Monday, April 06, 2009

Centurions

Semana Santa commemorates the week in which a long-haired, left-leaning out-of-towner was picked up by an overly-militarized police force on frankly bullshit charges, denounced by a howling, terrified mob, severely mistreated while in official custody, hauled before a marginally-functioning kangaroo court without a lawyer, found guilty and then executed without appeal.

In that spirit, the city of Querétaro this morning launched Operation Semana Santa 2009, which promises to turn this sleepy little burg into a quasi-military police state, just in case the Battle of Armageddon somehow takes place in the Bajio de Mexico some time in the next seven days. The entire heavily-armed police force was on display, along with all the students at the police academy, who will be drafted into service for the week despite not actually having, y'know, completed the police academy. Batons and riot shield were passed out to a smaller, presumably elite unit, and the rapid-response motorcycle squad lined the street, standing at attention and more than living up to their official acronym, GRIM.

At times like this it's worth reiterating that Querétaro is almost laughably safe, with the local newspapers running half-page stories about shoplifters. Cars that have had their radios ripped off tend to get front-page play. There have been four narco-related killings in the entire state (pop. a million and a half) this year, and even those were out-of-state victims who got dumped on this side of the state line. In short, it's not the kind of place where the Easter parade needs to be guarded by Kevlar-clad soldiers manning roof-mounted belt-fed machine guns.



We sure would hate to be a long-haired, left-leaning out-of-towner this week.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Maybe you are due for a haircut??

M