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Thread: 8 Killed in Cancun Bar Attack

  1. #151
    Elite Member DeChayz's Avatar
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    ^ More backyard trespassers, eh?

  2. #152
    Elite Member KristiB's Avatar
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    I don't know if this has been posted.

    Mexico: One Journalistís View

    Mexico: One Journalistís View
    Linda Ellerbee - PVNN

    Sometimes Iíve been called a maverick because I donít always agree with my colleagues, but then, only dead fish swim with the stream all the time. The stream here is Mexico.

    You would have to be living on another planet to avoid hearing how dangerous Mexico has become, and, yes, itís true drug wars have escalated violence in Mexico, causing collateral damage, a phrase I hate. Collateral damage is a cheap way of saying that innocent people, some of them tourists, have been robbed, hurt or killed.

    But thatís not the whole story. Neither is this. This is my story.

    Iím a journalist who lives in New York City, but has spent considerable time in Mexico, specifically Puerto Vallarta, for the last four years. Iím in Vallarta now. And despite what Iím getting from the U.S. media, the 24-hour news networks in particular, I feel as safe here as I do at home in New York, possibly safer.

    I walk the streets of my Vallarta neighborhood alone day or night. And I donít live in a gated community, or any other All-Gringo neighborhood. I live in Mexico. Among Mexicans. I go where I want (which does not happen to include bars where prostitution and drugs are the basic products), and take no more precautions than I would at home in New York; which is to say I donít wave money around, I donít act the Ugly American, I do keep my eyes open, Iím aware of my surroundings, and I try not to behave like a fool.

    Iíve not always been successful at that last one. One evening a friend left the house I was renting in Vallarta at that time, and, unbeknownst to me, did not slam the automatically-locking door on her way out. Sure enough, less than an hour later a stranger did come into my house. A burglar? Robber? Kidnapper? Killer? Drug lord?

    No, it was a local police officer, the "beat cop" for our neighborhood, who, on seeing my unlatched door, entered to make sure everything (including me) was okay. He insisted on walking with me around the house, opening closets, looking behind doors and, yes, even under beds, to be certain no one else had wandered in, and that nothing was missing. He was polite, smart and kind, but before he left, he lectured me on having not checked to see that my friend had locked the door behind her. In other words, he told me to use my common sense.

    Do bad things happen here? Of course they do. Bad things happen everywhere, but the murder rate here is much lower than, say, New Orleans, and if there are bars on many of the ground floor windows of houses here, well, the same is true where I live, in Greenwich Village, which is considered a swell neighborhood ó house prices start at about $4 million (including the bars on the ground floor windows.)

    There are good reasons thousands of people from the United States are moving to Mexico every month, and itís not just the lower cost of living, a hefty tax break and less snow to shovel. Mexico is a beautiful country, a special place.

    The climate varies, but is plentifully mild, the culture is ancient and revered, the young are loved unconditionally, the old are respected, and I have yet to hear anyone mention Britney Spears, Lindsay Lohan, or Madonnaís attempt to adopt a second African child, even though, with such a late start, she cannot possibly begin to keep up with Angelina Jolie.

    And then there are the people. Generalization is risky, butó in general ó Mexicans are warm, friendly, generous and welcoming. If you smile at them, they smile back. If you greet a passing stranger on the street, they greet you back. If you try to speak even a little Spanish, they tend to treat you as though you were fluent. Or at least not an idiot.

    I have had taxi drivers track me down after leaving my wallet or cell phone in their cab. I have had someone run out of a store to catch me because I have overpaid by twenty cents. I have been introduced to and come to love a people who celebrate a day dedicated to the dead as a recognition of the cycles of birth and death and birth ó and the 15th birthday of a girl, an important rite in becoming a woman ó with the same joy.

    Too much of the noise youíre hearing about how dangerous it is to come to Mexico is just that ó noise. But the media love noise, and too many journalists currently making it donít live here. Some have never even been here. They just like to be photographed at night, standing near a spotlighted border crossing, pointing across the line to some imaginary country from hell. It looks good on TV.

    Another thing. The U.S. media tend to lump all of Mexico into one big bad bowl. Talking about drug violence in Mexico without naming a state or city where this is taking place is rather like looking at the horror of Katrina and saying, "Damn. Did you know the U.S. is under water?" or reporting on the shootings at Columbine or the bombing of the Federal building in Oklahoma City by saying that kids all over the U.S. are shooting their classmates and all the grownups are blowing up buildings. The recent rise in violence in Mexico has mostly occurred in a few states, and especially along the border. It is real, but it does not describe an entire country.

    It would be nice if we could put whatís going on in Mexico in perspective, geographically and emotionally. It would be nice if we could remember that, as has been noted more than once, these drug wars wouldnít be going on if people in the United States didnít want the drugs, or if other people in the United States werenít selling Mexican drug lords the guns.

