El Ejercito en Ajijic, Lake Chapala, Mexico
On Monday I was on my way to the Nueva Posada for a drink with my friend when I noticed a number of members of the army armed with rifles milling around the carretera and the libremiento in front of Walmart.
They were slowing down the traffic as we went by and then encouraging us to carry on which I did smartly.
This is not the first time we have seen the army here in Ajiic and I will explain why they are here as I know there presence has unnerved some people.
I think Michael Eager of the Nueva Posada explained it best and I will quote him:
“They have periodic and roving teams of soldiers working all over Mexico. They set up roadblocks and randomly pull over cars and trucks. They are looking for guns and drugs. This is a common practice and it has been very successful in the war against drugs and gun runners. If you were to drive to the border on any major highway you would mostly pass through 4 to 5 of these types of roadblocks.
Seeing them gives me a sense of security. I know it is not commonplace in the U.S. or Canada but here it is.”
We have lived in Ajijic for almost 15 years and always feel safe and secure. We know we are being looked out for and protected in a way we never felt when we were in Canada. In Canada I would not let my kids (then 9 and 11) go to the corner store alone. I was quite happy, however, to let them run free here and never worried about their safety.
I understand that seeing soldiers in our beautiful village in the sun can be a trifle disconcerting for someone from north of the border but, as Michael says, it is for our ongoing safely and security and for that we are and will continue to be very grateful.