15/9 and After

“So, everything’s back to normal in Morelia now?” asked a well-meaning Estadounidense lawyer this morning. He would not be the first to ask the very same question.

“No, it isn’t. Not by a long shot.”

It was sort of like asking Lehman Brothers or Washington Mutual if they were going to have a record year of profits.

Life is the same in Morelia—and it isn’t. And never will be. Like anyplace else, lives go on, people go to work and shop at Walmart (where there was a false alarm this week about a bomb), and on the surface, it looks the same. There is a palpable tension in the air, a quiet nervousness that just wasn’t there on Monday afternoon, and many people are on a heightened sense of alert. People will avoid public events for a while. We’ll put on a brave face, but the reality is that many are filled with fear.

Downtown businesses are the first to take the hit. Sales are down. Guests staying in downtown hotels packed up and left town Tuesday morning. Tourists are going to think twice before visiting Morelia, even though it will be one of the safest places to be in the coming months.

Estadounidenses have certain frames of reference: before and after JFK was shot, before Kent State and afterward, pre- and post-9/11.

In Mexico, we have dates by which we measure life before and after: October 2, 1968, the Night of Tlatelolco; September 19, 1985, the Mexico City earthquake; and March 23, 1995, the assassination of presidential candidate Luis Donaldo Colosio.

September 15, 2008 will be one of those dates forever etched in the memory of every living Mexican.

 

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