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The Nazi, The Green Phantom and The Mother of Satan

25 February 2008

I’ve noticed that the foreign news about the bombing ten days ago in the Zona Rosa has quietly disappeared.  No terrorists, and nobody was terrified… a few windows were broken, but neighbors said they thought it was a propane tank explosion (in a city where everyone has a propane tank in their kitchen or on the roof, this isn’t an unheard of incident); no big time cartel attack on the establishment (the otherwise sensible “bloggings by boz” — depending too much on the usual wire service and established media reports — speculated on the “drug war”, downplaying the obvious fact that the bomber meant to attack a local prosecutor’s office, which had to do with local crimes, not a Federal installation involved in the government’s “war on drugs”); just a couple small-time Tepito gangsters pissed off by the District’s never-ending crackdown on illicit activities in Tepito, and their seizure of criminal assets (and properties).

The “Tepito Cartel” (and I never heard them described as a “cartel” before.  A “Mafia” yeah — but then I suppose even Tepito’s traditional criminals are likely to go for the new management style) are just ordinary, decent criminals, no more in cahoots with THE CARTELS than your local diner is connected with Archer-Daniels-Midland just because they retail what the major suppliers wholesale.  Tepitanos are the Cocknies of Mexico City.  Like the Cocknies, they speak their own argot to protect themselves from the outside forces of control, and survive on grit, determination, humor… and crime.  With the forces of bourgeois respectability threatening their usos y costumbres — and fighting a losing battle on their home turf — it’s perfectly logical they take the fight to the enemy … the Zona Rosa.  Logical, but stupid.  

Not that it hasn’t been entertaining, what with “Mother of Satan”, el Nazi and the mysterious green Phantom all making the news.  For a couple of days, there were reports that the explosive was the same type used by suicide bombers in Iraq… well… yeah.  It’s easy to make, and the bombers’ life-expectancy isn’t all that great (which isn’t a concern, I guess, with suicide bombers).  “Mother of Satan” is a much more colorful name than acetone peroxide — basically stuff you can whip up in your basement, a bit of acetone, some hydrogen peroxice (the bomber’s accomplice, who may or may not recover enough from her third-degree burns to face charges, was a hairdresser) and a bit of hydrochloric acid.  Easy enough to whip up, if you don’t mind the possiblity of blowing up your house, and it stinks to high heaven.  Still, easy to do.

El Nazi — along with el Chilango and el Gordo (“Fats”) — are various evil geniuses behind the plot.  All are connected in some way for the search for the green Phantom — that’s a Dodge by the way — seen either leaving the scene of the explosion, or dropping off the soon to be de-parted (literally — the guy’s arm was still attached to the remnants of the bomb, while the rest of him was elsewhere)  bomber… and owned by the bomber’s girlfriend’s dad… or stolen from him, or not seen in weeks or something (the excuses change from day to day and it’s hard to keep up).

Mexicans love tradition.  Fireworks have always been popular, ever since Hernan Cortes and company first fired off their archibuses when entering Tenotichlan.  And while burning up evil-doers went out with the inquisition, combining the two has certainly proved popular.  Not that I’d want to watch, but geeze… this isn’t a crime for CSI-DF, but — given the wonderful names of the villains — it’s not a CSI-type crime anyway.   Time to call in serious Mexican crime fighters…

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