Another Plaza Battle

March 1, 2014



A writer has to pick something they want to be known for. My choice, other than good solid writing which I promise to strive for, would be authenticity. When somebody orders Blackwater Crossing, whether Amazon or iPad, I want them to know that they can count on the real goods. It’s why I kick around the Mexican border, hence this trip to Agua Prieta. Even if I do write fiction, it’s important to me that I portray what is really there.

Douglas, Arizona and Agua Prieta would be one town–except for a fence, a waterless canal, and then another fence. Some say it does little to stop people, or drugs. Certainly, with the imposing barriers and constant Border Patrol surveillance, it should.

After the recent battles for the plaza, which is cartel speak for the lucrative drug corridor north through Douglas, there are no tourists. Not that Agua Prieta was ever a magnet for American doodad shoppers. But the distinctive lack of any loitering faces as pale as mine indicated things are not quite back to whatever was normal before the last ten or fifteen bodies littered the streets. That, in spite of the taxi driver’s assurance that everything is good, and now even mothers and children are safe on the street.

I was convinced. My wife–not so much.

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