After several months of comparative calm the savagery in Palomas returned to the front of everyone’s consciousness this week.
When I arrived on Monday morning for my Wind Power Class with the Palomas high school students, Luis, one of our key Palomas facilitators, immediately advised me, saying:
"I want you to go home, back to Deming. No one is on the streets, and we are all being very cautious.”
His hurried explanation revealed the latest horror:
Over the weekend the Mexican Federal Police and the military--equipped with helicopters and armored trucks--raided the town, arresting 25 people. Then, acting on a tip, they began to excavate an area located about ten minutes south of town. The army unearthed twenty victims at a clandestine mass grave site there. The seventeen men and three women have been buried there within the past year. The victims included two people from Deming who went missing in October.
Reading about all this from a distance is one thing; having wonderful friends in the thick of it is another. I can still see Peter running his log building crew. He employed me once in a while when I needed some cash, even though I had no skills in that area, but Peter is a loyal man. If he decides you are worth his friendship, he goes all the way. He kept many peace activists working for many years before his "retirement," which has only turned into full-time unpaid work for others less fortunate.