Sad that most (all) of our posts tagged Mexico seem to deal with the out-of-control drug war going on down there, a spiral of increasing violence which is almost surreal in proportion: dismembered corpses, acid baths, severed heads, brazen daylight murders....
I spent several months in Mexico in 1994, driving from Tampa to Guatemala and back. I spent time in Chiapas, Oaxaca, Yucatan, Nuevo Léon, Villahermosa, Papantla, etc. Nary a scratch. Someone broke the rear window of the topper on my pickup but didn't steal anything. This was offset the same day by the guy who let us camp at his house and offered us beers as we sat on his porch looking out over the sea and watching a marvellous swarm of long-legged ants making one half of its annual trek up and down the beach.
All in all, I've spent about a year in various parts of Mexico on that and subsequent visits in the late-nineties: Mexico City, Chihuahua, Zacatecas, San Luis Potosi.... I've seen a wider swath of Mexico than the US. Lots of cities and rural areas and again, never one hint of violence directed towards me. (I did see a pair of dogs fighting over a donkey's severed head by the side of the road once, but that's another tale....)
A friend of mine on her way to visit me was held up at gunpoint while unwisely travelling by bus through Chiapas in the middle of the night. But this was during the Zapatista conflict and as far as these things go, it was a pretty civil affair. No one was hurt or even berated. Just robbed by the masked bandidos. This misfortune too offset by the kindness of strangers who lent her money, the hotel owner who let her stay in the best room for free and the local dealer who gave her a healthy Ziploc of weed.
So I'm a bit chagrined at including another story involving drug violence. Especially since when I read comments to some of these drug war reports and see such ignorance on the part of American readers, such blatant hatred or indifference. Remember folks, US demand drives this war and US guns make it possible. Looking to blame someone? You might start north of the border. Not to be naive, there's plenty of corruption, incompetence and downright nastiness south of the border to make all this stuff actually happen. Mexicans aren't getting a free ride in this post. I'm just not willing to point a smug finger.
So all that is a long apologia and intro for the following article about a missionary who seems like a stand-up guy with balls of steel, something I read today in the Washington Post: American missionary brings solace to drug-torn Mexican region.