By David Magallanes
It was their 8/25. It doesn’t resonate with us as well as “9/11” does and always will. The events of August 25, 2011, weren’t of the gasping magnitude of 9/11, but it shook Mexican society to its core nonetheless.
That awful day last month was when the narco-criminals firebombed Monterrey’s Casino Royale, one of many rogue casinos established in Mexico over the past few years.
Innocent people were killed — mostly women out enjoying each other’s company over bingo or lunch. The criminals were no longer targeting each other. They were now using full-blown Al-Qaida techniques for terrorizing the Mexican nation.
The casino had refused to pay for “protection” and submit to “taxes,” so its customers were summarily burned and calcified. The drug wars had reached a new low as Mexicans mourned their dead, much as we had done that most horrible of days ten years ago, and just as we will always mourn the victims of that day that shall live in infamy right along with Pearl Harbor.
With the news of the casino massacre, I think we in the U.S. tended to mutter, “How terrible. Why don’t those Mexicans stop killing each other? Let’s see…I wonder what’s on the sports page…”
But our destiny is very much linked to that of the Mexicans.
If their country falls apart, a part of us goes with them. Because to where do we think millions of desperate people are going to run when they have nothing to turn to within their own borders if their society were to break down irretrievably? Hint: It won’t be to the south.
We are not blameless.
We don’t like outsiders criticizing our country, but we have to try to understand the rage of Mexican President Felipe Calderón as he tried to console his nation, just as President George W. Bush had tried to console us with a promise to exact justice.
From Internet news source Chron.com*: “Calderón wasted no time in condemning Uncle Sam for the local bloodshed, saying:
‘The economic power and firepower of the criminal organizations operating in Mexico and Latin America come from this endless demand for drugs in the United States. We are neighbors, we are allies, we are friends, but also, you are responsible.'”
You can sense the exasperation in his words. President Calderón was calling us out. You can also sense the need to export the blame…
Finish reading Commentary: A Mexican cousin’s view of the U.S.