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Posts Tagged ‘tourists’

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 is the Casa Escobar going after the gay trade? looks that way…nope, just kidding…El Gato Negro having a 5q beer special if you wear a dress..the rain! why didn’t i….thanks, frank for the loan of the umbrella but i still got soaked..Lava jammed, Ocelot packed, the luscious Flor and Gina at the bar…Ximena, Margaret Hanson..ok..let’s shift gears…a lot of business owners are complaining about the coverage of last weeks multiple crimes…it happened and it was posted on a site by another business owner who was in the middle of it…hospital, cops, translating…and good for him…it happened, word got out and if not for that, all these meetings wouldn’t have happened and maybe…just maybe, there might be a positive change for Antigua…this is my home, just like yours…if i’m steppin’ in pools of blood two blocks away from my house,what do you expect? o gee..it didn’t really happen..horse shit..it happened and oddly enough, what i heard earlier tonight explains just how fickle fate was that day…it was a night of nights, unlike anything i’ve been around, Antigua has ever experienced and probably never will…to sweep this under the carpet is like ignoring your wierd uncle who’s a cross dresser(and i had one)…get over the publicity, good or bad..times are tough here, regardless if this had happened or not…you don’t have to read this nor read the postings on Face book or watch CNN…it happened, it was a one of a kind event(or series of events) and maybe the PNC will shape up, at least for a little while..in case you’re wondering, innuendo is the italian word for suppository..take one and go away..I call it like i see it…not always accurate because my sources are varied and as they say on CNN, unvetted..antigueno chisme at its best..or worst..people tell me stuff that I can’t share…and won’t..

 

What you’re about to read are suppositions based on 2.5 hours of a well-attended meeting featuring those jolly elfs/oafs of INGUAT, an assortment of brass hat PNC and other cops, other government officials, the Mayor, some press and four private individuals who thought that the meeting might shed some light on the ‘events of last Thursday night’….aka blood on the sidewalks…first of all, an ex-cop who shall remain nameless suggests that the evening was the result of three different ‘do-er’s (cop talk for perps) given the three different M.O’s…the guy on the moto who whipped on the pansies in the park aka La Merced, the guy with the broken beer bottle who whipped on the guatemalan on 2nd calle and then the other four attacks by the same two guys in the maroon truck…using knives…i tend to go along with that scenario..hey, just another quiet Thursday night in Antigua…

the meeting…a horseshit, no..a horse shoe shaped arrangement of tables, 24 people or so..kicked off by INGAUT, with rotating speeches by cops…’well, gee’..if only we had a plan…hey! let’s make a plan so when/if this happens again we’ll know what to do..two hours of this…what did come out and something i didn’t know of…there were only two ‘complaints’ or ‘denuncias’  filed…and until the police have one in their hands they can’t really do anything(and even then)…one must file a complaint with the police and then go to the Ministerio Publico and file another one…and then…then the wheels of justice really begin to turn….creak…so what we have here is cover your ass, it wasn’t my job and by 11:30 the excuses and explanations had been scripted and rehearsed so the the television crew from channel 9 could come in and observe the Mayor and his hard-working crew of dedicated crime fighters could be filmed ‘hard at work, solving this problem and making plans to make Antigua even safer.’ Film at 11….the one fly in my ointment…or ointment in my fly was that in highly confidential conversations outside, I’m told that the official version is total horseshit…ooh…shocking! gambling? I’m  shocked (Claude Rains, Casablanca)…so, without any other ‘complaints’ their hands are tied…not as if they coulda taken statements that night in the hospital or elsewhere and been proactive crime-fighters, eh? no…not here…I’m pretty much fed up with this…as an aside, various people have complained that the whole story was made public…if it hadn’t, nothing would have happened, two days of meetings wouldn’t have happened…the US Embassy made their presence and unhappiness known..the British Embassy who set it up didn’t show..smart..they had better things to do…croquet, some tea and a cucumber sandwich..in retrospect it was a circle-jerk and a stroke job…one local spoke passionately about the events..the three or four gringos(myself included) watched the faces of the bored, playing with their mobile phones…some blame was thrown around and some uniforms will need some washing…the perps? o, those guys? well, we’re workin’ on it…justice,guatemalan style..zzzzzz..the Mayor gave a really good speech, so I’m not worried. 

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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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