We’ve taken a certain amount of joy in mocking the terrified teenagers and timid, jingoistic bloggers who greeted the announcement of Todd P’s MtyMx Festival in Monterrey, Mexico, with the type of hysteria normally reserved for frothing nutjobs like Arizona-based “America’s Toughest Sheriff” Joe Arpaio. That said, the timing here is not exactly working out–the State Department issued a warning this morning to Americans traveling to Mexico after several U.S. citizens were murdered in Ciudad Juarez and police officers were gunned down in Acapulco. “The State Department warns of cartel and drug trafficking-related firefights and shootings in Tijuana, Chihuahua City, Nogales, Matamoros, Reynosa and Monterrey,” reports the Phoenix Business Journal. In one gruesome incident cited by the Telegraph, “a victim had his face skinned and stitched on to a football” back in January, though not in Monterrey. However.
We spoke with MtyMx promotor Todd Patrick last week about this very issue. Todd took pains to give context: “The murder rate in Monterrey in 2009 was 6.3 murders for every 100,000 people. The murder rate in New York was 6.3. The murder rate in Dallas was in the 13s. The murder rate in Houston was in the 11s. The murder rate in New Orleans was like 62 murders, so 10 times the rate of Monterrey,” he said, citing figures he’d compiled with the help of the government down there. And nobody would be saying anything if half of Brooklyn was decamping for New Orleans, as they do in fact do on the regular for Mardi Gras. Plus, as Todd adds, “it doesn’t matter if gringos are afraid to go because it’s going to be a fuck ton of Mexicans…These kids in Mexico City hear the same bullshit about the north is scary, the north is dangerous, oh, there’s the drug war. These people know the facts on the ground better than us–they live in Mexico–and yet these rich kids from Mexico City and Guadalajara are psyched on this and not scared… I don’t know a better way to endorse this. Obviously these upper crust kids of Mexico aren’t afraid of the north–why should you be?”
We’re still going. Make of that what you will.