So much for sleeping in.
6am and a rock flies through my living room window. If I were a bit more reactionary, I would say it would have been the “non-fans” of this blog that send me emails instead of posting comments BUT… I know it was probably just a drunk idiot messing with my dogs.
The issue of violence has been on my mind recently. I went to the Chamber of Commerce’s VISION conference and had the chance to hear from “visionary leader” (new award started this year for this conference) Alejandro Junco de la Vega, president of Grupo Reforma newspaper group. He talked about living with the reality of daily violence in Mexico, about no one looking at it and identifying it as an attack on the democracy of a country.
So I asked Mr. Junco de la Vega, “Thank you for your philosophical view of the effects of violence on Mexico but could you also address the impact on the United States? In particular, what can we as individuals affected do?”
Why did I ask? I told him, my uncle was still missing with a massive ransom call that has all of the family in the US scrambling. (FYI – he was returned yesterday and is still in the hospital from the beatings). That was his 2nd experience with kidnappers. My mother’s cousin and his 18 year old assistant have been missing for nearly 2 months – disappearing after accepting a rider in his taxi. My co-worker’s husband was kidnapped in Nuevo Laredo and released after borrowing for his release. All of these impacted us in the United States, our money (in addition to our anguish) bleeds into Mexico too.
He said “I hear the stories all the time” and turned around to join his journalist friends. Not very satisfying for me but what did I expect? An answer to where all the missing are? (FYI: Laredo’s Missing are still missing too – even though their website is down) An end to the use of drugs in the US that create a big trade with Mexico? For him to wave a magic wand and stop people from being cruel to each other? Maybe I just wanted to share with someone who has heard the stories.
I know my experiences are not typical. I did come from up North, from an urban city where gang violence was common, where my parents’ house was hit by random drive-by shootings not involving us, where we knew those whose scars marked one or two or more encounters. I thought – Laredo… ahhhh… peace at last. It isn’t.
Too bad many in Laredo also have their stories of violence, whether here or elsewhere, and how it impacts them.
It is cartel violence, gang violence, domestic violence, mugger violence, bar brawl violence, student bullying violence, kids going to some of Laredo’s private schools with bodyguards violence, verbal abuse violence, vandalism violence and random throw big rocks through my living room window violence. We can’t seem to escape it and find respect for each other. Sigh.