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Juarez, Mexico Bombing

(A correction from my prior post. The men I approached weren't soldiers, but Federal police.)

I'm feeling a little spooked, because the bombing happened on Thursday, and I had been exactly where it happened on Monday of last week. I walked many blocks that day, including (Bolivia, Guatemala, and 16 de Septiembre street) when I shared with you in a prior post, that I had approached those soldiers federal police who said I could take their pic, but the 8th one kept telling me no, then hissed at me "largate" which is the most disrespectful, horrible and violent way of saying "get out of here" in Spanish. I've also recalled how this one guy looked at me when he wanted me to give him money. The look in his eyes was sheer hatred. I also recall one man who was crossing one street next to me tell me in a sad, but enraged voice that THEY had finally destroyed Juarez.

I saw the video in the news of the Thursday bombing, and there were people covered in blood. One old man was rocking back and forth in a dazed manner. His legs were blown off. I can't fully express the incredible horror, and sadness I felt for him, and the rest who died, and were injured by this COWARDLY act.

What the cartel did was to grab some poor random man who happened to be a mechanic, kill him, and dress him in a police uniform, and put his body on the sidewalk. When people saw the policeman, many, including the medics and a doctor who was in the area with his young son. He told his son to run back to their car and grab his first aid kit. While they were all checking the policeman's body, a car bomb went off. They were all killed, except for the doctor's son who was still getting the first aid stuff from their vehicle.

This past Saturday: I drove to Juarez because a family that lives there had a birthday party for their three year old girl invited me. I stayed until 10:30 PM. I decided to drive back the U.S. through 16 de Septiembre street to cross the Paso del Norte Bridge, but when I got to the railroad crossing that runs directly through this 16 Septiembre street, I found that a train was stopped there blocking my way. I made a u-turn and drove towards the Bridge de Las Americas. I have never felt fear when I've been in Juarez, but I was terrified this time. Everywhere I drove; it seemed like a war zone, with countless flashing red lights from police, ambulance, and military trucks. It took me forever see the bridge and I gave a sigh of relief when I got there to show my passport, and entered this beloved country - the U.S.A!

Back to Monday of last week: When walking back to the bridge, there are two different lines; one for American citizens who walk to get to the U.S. inspection, and the other for Mexican citizens with passports called (I believe) Lancer passports. The bridge is lined from beginning to end with these people, who are in extremely hot weather. It takes them about 3 hours to finally cross into the U.S.
Those of us, who are American citizens, have only a few minutes to cross, since there are so few who cross into Mexico since the violence began. When it's your turn, you show the Border Patrol inspector your passports, then you go a little further to a machine where you place you purse, bags, etc. into, and then you leave.

Don't believe for a moment that the close to 5,000 slayings for this year is the real numbers. The numbers are much higher, because journalists and photographers are murdered when reporting on deaths. And don't believe the President of Mexico when he says that the deaths are only cartel member. Thousands have been, and continue being innocent men, women, and children who have been in the wrong place at the wrong time.

Juarez, Mexico is considered "the most violent zone in the world outside of declared war zones."

I realized two years ago that the time would come when it would be too dangerous to go to Juarez. I will go to Juarez, Mexico one more time (in the day-time, and on my bicycle), then I'll never again go there, and it breaks my heart. I am grateful that throughout the past two years, I was able to collect hundreds of pictures. I’ll be sharing a few at a time, these pictures with you.


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( 10 comments — Leave a comment )
Jul. 19th, 2010 11:16 pm (UTC)
sad. I've always wanted to do a tour of the border towns, maybe start around Matamoros and go all the way to Tijuana. Maybe by the time I can afford the trip, things will have improved.
Jul. 20th, 2010 02:57 am (UTC)
I hope I'm wrong, but I don't believe it will ever be safe again. I hope you never go to those places, and I hope this only because I want you to be safe.
Jul. 19th, 2010 11:46 pm (UTC)
Things are just jacked down there, and their President acts like he really doesn't care, just pointing fingers.
Jul. 20th, 2010 01:05 am (UTC)
He doesn't.
Jul. 20th, 2010 03:02 am (UTC)
I find it comical in an enraging way how President Calderon shows such courage and concern about our laws, when his country is in the state it's in.

The one who let things go this far in Mexico was past President Fox. All the people of Mexico blame him, because this cancer spread while he was traveling the world, including showing up on Fox News, with his expensive leather boots.

Edited at 2010-07-20 03:03 am (UTC)
Jul. 20th, 2010 01:11 am (UTC)
Terrible. I had a training class in Juarez back in '99. It was such a dismal difference from El Paso. Awful world south of the border now.
Jul. 20th, 2010 02:49 am (UTC)
It's hard to believe that it was still pretty safe in 2007. I would sometimes meet my friends there to dance at the most fantastic nightclubs imaginable. Those clubs closed their doors long ago. Many have been burned down.
Jul. 20th, 2010 06:37 am (UTC)
I am so sorry to hear of what is happening.

What do you think would help solve these problems?
Jul. 20th, 2010 04:10 pm (UTC)
*hugs you tight*

I'm just glad you're okay...
Jul. 21st, 2010 08:29 pm (UTC)
It really is a sorry time for the people living there. I am glad to hear that you will stop going down there. Just post pictures when you have a chance.

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( 10 comments — Leave a comment )

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