Wednesday, July 06, 2005

Another day, another assassination

As I was returning from my morning walk along the Pie de la Cuesta Beach, a funeral procession tied up the traffic on the highway at KM 10 west of Acapulco. Another death, but life goes on in aradise, I thought to myself.

Two hours later I was in the center of the city, more specifically in PAN headquarters, right across crom Parque Papagayo. I was waiting to interview the local leader, when the TV news came on about the assassination of N.P. Jose Ruben Robles Catalan. As he arrived for breakfast at the Hotel Mirador, not far from where the cliff divers perform, gunmen in three cars started firing. Over two dozen shots pierced the windows of the car. The driver was killed, but Robles Catalan and an 8 year old grandson got out of the car and fled to the lobby of the hotel where other bullets hit and killed him (but fortunately missed the boy). News coverage has been continuous, and there is speculation as to the motive.

Robles was a Notario Publico, and in Mexico that office gives many of the services which require an attorney-at-law in the U.S. In the early 1990s Robles was a minister in the state government. He had a hand in several government crackdowns on rural dissidents. After leaving office, Robles and the governor faced a criminal trial, but were cleared of any criminal wrongdoing. That dissident movement has become transformed into a guerrilla uprising, which every once in awhile attacks the army or police. They are probably more active than the Chiapas Zapatistas, but lack someone as media savvy as Subcomandate Marcos. Could this be the settling of an old score? No doubt, some guerilla group will take credit for this murder.

Whenever anything like this occurs here, the first lament is usually Los Narcotraficantes. Reformers who try to clean up government run afoul of the Drug Cartels. Most people just want to stay out of their way, but end up knowning too much. Lawyers, accountants and notaries public may get to know too much. The family members I have communicated with are convinced that Robles Catalan was done in by narcotraficantes because they feared him.

The busses kept running. The fishermen still sold their bundles of red fish. The lady in the stall selling toys switched her TV away from the news coverage back to her favorite novela (soap opera).

Another two deaths, then life goes on in paradise. But, it would go on better and longer without the Narcotraficantes and the Guerrilleros.

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