Wednesday, June 13, 2012
Smoke Follows a Bad Camper
We're planning to live in Mexico most of the year. But one of the reasons we went ahead with our small getaway place in Ruidoso was that it would give us a safe haven to bolt to in case the drug wars suddenly made Puerto Vallarta seem too dangerous for retirees with a toddler in the house.
So imagine our disappointment yesterday to log onto nytimes.com and see the photo above on the home page. It's a guy named Jose Trevino Morales celebrating his horse's victory in the American Futurity a couple of years ago at our very own Ruidoso Downs.
Morales' brother is said to be second in command and top enforcer of the dreaded Zetas cartel, and it turns out these two led a group that has built a major quarter horse breeding and racing business based in Ruidoso as a convenient and entertaining way to launder some of their drug billions.
On the very day we were driving past the racetrack on our way out of town ahead of flames and smoke from the Little Bear fire, federal agents in unmarked vehicles were sweeping into the stable yards within view of our escape route to seize horses and make arrests.
Savvy locals are telling the Ruidoso News that for the past couple of years they had noticed these strangers rolling up to the Downs in their shiny black Escalades and the puzzling though welcome infusion of big money they were bringing to the New Mexico racing scene. They wondered what was up. So now they know.
And so do we. Safe and comfy for the moment in the bosom of our generous Dallas friends, we contemplate a future of fleeing seasonally from one of our retirement paradises to the other, hoping the cycle of forest fires and outbreaks of cartel barbarism match up well with Elizabeth's school year.
We're pretty sure they will. Despite all that's been happening, we're still optimists.