With sails raised and with the secretary of the navy's invaluable competition, Veracruz prepares to commemorate the centennial of the heroic defense of the port on April 21. Just what are the occasions of heroism that this place, which has served as both an important entrance and exit throughout Mexico's past, now celebrates?
This year's decree from the port defense correspondent explains ...
"... [T]he port of Veracruz has been the scene of some of the most transcendental moments in our history and has earned the title of heroic city four times — for having consolidated our independence in 1825 by vanquishing the last Spanish colonial troop from the country, for successfully resisting the French army in 1938, for facing North American troops with determination in 1847 and for the Navy's equally valiant resistance in the face of the U.S. invasion of 1914 ..."
But if the names Aureliano Monfort, Virgilio Uribe and Jose Azueta are to be repeated in days to come, we cannot forget the circumstances surrounding their great efforts to defend the country, especially those of 1847 when, faced with the same "foreign enemy," Mexicans fought, as always, disadvantaged, poorly equipped and without coordination.
And someone may say the following has nothing whatsoever to do with the heroic achievements that start this article, but recent facts are showing us how Mexicans continue to suffer in our relationship with gringos. Whether it’s the gringos of yesterday, the day before or those today, they invade us or simply treat us like pushovers. Just our luck, said Diaz or Lerdo or whoever it was, to be so far from God and so close to them.
Witness the latest slap in the face to Mexico from the owners of the world's narcotics market: We capture the drug lords here and send them for witness protection there!
"The Mexican drug trafficker Jesus Vicente Zambada Niebla, El Vicentillo, was found guilty of crimes related to the trafficking of drugs and came to an agreement with the government of the United States to become a protected witness."
"One of the members of the leadership of the Sinaloa cartel was found guilty a year ago of participating in widespread conspiracy to traffic narcotics and is cooperating with the United States," announced the Department of Justice through the district attorney's office based in Chicago, Illinois.
The news of the agreement between El Vicentillo and the U.S. government this past February, a continuation of the 1947 edition, essentially turns the son of Ismael El Mayo Zambada García [a Mexican drug lord and one of the two Sinaloa cartel leaders] into an informant for the DEA.
"April 3, 2013," announces the district attorney in the agreement reached in the Federal Court of the North District of Chicago, Zambada Niebla," is found guilty by the federal Judge Ruben Castillo."
"El Vicentillo, age 39, was detained by the Mexican military in a hotel in the Distrito Federal on March 18, 2009 and extradited to the United States on Feb. 18, 2010, supposedly to stand trial in Chicago for various crimes related to drug trafficking for the Sinaloa cartel."
This is more proof of what we've already known about extraditions over many years: They don't help Mexico, they don't lower crime in this country and are only a tool used by the Americans to prolong their dominion in the drug trafficking industry, of which they are practically sole proprietors.
That's why it was interesting to hear the revelations from attorney Jesús Murillo Karma, who talked yesterday in a radio interview about how the pressure to turn over El Chapo Guzman to the Americans comes from "unofficial legal proceedings." That shows us two things: pressure from the U.S. does exist and that their desires come first. The legal stuff can wait.
And when the DEA fails, the Department of State shows up, followed by, if necessary, the White House. An offensive line whose show of efficacy is excessive, in this and other cases.
But next week it will be all fun and games in Veracruz. The Mexican marines of today are the heirs of those who sacrificed their lives for the country in the invasion of 1914, banishing no less than 50 American ships from our coasts. Too bad their crews never left ... or their descendants.