If you have been watching the news, you know that Guerrero state has been in a state of chaos recently. Some students, protesting the inequalities of the government’s placement of teachers (urban students favored over rural) were rounded up by police and disappeared. It is assumed that the then mayor of Iguala and his wife, who has connections to a drug cartel, ordered the police to transfer the students to the cartel inferring that some of the students had rival gang connections.
Well you can just imagine what happened.
The students are missing and presumed dead.
All over Mexico, and the world, people have protested these barbaric actions. Unrest is high and tempers are short.
Protesters have built a tent city, on the zocolo, in the middle of the market in Chilpancingo, the state capital. The government is on full military alert, which means there is a heavy Federal Police presence in Chilpancingo, Iguala, and other cities with universities (including Taxco), especially so during holiday periods when the students do not have classes.
Although all is quiet here, the heavy military presence feels a little like Madison during the height of the Vietnam War protests.
With this unrest comes insecurity and people are more aware than usual of their vulnerabilities. It is not uncommon for people known to be successful or have wealth to build a “fortress” of protection around themselves. Now even the average Juan is doing the same.
Houses already secured by solid metal doors, walled courtyards, and decorative ironwork over windows, are raising walls higher to make access to their homes impossible.
Broken bottles are set into the cement on top not so much to deter birds landing and dropping gifts into the patio below as to keep possible intruders out.
(This used to be one of my favorite houses too. A lovely courtyard behind a one story wall, provided privacy yet was bright and airy. Now with its three story wall, it is more like a dungeon.)
Even the little guy, between these two much larger, taller buildings has added onto his house, though his found materials construction and corrugated metal roof pale in comparison.
Yet, if anyone were to consider his humble abode worthy of breaking into, the resident turkey would give a gobble.