Monday, November 22, 2010

Mexico's Version of Gran Torino

There was a crazy story in Milenio about a wealthy, 77-year-old rancher in Tamaulipas, Don Alejo Garza, who was faced with demands that he turn over his hacienda to a group of drug traffickers, or else. On the day of the else, the man warned his employees to stay home, and then spent the previous night turning his estate into something resembling a fort, with gun embankments and whatnot all over the place. When trucks full of thugs came for the hacienda in the middle of the night earlier this month, they were met with Don Alejo's gunfire. At the end of the fight, which included grenades and lots of automatic weapons, Don Alejo had been killed, but so had four of his attackers, with two more severely wounded.

Milenio seems impressed with the story, and indeed I am as well; that's certainly a pretty ballsy response from Don Alejo, and it's always satisfying to see bullies get their comeuppance. But beyond the Hollywood aspect of it, what a sad finale to a life that didn't have to end violently. It would have been more boring but infinitely better for the whole thing to have been settled through a phone call to the authorities and a round of arrests.

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