Sometimes people ask, "What does the common man think about this stuff that is going on?" I do not know everything. I do know what the vast majority of people with whom I might hang around think.
Below, the Old Gringo includes from the original Spanish, a translation of observations made by someone who probably is in the upper-middle class, about 35 to 50 years of age, principally Caucasian in racial/ethnic composition, w/preparatory or higher education, and possibly a self-employed salesperson, small businessman, or management level corporate man. He lives in a major city between Guadalajara and Mexico City.
He filed these comments on a popular blog concerning the narcowars and the cartels. He is celebrating the outcome of a skirmish yesterday between the Mexican Army and cockroaches on the north edge of Monterrey yesterday. The result of the encounter....Mexican Army 4 Cockroaches 0. Nobody has come forward yet to claim the remains of the cockroaches.
The Old Gringo has taken the liberty to smooth out some rough edges of a screed rapidly composed and written by a sincere and literate person. A bit of rough language has been smoothed out, and a couple of replacement terms have been used. For instance in Mexican Spanish, a pistol called "escuadra" is "squared" ....in other words a semi-automatic that loads from the base of the butt with a magazine. The writer refers to an "escaudra" that is cowboy style. In Mexican Spanish...in reasonable vernacular... a "cowboy" pistol is always a revolver which loads from a mid-mounted round cylinder.
Also, when this writer speaks of the "people who patrol this city"....the patrols are not the regular normal police patrols. He is referring to the thugs who have marked a certain number of people, pull them over on or off schedules (normally there is a "payment day" although sometimes "additional payments" are demanded ahead of time), and extract a "security tax". They remind the victim that this payment is just for an insurance policy and that the other thug/pistoleros will not bother them now...."because they fear us so much". It is blatant banditry and frequently carries threats against the female family members....daughters, nieces, granddaughters, (....and if you don't pay us, we know where your niece is at Primary School Benito Juarez..).
The English translation:
What stupid things you say (The writer is responding to a drunk writing on the same screed who was making a stupid statement about trying to "salvage" the "poor dead boys" instead of killing them). I am from Michoacan and I comment to you something about the people who patrol my city. Yesterday, when I arrived to see one of my clients, I was presented with those that charge the fees (shakedown). I do not know if they were La Familia or the Knights Templar (two famous groups of cockroaches). The thing is that I recognized two of the suspected thugs/pistoleros. It took me some effort, because it pertained to a cheapo/beggar well recognised in the city as being one of those who clean windows with their bucket and rags and utensils at the intersections, charging 30 pesos to clean the car. The thing is, now that he is a thug/pistolero, he was carrying four cellular telephones en his belt, and he was trying to use one. I am certain that he does not know how to read. He had a semi-automatic pistol in his belt, and another (he means "cowboy-style" revolver ) in this fancy white belt with a huge belt-buckle. And then a cowboy hat dangling at his leg. Always before when I had seen him it was with a backwards-worn baseball cap.
The other, his comrade, I know, is an ignoramus, but a person whom I always have tried to accommodate and treat as a good person. This person was and has always been a garbage collector and most certainly does not know how to read or write. He is one of those who is paid 10 or 20 pesos to carry off trash and garbage. But now, he is a thug/pistolero, and has really fine boots, of those kind with high heels, that in my opinion look like something very effeminate because of their high heels. This one was carrying an AK47 with a double magazine, taped together at their bases. They were driving a black Lincoln pick-up cuadracab, like those units that the Federal police have (the police units are Fords, similar in appearance but Fords). There were four thugs/ pistoleros, none of whom were over 22 years of age. For example the garbage collector has 20 years, the car cleaner has 17, and one of the other two who I did not recognise looked to me to be no more than 15 years. They were all truly jackasses. One of them, when my client rendered the 500 pesos that they were extorting each month, spoke to my client in such profane saloon language that not even the most basal Indians in this region use, he responded to my client's question about the bandage around the wrist of the thug/pistolero telling us that he had burned himself with his AK47 during training in Apatzingan. According to him his training had endured for one month. He informed us that their training even includes strategy, but that when they had left in a new pick-up, the pick-up did not work very well. My client...a bit more at home with the thugs...asked them if perhaps the emergency brake might still be on. They laughed and then readjusted the emergency brake ( To their surprise, they had been driving around with the emergency brake on). Then my client looked at me and said, "What do you see (think)about these whores? In a little while they will all show up in a garbage heap / landfill."
