A tragedy for a consulate I hope to avoid

In Uncategorized on March 16, 2010 at 1:02 am

Where I’m at: Chicago (t-minus 11 days)
What I’m doing: taking a break from fixing the window that our drunken St. Patty’s day guests shattered
Why I’m posting: to hope against hope
So I’ve spoken to many of this blog’s followers recently about my hopes for where our first posting with the U.S. Dept. of State’s Foreign Service Office will be. Most know that we (Co and I) hope to end up in Africa for the better part of our early careers, but have tempered our expectations to expect something more like Mexico. In an effort to ward off the likely by saying its name aloud, we’ve “joked” that we’ll probably end up in Tijuana or Juarez. I’ve also “joked” that if we do, I’m making Colleen live in the U.S. and I’ll just commute. Here’s another reason why:

So after literally thousands and thousands of ridiculously violent deaths in Ciudad Juarez (across the river from El Paso, Texas), the FBI is getting involved in a more active way. That’s because some consular officials, employees, and their families were recently fired upon (and 3, tragically, died) by the drug cartels there as they made their way home from a party. I often assumed that as bad as Juarez got, there’d be some measure of protection for U.S. officials because the drug cartels wouldn’t be so stupid or so bold to potentially bring down the U.S. on them full force within Mexico. Apparently not.

For those interested in international criminal law, this situation brings up an interesting point. Mexico is now apparently (based on media reports…DOS folks may know otherwise) all for the U.S. entering into Mexico to help bring down the cartels. This comes only a few years after the infamous Alvarez-Machain case where a U.S. DEA agent was brutally tortured and killed, a request to Mexico to extradite a doctor believed to be a part denied, a CIA-led kidnapping of that doctor to bring him back to Mexico, a Supreme Court decision “permitting” such tactics, and international outcry about how this violated int’l criminal law norms. I’ve often heard that case called a watershed moment-to-be in the future of international communities. Perhaps what’s happening now changes things.

In any case, this is a terrible tragedy for the U.S. DOS and the families of Lesley Enrique, Arthur Redelf, and Jorge Alberto Sarcido. Pray for them. And for those just checking this blog to watch over Colleen and I, pray for us, too.
Who said it: One of the above victim’s family members
Why it’s relevant: Juarez has the highest murder rate in the world…and is situated literally feet from El Paso, Texas, one of the lowest murder rates in the world. In 2009, 2600 people were murdered in Juarez.

The quote: “More than anything, I want Juarez to change … That’s what I’d like.”

  1. I gather you are starting A-100 on the 29th, so I have added your blog to my blogroll of FS blogs at

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