Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Serious Post is Serious

I don't normally like to talk about serious topics on my blog. My blog is supposed to be my escape from my responsibilities and all that is serious. But lately focusing my my petty problems is becoming more and more difficult. If anyone is particularly sensitive, they may want to avoid reading this post as it is sad/disturbing and almost plain unimaginable for most of us.

As you might now, I live really close to the border with Mexico. I'm sure most people have heard vaguely about the drug wars in Mexico, but few people really know how fucked up things really are. Check out Border Wars on The National Geographic Channel if you get a chance. It doesn't go into detail about what is happening on the Mexico side, but it's pretty eye-opening.

Innocent people are dying by the hundred and thousands in Mexico. You know what the drug cartels do? They force people to join them by threatening to kill them and their families if they don't participate. And they will follow through on their threats. So yesterday I watched a video of two people being beheaded. One with a chainsaw and one with what appeared to be a fairly dull-knife. The men were apparently rival cartel members and were shockingly resigned to their fates. The guys were made to talk for awhile and one of them mentioned they got paid $21 a MONTH to be drug runners. These are people who have no other options to feed their families.

If you think maybe those guys deserved their fate consider this. Two or three days ago a young woman who lived in a town just minutes over the US border (Nuevo Laredo) was murdered for speaking out about the cartels on a social networking site. She was beheaded and both her head and body were placed in a public place with a sign warning other people from speaking out.  The cartels also kill en masse. It isn't uncommon to find massive dumping grounds of tortured bodies. They don't do this in the night hidden away from public view either. Last week in Veracruz Mexico in the middle of the day rush hour a cartel stopped traffic to dump 35 bodies under a busy overpass.

There is nothing people can do. The politicians and police are corrupt or powerless. Many people who live here have family in Mexico. Many people who go to my university even live in Mexico. They talk about how they can't even leave their houses. One of my professors was telling me that she went with a friend to Mexico for her friend's grandfather's funeral and they were stopped by masked men with AK47s who stopped them and searched their car. This actually happens fairly frequently. Sometimes they steal the car. My boyfriend is a firefighter and another firefighter he works with has a family ranch in Mexico. His father, who lives partly in the US received a ransom letter stating that they held  his wife and needed so much money or they would kill her. So the guy's dad went to his ranch with the money to give them, but they murdered him.

My boyfriend's younger brother and sister used to go to the University of Texas at Brownsville. The university is located feet away from the border in Mexico. They would tell us that they could hear grenades and gunshot from their dorm rooms. One time the gym had to be evacuated because it was being hit by stray bullets coming over the border. Yes, things are bad.  Really bad. And it seems like it's going to get worse before it gets better.

So sorry, no pretty pictures today. Maybe I'll feel like it in a few days, but right now it just doesn't feel right.


  1. Sweetie I appreciate this so much as I too live near the border and I am horrified that so few people know that theres a war going on so close to our country. I assume you live in Texas? I'm from Southern Arizona =(

    Also, as coincidence would have it, one of the classes I'm taking in college this year is called The Drug War and it's about this very topic. This class has really cemented my belief that the U.S. needs to take responsibility for this because we have contributed to their war in such big ways. People are dying to satisfy OUR demand for drugs and, worst of all, they estimate that 90%- NINETY PERCENT- of the guns used for this violence in Mexico came from the U.S..

    It's so sad and so frustrating and I hope that someone who lights up a joint without thinking about where it came from reads this and reconsiders how they spend their money.

  2. OMGG didnt realize it was this bad.... be careful girl :(

  3. So sorry sweetie. That is one thing I don't miss living in the valley. It's just so sad and surreal that such violence is going on just miles from where you live. I am so glad I got out of there before my kids got old enough to get the bright idea of going into Mexico. That was my worst nightmare living there. If you need anything let me know. (((hugs)))

  4. @Anna Elizabeth- Yes, I live in south Texas. It's sad that its just who live near the borders that understand how bad it is. It isn't anyone else's fault for not knowing, It's just sad that a bigger deal isn't made by our country and our media. We focus on all the atrocities happening elsewhere in the world when things just as bad are happening SO CLOSE. And I know about the guns; I didn't want to politicize anything or make people mad so I tried to avoid mentioning things like that. I just want more people to understand how bad it is. Even if that isn't what my blog was made for, I'm glad I could use it for that.

    @Eve-o-lution- It's scary isn't it? I live so close to it and it's even hard to grasp how terrible it is. Luckily it's still safe here in the US, but I feel so so horrible for the people who live in Mexico.

    @Susan- I would never dream of going to Mexico, but I know a lot of kids (and people in general) still do. I've heard a few horror stories about some not making it back, too. Thank you for your concern Susan; you're the best! I just wish there was something I could do to help the people, but even their own government can't help them.

  5. That's just so extreme and really sad. I can't even imagine living near or in a place like that; surrounded by so much violence.

  6. Thanks for talking about this Jessi...this is a very difficult and frustrating topic. I have family in Mexico and I just found out that uncle-in-law was murdered last week while someone was trying to steal his car. I don't think it was related to the drug cartels but I'm always worried for my family in Mexico. Two my close cousins are pregnant and I can't imagine if something happened to them.

    I haven't felt like blogging much either, it's so frustrating that all this is going to and we can't do much to help. All this is going on for what? Money? Drugs? It's ridiculous, I almost want our government to do something, but I will not wish war upon another country (& the issues with our government is a wholeee another story) Sigh...

  7. I don't live near the border at all but can only imagine how hard this is for them and their families. After reading this I can only respond: be safe, best wishes for you and yours, and I hope things (somehow) eventually turn for the better in Mexico. Thank you for writing about what it's really like.


Thank you so much for your comments! I appreciate them all and read every one!

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