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Arms and the wrong man

12 August 2011

Respected poet Efraín Bartolomé’s home in Lomas de Padierna, Tlapan was invaded yesterday at three in the morning by masked men carrying high-powered arms. As the poet and his wife, photographer Guadalupe Belmontes Stringel, cowered in their bathroom for the next five hours, the attackers smashed up the house.  In addition to leaving broken windows and smashed in doors behind, the gunmen made off with an Omega Speedmaster Professional wristwatch, one of Belmontes’ camera and a memory stick.

Seeing the raiders were State of Mexico police there’s a problem. And, with Tlapan being, not in the State of Mexico, but the Federal District, one might be forgiven for thinking perhaps something is a bit irregular in all this.

Poet and perp... can you spot the difference?

Well, sure, mistakes happen.  The State of Mexico’s new Procurador General, Alfredo Castillo seems to be trying his best to overcome the state’s abysmal record in law enforcement (remember Niña Paulette for starters?) and has been all hot and bothered about his own local gangster band, La mano con ojos — and the alleged leader of the band,  Óscar Osvaldo García Montoya (whom Castillo claims is responsible for a nice round number of executions… um… 600) — was indeed caught in Tlapan. Yeah, I can see the police mistaking the sexagenarian poet for the gangster.  Uh-huh.

But…  this was a little more than a case of mistaken identity (and theft by police, or even overstepping jurisdictional boundaries).

Efraín is good friends with Javier Sicilia.


That is worse than a crime, it’s a blunder.

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