It was very shocking. Hearing that my uncle had been kidnapped this weekend, Saturday September 12 2009. He lived in Mexico, where in recent times its a common occurrence. How sad is it that its common? Very. I wasn’t worried, I mean, they ask for money, the family puts it together and he gets released. Only this wasn’t to be.
Later that day I found out he was found dead.
I knew very little of the man. I saw him a few times growing up, and again a year ago in Mexico. I could tell he was a loving man. He leaves behind a wife, my mom’s sister, a daughter, my cousin, and an older son from a previous marriage. All he wanted to do was to provide for his wife and daughter. As some immigrants, he fell into some hard times and paid for some mistakes.
My aunt and cousin lived with us for years. They were a part of our immediate family. When my uncle paid his debt, he went back to Mexico wife and daughter in tow to start a new honest life. He opened a successful tortilla shop in his home town. Towns where my parents and he are from are small, dirt roads, and lots of lands… it takes about an hour or less to get to the next similar town and even more to get to the city. They would basically drive to all the towns nearby to sell their tortillas.
My cousin spent another two years with us to finish high school then went right back to her family.
For years, the situation in Mexico has been progressively getting worse. Some of you may have heard of the civil unrest in the southern portions of Mexico with guerrillas and fighting. Not many know of the corruption within the military, or the recent uprising of mafia cartels and gang activities in the north.
What sticks out the most is:
Inhabitants of El Oro demand greater military presence since the kidnappings, “surge” and murders are the order of the day. In this regard, the headquarters of EI Oro notes that they are extremely active in prosecuting crime.
El Oro is one of the municipalities where the most bloodshed is recorded, apparently, several groups operate there.
Inhabitants of the municipality of El Oro seek support to end the climate of insecurity and violence in the north of the state.
I remember visiting him about a year ago or so in Mexico. He was happy. He was with his family. This was his second chance. I’ll never forget his smile and the lifetime behind his eyes.
My heart goes out to my aunt and my cousin who are still in Mexico, in fear. Last I heard, they plan to remain there and continue the business. They’ll always have a home with us should they elect to come back to Chicago.
Rest in eternal peace, Gabriel Monarrez Favela. Know that we are here for your family, for they are our family as well.
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