Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Profiles in Courage

The bar has been set consistently high in the "Dumbest Attempt at Making Mexico Appear Too Dangerous to Visit" sweepstakes, but we think USA Today just pole-vaulted over it!

Obama takes gamble on trip to Mexico City

Obama is plunging into Mexico City, a chaotic, crime-ridden metropolis of 20 million people where street protests snarl traffic nearly every day — the kind of place that gives headaches to Secret Service agents and motorcade drivers alike.

...The trip is a gamble, said Brandon Rottinghaus, a political science professor at the University of Houston who is writing a book about presidential travel and speeches.

"This is a really potentially dangerous area, a place in a country that is fraught with these security problems," he said. "They're walking a very fine line."

Although there have been no attacks on foreign dignitaries in Mexico City, the capital has become a flashpoint in President Felipe Calderon's crackdown on drug cartels. Police recently captured two alleged kingpins, Vicente Carrillo Leyva of the Juarez Cartel and Vicente Zambada Niebla of the Sinaloa Cartel, in the city. Last year, drug gangs gunned down Mexico's federal police chief and a top intelligence official in the city.

Barack Obama, for those of you who may not know this, is the president of the United States, and so we're pretty sure he's not going to get robbed in the back of a VW Beetle taxi. Also, unless the cartel leaders have gone certifiably insane over the weekend, we're confident that their cost/benefit analysis would come down in favor of not assassinating the American president.

You know who Mexico City is dangerous for? The president of Mexico. And he lives and works there every day.


Lazlo Lozla said...

It appears to me American Presidents have faced much more danger inside the US borders, historically...

Anonymous said...

I read this article. It was soooo stupid. this guy doesn't know that the drug lords live in Mexico City because it is there where they are safe! Mexico City now is like a safe haven compared to Tijuana, Cd. Juarez, etc. He is making people believe it's all like a terror movie. Like some people who posted asked the "reporter" Where you raised in Switzerland or WTF?

Anonymous said...

This is better:

Only 1 killed person in Baja california Sur. By the same newspaper.

Burro Hall said...

Reading through the readers' comments on articles about Mexico reminds me of the line in The Shawshank Redemption about crawling "through five hundred yards of shit-smelling foulness I can't even imagine, or maybe I just don't want too." So I'll take your word for it.

The LA Times thing is awesome, though. Thanks for that.

Jorge Arturo said...

It seems that Houston in particular has some issues against Mexico, the Houston Chronicle with the death article

Anonymous said...

Mexico is being demonized by those who don't live here. Seen from afar it looks far worse than it is, when experienced every day. I'd be far more reluctant to pull into a truck stop in Louisiana.