In the great city of Phoenix, we are lulled into a dream of safety that does not exist. Crime is rampant. Drugs and guns and killing are everywhere, and whether or not our friends in the media want to tell the story, it is still a story. Our house was robbed. My friend’s brother was murdered about a mile away. A high speed car chase ended on our block, with the meth-addled driver trying to run from police in the middle of the afternoon. We pretend we are safe because to believe otherwise would spiral us all in to a constant state of fear. And who wants to live like that?
This is always my argument when I make the trek down to Rocky Point in Mexico. Is it dangerous? Not any more dangerous than Phoenix. Yes, there is crime in the parts of town where criminals live. I hang out in the tourist areas. I have never once felt unsafe.
Then this week a military operation began at the border and ended in a shootout right in front of the Bella Sirena resort, where I have stayed many times. The beginning of this video is from a balcony in the resort.
Gunfire at 5 a.m. Ok. I’m not usually walking around town at 5 a.m. The military was chasing criminals. The mayor has responded with a statement that all security protocol was followed by the agents in pursuit of these criminals.
I’m mulling this over. If “security protocol” involves agents firing machine guns and throwing grenades from helicopters in a residential/resort area, I’m not certain I agree with that protocol.
No civilians were harmed. Some pretty bad guys are dead. But at what price?
I have always respected the fact that Mexico has very different laws. On my last trip in October I was pulled over for “speeding” in Sonoyta. The officer politely told me that the fine for speeding was $40 American cash. We had just spent a weekend on vacation and I did not have a dime to my name. I have to admit I was slightly panicked and imagining me and the boys locked in a cell somewhere while Joe had to fly down and rescue us. I breathed a giant sigh of relief when we crossed the border – about 200 yards later – and the threat passed.
I am distraught. I am questioning whether or not I can take my kids back. (Joe, incidentally is not questioning a thing. He texted me when it happened “so now what do you want to do for Spring Break?”) I do not want to give up this place that I love, because when I am there I am happy and calm and peaceful and free. The water is warm, the locals are delightful, the tacos are delicious, and the seashells are plentiful.
We were planning to take the boys in March. I was planning to go in June to see the Peacemakers on the beach. What bothers me most is the inability to find any news about what *actually* happened versus what the the politicians want me to think happened. People have taken down their YouTube videos and Facebook posts. That doesn’t make me feel better.
Many of my readers love Rocky Point as much as I do. Some think I’m crazy to go there. I admit my resolve is shaken, and Joe is no longer on the fence, he’s firmly planted in the “No Mexico” camp.
Please leave a comment below – does this make you sad? Or are you validated in your opinion that people should not go to Rocky Point?