In the original Spanish:
Que mamadas dices, yo si soy michoacano y te comento algo de la gente que patruya mi ciudad, el dia de ayer cuando llegue a ver a uno de mis clientes me presento a los que cobran la cuota no se si la fm o los temp, el caso es que reconoci a 2 de los supuestos sicarios, me costo trabajo por que se trata de un gangonso muy conocido en la ciudad por ser un franelero uno de esos que traen una cubeta con una franela javon y algunos utencilios de limpiesa te cobran 30 pesos por darle un franelazo a tu auto, el caso es que ahora era sicario, traia 4 celulares en el cinturon y estaba tratando de usar uno, yo estoy seguro que no sabia ni leer tenia en la cintura una escuadra fajada y traia otra escuadra al estilo baquero en un cinturon blanco fijada con un cincho a una de sus piernas una tejana cuando siempre lo vi con una gorra al revez en su cabeza, el otro conocido era un camarada muy ignorante pero al que yo siempre trate de acomedido y buena persona este definitivamente no sabe ni leer ni escribir era un recolector de basura de los de paga que te cobran de 10 a 20 pesos por llevarse la basura, ahora tambien sicario traia unas botas muy bonitas y algo altas que para mi punto de vista me parecian algo femeninas por su altura, este llevaba un ak-47 con un doble cargador unido por una cinta de aislar tejana cinturon piteado, todo andaban en una lincon negra como la de la policia federal cuadcab, bueno el caso es que los 4 sicarios recolectores de cuota no rebasan los 22 años, por ejemplo el recolector tiene 20, el franelereo tiene 17 y uno de los otros desconocidos para mi, se veia como de 15 años. todos unos verdaderos pendejos. uno de ellos cuando mi cliente le daba su cuota que es de 500 pesos mensuales le pregunto que si se habia lastimado por que traia una venda en la mano, y con un hablar muy cabernicola que ni los indigenas de la zona usan, nos comento con risa que se habia quemado con la ak-47 en un entrenamiento recibido en apatzingan, segun el entrenamiento dura un mes y los convierte en expertos en estrategia, pero cuando se fueren no jalaba muy bien su camioneta a lo que mi cliente por conocerlos les dijo con mas confianza -fijate si no trae el freno de mano- se rieron y se jalaron por que eso ocurria. me miro mi cliente y me dijo -como vez a estas zorras- al rato aparecen muertos por ahi.en un basurero.
This slice of life rambling analysis by a true person....not a politically correct person...is what the point of view of the vast majority of Mexicans in the organized lower-middle class and higher. Only a narrow fringe of activist, leftist intellectuals in the upper-middle class and upper class see the thugs/pistoleros, cartel people as Victims of Yanqui oppression or inadequate redistribution of wealth. Most know that most have originated from families where no male head is present, by glue sniffing, alcohol addicted, methaphetamine addicted, marihuana dependent, soulless 666 zombies who are living what they think is a telenovela. Some are derived from spoiled lifestyles provided by well-to-do "normal" families who likewise feel entitled to do as they will and without consequences. Overall life expectancy for all or any of them is somewhere between 13 to 34 tears,,,,the figure fluctuates a lot....by the day.
Over the last 20 years, Mexico has spent one trillion of to-day's dollars in various subsidies and payments to "los quien menos tienen" (those who have less). The United States has since 1970, spent over 10,000,000,000,000 in 2011 dollars in various income redistribution programs to los quien menos tienen, minorities, the oppressed, transgendered antelopes who had a typewriter for a mother, the whatever....and in Mexico and the United States and in Canada, in Britain, in Europe,....the nihilistic, destructive blob of zombie thug/pistolero/anarchist addicts are still coming to get us. And we feed them.
As always, your attention and questions and observations are appreciated.
El Gringo Viejo