Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Fright Night

Once again, it's Halloween - a festival that's not exactly catching on here, perhaps because word got out that we call it "Gay Christmas" back in El Norte.  Stores are devoting more shelf space to actual Christmas than to Halloween, though when Mexicans do dress up, they tend to go with the classics: ghosts, skeletons, vampires, witches, etc.  No one dresses as the Kardashian sisters, and high-concept costumes like "the global financial crisis" or Hurricane Sandy are pretty much unheard of.

What Mexico does do well, of course, is genuine old-school terror.  Grave robberies are at an all-time high in the state of Sinaloa.  This is not counting the body of the drug lord Heriberto "El Lazco" Lazcano Lazcano, whose alleged body was definitely robbed from a morgue before it could be put in a grave.  Nor does it count the bodies of drug lord Heriberto "El Lazco" Lazcano Lazcano's parents - presumably, "the Lazcanos" -  who are being dug up in search of DNA to prove that the earlier stolen body was actually his.  This is not a place that confines its spooky shit to the last day of October.

Meanwhile, journalists are taking stock of Presidente Calderón's term in office, which ends Dec. 1.  People have spent six years tallying up the Drug War dead, so the press has to carve out little niche angles. If you wondered how many of the 50+ thousand dead were hidden in, and later exhumed from, mass graves Milenio estimates that number at 24,102. Beheadings?  Glad you asked!  1,303, according to El Universal, making Calderón's reign the neck-choppingest since Moctezuma II.  We'll match that against your Heath-Ledger-as-The-Joker costume any day, America.

Incidentally, Querétaro was on pace to be one of just three Mexican states to survive the Calderón years  with all its dead bodies' heads still attached. But with this past week's discovery of a good 30% of a dead woman here, that could be in jeopardy, depending on how - or if - one distinguishes between "decapitated" and "dismembered."  The rules on this stuff are maddeningly unclear.

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