Reporting on the Mexican Cartel Drug War

Reynosa: The Night we Removed our Masks

Monday, November 8, 2010 |

The drug war in Mexico is so much more than cartels battling each other and the military fighting them all. On any given day you can open a newspaper or go on internet and bare witness to the inhumane acts which are repeated day in and day out throughout Mexico. You can pour over thousands of images of aftermath: shootouts, kidnappings, and torture, they're all there. What you can't and don't see, at least not many, is the life of a common citizen in Mexico.

There are over a hundred million innocent people caught in the middle of this war. These people, the living, have more often than not, been forgotten amongst morbid images of the dead. I want their stories known, I want to hear those and give voice to those who now only whisper within the confines of their own homes. I want to share with you the lives of those casted to the side and forgotten: the innocent families, workers, students, and children of Mexico: The living.




Being a narco in Reynosa is almost like being a hero; this much has been made clear to me when I was forced to open my eyes and really see all that was happening around me.

I come from one of those few families that has yet to become completely infiltrated and I say this because Tamaulipas is a state where everyone has at least a distant relative in some way involved with them, or is an acquaintance or has a friend or neighbor that you know or suspect to be a narco.

What ever happened to those peaceful Saturdays and Sundays where as a teenager we would hang out with friends, go to the movies, or simply pass the day skating or walking at the park?

In what moment did our teenagers in Reynosa stop looking up to and admiring their fathers or an uncle and decide to instead jump into this organized crime labyrinth of no return? Maybe all this happened when their fathers or uncles started becoming involved in these businesses, thus it is fair, my conclusion: being a narco in Reynosa is almost the same as being a hero.

If you don't believe me, you can take a drive down one of our well known boulevards and you'll find the altar which was erected in the place where a well known narco criminal was shot down and killed by the bullets of the National Army.

We, as a society, idolize and glorify these criminals and then complain about all the side effects their actions have and continue to cause us.

This past year has been traumatic for me, especially shortly after midnight on February 8, 2010, which I now refer to as: "The night we removed our masks".

After weathering through a terrible day and an unusual series of mishaps, I was finally ready to rest. The events of the day had been so physically and emotionally exhaustive that by the time I was able to finally put my head on the pillow, I felt as if I had been graced by God.

It was 11:30 p.m., February 7, 2010; I was finally able to put the frustrating day behind me, I slept.

Before I knew what was happening, my parents came running into my bedroom. They were panicked and screamed "Drop to the floor". I remember wrapping myself in a blanket and dropping to the floor, I didn't ask questions.

The sounds of explosions, shots from different caliber weapons, and bursts from machine guns filled the room. It felt as if the moment I opened my eyes I had somehow awakened somewhere in the Middle East. I can say this easily, without lieing, the scene, passed before me, was nothing short of a war report.



Municipal Public Security patrols passed chaotically in front of the house with their sirens wide open. All of the telephone lines collapsed, I still don't know if the lines fell or if the desperation in people to communicate with their loved ones simply over-saturated them.

The explosions continued. When they calmed a bit, I realized they were not close, but this worried me more. The sounds seemed to have been coming from a neighborhood that is fairly distant and removed, yet the intensity of the explosions and burning cars still caused the our night sky to glow bright.

Little by little the noises began to cease; soon after, I watched from my front balcony, as local police began to escort trucks full of sicarios to safety.

It is well known in Reynosa that some elements of public security have been bought, but for me it was traumatic to actually bare witness, as the same elements who protect us cleared the path for the narco's escape.

Very early the next morning I began driving to work. I looked around and thought it strange to see the streets and avenues so void of movement. The sky was a color I have never seen before and huge helicopters seemed to hover above each major artery of the city.

When I got to work, I was puzzled, but it didn't take long to be filled on everything I didn't know.

The war scene we had lived through that night had actually been a Marine operation to capture cartel members who operate out of Reynosa.

Until that moment, I knew just about as much about drug trafficking as a three year old knew about astrophysics. The day passed and with it came the comments and experiences of people who lived the hell firsthand.

Officially, only 4 or 5 deaths have been reported from this area, but inhabitants talk of more than a hundred by hands of organized crime. Up until that point, I was reluctant to give credit to all the stories I had just been told, the carnage described to me seemed absurd, completely implausible. I still didn't see reality, nor did I realize the worse was yet to come.

While driving home from work that evening I saw convoys of armed men as they took to the streets with their trucks marked with signs, their windows down exposing their automatic weapons and bulletproof vests to all who dared to look.

The convoys were lead by Public security patrols whose agents screamed at civilians to move to the side. As fear and panic left some drivers stupefied, machines guns were shoved in their faces to force them from their catatonic states and clear them from the convoy's path.

That day I wasn't alone when I took off my rose colored glasses, as many here in Tamaulipas did the same. Our bubble burst as we realized who controlled our city.

I was outraged. How was it possible that our authorities allowed these people to do this to us? How could they permit these people to kidnap and extort us, if we are only trying to earn an honest living?

It was a long month, every night we heard shootouts and explosions. The days passed and friends and family began to disappear. Some were "picked up", their double lives exposed. Others simply disappeared on their way to work or home. The criminal gangs stormed universities in search of people involved with rivals and/or relatives of wealthy families they could pressure through kidnapping.

