Saturday, February 25, 2012

Mexico and El Paso: Danterous Border (Stray Bullets Endanger California Travellers?)

I am not sure whether it is because Mexican violence has subsided, or because it is just not being reported--probably elements of both--but there have not been so many stories about the out-of-control violence in El Paso's (where I live) sister city of Juarez, Mexico in the past several mnths. That is why there have been not so many blog updates in my "Mexico: A Failed Country" series.

However, there was a news report in El Paso this past week which indicates that the the area of teh Mexican border is still a DANGEROUS place (albeit, and amazingly, El Paso remains a very SAFEcity, except for these occasional STRAY BULLTETS from Mexico). That wsa the news story this past week: That a woman, who had moved from Juarez to El Paso to escape the violence, was SHO:T with what was reported to be a stray bullet from one of those drug cartel batles in Juarez. The woman was apparently hit in th eleg with athise stray bullet, although you always have to be a little skeptical as to whether initial reports were an accurate repreesentation of the actual facts.

That is another POSSIBLE explanation for the apparent sbusiding of the extreme violvence that had made Juarez about the most dangerous city in the WORLD (including the Middle East): Maybe everyone is DEAD, or moved to somewhere else (like the United States). I assume that is a slight exaggeration. People still do go back and forth beteween Juarez and El Paso, although not nearly as often--and with as little concern--as was the case when I first began livnig in El Paso (or even little more than a decade ago, when my daughters wer in an El Paso high school and gong across the border to Juarez night clubs , over my objectins).

In case yoiu have never drivent to Southern California using the southern route, you may not realize the DANGER that motorists reavelling to California, on Interstate 10, are in. Interstate 10 diips down toward teh Mexico border at El Paso, and you can actually SEE Mexico (across the Rio Grande) from interstate 10 as you go through El Paso. In fact, it is at the pont that interstate 10 is travelling in sight of Mexico, paralle to the Rio Grande, that there has been a previuos reort of STRAY BULLETS hittng buildings at UTEP (the local university). The ONLY way that could happen, as to stray bulltets from Juareez 9the official explanation at the time) , was for the bullets to pas OVER I-10. I am not aware of any reports of a California-bound car being hit by such a stray bullet, although there was a report of a care being hit near downtown El Paso, as a protino oft the downtown area was "peppered" with bullets form a fire fight in Juarez. The El Paso City Hall has been previously hit with such stray bullets.

You know those sings about watch out ofr falling rocks", or "deer crossing". I keep wondering whether we should put up a WARNING sign along I-10: "Watch out for stray bullets".

So far, this is like lightning strikes; not much of a daily concern for teh residents of El Paso. Residents of places like Chicgo are in MUCH more danger from LOCAL violence. The main effet in El Paso, as stated, is that there just is not as much interaction between Juarez and El Paso as once was the case, althugh many people still travel back and forth between the two cities (if only because tkhey have relatives in both cities, or, for exmple, work in El paso but ive in Juarez.

Still, this story ws still a reminder that the Mexican border still remains a DANGEROUS place, where ou can ever be sure when viiolence will breakout.

P.S. No proofreading or spell checkng (bad eyesight).

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