It appears that a sizable following from BB have at least some sort of association with Mexico and have had family members (or others) directly affected by the current state of the country.
I'd like to know how you became interested in this topic - what drew you here, any pertinent stories, who was affected by your situation etc.
Mine started during a Houston Rocket's playoff game a few years back. The two guys sitting next to me from El Paso worked at a BMW dealership (both were of Mexican/American heritage) and we started talking about the situation in El Paso - he handed me his phone and said "hey look at this - the narco's had sent these to our cell phones as a warning". There was a gruesome video of 6 people lined up on a city wall and massacred with AR's. I swear the shooting never stopped! Anyway, this prompted me to take an interest in the situation.
I've appreciated 99% of the contributions from the regulars (Havana, Chivis, Chivo, AJ, DD, Badanov, Athena and of course Kid) and non-regulars alike - people like you continue to give credence to why Buggs started this in the first place and I'm happy to be a part of this community of mostly unbiased narconews.
@ Pinchegringo. I got interested because I live here. To me staying current on what is happening here is a security matter. Especially with me being a gringo. Fifteen years ago when I came down here I was never concerned for my safety. When friends from the States would ask if I was not afraid living in Mexico, and my answer would be, "where in the United States would you see a kid, maybe 7 or 8 years old, with a little brother of 5 or 6 in tow, walking alone across the plaza in el centro. Maybe coming home from grandma's or a friends house. or see a lone female walking alone through downtown or even a residential street. Probably going home from work at a restaurant or the late shift of a maquilladora. Those were common sights here. But I doubt you would see that very often in Dallas or Houston or LA or NYC.
But times changed. A few years ago I started hearing rumors about the cartels. As you probably know, local media doesn't cover cartel news very much here so it was hard to find out much. I remember asking a friend who is a doctor here about a rumor I had heard that the cartels owned a cantina/club here. He furtively looked around and over his shoulder before whispering to me "Don't ask or talk about that. they have ears everywhere and it might be especially dangerous for you as a gringo."
I quickly focused more on security than I had in the past. Thankfully I found BB.
Thanks for the kind words.
Words are powerful weapons, be careful how you use them.
@ DD - I do recall you living in MX (and are apparently a trusted confidant to Chivis) b/c you moved with your wife correct so she could be closer to family or something?
I could only imagine the daily horror you guys feel - hungry for a banana? Take your life in your hands to go to the corner store to get one. I know A LOT of it is sensationalized by the fear mongering, but still there is a good chance that an average innocent citizen could meet their end just on a whim by some loco narco.
I appreciate the input and also your posts DD - cheers.
@Pinchegringo. Chivis almost had it right. I moved down here as a single man, met my wife who was born here and had lived her whole life here. we were married about 3 years later.
During that time period I asked her if she wanted to live in the US or stay in Mexico. She had been to the states several times with me before we were married. Her answer is kind of ironic today. She wanted to stay here in Mexico, partly because family was here, but also because there was too much violence in the US (it was during a time of a lot of drive-by shootings getting a lot of press in US), mothers killing their babies (about that time there had been a spate of mothers killing their kids, one by drowning them in the bathtub), and because she thought gringos up there were rude and unfriendly (the didn't speak when they met someone on the street).
Time do change.
Words are powerful weapons, be careful how you use them.
I am technical help at Rantburg.com and have been since about 2005 in my work with web and back-end scripting, and Linux/FreeBSD. When the massacre in Juarez took place, the 16 teens gunned down in March 2010, someone said we needed a "Mexico Desk" so I began perusing Mexican news websites and translating/rewriting articles for publication at Rantburg.com.
In the fall of 2011, when I published the interview with Dr. Robert Bunker, I kinda began drifting towards Borderland Beat and helping out here as well.
I worked with a number of Mexicans in El Reno at a pipe yard during the 1990s. I could even speak the language some. At that time, immigration from Mexico really soared, and so a number of new families moved to El Reno and Oklahoma City metro area. Oklahomans benefited from the presence of newly immigrated Mexicans , at least those who bought authentic homemade tamales did. Those men I did work with were standoffish, but had a great sense of humor and a strong love of practical jokes.
Over the years I have learned to appreciate, and in many ways still learning Mexican political and social culture. I have a Blockbuster DVD-by-Mail account, specifically so I could watch Mexican cinema, near all of which I have totally enjoyed. ( My favorite director is Luis Estrada and his film "La Ley de Herodes" (which I own on DVD)).
My only regret is that I have started all this so late in life.
I got interested because I'm an American living in Mexico. I started hearing about the things going on and started searching for news on the internet. That's when I came across BB. I suddenly realized how much I needed to learn. I've visited this site daily now for more than 2 years.
Do not argue with an idiot. He will drag you down to his level and beat you with experience
um i guess i grew up with this in the summers....kinda weird to see people i know be part of this whole war. i guess im here by default just looking to see some news. the name says it all, i try and be on top of dgo news specifically teps, santiago, oro region. here in chicago we take the rumors with a grain of salt. i was born over there raised here i yearn(SP) to go back its been three years. mi sierra querida sin narcos como es bella!
jajajaja...I remembered the entire story, even included it but edited as to keep it simple.
