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Arms and the man in Chihuahua

12 July 2009

This cannot be a good idea.

Fresh from the funeral of Benjamin LeBaron and Luis Luis Widmar in Le Barón, Chihuahua, Chihuahua State Attorney General Patricia González seeks to add fuel to the fire, by giving guns to the colonists.

This might work for the break-away Mormons in Le Barón, but does this mean the State is not protecting the Mennonites? Does it also mean, as one Human Rights commissioner notes, that the State Governor is making a tacit admission that he cannot govern? That can lead to his “destitution” by Congress and replacement by the Federal Government.

I get the sense that this is a sort of “cowboys v Indians” scenario. Hermangildo Galeana — the municipio where Le Barón is located — is a desert agricultural community (mostly cattle ranching, and some sorghum and garden vegetables. And marijuana, of course).  There are some gold deposits in the region, and some mining. Municipal protection is supposedly provided by the “Bando de Policía y Buen Gobierno” which may not be up to the job of keeping the neighbors from resolving their issues outside the law (it’s a huge expanse — over 1500 square kilometers and sparsely populated).

The less than 4000 inhabitants include native speakers of Tarahumara,  Mixtec and Nahautl — which means most inhabitants, though Spanish-speaking, are probably also “Indians”… and Roman Catholic (about 80% of the population, according to the 2005 census estimate).

LeBaron and Widmar didn’t deserve to die, and refusing to pay kidnappers is something that should be applauded, but I’d want to know a lot more about the dynamics of the colony’s relationship with its neighbors before I started throwing weaponry into the mix. More people are going to get killed.

Speaking of shoot-outs, Mexico, Indians, farmers fighting bandits… and funerals…

3 Comments leave one →
  1. Uwe Bruenjes permalink
    14 July 2009 12:03 pm

    I don’t like the tone of this “report”. The reporter shows that he is demeaning, disrespectful and uninformed. Ok, on second thought it looks like he got some info from google or a place like that, but that’s not enough when it comes to true journalism.

    The point is that the Lebaron people showed us the way. Was there an obstacle on that way? Yes, there was, but that doesn’t mean they are wrong. Some necessary actions are dangerous by nature, though experience also shows that inactivity is even more dangerous.

    So now my hope is that there are more “wrong” people like them in Chihuahua, especially Cd. Juarez, the epicenter of this state-sponsored terrorism. It’s about time to smoke out this rat hole.

  2. Uwe Bruenjes permalink
    27 July 2009 8:45 am

    Addendum: As an example of how miserably “common sense” can fail, look at the “Wild West” state of Texas. When concealed weapons were declared legal, almost everybody screamed in pain that there would be a blood bath. Now, years later, we know that it was anything but.

    So I would say, putting guns in the hands of the average Mexican citizen is probably the best thing that could be done. Who else could be more interested in defending himself, while at the same time doing his best to avoid going to prison?

    And isn’t that exactly the kind of balance we want to see?

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  1. The slaughter of the innocents « The Mex Files

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