Julio Alfonso Alfonso was born in Cuba in 1921 and first came to Guaymas in 1945 to play for the Guaymas Ostioneros baseball team in the now extinct Pacific Coast Baseball League. Here Alfonso stayed for the rest of his life. He married a local girl and started a family. One of the family members became a grand dancer here in Guaymas and started a poplar dance studio. On the 15th of September the grand daughter of Julio Alfonso Alfonso, Marcela Chavez Alfonso lost her life, and that of her unborn child, abruptly with 5 gunshots to the back during an attempted robbery of the Santander Bank in Guaymas. She left behind two children, a loving husband and family. Five or six others were reported injured in the shoot out. Out of respect for the family of Marcela Alfonso the Independencia party “El Grito” in Guaymas held every 15 of September to commemorate Mexico’s independence from Spain was cancelled. In a rare moment of clarity the mayor of Guaymas actually made the right call but I reckon it was for the wrong reason. Certainly he does not wish to be questioned on the lack of security in Guaymas. Not that the local press would actually question him but local activists might. And that would be a messy affair and make for lots of unfavorable you tube videos to be posted on facebook. Damn good idea to cancel El Grito for sure!
What is striking about the whole incident besides the complete horror of it all is how long it took police to get on the scene. In some of the pictures posted on line you can clearly see a bunch of bystanders standing around the injured and dead, no police in site. In the picture above you can see a man in an orange shirt. He is actually holding Marcelas daughter who was in her arms when she was shot to death. On the 16 of September, the day after, I was invited to participate in a radio program on Radio Visa 90.1 F.M with host Jorge Carrizales to discuss the recent publication of the City of Guaymas Informe or state of city report. During a commercial break Jorge told us how he was receiving, just moments after the shooting, Whats App texts from listeners to the program who noticed that rather than responding to the robbery police were in local OXXO’s purchasing time for their cell phones. The last thing local cops want to do is respond to a local shoot out while it is still happening. How else can you explain the fact that almost none of these shoot outs are solved. Why are there no security cameras on the streets of Guaymas and San Carlos? The answer is actually quite simple. The current batch of incompetent local politicians and police don’t give a fuck about security in Guaymas or San Carlos. What the city council and Mayor of Guaymas gives a shit about is looking good. Thus you will see many many wonderful pictures of Lorenzo DeCima out and about looking very Mayoral. Just after the hurricane I saw a ridiculous picture of our local Mayor with a chain saw cutting apart a fallen tree! Good job Lorenzo, single-handedly putting Guaymas back in order.
It’s fucking bullshit and I have remained silent far to long on the amount of crime that takes place in Guaymas/San Carlos. I think us San Carlenos are living in a bubble that is about to burst wide open. We have been lulled into a false feeling of security since there have not been any recent murders or official reports of shoot outs here locally. Official is the key word here.
If you follow local Guaymas events you find that someone is pretty much disappeared or flat out murdered once a week in Guaymas or Empalme or Vicam. Shoot outs on the streets of Guaymas also occur with a frequency that if accurately reported on would astound us all. I quit writing about all of this quite a while ago. It has simply become to common an occurrence here. I have become accustomed to the new norm just as I have become accustomed to the fact that there are virtually no dorado left in the Sea of Cortes. Just as I have become accustomed to the fact that soon the La Vaquita Marina, the small Sea of Cortes harbor porpoise will most likely be extinct withing a decade. I have redefined my definition of San Carlos to include a certain amount of drug cartel violence just as sport fisherman each year increasingly finds themselves having to redefine what a “good day” of fishing is. Twenty five years ago when I first moved here a sport fisherman could define a good day of fishing as catching dorado a few miles off shore. You might have to go out to the reef, a round trip journey of 20 nautical miles, to fill the cooler with dorado. You would certainly release a bill fish or two on that same day. A current definition of a “good day” of fishing is after trolling 50 to 60 nautical miles I actually caught one bull dorado that weighed 15 pounds well, that was better than getting skunked, that was a pretty good day.
Our lack of a comisario here in San Carlos is yet another good example of how bad things have gotten and how the current situation seems to be the norm. The way our comisaria is supposed to work is that the comisario should be in charge of San Carlos. The comandante or chief of police in San Carlos should be under the authority of who ever the comisario is at the time. The comisario of San Carlos should also be elected by the city council of Guaymas and to be considered as a candidate for the office a development project must be submitted. A person becomes comisario based on a set of criteria including their development proposal. Then the proposal should also receive funding. Well over the decades as the comisario has become less and less relevant to San Carlos the new supreme authority here is the comandante or chief of police. I recently wrote a piece on how our last comandante was certainly bribed by the Costa del Mar HOA board of directors to hassle a CDM resident for questioning the authority of the HOA. What that means it that we have someone who is guaranteed to be completely corrupt and completely for sale running the show here.
