The small corner shop where we buy groceries was apparently the meeting place for the Wednesday night task force. It wasn't an exaggeration, there were around 40 guys with an assortment of automatic machine guns. One guy was wearing police issued body armor and carrying a grenade launcher. We went inside the store where we usually buy vegetables and timidly tried to take a couple snap shots. One of our students from high school was in the store and we asked him what was going on. He refused to tell us probably fearing repercussions from the armed mob outside. After buying a couple things we walked outside and decided to walk through the gauntlet of armed men and try to take some photos.
Just as we got to the end of the gauntlet a guy tried to say something in English but we didn't catch it. He said, "You guys speak-a da Spanish, right?"
"Sure we do"
"It's not every day you see this on the streets in the United States."
Yeah, well as a matter of fact, we've never seen anything like this anywhere."
We got to talking with our new Mexican looking friend and he said that he lived in New York for a while. I knew one of the armed guys standing not too far away and I yelled for him. His name is Machuka. He lives not too far away from our house and is pretty much a contract worker for one of the "groups" in town. He was holding an AK-47. I grabbed it out of his hands and struck a pose for Rob's camera. Our new friend took out his 9mm pistol, grabbed me by the front of my pants and shoved it snug against my package. Now the picture was complete. 9mm pistol sticking out of my pants and an AK-47.
At that point everyone started laughing and it lightened the mood a bit. Rob and I started taking pictures freely and walked back to the house. The reason there were so many guns on the street is that someone got kidnapped in town and they are going to try and get them back.The longer I am here the more ridiculous things get.
|Rob's turn to pose|