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California and Juarez, Mexico visit



I've made all these pics small and as low-resolution so they'll hopefully download faster.

I spent a week in California visiting three of my brothers and got back Fri. It was very enjoyable, and will be sharing a pic at a time with each post I make.

Those who live in this border city are so close to the violence ridden city of Juarez, Mexico that if one throws a rock across the Rio Grande, it lands in their land.

This week-end, instead of riding my bicycle to Juarez, Mexico, I drove in my car, because I needed quite a few groceries, and to take pictures. I parked my car and started walking throughout the city.

The once bustling streets are now almost bare. Everywhere I looked, doors to shops had thick chains on their doors because they had been abandoned by business owners, since they couldn’t pay the outrageous money the extortionists demanded. One can’t help but see the sadness, hopelessness, and fear in the faces of the innocent. I hadn’t realized I’d walked for so many miles, that when it came time to start walking back to my car, it was already night time. Since it was dark, I searched for a nearby hotel, but noticed they ALL had large groups of federal police on each corner of the building. All of them were lying down on their bellies against sandbags with rifles ready to fire, so I decided to instead head for the bridge. I would have loved to have taken pictures, but I didn't dare for fear of being shot. I must admit I was a little scared for being out this late, but managed to make it back to my car, where I sped to the Paso Del Norte Bridge to get back the U.S. I will be going back to Juarez just a few more times since I still have to take pictures of a couple more places, but this time, as I’ve done many times before, I’ll go on my bicycle and perhaps those times will sadly be my last trips over there.

Already 1,000 people have been murdered in the city, and we’re just in the month of May. President Calderon recently said: "We have not hesitated to use all the power of the state, including the federal police and the armed forces" to weaken the cartels, he said. "We are hitting them, and we are hitting them hard." I don't believe this is true. There is no stopping the cartel. It’s too late. They are the epitome of wealth and power! Sure, Juarez has over 5,000 soldiers, and 5,000 federal police, not to mention the regular police also, but not ONE cartel member has been caught. The murders continue to grow, as the macabre manner they’re done. Heads and headless bodies strewn throughout the city are the norm by now, and the macabre manner of killings become more horrific. The other day, four decapitated bodies were found. Each one was dressed in women’s bra and panties. The 100’s upon 100’s of women murdered and thrown in the desert have yet to be solved.


Tried to take an inside pic of this old hearse parked in front of a funeral home, but it was locked.


As was this one, too.


The funeral home.


Quietly entered the funeral home and took a pic.


All those little businesses have been abandoned.


Broken windows by vandals of these abandoned precidio type little apartments. The wrought iron doors have thick chains with locks.




I saw this one that had the wrought iron door wide open. I only took a couple of steps inside to take a picture. I didn't go into the 2nd room for fear

someone could be hiding there.


I ate the best of the best fish and fixin's here.


As you can see by this picture, it was really late by the time I walked back after having walked so many miles. Before I got into my car, I walked to the

side of the street to take a pic of the traffic less street.


Since I was speeding to get to the border as soon as possible, I was sure the police were after me when I heard sirens and saw flashing lights behind me. It

was a big relief when I saw the vehicle pass me and find it was only an ambulance.


Just a few more blocks where I'll turn left and head for the Paso del Norte International Bridge.


Almost there.


Looks like I'll have to wait at least an hour.




I have my passport in my hand, because I was going to be next. After that, I was on (home sweet home) American soil!


This is one of many pics I took in my recent visit to California. I was lucky to see an all girls tattoo contest, and will share those pics soon.


Moveon.ORG



Join The NRA
"The Right Of The People To Keep and
Bear Arms, Shall Not Be infringed."

Comments

( 21 comments — Leave a comment )
nahele_101
May. 24th, 2010 11:42 pm (UTC)
Miz Playgirl,
WHY OH WHY do you keep going there? I'm afraid you'll leave your lucky rabbit's foot home someday and then you'll just "disappear" off the world of el jay. You can get food anywhere.

The violence there on civilians is disturbing. The stories on the of the ARMY working with certain drug gangs is disturbing. I feel for all those people there who are caught up in greed and violence.

PLEASE PLEASE BE CAREFUL if you insist on continuing to go across the border. Consider ordering special things from the internet maybe instead?

playgirl
May. 25th, 2010 02:20 am (UTC)
I have yet to see any danger during the daytime (aside from the restaurant incident I experienced a while back). The only worry is being carjacked, or having your car stolen when parked. This is why, besides this time, I’ve been going over there on my bicycle to take pictures. The fruit and vegetables, and cleaning items are dirt cheap over there, as is the Mexican chocolate I use for making mole.

The possible danger is when it gets dark, and I made a mistake this time by not realizing just how far I had walked away from my car. There have been a few times this happened before, but I would just head for a hotel or motel and start riding my bicycle back to the bridge in the early morning. This time, I had no idea there would be barricades of federal police surrounding all the hotels I once stayed at. Seeing this really surprised me.

