Monday, March 15, 2010

Murders in Mexico

Yesterday there was news of three people associated with the Ciudad Juarez diplomatic community getting killed after being followed leaving a social function. The story here: NYTimes There was an especially graphic photo posted by the NY Times. Apparently the couple in the photo who were killed had a 7 month old baby screaming in the backseat when responders got to the vehicle. Thankfully, she was not hurt, other than being made to watch the killing of her parents. It seems likely that drug related gangs are responsible for the killings.

As my husband and I prepare to enter this life, stories like this are sobering. Obviously, there are risks anywhere. But outside the bubble of apparent safety in the US, it can feel like a free-for-all. Entering the wide open space of "away from home."

One of the positives I have cited (ok, to my mom) about traveling with the Foreign Service is that there is a lot of support that goes with being a part of the FS community. Unlike moving to another country on our own, we will have the support and wisdom of all those who have done it before us. They can help us with where to live, buy food, schools, etc. I get the sense that it is a true community and that the community is shocked and mourning over the loss of some members of that community.

What do I do with this information? It doesn't change my mind about the FS. It makes me think though. I'm not signing up for that Foreign Service. Not the Getting-gunned-down-in-your-car-with-your-kids FS. But, I guess you never can tell.  I could get gunned down in upstate NY.

My mom is out of the country, I don't think I'll tell her about the murders in Mexico. She'd only worry. Oh, and apparently I'm not so different from my mother, who cleans when she's nervous, because today I scrubbed the floors. I scrubbed every floor. On my hands and knees. Those babies freakin' shine.


Connie said...

It hits close to home when something like this happens to someone in our community, even when we do not know them in person. They are ours. One of the positives I might add to the support that you get from the FS community, is the support you will get from your host country. Everywhere we have been, I have truly felt like I am a welcome and protected guest... not just a faceless foreign worker in country as a temporary inconvenience.

Digger said...

On of the things about the FS is that because we are so small, there are never "6 degrees of spearation." There is seldom more than one. You either know a person or know someone who has served with that person. So it makes the loss feel personal.

But like Connie said, you have lots of support and community to help you deal with losses.

Bridget said...

Yea. I hear you. I wrote a long note on another post of yours. But basically, when we heard this news, aside from mourning the losses, we just thought crap. can we do this?

My thoughts are with the FS community and family members of the victims. RIP.

Bryn said...

Before we even arrived in Mexico, we had emails from people who were currently at this post, introducing themselves and giving us phone numbers to call them if we had any questions. We took advantage of that and before we even got here, we had several friends. In the FS you are NEVER alone. It's so wonderful to be apart of it. There are risks, but you'll have risks in every job in every city. Don't let it worry you. If you go to a danger post, they will tell you what to look out for and places that are "off limits". You will never be left in the dark.