Monday, June 08, 2009

The Immunity Challenge

We've been pretty reflexive in our defense of Mexico as a safe destination for tourists and other visitors, though we have to concede that incidents like this weekend's shoot-out in Acapulco aren't making our job any easier.

The seaside shootout, which left 16 of the suspects and two of the soldiers dead, forced local residents and budget-minded tourists staying in the area to run for cover, local press reported. The scene was warlike, with the armed men lobbing dozens of grenades at the advancing soldiers and exchanging thousands of rounds with them. Three bystanders were among the nine people wounded in the fight, the authorities said.

“It was like something out of Rambo,” a man who lives near the shootout told Reforma newspaper.

Without getting into the relative merits of Acapulco as a destination in the first place, all we can say is, please, Mexico...help us to help you.

But then the writer has to go and add that the shootout "made clear that Acapulco has a dark side and that no part of Mexico is immune to the drug war."

This is a statement that manages to be numbingly stupid and absolutely true at the same time, just as the killing of Dr George Tiller in a Wichita church last week makes clear that no part of America is immune to anti-abortion violence. That it to say, some crazy-eyed drifter with a firearm could walk up and shoot you just about anywhere in the US. Likewise, we suppose a drug war gunfight could indeed break out anywhere at any time here. But is it likely? We rather suppose not. In fact, we'd venture to say that if you were to unfurl a map of Mexico in front of us, we could mark about 95% of the land mass as highly unlikely to play host to a shoot out. But if there were anyplace in Mexico or on Earth that could be considered "immune" to violence, we'd be interested in purchasing a time share.

5 comments:

Anonymous said...

When I heard this story on the news, it reminded me that of all the many places we have been to in Mexico, the only place I didn't feel safe was in Acapulco. Every other place felt comfortable.

M

Burro Hall said...

It's like you knew in advance or something...

Anonymous said...

Only the "budget-minded tourists" had to run for cover? If you had deeper pockets you could just hang out and watch? Maybe it's a way of encouraging the big spenders......

Burro Hall said...

A decade after Titanic, we shouldn't have to explain the perils of traveling steerage class.

Anonymous said...

We assume you mean Titanic, the movie.