The authorities in Mazatlan, Sinaloa, recommend domestic and foreign tourists to follow the path traced in the main streets and avenues of the port to keep guarded by police areas. Photo Javier Valdez
Bajadock: Like the Escalera Nautica idea of multiple marinas to attract boaters, every popular Mexican tourist city could create their “Linea Azul”. “Stay along the blue line and your chances of being assalted or murdered are low. But, you will enjoy every type of street hawker, hooker and time share sales available in our fair city.” Bienvenidos.
Mazatlan 31 January.- If possible divide the paradise of hell, Mazatlan authorities did with a blue line: a line in streets and avenues of important sectors of this port that domestic and foreign tourists should follow if they want be in danger, even death.
The line starts at the pier, where tourists come from cruise ships; It crosses the street Emilio Barragan enters the area called South Beach (between the pier and the historic center), followed by the Carnival Avenue, crosses the Boulevard Miguel Aleman and ends on the steps of the Plaza Machado and Teatro Angela Peralta.
Follow or not this verges on bicycle, on foot, by taxi or car itself can be the difference between being in the middle of a firefight or enjoy the mazatleco sun, the sea wind, a beer against sunset or coffee in the old pier.
Mazatlan rotted. Their violence competes with Culiacan, the state capital. In the first 30 days of this year they have been committed in Sinaloa at least 106 murders, 40 of them in the port of Mazatlan and Culiacan and the rest in other municipalities.
The government of Quirino Coppel Ordaz began the last day of 2016 and drug groups already noted. Commander Juan Antonio Murillo, former secretary of public security official Mazatlan and Attorney General of the state, was shot and wounded and two of his three bodyguards were killed.
Two other agents, including the operating supervisor of the municipal police in Culiacan, were kidnapped on Jan. 27 and shot a commander with a group of suspected gunmen in the capital faced.
Mazatlan, once safe and peaceful people who get up late and wear shorts and flip flops to work, early drunkenness and eternal bohemian port is sick of insecurity and violence caused by drug trafficking.
The cartel of the Beltran Leyva -presuntamente in alliance with cells cartel Jalisco New Generation – death struggle with the cartel of Sinaloa for the drug market in the southern state.
Up to eight murders in one day
The crime rate in the region has increased since 2016. Cells from rival organizations cartel of Sinaloa enter through the border with Nayarit and operate from Escuinapa, El Rosario, Concordia and Mazatlan, whose mountainous area in the north of the town, serves as a den for armed groups.
On the one hand, hell, bullets, nothing. The other, the patrols, the police operations, guide services and guidance. Everyone knows, even those that offer services and products to tourists, especially cruises, which leave more profits to the local industry and commerce.
Taxi drivers, owners and drivers of pneumonias (car hire discovered and windowless, preferred by walkers) and who offer rides in small boats know to follow the blue line.
Like they do with violence. It speaks softly to refer to it and not affect tourism. “Do not you dare go to Lazarus,” says a student at the Autonomous University of Sinaloa to another that is not the port. The colony Lazaro Cardenas is a couple of kilometers from the center and three or four blocks from the blue line. There are no drugs, weapons, assaults, robberies, shootings.
“It was like a rain of bullets,” say neighbors told reporters, referring to what happened on December 2, 2016, when an armed group attacked residents of the street Lazaro Cardenas Teniente Azueta. Three men were killed and one was wounded while trying to flee on a motorcycle. This year has been up to eight murders in one day in Mazatlan.
Law enforcement operations have been unsuccessful. With the new state government, about one thousand 800 elements of the military police are in the 18 municipalities of the state and began by Mazatlan. On January 27 they captured 14 men, most muggers, drug dealers , vandals and gangsters. Not a single gunman from either sides. These, like the good boxers, enter, hit and go.
“Quietly. The killings are said quietly, so as not to affect tourism,” says an employee of a restaurant when asked about the wave of killings never seen in Mazatlan, and less in such a short time.
A taxi driver says that it is “a problem between the people of the drug,” but “unfortunately is affecting everyone.” He fears that new cruise companies put Mazatlan on the blacklist and stop them from reaching tourists.
Since arriving at the port, before lowering cruises, passersby are warned: follow the line. On the way to the blue line, tourists run into preventive agents of the municipal and state police, to reach the square or main garden, the cathedral and market.
Follow the line can be the difference. Deviating from the blue line painted on the surface of boulevards, sidewalks seawall and in the streets would go into the backyard of this city, the second largest of Sinaloa, stained corpses and messages posted on them, disrupted by infernal steps of gunmen from both sides.
So follow the blue line taxi drivers, tourist services and walkers. You have to follow to stay out of hell that adjoins the poor and wounded mazatleco paradise.