The entire month rival gangs clashed, night and day. Social networks exploded with outrage, images and cries for help forced the military to become active in the matter and their patrolling the city became more constant.

Since that day, nothing has been the same. The citizens of the Tamaulipas border no longer go out to have fun in bars or discos, night life is dead. It is no longer common to see many people out and about after 8:00 p.m.

If you are a woman, you are prey to the public security officials. they will stop you only to find out your name and make it clear to you they are part of the "organization", as so, you should practically worship them, the might powerful "almost heroes".

If you are a man, the risk involved with being stopped by these officers is even greater. Using obscenities and threats, they will force you to submit to a "routine search" which is often backed by armed civilians who will beat you and "confiscate" whatever they please.

School children panic at the sound of a firework, even more so those who have witnessed a shootout. In this war, so many lives have been lost, some where innocent, some not so much. It's painful to see how children's lives, many of which I watched grow up, are cut short by bullets fired by the Army, Navy, or rival gangs.

No more than three weeks ago I was made aware of a family mourning the death of their youngest son. The boy was, what is now commonly known as, a "halcon" and had successfully integrated an armed criminal gang. At the time, his family and friends applauded his achievement and happily posed in photos with the weapons and vehicles the boy continuously acquired. The boy felt lucky.

He wasn't lucky, at just 19 years old, he was killed by the Marines in a shootout. His family wasted no time in denouncing them as murderers and were soon joined by families from nearby neighborhoods (which many also have some degree of involvement with narcos)as they protested and demanded the departure of all military troops.

I don't personally know this family, but I feel the degree of social illness we, as a society, have fallen to has converted narco family relations (being the child, spouse, or friend, of someone in organized crime)into something to be proud of.

The fear, this newfound pride has caused, has reached the point where we are afraid to talk about such matters in the open. One never knows if they are talking to a family member or friend of someone in the "business" with strong enough ties to actually hurt you, or worse.

Acceptance of the organized crime phenomenon in a society as corrupt as our state has reached the point becoming protective of these families who are unable or unwilling to denounce their son, daughter, uncle, husband, father, cousin, etc. I have seen many entire families suffer because one of them decided to enter this dark world. At the same time I've seen even more families welcome the actions of one member simply to share in the illicit benefits of their fleeting pass through the high life. I say "fleeting" because they end up dead or in prison, it never lasts.

People from this border no longer have the peace of mind to even buy groceries or stop quickly at a convenient store, you never know when or where the bullets are grenades might strike.

The fear of new people in this town, whether they be man or woman, causes us to "respectfully interrogate" and analyze everyone we meet. It used to be enough if a person had a decent appearance, was well spoken, respectful, and seemed at least somewhat financially secure. Now finances and incomes are the most scrutinized, were they earned legally or are they the profits of others misfortunes and pain? You must determine this without raising suspicion or you could die trying.

Nine Months ago today, November 8, 2010, Reynosa learned the truth. We were terrorized and learned who was who, everyone removed their masks. Nine month ago today, many families were forced to begin the horrific process of searching and praying for missing loved ones. November 8, 2010 marks the ninth month Reynosa has been held completely captive by criminal hands. Sadly, with every day that passes, the light at the end of the tunnel gets dimmer and dimmer.

Victoria de Anda, Reynosa, Tamps.

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53 Borderland Beat Comments:

Anonymous said...

You are seeing the legacy of Pancho Villa.

Dan Walsh Sacramento said...

As a gringo who plays in Mexico and loves the country

I cannot belive what the hell has happened in the last 2-3 years, especially this last year.

No longer do I want to pull my boat around to a pemex, with fear of some kind of mordita or now worse...

Maybe no one fucks with us, but just the fear of being harrased with now is greater than ever before.

Cannot even imagine what the citizens of some of these Cities are going through, my heart goes out to you

amazing to what extent and how the police forces are involved with the narcos

Buela Chivis said...

Profoundly poignant..another great job Ovemex!

Thank you

Matanzas said...

Dante's hell. Lasciate ogne speranza, voi ch'intrate.

Buggs said...

Amazing piece Ovemex!

Anonymous said...

Poignant is right, especially this:

"I was outraged. How was it possible that our authorities allowed these people to do this to us? How could they permit these people to kidnap and extort us, if we are only trying to earn an honest living?"

My good acquaintance is from Puebla, we often talk about the situation. Fingers crossed, it seems from what I can tell, Puebla is somewhat untouched by this action and He like many Mexicans away from the Frontera don't seem to be aware of what is going on...so I've started letting him off the hook, we'll talk soccer and it is amazing that right now, Mexico is producing some Top Class if not World Class talent playing for teams in England and Spain and not only that, the Mexican women's soccer team last Friday upset the USA, won over them, making the USA women's team needing to win over Costa Rica which they did tonight to get to a playoff to be able to go to the women's World Cup next year.

Anonymous said...

