Take a look at the photo above. This broken-down fence is located at the end of the main avenue of the mass-housing community in which we lived for more than two years. I took this photo in July of 2011, during a small, personal mission of mine to photograph the tons of trash polluting the street views in our fraccionamiento. At the time of the photo, this site never struck me as much of anything, other than the landmark I used to judge distance on my 12km runs — 3 to 6 times a week throughout most of 2010 and 2011. The barda at the edge of the avenue was almost exactly 3km from our house, and I would at least run here and back twice on any given morning.
But 5 months later, the site, and this photo, would begin to give me chills. In early December of 2011, the Mexican military discovered 2 graves — one with human remains — just 800 meters south of this spot. In this photo you are actually looking at the place where criminals drove through and buried the body somewhere straight ahead.
Events like this make me sick to my stomach. A major part of this sickness is a mixture of frustration and sadness. Many of my gringo friends/acquaintances — and even some Mexican ones, who would ask me, “why are you down here when you could be on the other side?” — fail to understand why I am so attached to life south of the border. Well, I’m not sure I quite “get it” myself, but over the years living in Mexico, a periodic stream of both striking and ordinary events occurred in our lives that told me I had been put there for a reason. I am just clueless as to what my responsibility is supposed to be.
Though what I write about happened years ago, I start remembering once again the number of other scares we had down there. Although I see the beauty in the successes I have witnessed, still my heart aches heavily for Mexico as we look to the future.