The Night Morelia Lost its Innocence

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.

 

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21 comments on “The Night Morelia Lost its Innocence

  1. Larry Banner says:

    The drug wars will continue until the all drugs are legalized, and the money is taken out of the equation.

    Like

  2. Raymundo says:

    Powerful and well written. I think you spoke for most of us, Jennifer. I feel as if a loved one has died today.

    Like

  3. Tony says:

    My thoughts exactly.

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  4. billiem says:

    I think that more than Morela was raped last night. I think many towns and cities now will have to plan for avoiding violence during the wonderful fiestas. So, so sad.

    Like

  5. Susi Santiago says:

    My hearth is broke…………that situatiòn is an horror

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  6. Ignacio Pinto-Leon says:

    Thanks for your post, jennifer. I am sad, very sad for this level of violence. My heart goes to my fellow paisanos in Michoacán.

    Like

  7. Deb says:

    Our hearts are breaking for Morelia and for all of Mexico. With this attack on innocent people, La Gente, life has forever changed.

    Like

  8. Steve Cotton says:

    I am sad. I am stunned. I am angry. But I want to thank you, Jennifer, for summing up these feelings so well. You, who have been forced to live amongst the terror, are in my prayers.
    Your words reminded me of another speech I have always liked for situations like this: “Terror is not a legitimate system of persuasion. And to those who commit the atrocities I say, we will no longer tolerate, we will no longer negotiate, and we will no longer be afraid. It’s your turn to be afraid.”
    Thank you for your bravery. Thank you for standing up. I hope to be there soon to stand beside you.
    It’s their turn to be afraid.

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  9. Temo says:

    This is our very own 9/11, sadly.
    It does change everything, not only here in Morelia, but everywhere in Mexico. To begin with, all public gathering will be closely monitored.
    I hope we all as part of the Mexican society, regardless of what we are, where we live or what language we speak unite to demand a change. We can’t live on fear. I completely agree with what you posted in my blog: Ya basta!

    Like

  10. gloria says:

    My thoughts and prayers are with the victims and their families.

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  11. Marlene in Mazatlan says:

    This is very sad. I honestly believed that this night would go as it always does for us here in Mexico….with the happy celebration of independence. The line has been definitely been crossed and I couldn’t think of a better description than Jennifer posted, for those that crossed it. May they rot in hell.

    Like

  12. Slavco says:

    Yes, very tragic indeed.
    Will the government be able to one day take care of the narco problem in Mexico? Not likely — why? Simply because there’s just too much money involved.
    Are the Mexican government and the narco working as one? Maybe — this is a sad reality that over a hundred million Mexicans as myself have to face each and every single day.
    It’s really tragic what happened in Morelia, but at the same time it will be an eye opener for a lot of people that thought that the narco problem only happens in the north in the country; they will now have to face the reality and see that this is an epidemic that is spreading throughout our country and we cannot be indifferent about it anymore.
    Unfortunately what happened in Morelia is just a sample of what people from the state of Chihuahua (like myself) are forced to put up with.

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  13. Suzanne says:

    Jennifer, I hear you. I went to the Grito in Oaxaca with my kids and it deeply saddens me to think that that’s the last time we’ll be able to experience it as the light and festive occasion we’ve always known it to be.

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  14. Luis Miguel Lopez Alanis says:

    Hola Jennifer:
    In spite of all politicians, I´m not sure it was a narco action. They don´t act like that. I smell in the air an ultrarightist attack. One terrible consequence, whatever the cause was is militarization of the country, a Police State. And that is not good for Human Rights or the Rule of Law. As you know there´s been a long discussion about whether re-implement in Mexico death for criminals or not. This is collateral to the fact of militarizing our police and increasing the role of the Army in the civil life. And you can clearly see two options, two ways, and the more rightist goes for death, weapons and laws to convert Mexico to a Police State. And this attempt gives them a perfect argument. My wife and my daughter were just 20 meters away from the explosions, and I´m afraid of the killings and of the incredible damages in the possible case that a stampede would have happened. But now I’m more afraid of the consequences.
    Saludos amables desde Morelia

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  15. Memo says:

    Sad, how sad.
    If this can be laid at the feet of the narcos — part of the blame belongs in the drug culture in the USA.
    In Philadelphia — the city of brotherly love — the city of my Quaker faith — there were over 400 murders last year.
    The evil twins of drugs and violence, are sadly everywhere !!!

    Like

  16. Michael Howes says:

    I am not Mexican… but I am deeply effected by the violent events taking place all over Mexico. As a fellow human I am appalled and saddened.
    I have many friends and loved ones in Mexico that want to effect change. They have started a movement to end the violence in a peaceful way. Here is their website:
    http://inlakech.org.mx/
    As Margaret Mead once said: “Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful people could change the world. Indeed, it’s the only thing that ever has.”

    Like

  17. christina i. says:

    jennifer…
    i am really sorry that this happened. it hurts so much to know that people can be this cruel.I am from san jose CA and my family owns a house in morelia off of cuatla in molina de parras and i was actually just there for vacation about three weeks ago. it is so dissapointing to hear that some assholes thought it’d be a good idea to do this to beautiful morelia.
    i hope your family is fine and i pray to god that this will never happen again.
    con carino,
    christina

    Like

  18. Smokesilver says:

    Tears were spilled NOB as well.

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  19. Memo says:

    Jennifer,
    We will hold your town in the Light.
    As I said earlier Philadelphia has seen it sad times. Yet, it is the cradle of liberty in USA.
    And as a new resident of Mexico I hold the people of your town, your state and my adopted country in the Light.
    Your closing words were harsh but appropriate.

    Like

  20. Dick Howland says:

    I am very sad to hear of the tragedy in your home and city. I think that the people of the world will no longer accept the hypocrisy of false leadership and the avarice that has become our primary value and creed.
    Dick

    Like

  21. julie says:

    i am so sad to hear about this … im just glad none of my family was there ,and im sorry for those families who were there i cant believe this would happen to one of my favorite spots in mexico to visit . i truly am sorry for what has happen. they have ruined our cities reputation

    Like

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