Oddly I posted a few paragraphs on a friend in Brownsville's facebook page last night, effectively speaking to the erosion of society in Mexico. I spoke of the horror I can only imagine small children must face on a regular basis, their options are truly plomo or plato. The role models are becoming fewer and fewer yet there is always the need to make a living and the narco life seems to be the only option for some, a sad reality. I respect your bravery in telling your story, it is something not many have been willing to do including the spineless US media. The truths must be brought into the light in order for change to begin, you have taken a step towards the light of truth in sharing your story. I have sent this site to everyone I know and ask them to also forward it to others so that people can actually see for themselves what the media here will not speak of. Thank you for choosing to use your voice and speaking out for the greater good of the people. Too often the lines a muddied with the immigrtion issue and the war at hand. Stand tall and continue to tell the story, may it carry until it reaches those who can help affect change my friend.

Buela said...

Worth noting;

OVEMEX did not cut and paste this story...he wrote it...correct? Looks like it.. as his name is the only one credited, that makes this even more special, you have a wonderful talent. I always walk away after reading your posts learning or feeling something

..I hope you post more from the common citizen, including the children of Mx.

Anonymous said...

Most Mexicans in Northern Mexico were like US citizens until a few years ago, smug in their self assurances that the mess that the US has made of Central America and Colombia and Peru would never come and effect them personally. Now things have changed and many weep like innocents about it.

Too bad some many tied in with the US and opposed the more Left visions that most Mexicans farther south have had. You wanted PAN and you got bloodshed instead. Eventually the chickens will come home to roost in the US, too.

Ernest1

Anonymous said...

Ernest 1 is a good example of the hatred for the US I see in posts on this and most other narco-related websites. Some truth, some not but what matters is that it is a victims point of view. As long as you have someone to blame you will find a way to accept the situation no matter how painful. I wouldn't worry about US troops coming to Mexico for any reason. We get it. Obama (who turned out not to be the savior you hoped for) will send some helicopters and money and such. You notice he has little interest in gun control. It's the most tragic situation. I spent many years in Mexico and it breaks my heart to read stories like this one - but I'm not going where I'll be hated.
PL

Anonymous said...

I apluade you for speaking out about this but I do fear for you. Please continue to write about the trials of your life but please don't put your name down. This scares me because they don't care who you are but they can find out who you are from these post. They read them also to glorify there images on here. Please be safe you are in my prayers

Anonymous said...

Marc V.

This article takes the cake, it should win the Pulitzer Prize for news commentary and reporting.
Precisely, this is what I've been saying on my comments postings. This is what generally is happening all over Mexico, especially in Juarez Mexico. Mexico suffers a social illness as a society, where sicarios drug trafficking and extortionist are all looked up to as heroes who buck the poverty system. Of course they do not understand that they are eating themselves out of existence. I call this the Pancho Villa, Emiliano Zapata syndrome - hero worship.

Anonymous said...

Victoria, thank you for sharing your story. I actually, throughout the whole reading believed this was written by a male. I felt a sense of pride for you when I read your name...a female. Additionally, the fact that I share your last name, and the possibility that we might be very distant relatives...and knowing that you are going through what is assumed most every Mexican citizen is going through, is utterlly gut wrenching. My God bless you and your loved ones.

Anonymous said...

Marc V.
Home run article, please translate this article in Spanish, I told my employees to read it.

Buela said...

@ PL

Ernest 1 is passionate about his beliefs, he is as sure of his as we are sure he is wrong. To the death I will defend his right to express himself even tho his radicalism pisses me off at times really I think E-1 relishes in stiring up the shit pot & have folks react. Counterpoint is healthy & we must always be intuned to what exactly the counter point is.

Obama was not the president I elected, for sure in my opnion he is mucking up things but I think he is a good American just woefully inexperienced at the job he sought and wone.

Don't judge Mx by the hate you may see posted ot written about, the over whelming majority of Mx are good honest people who feel a connection to the US and respect us. Imagine the life the lead? Such as this story Ovemex has brought to us...they are enslaved to this violence, live each day in horrific fear....

do not judge Mx and turn away because of someone exercising his freedom of speech... at the end of reading this piece...don't think of E-1! think of the Victoria de Anda...that should be the focus or Ovemex's efforts are misplaced..


@8:07

I completely agree, this so called war needs a Neda...a face people we can relate to other than the bastards that monopolize the attention of the media.

This is the most consequential, relevant piece of the Mx people I have seen on BB. Keeping it real...the common citizen has a voice, expressing them selves in words that are imprisoned inside themselves.

I for one say to Ovemex;

It is passed time for these accounts, thank you with all my heart for telling the story of the citizen, more please...

Paz

hasta la madre said...

From what I've been reading this last couple of weeks, it seems like Tamaulipas might be in as bad shape as Chihuahua, if not worse. The fact that large scale shootings are taking place over days at a time, and the media is doing nothing to report those events seems to point in that direction. Un fuerte abrazo para todos los paisanos que estan sufriendo esta guerra sin sentido.

Anonymous said...

This story needs to go directley to Calderon it needs to be published across Mexico by the Mexican Govt.. This ghetto worship of criminal heros has been around since the Mafia and is a result of public indiference. Mexico must initiate an agressive P/R program at once, the heros are the legitimate Military,Police etc. Who is running the war on the govt side??

