Friday March 13, 2010
Thursday night a family was gathered at their home in a remote south eastern corner of Ciudad Juarez. They were having a funeral wake for their 18-year-old son who was shot dead two days earlier in the same neighborhood. Close to ten o’clock friends and relatives outside the home were attacked by gunmen who fired at them with 66 rounds. Five people between the ages of 18 and 30-years-old lay dead in the front yards of neighboring homes, perhaps in their attempt to flee. A sixth person, a 21-year-old woman later died at a hospital from her wounds. Four others are still hospitalized with injuries.
This was the news I woke up to Friday morning. My plans that day did include a visit to my sister city, but not to cover yet another massacre. A sick feeling slowly bubbled in my stomach. I remember the emotional ordeal of the last mass killing– the wailing relatives, the coffins, the rain, dozens of funeral wreaths. Why more, why again, I asked myself? Where is the humanity in people? I didn’t want to cover this again, hadn’t the city gone through enough already?
But these are things beyond my control or opinion, I had a duty to carry out. I made some calls to get directions to the neighborhood and rescheduled my previous appointments for that day. I packed my gear, hid away my passport together with a twenty and my driver’s license and left my house heading south towards the big Mexican flag flapping in the distance.
…to be continued