I'm from Mexico City and lived in the U.S. for a total of more than 24 years. Now I'm back in Mexico. I realized I was seeing my country through the eyes of a native stranger. This is an attempt to process the differences, to explain Mexico to the U.S. and the U.S. to Mexico. With digressions along the way.

miércoles, enero 19, 2005

Lynching: The New City Pastime

Something that's been getting a lot of press lately is a case of lynching that occurred in the Tlahuac neighborhood on November 23rd. Three policemen were attacked. All three were beaten and two of them died when the mob poured gasoline on them and set them on fire. The police were working under cover, supposedly investigating drug sales at a school. The lynchers told the media that they thought the police officers were kidnappers, but a few days later a video emerged, taken by someone amongst the lynchers themselves, that proved they knew they were police officers, and that this knowledge is what prompted the murders. The media speculated that the lynchers were from a radical group that controls the area, possibly a group that the police who were lynched were investigating.
There was a huge uproar because the news crews got there before the police. The uncovered video actually shows a couple of officers and judicial police present, some doing nothing and some trying to negotiate for the liberation of the officers, but they were far outnumbered and were unable or unwilling to help. In any case, the controversy resulted in President Fox removing the Secretary of Public Safety of Mexico City.
Since my family had been watching the first three seasons of 24 on DVD, the lynching prompted my dad to comment that he'd love to see a special season of 24: "Jack Bauer in Tlahuac." Now THAT would be entertainment.