an extremist and no matter from the right or left extremist are illogical, narrow minded folks that go through life with blinders on. close minded views compromise any intelligent dialog especially when one is as unmannerly as you, suggesting that Ovemex was lying.

another fact as mentioned in one of the comments some atrocities are committed by clones.


here is the link read how Mx feel they respect and are grateful for their military:

http://www.mundonarco.com/2010/10/dos-horas-en-compania-de-un-soldado.html?showComment=1287641451195#c1231752037480559164

buggs said...

As many of you know, I usually stay out from the debates, as not to shape opinion, as I let the post or article speak for itself, but we do live in a world of diversity and people see the world in many different ways. I came from a background that sometimes gives me a unique perspective and I try to make sense of all. I believe that every situation when it comes to the military or police is different and must be looked at in the angle. Sometimes we don’t get all the facts and sometimes no matter how you slice it, it just doesn’t seem right. But I tried not to get rigid in my observation of incident and I try to maintain an open mind when digesting events and incidents.

I am glad Ovemex posted this story, it is refreshing to see this side of the life of the so called drug war. There are stories that have a profound effect on me, that is why I, and most reporters, share news here in BB. If the military or police did a good job in an operation or incident, we should report it, and we do. If there is tragedy with police, regardless of the hidden motives or agenda, then we merely put it out and allow the readers to make formulate their own conclusion.

I have been critical when the controversial issue of collateral damage surfaced and I have read some opinions from readers that let me believe that there some do not want to read that part of the issue.

Some of the stories that come to mind:
The Mexican Drug War’s Collateral Damage, Collateral Damage, Militarization of Mexico by "Common Citizen" (Not many people know this but this was inspired by our very own Gerardo who was the Common Citizen), and how can we forget the very touching and passionate story from Iliana "El Día de la Coneja" for Two Little Boys.” (refer below to the links to the listed quoted posts).So yeah, it is refreshing to see Ovemex post, I welcome it and embrace it with all of my heart.

I wish things were black and white but they are not. I also wish that we did not have to report so much bad news coming from Mexico, but it’s there.

http://www.borderlandbeat.com/2010/03/mexican-drug-wars-collateral-damage.html

http://www.borderlandbeat.com/2010/02/collateral-damage.html

http://www.borderlandbeat.com/2010/04/el-dia-de-la-coneja-for-two-little-boys.html

http://www.borderlandbeat.com/2010/04/militarization-of-mexico-by-common.html

Buela said...

@Buggs

Well said my friend.
I also come from a unique postion & point of reference, the least of which is that I have worked in Mx for 7 yrs. But it pains me when uninformed folks paint the situation with a wide brush and generalize. I try to pound home certain facts such as 2/3 of all Mx states are safer or as safe as the US, but it is the remaining 1/3 states that effect 100% of Mexico. It also kills me when I read mean spirited, prejudice posters declaring that the people of Mx are stupid, lazy or deserve what is happening. BUT, that is their opinion, which they clearly have the right to express. one can only hope that the mind opens a bit to allow other views in, and who knows, possibly we can learn from each other. Opinions are fair game, but to engage in hate and personal attacks are a turn off and WAAAAAAAAAAAY off topic. No one listens to extremism, it simply angers, separates and antogonizes. That is unfortunate because W/O that there is room for debate.

Your blog fills a void that is filled by few. English language and translation of key articles and videos into eng. Thanks again for the great work. I enjoy the work of everyone but get the sense that Ovemex & Gerado are passion driven which is beautiful thing. You have a good balance of reporters, thanks from my heart.

Anonymous said...

I just love all the people now praising this puff piece for the Mexican military trained over at the School Of Americas and now doing what those Latin American US trained militaries always do, messing over their own people for the US government.

Because I have stated the flat blunt truth, all the Right Winger and apolitical lost souls claiming to be of the 'center' or all aghast!!! They hate it when the truth is spelled out and prefer People Magazine type of articles instead, which they always taker at face value.

I'm so sorry to manchar your rosy lensed pretty little world view, Guys. However, I have seen how the US government runs market relation puff pieces for its own military, and how the militaries of Colombia and Guatemala do the same as they copy the Big Gringoes pr machines running their affairs. Now, the same bull has come to Mexico and many Mexicans are caught completely off guard by what's hitting them.

Then add to that the dullard US Right Wingers throwing in their stupidity online here at BB, too! GOD! What a clueless jello is being gelled with this The Mexico Military is Lovely propaganda. How many dead bodies will have to be left headless around Mexico and Colombia, as in Guatemala and El Salvador, before you dullards figure out the US game plan in Latin America, Mexico included?

Ernest1

Anonymous said...

this is just
Shock Doctrine: The Rise of Disaster Capitalism

Anonymous said...

Wonderful story!

Anonymous said...

mexico has a very good military.

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