Thursday, May 26, 2011

Thursday 5/26/2011

28 dead. That's the death toll in the latest shootout between drug cartels in Mexico, bodies found littered on the highway. The State Department issued advisories before Spring Break for college kids advising them to stay away from several, specific states in Mexico. You couldn't pay me enough money to go down there right now. I wouldn't even want to go into a border town, much less the interior of that nation. I'm wondering why the Mexican government cannot get this chaos under control. I have no idea what American authorities would do if such killings were happening here, but I doubt it would last as long as it has down there.

I don't necessarily believe the recounting of the story, either. Police arriving long after the showdown is done and over with. I have heard of and personally encountered enough corrupt Mexican police "officers" to know that there is at least the possibility that they intentionally do not get involved with any of this junk until it's done. You got money they definitely take bribes. You get pulled over for a traffic violation - whether real or usually imagined/made up - they will sit there and tell you how you are going to have to go to jail for 2 or 3 days unless you pay them upfront. They aren't giving that money to the local town government, rest assured. I have paid them off because the prospect of sitting in a small, town jail with a dirt floor and a pit in the middle as a toilet, spending that quality time in the presence of a bunch of other people with unknown intentions? Here's $20, have a nice day.

They always want more, but I never gave them that much. The last time I had to pay one of them off, I had just enough gas money to get back home on me plus a bit of eating money. The guy wanted $80. I said I couldn't afford it, I would run out of gas. $60. $50. $40. I then offered the $20 and he let me go. Yes, the $20 was eating money, I just didn't eat until I got home, which was half a day later. They used to stop me when I was doing missionary work down there and take whatever they wanted from the donations out of the back of the pickup I was driving. The best winter coats and blankets and whatever else appealed to them.

What were you going to say? You are in another man's land and they can basically do with you as they please. They can make up stories about what you have allegedly "done" if you resist them and then you are in a heap of trouble in a foreign land. It wasn't worth the risk, to me anyway, I just let them have what they wanted and moved on. You wanna spend even 10 minutes in a Mexican jail, be my guest. I had to go down there to a border town - Juarez - and practically beg a judge to let a co-missionary go. I have no idea if the judge was corrupt or not, I am not willing to go that far with it. He wanted a fine paid for the man's "infraction". I had like $10 on me, that was it. I pleaded with this guy for half an hour before he finally agreed to take my $10 and let the man go.

I've had the Federales threated to imprison me on countless occasions. I have had the Mexican army pointing their assault weapons at my head, also talking about incarceration. This while I was a MISSIONARY.

I have no intentions of going back down to Mexico ANYTIME soon. Maybe never again.

Anyway, spent a good deal of time with my dad yesterday. He seems to be doing well. Okay, well enough as one can expect for a man his age. He has arthritis in a bad way, I guess that's the biggest malady that hinders him. Today is Caleb's graduation. I have the day off work (I hope, anyway, unless I get a phone call), I am going to spend more time with my dad and then tonight is the festivities. I DO hope it doesn't last 3 hours as some are claiming it might. A good hour, hour and a half is enough for me.

After today? Well, my dad is going to be around most of the day Friday. He planned it so that he would be here a day early and of course leave the next day, but later, at 5:00 pm I think he said the bus leaves. He is not living in Tucson yet, they moved most of their stuff their but I guess they are still in Sierra Vista dealing with the house and trying to get it painted, cleaned up professionally and ready to sell.

Anyway, I don't know what I am going to actually do on Friday, but since my dad will be over here, a bit more conversation is in order. I may go out and get started on that horse trough and getting it ready to fill up with water. Otherwise, I will wait until Saturday.

It's going to start getting very warm here and I would like to get that project done and over with before June, when on the first day of June it's slated to be 103, the next day 107 and then after that 111 and 110. Yep, dive right into the thick of gross heat right at the beginning of the month when it always starts getting like that.

Well enough. I have some store visits to do and phone calls to make.

G'day.

ben

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