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.