Last night, I decided to act like the boring, middle class Mexican that I’ve become. For the first time in years, there were no public or private gatherings in celebration of independence on my plate. I went to bed with David Lida’s First Stop in the New World.
And awakened to the news that Morelia had lost its innocence.
Narcos had tossed or remotely detonated hand grenades into the crowd of about seven hundred people, right at the moment Gov. Leonel Godoy would sing out the Grito, killing eight people and injuring perhaps a hundred. One report had a well-built guy in black apologizing to the crowd before tossing out the bombs, and another placed the blame on a crew of youths with shaved heads seen running from the scene.
These things don’t happen in Morelia. Not in my Morelia. Not in the colonial jewel of Mexico, the up-and-coming city of Mexico’s future, the hometown of our president. Not in the town where the 200th anniversary of independence would be a focal point for the nation. Not here. Not among our kind of people.
There were reports of bombs going off in various other parts of our city – up by the glorious bandera in my own neighborhood, down by the Acueducto. Police would tell those gathered in restaurants, bars and gatherings to go home. For the first time ever, the parade downtown would be cancelled. Godoy decreed today a Day of Mourning.
The attacks weren’t supposed to happen in Morelia. Not in my town. The undercurrent was that violence could be expected in the port town of Lazaro Cardenas or Huetamo. Like, who really cares what happens somewhere else? Those places were as distant as the border cities of the north.
Sure, everyone hears and reads about how Michoacán is a hotbed of drug-related violence. It had always been confined to rival drug gangs or the law enforcement, just like professional mafia wars are supposed to be. Last night, they broke the rules of organized crime and injured innocent men, women and children. They maimed even those who weren’t at the Plaza Melchor Ocampo. They hurt even those who were safely tucked away in bed.
We will go about our lives, just as we always have. The tourism and hospitality industry will take a major hit, and then it will recover. A monument to the injured will be erected on the Plaza Melchor Ocampo. There will be candle-lit marches and prayers. Accusations will fly, as usual, that respected businessmen and politicians are in bed with the narcos. But life will not be the same in Morelia. Our collective conscience has been shattered.
Bastards. Cock-sucking, mother-fucking sons of bitches. The assholes who’re responsible for raping Morelia should rot in hell.