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Beware of all enterprise that require new clothes

27 February 2014

“Determining What is True”  Sterling Bennett


[In] … the Mexican state of Michoacán … self-defense groups have risen up to defend their families and themselves against criminals, narco and otherwise—since the government, local and federal, either is unable to or uninterested in granting them their basic human rights and protection under the law.

One of the leaders is Juan José Farías “El Abuelo,” The Grandfather. There are whispers, reliable or not, that he used to be with organized crime. The spokesperson for the self-defense groups, José Manuel Mireles, says El Abuelo is a member in good standing of the new citizen defense forces. I once watched an interview with this Dr. Mireles and judged him to be credible.

On the other hand, “El Abuelo,” captured on the front page of La Jornada, wears aviator glasses, tinted, if I remember […] a baseball cap with something like oak leaf braids that suggests he might be the commander of an aircraft carrier; and an AK47 military-style assault rifle that hangs around his neck and one shoulder, across his chest like an honor guard sash […] This combination of accoutrements, for some reason, makes me wary and in my mind suggest a man who feels weak and therefore wears things that make him look important and powerful. The clincher is the big black Hummer that carries him around and that reminds me of the in-between culture one sees when the police merge with the narcos…

Excellent, as both his fictions and musings on Mexico always are.

One Comment leave one →
  1. Bebe permalink
    1 March 2014 12:44 am

    We had the Brown Shirts of Hitler, the Black Shirts of Mussolini, and the Blue Shirts of Chiang Kai-shek. A ver, Polos Blancos de ______?

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