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Nov. 4th plane crash
November 5, 2008 6:41 AM   Subscribe

While most of the world was watching* Obama win, people in Mexico (specially in Mexico City) were busy watching news that a plane had just crashed near one of the busiest intersections of the City, killing all its passengers and wounding at least 40 others in the street and nearby office buildings. The plane, a Lear jet, had eight people on board, among them Juan Camilo Mouriño, Secretary of the Interior [link in Spanish] and at least two other high ranking officials in the mexican federal government.

Mouriño had been involved in capturing drug lords, combating the rise of violence throughout the country and in an unconfirmed medium-sized corruption scandal [link in Spanish] involving PEMEX, so the crash is being investigated [link in Spanish] to rule out sabotage.


* I hated that mexican TV cut into Obama's speech to give some further non-news about the crash, which had taken place three or four hours earlier.
posted by omegar (52 comments total) 6 users marked this as a favorite

 
joder.
posted by yonation at 6:49 AM on November 5, 2008 [2 favorites]


i lived in an apartment 4 blocks from there last year. scary stuff.
posted by yonation at 6:54 AM on November 5, 2008


.
posted by IvoShandor at 7:05 AM on November 5, 2008


.
posted by Foosnark at 7:18 AM on November 5, 2008


coger.

.
posted by languagehat at 7:27 AM on November 5, 2008


.
posted by aheckler at 7:30 AM on November 5, 2008


.
posted by yeoz at 7:32 AM on November 5, 2008


Coño.

.
posted by elmono at 7:33 AM on November 5, 2008


.
posted by Deathalicious at 7:38 AM on November 5, 2008


Chingame.

I'm really curious as to how/why the crash happened.
posted by birdherder at 8:02 AM on November 5, 2008


languagehat: Stick to Russian, you just had a miserable fail at Mexican Spanish.

This sucks so bad. Mexico is so close to becoming completely ungovernable due to drug related violence, has a low intensity war going on in the South, has been blessed (ha!) with a string of Harvard/Yale presidents...
posted by dirty lies at 8:03 AM on November 5, 2008


There's been a lot of public fury recently in Mexico at a government that has seemingly allowed violence to grow unchecked.

The situation can seem pretty hopeless. I dont know how many of you saw this dramatic image from the NY Times a few days ago:

It has long been known that drug gangs have infiltrated local police forces. Now it is becoming ever more clear that the problem does not stop there. The alarming reality is that many public servants in Mexico are serving both the taxpayers and the traffickers.

The men in suits, it turns out, were both bureaucrats and bad guys, officials say, corrupt employees high up in an elite unit of the federal attorney general’s office who were feeding secret information to the feared Beltrán Leyva cartel in exchange for suitcases full of cash


I hope, I really hope that this plane crash was *just* an accident. But the nature of the people aboard along with Mexico's internal war has me feeling skeptical.

Its too bad because Mexico is such a beautiful country with so much promise and so full of kind-hearted people. This saddens me terribly.
posted by vacapinta at 8:03 AM on November 5, 2008


The USA just needs to legalize all this stuff while banning importation.
posted by jeffburdges at 8:07 AM on November 5, 2008


imho, there's no way this was just an accident - over polanco no less! i hate the tinhat conspiracy shit, but on election day in the US when attention wouldn't be on airplanes necessarily... it just smacks of horrible noncoincedence.

and dirty lies: to be fair, i also used my castilian interjection, but it was the first thing that came to mind. and 'joder' has more profound "fuck-damnit" significance in my mind anyway.
posted by yonation at 8:12 AM on November 5, 2008


Cacajuates!
posted by Pollomacho at 8:14 AM on November 5, 2008


From a class of 30 kids that went to my wife's elementary school, an expensive private one, 5 have been killed in drug related stuff, in 2 cases including their siblings and parents, a few more are orphaned, and 3 live in exile.

The murders have ranged from drive by shootings to death by torture, and at least one case of "highway accident".

Too tired to find the links supporting what I am about to say, but they are out there.

The drug traffickers have access to military weapons, they have a whole IT infrastructure, some of them are better trained and armed than the police or the military, and they have a practically infinite supply of money (anyone remembers the 100 MILLION USD in cash found in a house in Mexico City?). I really want to know what results from this investigation. In at least one case RPGS and "rockets" were confiscated.

It is too late to fix this by legalizing drugs. When the drug businesses go slow, there is always kidnapping to turn to. Do a google search.

I feel jealous of you USA people for the first time in a very long time. I want a Mexican Obama.
posted by dirty lies at 8:19 AM on November 5, 2008 [2 favorites]


languagehat: Stick to Russian, you just had a miserable fail at Mexican Spanish.

