Posts Tagged ‘assaults’

I walked by the place on the sidewalk where one of Thursday nights seven slashings too place, hoping that the heavy rains of last night would have erased these stains. The automobile that had been parked at the curb was gone this morning and the rivers of blood had created a lake amongst the cobblestones. The stains? still very visible and the memories will likewise be visible to the few who know of these events, and raising more questions than answers.

I don’t like writing about this but i can think of no other way to exorcise the fear, if not the loathing, for what happened and hasn’t happened. No news coverage, no public knowledge other than the feeble reach-out by Guatemala’s joke of a tourism board. Go to any number of Antigua’s many bars and feel the fear and the uncertainty. Go to City Hall and ask anyone there, if you can find them. Today’s big event was a multi-car, orange-flagged procession of political(and paid)supporters of the mayor and the likely next President, Senor Otto Perez Molina. The Patriot Party? Viva! their slogan? ‘Mano Duro!’ Viva…where were the local police for some five hours Thursday night? having a snooze, a brew or sewing up orange banners? Mano Duro? flash the middle digit and that’s the message…the various tourists cut and robbed will contact their respective embassies: the Australian, the Canadian and whoever the rest of the unfortunate few hail from. The Embassies will write the events in their monthly crime statistics reports, post them and forget about it. Their Consuls may contact the police and ask for a report, which they may or may not receive.


The fear, horrow and memories of those assaulted may fade in time: the gashed faces, arms and legs may heal eventually. The trails of blood may likewise fade, given enough rain and time. The sense of safety that was the illusion fostered by travel guides has now been proven to be proven to be exactly that: an illusion. Who’s next, when and where? Those of us who live here know that safety in Guatemala City is a joke but personally I always thought that Antigua was a neutral zone. The Tourist Police are everywhere, the black-clad PNC drive up and down the calles at night and all was supposed to be good, safe and secure, at least in Antigua proper. The latin version of  Clockwork Orange disproved that this week…a little ultraviolence, anyone?

“the horror…the horror” Conrad’s ‘Heart of Darkness’ may well be the new leitmotif for Antigua.

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