Monday, February 07, 2011

Scenes From Dystopia

Something we've been posting about frequently these days is the fact that, however crazy Mexico may be, Querétaro is almost comically safe. Five kidnappings last year; A handful of murders; Despite having a really high rate of violence against women, it has the third-lowest feminicide rate in the country; Even the recent spate of bodies being "dumped" was just three alkies who drank themselves to death.

So of course the Querétaro police just keep getting bigger and better police-state toys to play with. Yesterday, perhaps unsettled by the recent unrest in Cairo, or concerned about a potential rampage by victorious Packers fans, the cops had stationed an enormous mobile "eye in the sky" truck in the Jardin Zenea, its pair of telescope-mounted video cameras rotating 360 degrees to ensure the safety of the God-fearing from the wicked.


But like just about every public space in this town, the Jardin is already ringed with security cameras - three of which are visible in this picture, with at least two more that could be seen from where our photographer was standing, plus who knows how many mounted on the bell tower of the church just outside the frame - just a handful of the 300 that monitor the docile populace day and night.

All of this for...what? The Reagan centennial? This was a Sunday evening in the middle of a three-day weekend, and the main activity in the Centro seemed to be families going out for a stroll. We realize it's a chicken-and-egg situation: perhaps the city is safe because of measures that seem to us like ridiculous overkill, we just don't see a whole lot of evidence for this. Instead, we find ourselves running errands on a Saturday morning and coming around the corner to see, for no apparent reason, 30 shielded and helmeted riot police standing in the plaza.


Yes, the annual ceremony honoring the constitution was happening in a theater two blocks away, but (a) the president, who usually attends, stayed home this year and (b) there's not the slightest hint of political unrest here, so who, exactly, was going to riot - at 10AM on a Saturday? We assure you, we did not crop an enormous crowd of people out of the above photo. Without the president in town, the highest ranking official at the ceremony was the governor, who - obviously not fearing that a riot might break out - calmly walked to a statue unveiling a few blocks away. Okay, so he had a heavily-armed police detail...


...and security goons photographing everyone in the crowd...


...but, hell, that's just one of the perks of the office.

4 comments:

Anonymous said...

Is it possible Sra. Calzada is pre-sighting your headquarters?

Burro Hall said...

Sandy knows where to find me...

Anonymous said...

I believe Queretaro is safe for those reasons. Check Guanajuato's closest city, Celaya, it is half the size of Queretaro and like three times the crime, it is only 50 km away.

Anonymous said...

that security goon must be gay, there is a gorgeous girl with her tits out stood behind him and he is filming the other way.