Anonymous said...

No buela he did not write his it was Victoria de anda who wrote this. Look at the bottom of the article. Stop giving credit to overmex and start giving credit to Victoria who is the person who wrote this. Learn how to read ppl. All overmex did was translate it.

Anonymous said...

You really expressed the inner feelings of people like you, like me, like my family who work honestly, we used to have fun, used to go to the church on sundays, we used to go out at nights, we used to eat tacos at night, now we try to cross the border to have a nice day and return home before night... Nothing has been the same since that day... there's no day that you don't feel the emptyness in your stomach everytime an explosion sounds or when our kids go out or when we see a "convoy". Our teenagers as you said don't know the life we knew... sadly for them this horrible situation has becoming part of their life... normal life for them. we don't know who will protect us in case we need it... The life in the border has been since forever imbeded with the narco life but has never been this violent...
now talking is a privilege that regular and simple citizens like us can not afford...
thanks for sharing what we feel and we haven't said outloud...
there's a lot of people that easily thinks we are cowards for not screaming to the world, for not fighting for our country... don't speak if you don't know... its not easy.
I applause your bravery and the easy and deep way of your writting.
God bless you and your family and keep everyone safe.

Resilient Tucsonian said...

"What ever happened to those peaceful Saturdays and Sundays where as a teenager we would hang out with friends, go to the movies, or simply pass the day skating or walking at the park?
"
They started to disappear decades ago when your country embraced socialism, which is legalized theft. They started to disappear when the people paid bribes or did not violently object when bribes were paid or requested. You did this to yourself by adopting a thieving form of government and tolerating a Country of Men rather than a Country of Laws. You are reaping what your forefathers have sown and YOU are the only ones who can change it.

"How was it possible that our authorities allowed these people to do this to us? How could they permit these people to kidnap and extort us, if we are only trying to earn an honest living?"
How could YOU allow this to happen? Your protection is YOUR responsibility. You setting up a socialist state does not change natural law. Until you pick up a rifle and start defending yourself and your family, the blame rests on you.

Ovemex said...

Let me make this CLEAR: While this post IS original, (it was not taken from any media form, etc) it is the story of Victoria de Anda.

A while back, I requested testimonies of the LIVING. I told them (anyone willing to trust me enough to share) I wanted to create awareness of what life is like for those LIVING in Mexico, not recounts of the lives of the DEAD. I want their voices heard.

I attached no rules, they could write about anything they wanted, I would listen, and I WOULD give it shape, form, and insure they WOULD be heard, I would make their fears, anger, sadness, and their experiences public.

I have received four responses to my request. Victoria's experiences I made a priority to publish first because they were "date sensitive", yesterday, November 8th was a very significant date for her and many others in Reynosa.

I will continue posting as "their voices" at least once a week.

Anonymous said...

This was great. I long for days when we could visit without fear, I much would like for my daughter to spend her summers with cousins in Mexico getting to know the culture and customs but sadly enough those days are gone. Now she will only know her grandmother, Aunts, Uncles, Cousins through pictures, facebood and the occasional webcam video call. These are some sad times for our Mexico lindo y querido.

Tiso said...

Ppl like Ernest1 are the reason things get worse and worse. They focus all their energy on blaming the US. Maybe its our fault, maybe its not. The truth is its everybodys fault. But none of that matters, because finding someone to blame isnt going to clean up mexico.

Buela said...

@ 9:57

Ouch! I made a mess and I was just so eleated to see the story of the common citizen out there. I did not mean to imply it was OVEMEX'experience/story in the first person, but in the journalistic sense...he did not cut from another media source and paste like 99% of all blog stories, nothing wrong with that, that is a valuable service, but this was original article by Ovemex using his research "victoria's " response. I am proud of the effort both from Ovemex and "Victoria"

I also have collected thoughts and writings from the people of Mx and their first hand accounting of life enslaved in violence. But mine are from children HS age and under. I can appreciate that it is EXTREMELY difficult to get anyone to open up, and children are warned by their parents NOT to speak at all to anyone about this subject. But I work with the kids and they trust me, even then however they are not rushing enthusiastically towards me to share.

So I was thrilled to see this posted, and it is very well done. I apologize if I upset you by not making myself clear. I am a bit puzzled by it but did not intend to take away from the work by creating a mini controversy. I was simply happy to see such creativity rare on a narco blog.

Paz

Anonymous said...

Excellent recap of the downfall of security and the great confusion that citizens have regarding respect. I said it once, I say it again, this is a result of the disinterest and indifference that WE as Mexicans show to those less fortunate, less educated, less cared for, these children grow up with only one thing in mind, being "chingones" at whatever cost. Society turned her back on them, and now ask for good behavior.
INDIFFERENCE HAS CREATED A MONSTER WORSHIPPED BY THOSE LEFT HUNGRY, CORNERED, AND ABANDONED

Anonymous said...

Resilient Tucsonian said...(nothing)

Hey Clueless Teabag.
no one "Adopted" anything, no one Allowed Anything. it happened, picking up a gun as you say will not solve anything, but keep that NRA murder card in your wallet if it makes you feel better, if you really want to help, keep your neighbors off the METH.
small town America is full of Methheads
i dont doubt there is someone you know or a family member snorting away right now.

hasta la madre said...

