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What’s Your Price?

by sanmigueltimes
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On a Sunday afternoon a couple of weeks ago, an alleged narcotics street dealer starred in a confrontation with municipal police just off the jardin.  The press reported he was injured and detained with the equivalent of $450 USD in cash and a handful of drugs.

The weirdest part for me was he risked his life for about $450 USD.  Really?  Why risk your life for that little?  Yes, I realize, it is all relative and I’ve many family members that may have done the same for a fifty.  Everyone has a different price and mine fluctuated with age.

On the same day was the following incident…..

One of the elderly ex-pat board members (that I assumed was dead by now) from the School of English when I was President wrote me about a question on some Atencion article I wrote seven years ago.  I didn’t mention her sticky fingers at the school figuring at her age she probably doesn’t remember it, though I’m stunned she’d remember an article from that same time frame. 

An hour later a pal writes me mentioning, out of nowhere, how great this gal is.  I respond basically saying she’s a moral-less thief, but worse yet, a stupid one.  For a mere two thousand dollars every couple of years she, and her cronies, sold their reputations.  If you’re going to steal from a gringo-run charity hang out at one of bigger ones and garner the tens of thousands monthly you can get your hands on.  She certainly wouldn’t be the first, or last.

It reminded me of being a teen and working at the local Sears.   Several Sears pals were fired for stealing fifties from the till.  Even as a teen, I was like, “Really?  You’re going down for 50 bucks?”  I wanted thousands for that level or risk.  Ironically, a fellow former-teen I worked with at Sears wrote me this week to say she was at a cook-out where it turned out there were a bunch of folks once worked at Sears and how they all stole daily.  She wrote me,  “We were clueless idiots!”

During my writing company’s financial hey-days at the turn of the century I figured out how to open an account in the Caribbean and save myself hundreds of thousands in US taxes each year.  Perfectly legal and I didn’t even have to go the islands to open an account.  Still I couldn’t help feeling it simply wasn’t right and pushed the notion out of my head.  Suffice to say, my clients, Glaxo, Bayer, Nortel, Cisco, etc., had no hesitations doing just that at the time.

As for the killings/shootings, it will end.  It has to, as it is scaring away Mexican tourists.  I get how you can’t have a high end resort without drugs.  I lived on the sleepy, little island of Bald Head, NC that catered to high income vacationers that sponsored its own cop-killing drug trade when my kids were little.  The uber-wealthy on vacation enjoy drugs, they always have. 

However, the town can’t keep letting the revolving doors of cartels spin around our round-abouts leaving disembodied heads in coolers. 

Eventually, we’ll do something.  Perhaps like Monterrey did, bringing in Israeli police to clean things up.  Then we’ll promote ourselves as the safest city in the Americas as “Safety Capital” will eventually trump “Cultural Capital” with high end tourists.

by Joseph Toone

DISCLAIMER: The opinions expressed hereby are those of the author and not necessarily those of the San Miguel Times.

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