It's been a hairy few weeks in Cuernavaca. First, beheadings. Then emails warning residents not to go out at night. More killings. More messages. Terror, at its worst.
A couple of years ago, a US counter-drug official told me he hoped the people would "rise up and say 'No More!"
Well, it's happening here right now. It's Sunday night. For the past two Sundays, since the first email warnings, a rock band has played concerts for peace in the Zocalo. Then at night, it's been wonderful, people strolling the streets – kids in tow, in many cases – and people are going about their normal lives as if the narcos weren't here. Friday and Saturday nights have been the same. As I write this, at 9:50 on a Sunday night, this cafe is packed and everyone is dancing salsa. (OK, so they don't have jobs to go to tomorrow because of the unemployment, but that's a different story.) There isn't even that much of a military or federal police presence. The narcos have simply backed down. They're still killing each other in certain neighborhoods, but the people in general refuse to be affected.
This AP story (http://www.bostonherald.com/news/international/americas/view.bg?articleid=1250852&srvc=rss) would have you believe otherwise. Don't believe the hype.
Oh, and I hope I'm right, and nothing bad happens tonight.