My interest is of course obvious. However, when I first decided to go to mexico, live there half the year and perhaps have a staff and office one day, I chose NE Mexico not having a damn clue that it was one of the hot spots of narco acitivy in Mx. My good buddy, another humanitarian left that tidbit out. I knew little about narcos. when i established my offices in coahuila cdg and the last letter were together. I remember hearing people saying "yes they do bad things but they do good also, giving medicines and help to the poor". that is what happens when society marginalizes a segment of its people, they are easy pickins for bad people that will win their support by winning their hearts. then they split. there was no talk about any help only fear. and no one spoke about shit going down. I feel somtimes like I am living in a dream, a very bad dream.
cartels have not threatened me in 9 years. one even offered help after seeing my appeal for a transformer. then a few mos ago that changed. I did an interview on TV and Zocalo paper for something they did not like. and a message was sent directly to my office, and it was clear. and nothing has been the same since then. I began feeling something had changed in my city. and over the weekend my fears were confirmed. Now I have to stop living in the la la land of "they leave me alone" to "can I stay in Mexico". If i do i will have to move to a southern or western state, and leave the city and state I call my second home.
The way I see it.... the more people that don't like me, the less people I have to please
Interesting take Durango and good to see the north being represented lol I have family in NY, NoCal and Ohio and it's an out of sight out of mind attitude b/c rarely is it covered in their papers or even discussed for that matter.
What I've found disheartening about your story (and I know a good portion of your history as it relates here) is that you are a woman who is doing something positive in those communities yet you are being shat on for doing so. Quite a shame. Once the good people decide they've had enough is when society will really go in the shitter b/c it will be a "what can you do for me" society as opposed to humanitarian assistance.
Yea man, you and me both! it's a lot to take it initially but once you understand who the players are, you *feel* more informed. Thankfully we have these in-the-know guys on here who somehow get ahold of these stories/vids/photos etc.
I became interested in BB when my husband and I decided to move here. I thought that if I was going to be living here then I needed to know what I was getting into. I have been reading BB everyday since, that was over a year ago.
Sorry PincheG-this is about as interesting as soda water here. You asked, mi amigo.......I'd rather write on any subject but myself. I hope you don't fall asleep.
There wasn't any defining moment that brought me here. It was a long, slow process.
I was working in Mexico, driving back and forth, in cars and but most often in buses.
I had (previously) off and on traveled extensively in Mexico, often catching rides with others, or hopping a bus, to go to different parts of Mexico. I have a sister who has also done this all over Mexico, Guatemala, Honduras and works for Médicos Sin Fronteras/Doctors without Borders.
I was in Mexico for the '06 election and this last one too. It became apparent after Calderon took office, there were geographical areas that weren't so safe anymore and were worsening especially the border. It made sense for me to know about it as I couldn't go around the border unless I flew. The more I learned, the more disheartened and sickened I became. And I was thoroughly aware that I knew nada.
I noticed a total disconnect when I tried to discuss the matters. Mexicans didn't want to say more than it is bad, and most American's eyes glazed over, as they quickly said yeah and changed the subject. So, I studied from newspapers in Mex, books for historical reference. I was irritated that I couldn't find something less time consuming cause (I was straight busy working). I needed something concise like a daily blog where I could glean particulars on roads and areas, border crossings etc. to put the whole thing together.
Later on, I found Borderland Beat, I didn't pay attention to people here for a pretty long time. I lurked for a long time at Borderland Beat, downloading articles, printing, tracking captures, making a big reference notebook and a map or two. I found other spanish drug war sites. I read books. Not ever with any idea but to become a little informed, not to to be a sabe lo todo, but just to get it straight No matter where I was, if there were internet places, I'd always check in with Borderland Beat everyday and I still do.
When I see an interesting article anywhere, I get all excited and the first thing I think is I got to get that to my forum buddies maybe they'd be interested and it might help somehow...I'll get translating, cutting, pasting, posting as you know sometimes without checking first. Whoops!
I found my way here, all from my love of Mexico, non-greedy, non-narcoed, Mexicans, hope for positive change and I stay because of my respect for 99% of the people on Borderland Beat, you've taught me so much and most are all your contributions are valuable .
@pinchegringo: I became interested in the narco wars when a loved one started traveling to both the Western and Eastern sides of Mexico for business. While I had been aware of the violence that US media would occasionally report on, I started researching/reading more on cartel activities so that I could provide him with information to try and keep him safe (luckily he never had any contact with them and is, at least for now, no longer traveling to Mexico).
I came across BB and started lurking when I realized that it provided much better information than the US media. I've encouraged friends and family (with some success) to pay more attention to what is going on in Mexico and that they need to visit this site to get a well rounded view of what is really going on.
I want to express my gratitude to everyone who takes the time to post, and most importantly translate, material to this site.