Resilient Tucsonian, I stopped reading after socialism. Do you also think the U.S. Constitution is a living, breathing document?

No mames...

Anonymous said...

"really want to help, keep your neighbors off the METH"

Right. Thats really effective. Lets not distribute our efforts between fighting crime and fighting addiciton, lets put it all towards fighting addiction. Sure, there will always be drug addicts, and criminals will walk all over us if we dont take a hard lines appraoch. But you dont want to hear that do you?

Anonymous said...

At its core socialism means "state ownership" of production and since it is individual men and women who produce goods and services, the state controls, or has rights, over them. The US in practice has socialist laws and regulations as well.

In a free society, "a society of laws and not of men," no man has the right to initiate the use of force against another. Notice I said initiate the use of force. (If you are interested, look up Objectivism.)

In Mexico the "bad guys" civil and criminal, are initiating force against everyone including innocent citizens going about their daily lives. A society or government that has taken away the people's right to bear arms, has effectively disarmed them, leaving them at the mercy of corrupted militia.

This is why the people cannot rise up and scream out that they will not accept this brutality. They have no means to defend themselves, and now the corrupt milita and the criminals have ALL the power (money, guns and means). And, it is very intertwined into society as this article points out.

This is why I think it will be imperative that Mexico get help from outside sources. You either ask for help from an impartial (non-corrupt)third party OR you will only have a corrupted government and military to defend you.

The policy makers are going to have to rethink many of its laws (and values) that foster a culture which idolizes narco violence; and the Mexican people should play a big part in what they would like to see change.

(Im sure I've lost the Meth-heads and minds that can't see past tomorrow, but the people who build and change a country will understand what I am trying to say.)

I do doubt, however, that the violence will subside without some sort of intervention.

mexus said...

There is a recent book in the US by J.Matloff that essentially says the same about how her hometown in Long Island, NY became almost unrecognizable on account of the drug trade. Seems everybody was involved in a tiny way. The sum effect was that they lost their town to drug dealers.

Melissa Lotzer said...

Thank you very much for all of your words. The real person who really wrote this, has read all of your comments and is almost on tears. Its safe at home and a ficticious name has been posted on this letter for her protection. In her name I can only let you know: Thanks for your words.

Melissa Lotzer

ponkinhed said...

when men with guns come up against men without guns who is the boss...

so i encourage all you who disagree with me to lay down your guns...

some of you are pathetic dreamers ...

a famous man once said...men cry ,peace peace , but there will be no peace...

what does this tell you ...

so go ahead and disarm...

especially you ernest T

ponkinhed said...

the only way american soldiers should help mexico is if EVERY mexican personally writes a letter, and signs their name and affixes a copy of their curp to it asking for help...other than that hell no way

ponkinhed said...

earnest t... i accept full responsibility for ALL the problems in mexico and all the other countrys ...but i got a big gun ...so what are you gonna do about it...answer...nothing but talk some pissy little shit....right pendejo?

Anonymous said...

Well done and well said.
Thank you Ovemex for your work memorializing a beautiful Mexico that may never be again.

Continue

Anonymous said...

We were given the "right to bear arms" to hedge against a tyrannical government. Some of us are gun owners who can objectively look at the issues without spewing hate. I own guns to protect my family and my property, and some to hunt with. Owning guns does not lessen or exclude my ability to value community or family. I have often wondered what Mexico would be like if people there were allowed to own guns, I imagine some would stand up against the narcos and send a message by taking justice into their own hands, a revolution. Oddly the only people who do have guns in Mexico are the cops, miltary and the narcos, the ones in positions of power. Guns have nothing to do with values, which apparently mean nothing to these people. At the core it is a societal issue, and for too long the people of Mexico have sat back and depended on their goverment to take care of them instead of insisting they simply do what is right. Ask yourself this question, if the US is so awful the why are millions of Mexicans dying to come here? Is it a coincedence that they are the very people overburdening our social programs, medical facilities and schools? No doubt they are hardworking people but as far as being socially responsable they are not doing their part. Another thing to consider is the long history of the Catholic church in Mexico, they encourage families to have many children when most of the time the parents cannot afford to care for one child in a responsable manner. How do they expect those kids to compete in the American society? Mexico has fallen behind in many respects and the people are to blame to some degree for electing characters as opposed to leaders with a sense of community, they all want to pad their bank accounts more than they want to evoke real changes or serve the populations they represent. The people of Mexico are abdicating and bailing out of a failed system and the fact is they are coming here unprepared to thrive in our faster paced world, thus bringing the country down for all of us. Politicians on both sides have failed us all, I want stricter immigration laws to protect the quality of life I live and the country I live in, not to mention to protect my childrens future. Most immigrants come and send their money back to Mexico rather than keep it here in the country they benifit from, again this brings us down even lower. If I were to get caught illegally in Mexico I get 2 years in prison, I don't get a slap on the wrist and a busride home, nor is anyone going to provide my children an english education in Mexico. Am I a racist, a xenophobe? No, I simply value my country as messed up as it may be, but I did vote last week and it was not a straight ticket, I voted for the people who were most in line with my values. None of the people I voted for were perfect but I did my best to be responsable in my choices. The world is not a perfect place and in between the far right and the far left lies the middle of the road, many would do well to stay in the middle. Selfishness and greed are the disease that lay at the root of many issues that affect us all, here and in Mexico.

