Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Tourist Maps of Homicides, Anyone?

Diario has an excellent story by Sandra Rodríguez Nieto yesterday, about a new trend in Juarez: homicide tourism.

"It is the morbid that brings them here," said a police agent, as he was assisting in the removal of the dead body of Juan Lorenzo Gutiérrez, 30, killed by gunmen when he came out of his home to answer a doorbell at 11:30 a.m. Police are used to seeing curious onlookers at crime scenes.

Each time there is a homicide, day or night, dozens of people gather at the scene, sometimes for hours, gawking and exchanging information about the incident. "For many," Rodriguez says, "including dozens of children, this is a new form of entertainment."

Irma, 25 years old, came from Torreon on vacation to Juarez, and, yesterday, on the streets of Col. Salvárcar, she came across a crime scene for the first time in her life. She stayed for half an hour under the hot sun. She wanted to see the body. "I've never seen a murdered person," she said. Irma's mother, Delia, said "we were on the way to do an errand, but we saw the ambulance and came here, to see what happened."

From Rodriguez's report: Among the curious surrounding the crime scene were family members of the victim. They embraced each other and cried. Among them was the grandmother of the victim. "I always say don't come because here there's nothing but kill and kill. Yesterday they killed another two in Zaragoza, " she said, into her cell phone. In the heat of the sun another woman of advanced age with an umbrella suddenly said, "I'll see this on the two o'clock news," and left.

Elva Estrada, a housewife of 40, said she felt an old wound when she saw the police cordon and the crowd. Last year, she said, in different incidents, three of her brothers were murdered. "I thought it might be someone else in my family. I have a nephew who is good friends with the man they just killed here."

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