The supreme authority in San Carlos should not be the Chief of Police, this is a recipe for continued disaster.
Not to say that other comisarios have not been corrupt in the past either. I have heard plenty of stories of comisarios taking bribes over the years and other stories of comisarios refusing to be bribed. But the point is at the moment San Carlos has no comisario and the comandante and local police that work here in San Carlos have zero oversight. The following story is a fine example of what I mean. Even though the incident I am about to tell you was reported in by phone I can pretty much guarantee that there was no official report written on the call in. Thus officially the following incident never took place and thus officially San Carlos is a pretty safe place to live.
“Unofficially” at the beginning of the month a friend of mine who lives in the Ranchitos was sitting on his terraza while a small white Volkswagen was being chased by a Ford pick up truck. A passenger in the ford pick up truck was shooting at the Volkswagen with a pistol. Yes a real pistol. Not unlike any bad C rated hollywood movie you might watch on Netflick staring Adam Sandler or some other shitty actor. Mind you this all took place in broad day light. The problem is that this actually happened yet no body ever heard about it happening and thus if there was no report of it happening then, well…. it never really happened.
My friend immediately called the office of the comandante. He was told by the gal who answered the phone to stay inside his house. Wow there is some seriously great advise! No cops responded to the call. This isn’t bullshit, these events are real. Remember we have three measly patrol cars in San Carlos and mostly what these guys do is extort tourists for traffic violations. During the high tourist season in July, if you were so inclined and wanted to watch San Carlos’s finest in action, all you had to do was hang out in front of the Modelo Cerveceria right in front of the CI Banco to watch as luckless tourists were escorted to the automatic teller to pay their fines in cash to our local “Policia Turistica”. Serve and Protect baby, Serve and Protect!!
I am told by sources that the amount of drug dealing that goes on in the ranchitos has escalated in recent months. Not many people even know that the reason the fire station was closed here in San Carlos had less to do with funding and more to do with the fact that a local drug cartel was selling a shit load of “Crystal” right next to the fire station. After a dude got whacked right next to the Bombero Tecate Six it was decided it was too dangerous for the fireman to stay there so they left. Yep, the cops don’t do shit here for security of the community. It is common knowledge that during summer the robbery rate of houses in San Carlos increases by many factors. The local cops know when people are out of town, after all they are on endless patrol, that is what they do, they drive around town yet they never seem to ever catch any of the thieves. How can any of this be? Everybody knows this to be true yet we continue to allow it to happen.
Don’t believe for a minute that San Carlos is any safer than it was compared to July of last year when bodies were turning up by Nacapuli Canyon, shoot outs were happening on a monthly basis and drug dealers were dropping like fly’s, it was Bloody July. I would say that what ever agreement was drawn up between local cartels and the cops. You know the agreement that, “we the local authority, the good guys with the guns in uniform that is, will leave you, the bad guy narco cartel sicarios with the guns alone here in San Carlos as long as you,
- Stop having shoot outs here on the streets, I mean for Christ’s sake it’s a god damn “Zona Turistica” here!
- No more dumping of bodies in the desert within the border of San Carlos. I mean come on, don’t be so fucking lazy, dump the bodies a little farther away from where you live will ya!
It is only a question of time before that truce comes to an end because somebody didn’t get the fucking memo!
One last indicator of “Que tan jodidos somos aqui en San Carlos/Guaymas.” Perhaps many of you are unfamiliar with the term “narcomanta.” A narcomanta is a message, written on a piece of cloth or tarp and then displayed in a public area. The message is usually directed at the government or someone in government or law enforcement. Often the message is displayed over a bridge crossing. Narcomantas are associated with drug cartels and in the north specifically with the Zetas Cartel. This morning at 4:40 a.m. an anonymous call was placed to authorities in Guaymas calling attention to the first narcomanta that I am aware of to ever be placed over the Mira Mar bridge in Guaymas. There were actually two narcomantas and I have been unable to get the complete text of both of them. One of the narcomanta was condemning a local police chief for being in bed with drug dealers. Wow there is a revelation for us all.
Viva Mexico Cabrones!