Some Were Masked

I looked at the newspaper cover photo, really looked, the first time I’ve really done so in over two months in Mexico. It was full of dead bodies, as usual, so I don’t know why this one struck me. Men strung up on a fence, in a crucifixion pose, bloodily executed. Some had rags over their faces, others didn’t — ASSASSINATION: SOME WERE MASKED the headline screamed. They looked my age, maybe younger. The first thing I wondered: Were they alive when they strung them up to the fence? And then: What were they thinking? At what point did they know they would die? What did they say to their killers? What were their last moments like?

A professor had remarked about the ubiquitous organ grinders in Mexico that it’s a pity that it makes more economic sense for a young able-bodied man to crank an organ for pocket change than do anything else. What the fuck is this then?

Like the other gawkers crowded around the newsstand, I didn’t buy the paper. I’ve already paid for this disgusting spectacle.

Read more: The brutal face of Mexico’s 21st-Century War

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