International Bridge Roma Texas

International Bridge Roma Texas

There’s a children’s game that we have all played sometime in our younger years. It’s called nana, nana boo boo stick your head in doo doo, you can’t catch me, nana, nana etc. Here in the borderlands of South Texas, it is a game that never grows old. We play it throughout our lives, on both sides of the border.

When Mexicans are on their side of the line, they are untouchable by the United States and it’s forces of detention, capture and control. Sometimes this goes to their heads. I’m going to say this in Spanish now to make sure the point gets across; Cuando les echa piedras a la migra por un bien rato, le recibira de retorno balazos. I’m referring to the times when Mexican youth have thrown rocks at the Border Patrol. The Border Patrol does not fire back rubber bullets or bean bags. You get 40 calibre or .223 assault bullets aimed at center mass. But the jovenes can yell all they want, even when the Rio Grande is just a trickle, law enforcement can’t cross the line.

 On the other side of the equation, when the Mexican Army is escorting a drug load across the line, sometimes they will go for miles into the U.S. When the Texas or the Arizona Sheriff shows up, it’s not the Mexican Army that backs down.

 Of course when one gets financially involved with the underground and the governments and criminal organizations, the border doesn’t mean so much. The more money involved the more ruthless and bold the crooks are that control such things. The business becomes much more international…But for your average Joe or Jose Schmo, the border is a deterrent.

 The Mexican Cartels for example are smart enough not to engage in wholesale slaughter in the United States like they do in Mexico. The situation here has not come down to what it is there. There are assassinations on the U.S side and also kidnappings and the Mexican Gangs have associates in almost every major city. They take care of business and an outlaw business like the drug business is always a bloody one. The terror card can work, but when it doesn’t work, it can make for a losing hand. If things continue as they are continuing, looking at Mexico today may be a mirror image of America tomorrow.

 So we speak freely about what is going on in Mexico from the American side, and keep our mouths shut when we are in Mexico. This goes double for Mexicans. I think this goes triple or Quadruple for poor Mexicans and Indians or what they call “indigenos.”

It’s always open season on these people. They are shoved into narco-fosas, or government fosas, and are written off quickly. When I see people that are too scared to talk, I vow to redouble my efforts to stay free. (Narco-fosas are holes into which are dumped victims and rivals to the cartels).

 Still in the United States, at least for now, we can stand on American soil and sing that classic children’s taunt: Nana, nana boo boo, you can’t catch me, you can’t catch me.

In this country some one may notice if you get whacked by the ruling class. In so many other countries they don’t have that luxury. Sing while we may.

So, here I stand overlooking a small Mexican Town from the historic Roma Bluffs over the Rio Grande River. I have the literal birds eye view.  It is a pretty sight indeed; like an aging actress the town looks more beautiful from a distance. There is a charming park that abuts the shores of the rio, and families picnic there, go swimming etc. Mexico in all its cliched wonder stretches before me. The squeak and the rattle and thump splits the international silence between us; it’s just a Mexican carcajada, or old clunker with a hundred thousand of miles or more of bad road on it, and shocks that have given up the fight long ago. A hot rod truck spins donuts and heads back to town to get the llana to keep up it’s owners status above the waters of poverty.

 A municipal policeman comes to park along the bank. He is by himself, and I sense a photo-op, the frisson of a nana-nana-boo-boo moment is coming upon me. I can take his picture with both impunity, and no fear, something I couldn’t do if I were on his side of the river. So I capture both him and his patrol unit. He reaches back into his unit, pulls out a camera of his own and proceeds to take my picture. My nana-nana-boo-boo moment has lost some of its shine. Two can play at this game.

 Then he does something very cartel like, but who can say he wasn’t just playing his own game of “you can’t catch me.” Homeland Security was on the bridge, a mere 100 to 150 yards away. He was snapping away, capturing all that was going on at the time. He was doing halcon or falcon work.

How long will we be safe on our side of the line? I see claws and talons reaching both ways across the Rio Grande. Let’s enjoy our games of nana nana boo boo while we can.

 

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