Thursday, March 29, 2012

Aguas!!! Frutas!!!

El Mañana has a story about a practice that most of us are familiar with: vendors offering goods and services on our international bridges.  What's different now is that the merchandise that's up for sale is being stockpiled along the path of vehicular traffic.  One lady comments.

"Es increíble, nada más aquí pasa esto. Es algo así como una burla porque esa mercancía la pasaron por el puente, donde se supone que hay autoridades federales al cuidado", dijo Silvia Hernández, mientras conducía en medio de una larga y lenta fila de autos.  "Ya nada más faltaría ver que los vendedores ofrezcan sus productos a los customs americanos en plena caseta de revisión", añadió.

Yes, Ms. Hernández, it is incredible.  And it does seem like this sort of thing only happens here.  But our little neck of the woods can't be that special.  Surely this has to be happening at other border communities.  I will offer, at the risk of sounding facetious, that this form of commerce is cartel-related, or at least, cartel-influenced.  The bridge lanes must offer some sense of security for those selling bottles of water, and other refreshments.  If I had to deal with the ongoing violence in Nuevo Laredo, I'd probably change the way of doing business too.
Whether we'll see these merchants ultimately going up to CBP agents to sell their wares to -- as Ms. Hernández jokingly states -- remains to be seen.

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