Anonymous said...

Continued- I do not expect a free ride nor an easy course, I remain willing to do the footwork required to maintain the quality of life I cherish, it is high time people started walking the walk and stop whining. Empathy is a natural thing and I do care about the country that borders my state, however thier current problems stem as much from entitlement issues and apathy as they do from corruption run rampant and unchecked for too long. I come from a farming/ranching background and understand a hard days work, it is how my family has made a living for years. My own grandfather had a third grade education but he made it a point to be sure his children and grandchildren understood the value of an education and hard work, thus we have seen those values take hold and my own children are living proof of that legacy. We did not improve our situation by taking the easy way out, we worked our asses off and always sought to improve on what those before us did. My grandfather served in the Korean war and came home with a broken leg and metal in his chest, his government all but forgot him. He lived with my grandmother in a tent with a dirt floor for over a year, but he never gave up on his country nor his dreams for his children. He could have easily cried about the "unfairness" of it all but instead he stayed the course and held his beliefs and values close. So though he was uneducated he survived and thrived later in life, he earned his GED at the age of 57 years old. My goal in life has been to build upon the cornerstone he put down, to get an education and to see to it that my children had even more opportunity than I or my grandfather had. Point is it takes generations of strong parents and families to build communities and countries. Instead of running away maybe the people of Mexico should try laying that same cornerstone at home and planting the seeds for their future generations to grow from.
I see the immigrant men daily, every morning at the corner store, they are often buying beer at 8am in the morning. Many fall prey to the advertising of the beer companies that prey upon their inherent machisimo, they think it is going to make them more of a man, when the reality is just makes them a drunk before long. Many drive drunk with no insurance and the results are often jail or death, neither are good. This is a social issue for both sides of the border, these men need to be educated as to what it is to be a real man, a father and husband, being macho does not raise a child or set a good example. Simple minded thinking and machisimo are in fact part of the problem. When the people of Mexico raise their own standards their country will start to grow and heal. But as long as these actions are overlooked the disease will continue to spread, and I for one am no longer willing to sit quietly and allow it to tear down my own community. So call me a racist, or a xenophobe if you like, but know this is not motivated by hate, it is my truth and what I have seen with my own eyes. Telling the truth does not make me evil nor does it mean I lack compassion, it means I care enough to speak out for the greater good. If we allow the free ride to continue for so many there will be no country here worth living in. To come here and violate the rules and refuse to assimilate to our way of life is to destroy the dream and way of life that made this an attractive place to begin with.

Ovemex said...

@Melisa Lotzer

Thanks for helping me get the word out and vouching for my character, allowing these words, "Victoria's story" to be brought to life and shared with the world.

@Victoria: It took alot of courage for you to even speak your truths. Thank you for trusting me and allowing me to share your life with the readers of BB. Even behind the darkest, heaviest of clouds, the sun still shines. Stay safe and Stay strong



For those of you who don't know, Melissa Lotzer founded and administrates Mexico Nueva Revolucion:

http://jacqui.instablogs.com/entry/cyber-guardians-mexican-drug-war-creates-new-mexican-revolution/

Buela Chivis said...

@ Melissa Lotzer

Orale!

Please tell "Victoria" I did shed tears when I read her words, but also I had such a feeling of joy that Ovemex created this forum where words could flow freely and tell the story of the Mexican people. In a world of Narco violence the innocents, the citizens, have become invisible and mute to the world. Words have tremendous power. one can only hope the story of the people can convey to the world that the Mexican people are living in a paralizing existance and need our help.

@Ovemex
No seasoned BB reader would ever doubt your integrity, everything you post is thoughtful and relevant...blood & gore has to be told but not at the expense of silencing the people of Mx.

This was amazing..

My dos centavos

Anonymous said...

I know well, a lot of the words of the Mexican National Anthem, American Cities are dotted with little Mexicos and of course, much of the Western USA was once Mexican and a lot of it was once New Spain.

So, the countries are intertwined, we are neighbors, sure, I know there can be a lot of Nationalistic fervor on why the USA should never send troops; but I don't see where sending monies to fight the conflict is all that different.

Perhaps drugs should be decriminalized, at least marijuana...but I'd have to look up figures but I don't think using drugs is as big as it use to be in the USA in say the '60s, '70s and '80s.

They are reporting today, Schwarzenegger said "nobody cares if you smoke a joint" and a lot is now grown in the US now.

Anonymous said...

so....we should expect all of the death and cartels that are protected by the federales to be in San Miguel soon. You are stupid if you think they not already here. The border is just a line in the sand.

Anonymous said...

