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Tuesday, October 12, 2010

The pain in the reality

Sunday was the first day of the soccer tourament that I am coordinating with a gentleman from the area. Our first game started with "Barcelona" Vs. "J.O Ladies", it was a great game and we all had fun. I am the referee for the games and I never expected them to take it so seriously, its not just a game here, it matters to them. Our first game concluded with Barcelona as the victor 3-2. As our second game started between "Manchester City" and "Argentina" everyone was in great spirits. Around 10 minutes into the game, We heard gunfire that was very close in proximity. The gunfire was on the street adjacent to the field where we were playing. During the gunfire, I felt like everything slowed down, but it was moving so fast. People were running trying to get their kids away, people yelling and screaming, driving away in cars. The soccer game completely stopped and all the kids ran to the corner of the field where you could see the situation that was taking place. The gentleman, his wife, and I were calling to the kids "Venganse! Venganse!"(all of you come here, Come here). The young man I work with finally went to the corner and physically moved the kids back. When we first arrived we asked the Centro "what should we do if we see or hear something happening?". Their response was very simple, "Turn your back or they will kill you too, they will kill you for even looking". A woman came over and said something to the young man I work with and he came over and told his wife and I to sit down against a wall, I am not sure what that women told him, but it was clear that we were in danger. As we were yelling for the kids, I just happened to get our safety phone call from Michigan Peace Team. Obviously this was not a good time, I asked her to cal back later. That phone call took the last of my phone minutes and so now not only was I in an unsafe, unplanned situation, but I had no way of calling Nina who was not with me. I have to admit that I felt a lot better becuase I had the young man, and his wife there with me. Around 5 minutes passed and parents came for their kids to get them home, people were still running and yelling. We found out that a man came to kill another man, He was walking with his wife and child. When he saw that they were coming for him, he ran away and his wife was left with their child. The man shot her 6 times instead, the child left unharmed physically. When it was safer I left with my affinity team in a car, they dropped me off at home.

The Violence here is very real, but the people that are left here to fight it are real as well. The fear is paralyzing to man. That woman was killed, for reasons unknown, but no reason given could justify the taking of a life.

1 comment:

  1. Angie - I know how difficult this was for you to experience and then to report upon it. I am so glad that you were there with the children, I just wish that no one had to have experienced it.

    But, as you say, that is the reality of Juarez on a daily basis -- coping with violence that makes absolutely no sense (as if violence ever could!)