A lot is being made of the fact that the bar in which Salvador Cabañas was shot was still open at five in the morning, when bars in Mexico City are supposed to be closed at 3 a.m. Carlos Marín wrote a column titled "Endemic Corruption" slamming Eduardo Santillán, the delegation chief in the area of Mexico City where the event occurred, for allowing an after-hours bar to operate under his watch. On last night's evening news, Joaquín López-Dóriga spent a good 90 seconds attacking the same man for the same reason, with a giant close-up face shot of the perredista serving as the backdrop. Part of the reason for this, I'd say, is an outsized sensitivity to club owners not following the rules stemming from the New's Divine tragedy. But much of it is just political point-scoring and the pseudo-populist tendency to always search for a way to blame the government that abounds in the Mexican media.
Of course, bars should close at the hour the law dictates, and Santillán (and all of the delegation bosses in Mexico City) should be held accountable for not enforcing the city's laws effectively, but it's silly to make this the focus of outrage in this case. The reason that Cabañas has a bullet in his brain right now is that a man shot him, not that one bar (among scores, if not hundreds) was open after hours. Presumably, the shooter was really determined to attack Cabañas, and would have been willing to do so at 2:45 a.m. had it been the only way to so. We have no reason to think that closing the bars in Mexico City at 3 a.m. would have prevented this. And if the late-night hours for bars were such an affront, where were the angry columns six months ago, three years ago, ten years ago, throughout which time the after-hours habits of some Mexico City establishments has been a secret to nobody?