@November 9, 2010 9:03 PM
@November 9, 2010 9:04 PM

Ok dip shit if I wanted your whole life story I would of ask for it. And second this about the drug war, not the immigration war. How about you go to fox news or something and express your ideas there, they would be welcomed. And not every mexican wants to come pouring into the United States, alot of ppl like your grandfather do have it tough but they dont decide to go to the US, no, they stick it out. Just go to any street corner throughout any mexican city and you will see them trying to earn a decent living. But again, this is about drug issue, how about you stop blaming mexicans for all your problems and start to fix them. Or better yet tells us how to reduce the appetite of drug addict Americans which finance this drug war??? Any solutions rather then just bitching about your immigration problems??

Anonymous said...

The drug war IS a sympton of the erosion of society and values in mexico, dipshit. Granted we have a drug problem as do most major countries, our system is flawed in that we incarcerate rather than rehabilitate. Private prisons are a profitable industry for some but they do little to change lives longterm. I have lost a close family member to drugs but I am in no way deluded into thinking the flow will stop anytime soon. Based on your way of thinking we should assume that Mexicos drug problem is our fault. Maybe it has to do with a largely uneducated population, lack of opportunity and a corrupt government system combined with people worshiping idols instead of true leaders. I happen to have many friends in Mexico and my own wife was raised on the border, perhaps you would do well to study your own failed history. The decline of Mexico began long before the present rise in the drug trade. Your rant would suggest I am supposed to sit and allow my community to suffer due to your own systematic failures, well I am not buying it. Running away from a problem is no way to solve it my friend. My story is meant to be an example of how communities are built, by having a backbone and educating yourself. Obviously you would rather place blame and bitch rather than take ownership of the problem and make a start on solving it, typical.
I know many in Mexico who are hard workers but it takes more, education for one and the willingness to work for changes. Do you know your history, do you understand the missteps of the past that have brought you to this place today? Perhaps young men would not be lured into the drug trade if they had other opportunity or were raised with better values and a strong family behind them. I feel a great sadness for Mexico but at the same time I am appalled at the lack of effort on the part of its own people who chose to run rather than fight back. And fyi I do not watch Fox news nor do I consider myself a republican, I try to stay in the middle where common sense is present. Hell, the US government has been implicated in its share of the drug trade, Manuel Noriega or the Contra arms for coke scheme ring a bell to you? Is it not true that besides Pemex the largest industries in Mexico are the US tourist trade and the drug sales? What does that say? It says that Mexico is way to dependant on us for its welfare. Maybe people should dig a little deeper when electing officials, then hold them accountable for their actions or lack of effort. Though we share in the fallout Mexicos problems are just that, Mexicos problems! Maybe it is time to march on the governors offices and demand they get to work for the people, maybe it is time to seek out men and women of character rather than some actor playing a role in order to fleece their own people. I don't blame Mexico for our appetite for drugs, addiction is a disease that affects many and there is too little help or funding to rehabilitate, instead we incarcerate so some jackass con profit from it. I actually work in my community to help people with addiction and mental health issues and it is a sad and daunting task, so do not assume I am ignorant to the problem. In fact I am very well educated on the issue. I also set an example for my own children by not drinking or using drugs and I talk with them about such things, I do my job. Maybe more people in Mexico should do theirs rather than misplacing their frustration on us. I think my government has been way too kind thus far and actually enabled the problem to grow. Maybe Mexicos government has been way to complacent to act at all, maybe you should start demanding better from them. Again, I feel great sorrow for Mexico but I am not going to cry over it as that will not solve the problem, I am simply suggesting that the people of Mexico should start cleaning up their own back yard and this story is one example of someone brave enough to speak out about the problem. We all know the problem but it is going to take action to solve it. So quit bitching and start working, dipshit.

Anonymous said...

@ Nov. 9 10:30.
Amen. Where do all the guns come from? U.S. Where do all the drugs go to? U.S. And what did Lindsey Lohan get? A slap on the wrist and rehab. Have great day!

Anonymous said...

"Anonymous said...
@ Nov. 9 10:30.
Amen. Where do all the guns come from? U.S. Where do all the drugs go to? U.S. And what did Lindsey Lohan get? A slap on the wrist and rehab. Have great day!

November 10, 2010 9:05 AM "

You are a fool. Most of the guns come from southe/central america and china. You cannot guys grenade launchers and automatic weapons in the US. Do some research so you won't be so ignorant.

Anonymous said...

Are you seriously that stupid?? Or your joking right!! haha. First this drug war you mention isnt happening in all of mexico its mainly along the border, but here I provided sources to back my shit up,

http://www.brookings.edu/opinions/2010/0921_colombia_mexico_cardenas_casaszamora.aspx

http://www.borderlandbeat.com/2010/09/12-myths-of-war-against-drug-cartels.html

http://www.borderlandbeat.com/2010/09/12-myths-of-war-against-drug-cartels_24.html