    Most of all, it would be nice if more people in the United States actually came to this part of America (Mexico is also America, you will recall) to see for themselves what a fine place Mexico really is, and how good a vacation (or a life) here can be.

    So come on down and get to know your southern neighbors. I think youíll like it here. Especially the people.

  3. #153
    Elite Member MohandasKGanja's Avatar
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    I saw this article over the weekend in the Wall Street Journal, concerning Monterrey, which is apparently considered the business capital of Mexico:

    Drug Wars Force Expats Out of Mexico's Business Capital - WSJ.com

    Expats Flee Mexico's Business Capital


    By DAVID LUHNOW

    MONTERREY, MexicoóA surge of violence by drug gangs in this industrial hub is leading to an exodus of wealthy Mexicans as well as scores of U.S. and foreign expatriates, dealing a blow to what has long been one of Latin America's richest and safest cities.
    The security situation is so alarming in Monterrey, known as the "Sultan of the North" for its industrial power, that the mayor has sent his family to live in Dallas, according to people familiar with the matter. The mayor's office didn't respond to requests for comment.
    In the past two weeks, U.S. farm equipment maker Caterpillar Inc. ordered executives with children to leave the city, following a similar move by the U.S. State Department for American diplomats here. Other U.S. firms are allowing employees to leave voluntarily.
    "Based on recent guidance from the State Department, Caterpillar has informed expat employees in some regions of Mexico (including Monterrey) that they and their families should repatriate as soon as possible," Jim Dugan, Caterpillar's chief spokesman, said in an email to The Wall Street Journal. The move affects about 40 employees, he said.
    Monterrey is caught in a war between two powerful and bloodthirsty drug cartels, the Gulf Cartel from neighboring Tamaulipas state, and the Zetas, a splinter group that used to provide its security muscle. The two groups fell into open war at the start of this year, Mexican officials and analysts say.
    Monterrey sits just 135 miles from the U.S. and is used as a staging ground to smuggle drugs north.
    The battle has shocked the city, which historically had murder rates lower than the U.S. average. More than 274 people have been executed in gangland hits so far this year, according to local officials.
    Residents don't only face the threat of getting caught in the crossfire: Gangs are also carrying out a wave of kidnappingsómost of which go unreported because of fear of police involvementóand extorting local businesses, demanding protection money.
    Crime in Monterrey has helped push Mexico up the agenda of U.S. President Barack Obama, U.S. officials say. This week, administration officials said they will look for stepped-up military cooperation to help Mexico fight what some U.S. officials called a growing "narco-insurgency" threat, suggesting Mexico had lost control of parts of the country.
    In Monterrey, cars with Zeta gunmen patrol the city streets at night. Residents describe an informal 10 p.m. curfew, a time when many taxi drivers call it quits for the day.
    Some Mexican businessmen say the panic about Monterrey is overdone. "This place used to be like Switzerland, so it's the change that bothers people," said one businessman.
    But the fears are taking a toll. One young Mexican executive at cement giant Cemex SAB, which has headquarters in Monterrey, said he can count at least 20 different families from his circle of friends who have leftónearly all of them for nearby Texas. "It's a rush for the exits," he said.
    So many people are leaving that the city's leading businessman, Cemex Chief Executive Lorenzo Zambrano, recently used his Twitter account to urge his fellow regios, as people from Monterrey are called, to stop the exodus.
    "Whoever leaves Monterrey is a coward. We have to fight for what we believe. We have to reclaim our great city!" he wrote.

    The decline of Monterrey presents one of the biggest challenges for President Felipe Calderůn in the three and a half years since he took power and declared war on powerful drug cartels. The city of 3.7 million, surrounded by dramatic mountains, is Mexico's third biggest after Mexico City and Guadalajara, accounts for 10% of the country's annual economic output, and is a symbol of modernity for the rest of the nation.



