We've had a wonderful week of reconnecting with people we care about. My first week on the Border has been joy-filled.
Yet, with each friend with whom we reunite, the conversation turns inevitably to the Juarez violence--a reality that colors everything here black. I've never experienced warfare. But living here must be like living in a war zone. Since the beginning of the year, more than 1,400 people have been slain in Juárez (a 30 minute stroll from my house) as two drug cartels duke it out for the corridor rights. Worse: no one has been arrested. Most of the executions have been ambush-style slayings as in Al Capone-style Chicago days.
The good news for me is that so far they are mostly targeted killings, liked to drug trafficking. Nevertheless, that calibre of violence has profound implications on one's daily living activities as well as on the general health and well-being of our twin-city.
This weekend alone 28 were slain. On Friday my friend had just come from her neighbor's wake--dead by ten bullets. Officials discovered a naked cadaver stuffed into a manhole three blocks from her home some months back. I hear story after story.
It is bad here. It's bad all across the Border. For instance, Marjorie of Maggie's Madness has relentlessly blogged the Tijuana violence all summer. Even a quick scan of her blog entries will show you a world of hurt. I sincerely urge you to visit Bruce Burman's Border-Blog. As an artist and long-timer here, his poignant post really says it better than I can.
Photo caption: The Sword of Juarez Do be sure to see Bruce Burman's wonderful photograph of this sculpture. He is a real artist (whom I hope to meet sometime during Round 3 of Border exploring.)
Thanks for visiting me here and for caring about the Border mayhem. Truly, I saw little or (more accurately) nothing of this in the press when I lived in the Midwest.