Unlike you, I actually live here and know whats going on. Your sources seem to be your "many friends in Mexico and your own wife who raised on the border", what is that suppose to bring me comfort, that your not a racist, or a xenophobe. Is this to make you seem like you know whats going on in mexico, I think not, and happens to show how narrow minded and uneducated you are about the war on drugs in mexico. Second I know my history unlike you, Here study this, then come talk to me, The Prohibition in the United States, also known as The Noble Experiment, the period from 1920 to 1933, tell me how that worked for you, the United States is a joke in this so called drug war, and you and I know its going to end the same way, legalized. Third "Granted we have a drug problem as do most major countries" no you are the drug problem, you dip shit. According to the latest surveys, cited by the DEA themselves, there are about 12.7 million people who have used some illegal drug in the last month and perhaps 30 to 40 million who have used some illegal drug within the last year. Of the 12.7 million who used illegal drugs in the last month, about 10 million are presumed to be casual drug users, and about 2.7 million are addicts but you want to talk to mexicans about erosion of society and values in mexico haha your a joke. Maybe you should preach your story to the millions of drug addict Americans in your country. And we are cleaning up are back yard, if not we would of never declared this war on drugs, this is going to take time, its not going to happen over night, with alot of effort and time, just how your grandfather took a while to get his GED and was a success story, so will Mexico but in time. Later loser.

Anonymous said...

@November 10, 2010 11:51 AM

"You are a fool. Most of the guns come from southe/central america and china. You cannot guys grenade launchers and automatic weapons in the US. Do some research so you won't be so ignorant."

The only fool here is you, obviously you didn't do your research but here I provide you with this sources:

http://www.gao.gov/new.items/d09709.pdf

http://www.policyarchive.org/handle/10207/bitstreams/19331.pdf

http://borderviolenceanalysis.typepad.com/mexicos_drug_war/2010/06/largest-weapons-cache-in-years-seized-in-laredo.html

There are no American made weapons in these reports or articles. This is a photoshopped picture prepared by the American anti-gun liberal media. Haha...and what evidence do you have that they come from china, russia and south america...you have none?? Can you even cite a source nope...so stop making accusations and start showing me proof and then I'll start to take you into consideration.

Anonymous said...

So many folk got all ticked off when I talked earlier on this thread about the murderous rotten role the US has always played in messing over ALL of Latin America and how it is now doing the exact same thing today with Mexico. Well here it is again straight from the horse's mouth of the Washington Post.

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2010/11/09/AR2010110907297.html

US interventionism is bad news totally for Mexico. The US needs to get the Hell out of Mexico, Iraq, and Afghanistan!

Washington Post
U.S. military helping Mexican troops battle drug cartels
By Mary Beth Sheridan
Washington Post Staff Writer
Wednesday, November 10, 2010

The U.S. military has begun to work closely with Mexico's armed forces, sharing information and training soldiers in an expanding effort to help that country battle its violent drug cartels, according to U.S. and Mexican officials....

follow the link given for the complete article....

Ernest1

Anonymous said...

You can buy the books of Fidel Castro in Mexico. There are definitely mixed signals in all this. When Clinton was president, he made apologies to Guatemala for what the USA has done. There is lots of info on both sides of this argument.

--------

Back to the Gun argument, powerful firearms are being used, it doesn't seem so easy as to say people are going to gun stores to buy this but I don't know who is supplying. Whoever is, must take blame for these problems.

Anonymous said...

Ernesto One-Note, the Washington Post, really not a great reference. Their agenda is pretty clear and much like yours.

Nobody has an opinion on Anon 9:03 and 9:04? Nobody?

Has anyone seen the mexican made documentary Presunto Culpable? Does anyone know the changes that have already been made to the mexican justice system and the changes that are planned? If not then you really don't have much credibility in discussions of mexico's problems and future. At the very heart of the cartel/drug war/violence/kidnapping/extortion in mexico is the fact that mexico has never had a justice system that was fair and never has had police that catch criminals. Never. Think about it and stop calling each other dipshit.

PL

Anonymous said...

@November 11, 2010 12:34 PM

I think someone did have an opinion on Anon 9:03 and 9:04. Just look at November 10, 2010 4:22 PM and November 9, 2010 11:24 PM and I completely agree with you.

Anonymous said...

This is a pretty damn stupid comment. Just what is the Washington Post agenda and what is my supposed agenda according to you, too? Can't dummies like yourself, 'PL' ever say anything meaningful or clearly? Apparently not...

'Ernesto One-Note, the Washington Post, really not a great reference. Their agenda is pretty clear and much like yours.'

So say what you think my agenda really is and how in the Hell it has anything to do with a newspaper's agenda per your mind, PL. Too incoherent to do that for us, Buddy?

'At the very heart of the cartel/drug war/violence/kidnapping/extortion in mexico is the fact that mexico has never had a justice system that was fair and never has had police that catch criminals. Never.'

TRUE. But what's your point? That Mexico somehow needs to be militarized because of that and that the US government helping to do that is something good? If that's the point you're trying to make (incoherent as you are) then you are pretty much a fool.

Ernest1

Anonymous said...

me dan hasta escalofrios no veo como el gobierno va a resolver esto pero creo siento y sobre todo medoy cuenta que nosotros mismos tenemos la culpa ya que la pobreza la vemos como enfermedad yo vivi eso la gente que gana bien desprecan alos que se encuentran en desventaja el gobierno dice opeor solo nos aprieta el cinto aumento de esto aumento de otro que van hacer los que muy apenas ganan para comer son ciegos o que

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