Don’t worry (you have no idea how much I appreciate it). If I should ever encounter some shoot out, I’ll just through myself flat on the ground. I plan on staying in the land of jay for a very long time. :o)
nahele_101
May. 25th, 2010 02:38 am (UTC)
Please be careful and trust your gut instinct. I don't always agree with you, but I do enjoy having you around.

<3,
playgirl
May. 25th, 2010 04:44 pm (UTC)
I always do.

Whether we agree with one another or not, what makes it so nice is, that we continue being friends and that's what friendship is all about.
Hugs!
oddishguy
May. 25th, 2010 02:10 am (UTC)
Very interesting pictures :)
playgirl
May. 25th, 2010 02:56 pm (UTC)
Glad you enjoyed them!
acaptivatedk
May. 25th, 2010 02:25 am (UTC)
Nice pictures. Looks like you enjoyed your stay. I recently saw a documentary on PBS depicting the crimes in that city. If I remember correctly, they mentioned that in this city some 20,000 people died in the last year.

Also, I am flying to Vegas soon..and then driving along the coast of So Cal :)
I am excited about the trip!
playgirl
May. 25th, 2010 03:07 pm (UTC)
I always enjoy myself when I visit the city, because I feel totally free in a scary way.

The murders in J-Town weren't that many. I'm not sure of the numbers, but I'd say something like 2,000. I do know that there were something like 1,650 bank robberies.

It's always exciting when you take a trip somewhere, and I'm sure you'll have lots of fun in Vegas, and California.

Hope you share your experiences there!
drake57
May. 25th, 2010 02:32 am (UTC)
You scare me when you go to Juarez. You better taake care of yourself!

It's so sad that in the 21st Century that violence like this is still a major problem.
playgirl
May. 25th, 2010 03:11 pm (UTC)
Whenever the day comes that I find it too dangerous, I'll stop going over there, so don't worry about me. Besides, I more than capable of definding myself should I ever have to.

Just two years ago, it was perfectly safe to there. I don't know how it got to be the way it's now. It's like it happened in the blinking of an eye.
uglyface2
May. 25th, 2010 09:16 am (UTC)
I know this is entirely unrelated, but I'd like for you to do an entry on the March incident where a South Korean boat was torpedoed by a North Korean sub. Since you were stationed in the country, I figure you'd have some insights that those of us who have yet to venture into Asia would not have.
playgirl
May. 25th, 2010 03:21 pm (UTC)
To be honest with you, this is the 1st time I've heard of the incident, since I've been focusing on the happening in Mexico. I've just now googled and read about it.

Do you want to know how I feel about South Korean boat being attacked by the North Koreans? Do you want me to also post links to my experiences of my year long stay in South Korea?


uglyface2
May. 25th, 2010 08:03 pm (UTC)
Yes, I'd like to hear your thoughts. You've been there, and your experiences may provide a unique viewpoint of what appears to be a looming crisis.
ayoub
May. 25th, 2010 01:31 pm (UTC)
It sounds like every trip there is a gamble...
playgirl
May. 25th, 2010 03:15 pm (UTC)
The day will most certainly come when I'll stop going over there. I feel it's still pretty safe, and for this reason I'll continue going. I want to take as many pictures of the city as possible while I still can.
padiwack
May. 25th, 2010 02:19 pm (UTC)
I went there in 1981. Totally different experience! I remember shopping, drinking tequila based cock-tails in the afternoon. My friend and I bought handmade fringed leather jackets (OMG, I think I still HAVE that jacket!!! I will have to look!)

Interesting jaunt. Thanks for letting us see...
playgirl
May. 25th, 2010 03:36 pm (UTC)
It’s unbelievable that just two years ago Juarez had the most beautiful and exciting clubs imaginable. You couldn't fit inside because they were so full. It was so exciting to go the OLD mercado and see the 1,000's of items on display, and trying to get the person to sell something as cheap as possible. And the restaurants and cafes, so packed you had to wait for a table.

Now, most of the clubs have been burned down, because the owners refused to pay the extortionists, and the few that are still open is because they've agreed to pay up the nose.

There have been over a thousand businesses set on fire. First, they drive by and shoot the entire building with machine guns, then at night they come back and set them on fire. This is why most merchants have chosen just to close shop and abandon their buildings.

I'm glad you got to see, and enjoy the city that is no more when you did. Hope you find that jacket!!
xjenavivex
May. 25th, 2010 04:16 pm (UTC)
Thank you for sharing your pics.
playgirl
May. 26th, 2010 07:52 pm (UTC)
You're most welcomed!
p0stmdrnpr1mt1v
May. 25th, 2010 07:00 pm (UTC)
thank you for documenting and describing so much there, although I'd rather you stay safe and not go.
playgirl
May. 26th, 2010 07:51 pm (UTC)
Thank you so much for carring for my safty, and I'm glad you enjoyed this post!

Whenever my instinct tells me not to go over there anymore, I'll listen, but for now I believe it's still pretty safe. I love Juarez, and I have an obsession to continue going to take as many pictures as I can while I still can.

I have an enormous collection, and share them a little at a time.

( 21 comments — Leave a comment )

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