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Shocked! Shocked!

8 November 2010

It has long been an open secret – or no secret at all – that the church has happily accepted massive donations from organized crime to fund its programs, maintain its buildings, or, in the extreme case of Hidalgo, erecting temples in their honor: There, it was recently revealed that Heriberto “El Lazca” Lazcano, head of the vicious Los Zetas mafia, had practically financed the building of the chapel El Tezontle, in Pachuca.


Although having by osmosis absorbed the innate anti-clericalism of the Mexican intellectuals and the chattering class, as scandals go this seems rather petty— especially in a country where great sinners have been paying for churches since Hernán Cortés who financed his church donations on a career of pillage and slaughter that makes a guy like El Lazca look like a slacker.

Of course, rogues donating to the Church smacks of buying God off.  I have no idea of His/Her reaction to such generosity, but I don’t think S/He would frown on, say, a Chapo Guzmán Scholarship Fund, or a Beltran-Leyva Medical Research Grant Program any more than S/He objected to 17th century scam artist and pirate Elihu Yale‘s generous contribution to New England education.

I’ve wondered about “dirty money” before — living in Sinaloa, I can’t say I haven’t received money from gangsters, either directly or second hand.  Anyway, there is no way the  money earned in the narcotics trade is coming back to Mexico in nearly the proportion that it should… if “dirty money” is the issue,  I suggest looking at investment banks and Wall Street.  What money does come back needs to be invested.  If the worry about “dirty money” is that it will somehow “infect” the body politic (or the Mexican economy), and can’t be put into decent long-range projects like universities or scientific research, better it goes into something with just a short-term economic and political impact — like buying the materials and paying the labor costs on a church building — than something like a federal home building project, or political campaigns.

Besides, if anyone needs to make it right with God, its  El Lazca.

5 Comments leave one →
  1. 8 November 2010 5:20 am

    Your wit, as usual is right on. Oh how we love to apply the double standard when it comes to ill gotten gains. Perhaps if the narcos and other less-than-lily-white types were a little more “presntable”, their money would also look a little “cleaner.” The payoffs, bribes, incentives, bail outs and whatever… wherever they are transacted, are all blood money.

  2. Maggie permalink
    8 November 2010 9:43 am

    Hmmmm…I have always thought how differently we would think about the drug kingpins if they invested heavily in social and environmental programs, and cooled it as far as the hanging bodies from bridges, extortion, kidnappings, etc.

    • Jose Guadalupe Garcia Cavazos permalink
      8 November 2010 10:10 am

      Pablo Escobar sure did a lot for the poor people in Medellin,Columbia, but he was still very hated by many people, especially by the families of the public officials that he killed.

  3. 9 November 2010 6:04 am

    another example of the church “do as I say, not as I do” principals.

  4. 9 November 2010 9:50 am

    This is all but one small part of why cities like Reynosa are wht the are today.


    “Being a narco in Reynosa is almost like being a hero; this much has been made clear to me when I was forced to open my eyes and really see all that was happening around me.

    I come from one of those few families that has yet to become completely infiltrated and I say this because Tamaulipas is a state where everyone has at least a distant relative in some way involved with them, or is an acquaintance or has a friend or neighbor that you know or suspect to be a narco.”

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