Sunday, May 3, 2009
This picture was taken in 1913, and shows two mounted Mexican Policemen. The picture was taken in Mexico City. When I was a boy, we would often travel to Mexico. Most people think of Mexico as a dry and desolate place. This is true in the Northern part, which is mainly the Chihuahuan Desert. As you go further south, into the tropical region, it is very different. There, it is beautiful mountainous rain forests. It is much more like what you would think of South American rain forests. We would pull a trailer, and go way down into the pretty parts. Back when we would go, the people there were desperately poor. Many of the small kids would have no clothes at all, and a few might have an old shirt, but no pants or underwear. Kids literally walked around naked they were so poor. My parents would fill the trailer and car with clothes, and as we went around on the trip, they would give clothes to the people who did not have anything. We very much enjoyed these trips, but it was striking the differences between there and back home. The police were very corrupt. You would be driving down a remote highway, and the police would pull you over for no reason and want a bribe. You could either pay them, or they would hold you there all day asking questions, or rummaging through your stuff. Usually the bribe they wanted was very small . . . maybe what amounted to 20 or 30 cents, but yet it was annoying and intimidating. Also, the roads were very poor. There would be very narrow roads through mountainous passes with no guardrail, and no shoulder on the road. To make matters worse, the trucks would drive down the center of the road, so you would go around a tight curve, and find a truck coming straight at you, head on, with no way to pull over. In the end, we stopped going to Mexico because of the dangerous roads, and the corruption was getting so bad. It is shame that a country that is so rich in natural resources and culture is plagued with such corruption, and today, lawlessness. I would be afraid to go to Mexico today.