    "Mexico can't afford to lose Monterrey," says Raul Benitez, a security expert at the National Autonomous University of Mexico, the country's biggest university.
    Officials in Nuevo Leůn state, where Monterrey is located, say they are going all-out to fight organized crime, improving coordination with the army, rooting out corruption in local police forces and launching programs to improve social conditions in poor neighborhoods.
    "We are not going to hand the keys to the city over to these groups," says Javier TreviŮo, the deputy governor of Nuevo Leůn.
    Last year, Monterrey still had a relatively low murder rate of 6.5 deaths per 100,000 residents, well below Mexico's average, and comparable to New York City. This year has brought one grim event after another. In March, two doctoral students at the Monterrey Institute of Technology and Higher Education, Mexico's most prestigious university, were killed in a gun battle between soldiers and cartel gunmen.
    A month later, hooded men raided a Holiday Inn in the downtown area and seized several guests, who remain missing and are presumed dead. In late August, a mayor from a Monterrey suburb was kidnapped and executed by a presumed drug gang.
    But the event that spooked residents here the most took place on Aug. 20, when two bodyguards from a leading Monterrey company were killed by cartel gunmen near the entrance to the prestigious American School Foundation, where most American expats and many Mexican elite send their children to school.
    The shooting took place just as school was letting out, prompting frightened children to take cover in the cafeteria.
    Danielle Helfrich had just picked up her 12-year-old daughter Ema and was driving on the street in front of the school when a dark-colored sport-utility vehicle suddenly came to a halt in front of them. Men carrying automatic rifles poured out and began shooting at another SUV on the right. Mrs. Helfrich tried to back out, but was blocked by traffic.
    "We were stuck. I pushed my daughter down in the car. All I could hear were gunshots and her screaming," says Mrs. Helfrich. "It was terrifying."
    At least one bullet shattered the windshield of her Honda CRV. After several minutes, the shooting stopped. Mrs. Helfrich drove home and packed their bags. She and her daughter left Monterrey the following morning, and now live in Texas.
    Days later, the U.S. consulate said it would order out any underage family members of U.S. diplomats in Monterrey, putting the city on a par with rules for U.S. outposts in places such as Sudan, Yemen, and Beirut.



    [Rest of article snipped.]

  4. #154
    Elite Member Grimmlok's Avatar
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    Woo, failed state status! Good thing Mexico doesn't have any nukes.
    I am from the American CIA and I have a radio in my head. I am going to kill you.

  5. #155
    Elite Member sweetness's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by BigBen View Post
    OMG twitchy that was racist against Scottish people!!! You said you couldn't understand them and that's mean!!!
    Shame on Twitchy!! Ooh I love the way they speak.

  6. #156
    Super Moderator twitchy2.0's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by BigBen View Post
    OMG twitchy that was racist against Scottish people!!! You said you couldn't understand them and that's mean!!!
    Bite me.
    "If you are not outraged, then you are not paying attention," Heather Heyer's facebook quote.

  7. #157
    Elite Member Sarzy's Avatar
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    I can't understand strong Scottish accents either. And they are always the ones they have on telephone helplines!

  8. #158
    Elite Member Karistiona's Avatar
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    Oi! Y'all are racialist and I'm taking out a lolsuit.
    I smile because I have no idea what's going on

  9. #159
    Elite Member Aella's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sarzy View Post
    I can't understand strong Scottish accents either. And they are always the ones they have on telephone helplines!
    My ear adjusts to accents fairly quickly, but I had trouble with the helpline people when I lived in the UK too. They couldn't understand my accent either (which defies description, but has a heavy American influence despite my never having set foot there), so the whole convo was hilariously confusing.
    "Remember to always be yourself. Unless you suck." - Joss Whedon

    "The only thing more expensive than education is ignorance." -Benjamin Franklin

  10. #160
    Gold Member BigBen's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by twitchy2.0 View Post
    Bite me.
    Nom nom
    "Not only do we embrace it, we take it out for drinks, get it absolutely steaming drunk, leg hump it and then leave it covered in shaving foam and a stolen Chuck E Cheese outfit in its own bath with no recollection of how it got there." -Kittylady on the sad and pathetic and strange.

  11. #161
    Elite Member greysfang's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Karistiona View Post
    Oi! Y'all are racialist and I'm taking out a lolsuit.

    Empirical evidence to support our charges...


    [YOUTUBE]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5FFRoYhTJQQ&feature=player_embedded[/YOUTUBE]
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  12. #162
    Elite Member Karistiona's Avatar
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    Omg the problems I have with voice recognition, I have to put on a very posh English accent to get through to my credit card company. I sound nothing like those dudes though! Ok, I kind of sound like those dudes, but they were perfectly clear, it was all the lift's fault.

    You're still all horribly racist. So there.
    I smile because I have no idea what's going on

  13. #163
    Elite Member Sarzy's Avatar
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    ^ Can you say it again, I didn't quite understand?



  14. #164
    Elite Member witchcurlgirl's Avatar
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    I ken the Scots lingo- the yins from Edinburgh aren't tough to listen to, likesay I have a barry ear for dialect. The daft Weedjie gadges are hard to understand.
    It's no longer a dog whistle, it's a fucking trombone


    All of God's children are not beautiful. Most of God's children are, in fact, barely presentable.


    If I wanted the government in my womb I'd fuck a Senator

  15. #165
    Elite Member Karistiona's Avatar
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    I have a pretty accent, it's Argyll-y with an American twang courtesy of the ex. Edinburgh accents are hoooot, especially on big rugby-playing guys

    Sarzy you smell like willies. Cheesy willies.
    I smile because I have no idea what's going on

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