Do you ever stop to think about how nice the world would be without money? Now don't roll your eyes or overthink it... What I mean is: How many of the horrible, life-taking things going on in the world today are because of money. Because money = power. And everyone wants that. Power.
I just get so annoyed when I think about the evil that drugs has done to the country I am living in. Stupid drugs. I mean, seriously? Killing innocent people, kidnapping innocent people, terrorizing innocent people-- for marijuana? I know-- it comes down to the money = power thing... but, grr!
I wonder how different our experience here would be without the whole "drug thing". From what we hear, this area had no drug issue until about 3 years ago when the cartels moved in. They now hold the area in a grip of utter panic. Fear for life. Fear for living. They work somewhat like the mafia: Extorting businesses under threat of death or destruction of property. They have been known to raze schools. They have kidnapped family members right from their front doorstep. They set up blockades on the roads and pull people over... stealing cars or worse. They show up at random places, always armed to the hilt, and demanding whatever they want.
What would it be like without this darkness? Obviously now people are deciding the safest thing is to stay huddled up in their houses and stick with the people they know. Mexicans have always been known for being warm, open and hospitable. We haven't found that in this area, and we think we know why.
I don't usually get scared about it unless I am out driving with the kids alone. There are certain highways in town that it seems like soldier-drug people chases take place with more frequency... and when I am on those roads, my pulse gets faster. I start over-analyzing every fancy looking SUV, every car without plates. I give them extra distance, try to check if they might be following.
Here, as soon as the sun goes down, the area becomes somewhat desolate. There aren't too many people on the streets, walking or in cars. It is generally known that the safest time to be out is in the morning and afternoon. After that, people stick close to home. I don't like to drive after dark. The feeling that everyone is hiding pushes my imagination into overdrive.
Rey just got home from the Huichol Indian village. He says that they were pulled over by one of the drug road blockades. They were forced to get out of their vehicles and questioned as to their activities. The vehicles the team uses have magnets with the ministry name on them.... and Rey feels like if it weren't for them they may have been fired upon since they failed to stop right away.
So, there. That's our situation. It's ugly. It's wrong. And it's so dumb.