|Photo By: Cuartoscuro|
By: Mar, Animal Político Reader | Translated by Valor for Borderland Beat
This article is part of a digital project by Animal Político called “Aprender a Vivir con el Narco” (Learning to live with El Narco) released in late 2015.
It’s almost been two years since I’ve been here. Little by little, Tecámac has grown and has populated fairly. Everything was pretty quiet, unlike in municipalities like Ecatepec and Coacalco.
I lived in the latter for 16 years. I knew, like anywhere else, that there was crime, but it began to increase much more soon after the departure of the PAN political party from the municipal presidency and the PRI’s entrance.
Where criminal presence increased the most was in part of Parque Residencial, close to where I lived. I also heard references not very pleasant of communities such as La Joya, Villa de las Flores, which was a quiet area, and San Rafael.
The street where I lived, had to close with a white gate. People would wake up to wheel-less cars, an increase in theft, express kidnappings, shootouts; things that I had never heard during the time that I lived there. They aren’t as frequent, perhaps, as in Tamaulipas, but it is alarming that it increased.
Streets in the community are increasingly closed by gates, there are more alarms in the neighborhood, they have even killed people trying to assault them, I remember a meeting with neighbors hung blankets denouncing crime in Avenida del Parque. It was even discussed in masses of the nearby church. It was among the first places where I saw something like that.
The disappearances of women is becoming more common in Coacalco and Ecatepec. Assaults in combis (minibuses) increase. Even in the Sierra de Guadalupe, where there is an ecological park, there have been assaults and they smashed my father’s window in the parking lot with a stone in order to open the car, but as the car had an alarm, the noise made it so that people closed in and then we arrived, finding it like that.
Now, it is rare for ladies to go out alone after nine at night. They prefer to be accompanied by someone. Children used to play up until those hours peacefully in the streets and now, once it begins to darken, they are already in their homes.
Taking a taxi, or leaving late, is a matter of being careful.
When I entered high school, I was at a school in the Federal District.
Several parents of children who had stayed in the same high school, agreed on a driver so that we could leave together. We would agree that the man would pick us up. At least in the morning, we were safe, and every afternoon, everyone would return alone.
Throughout this situation, a Facebook page called "Coacalco: El grito de la gente (the cry of the people)" arose. It is a way in which many report what is happening in the municipality. It is still in operation and it has changed administrators, but the sad thing is that people have resorted to this, to alert others to take precautionary measures.
It is more common to hear the experiences from more and more people. Shortly thereafter, I moved to Tecámac.
As mentioned in the beginning, many people have come to live here, but what has happened more or less a year to date, is that more and more streets that were once open, they have put up gates, barbed wire, mantas warning that they lynch criminals, that they have alarms, security cameras, everything in order to prevent someone from taking away what little they earned from working.
I also have a grandmother in Neza. I can’t go visit her anymore, because the area that she lives in is very dangerous. She knows it, and therefore, we only make phone calls. The last time I went, I went for a while. Under daylight and leaving before dark to avoid going with anxiety along the way. That’s when I realized, the problem isn’t where you move. Crime and the narco have gained ground everywhere. Their relationship is very strong, it is almost inevitable to have one without the other.
Yes, it has affected me. Now I have to look at who’s beside me in the combi, picking up the pace if I leave work later, if a suspicious car passes by or if it’s very early and I go to school. The newspapers, news, and social networks are full of murders, bullets, displacements, anguish, and narco.
Thus, many have had to live in fear of doing something.