I don't speak Mexican Spanish, I speak Argentine Spanish, pelotudo. What, I'm not allowed to comment unless I do it in the right dialect?
posted by languagehat at 8:21 AM on November 5, 2008 [2 favorites]


Coger is the Mexican version of the Castilian Joder, meaning "fuck". I think languagehat was playing with this, and then I sounded more agressive than I intended.

Joder is a perfectly appropriate response, just makes you sound Spanish.

No Mexican I know would interject "Coger". A few examples of proper responses to a situation like this:

Chingada madre.
Vergas.
No pinches mames.
Puta madre.
Que pedo?!
Chinga tu madre!
No me jodas.
Chingada puta vergas madres por el culo que chingados no pinches mames!?
posted by dirty lies at 8:24 AM on November 5, 2008 [7 favorites]


Vos hablais español Argentino? Pfffffttttttt

You know about the Argentinian guy who killed himself? He jumped from the top of his own ego.
posted by dirty lies at 8:26 AM on November 5, 2008 [1 favorite]


Heh. Dale, pibe!
posted by languagehat at 8:33 AM on November 5, 2008


(We don't even call it español, we call it castellano, that's how perverse we are.)
posted by languagehat at 8:34 AM on November 5, 2008


.

Hopefully it was an accident, but its just one of those things we will never know.

(and seconding the weird use of "coger", at least for mexican spanish)
posted by edmz at 8:35 AM on November 5, 2008


The only thing ever that could ever redeem the abomination that is the Argentinian language is Mafalda.

And grass fed beef, especially a nice plate of bife ancho and mollejas.

End derail.
posted by dirty lies at 8:40 AM on November 5, 2008


(and seconding the weird use of "coger", at least for mexican spanish)

In porteño Spanish (spoken in most of Argentina and Uruguay), coger = 'fuck.' Joder does not exist. For 'take' Argentines say agarrar. This has been your dialect lesson for today.
posted by languagehat at 8:47 AM on November 5, 2008


What a dreadful setback.

.
posted by batmonkey at 8:52 AM on November 5, 2008


* I hated that mexican TV cut into Obama's speech to give some further non-news about the crash, which had taken place three or four hours earlier.

Doesn't Mexico have internet? I watched Obama's speech streaming live on CNN.
posted by KokuRyu at 8:53 AM on November 5, 2008


Ye gods, nuclear war with Mars could be declared and we'd all be arguing about the proper way to curse about it.
posted by echo target at 8:59 AM on November 5, 2008 [1 favorite]


"In porteño Spanish (spoken in most of Argentina and Uruguay), coger = 'fuck.' Joder does not exist. For 'take' Argentines say agarrar. This has been your dialect lesson for today."

Ok, languagehat, so is in Argentina, but the same applies in Mexico for that use. It was never an issue. The fact is you are still wrong:

No Spanish-speaking country uses "coger" as a simple interjection. dirty lies is right here: "joder" and "coño" are correct as interjections, "coger" is not; used as verbs they might work as synonyms, but not as interjections. If you translated your first comment into English, it would say:

"to copulate."

or

"to engage in intercourse."

instead of:

"fuck."

which one must assume is what you intended.

FALLO, no matter how you spin it. Grab a Panhispánico de dudas before your next dialect lesson, dude.
posted by omegar at 9:13 AM on November 5, 2008 [1 favorite]


I feel jealous of you USA people for the first time in a very long time. I want a Mexican Obama.
posted by dirty lies

How about a Mexican active electorate?

And yeah, languagehat, coger is as mistaken in Argentinian Spanish as in Mexican Spanish. And if you wanted to use true porteño you could have gone with "garchar", but blurting out "garchar" just like that is still weird. Now, you could go with dirty lies' "no pinches mames" which is definitely an award-winning expression.
posted by micayetoca at 9:18 AM on November 5, 2008


Getting back to the topic, does anyone care to speculate about the government's reaction? I don't know enough about the political characters and willpower there to know if they'll hit back hard, or just crumble in fear.

Assuming, of course, that this was some kind of cartel hit. It could still be an accident, but it's pretty suspicious so far.
posted by echo target at 9:18 AM on November 5, 2008


It's probably a bit late in the thread to emphasize this, but for Americans it's important to point out that in most countries (including Mexico), the Interior Minister is one of the most powerful positions in government, head of all the national police forces and paramilitary forces. Not like in the US, where the interior secretary's basically chief of national parks.

For what it's worth, all the big Mexican dailies (Universal, Reforma, Jornada) are still saying that sabotage is under investigation, but their sources point out that the fact that the plane crashed, then exploded, suggests that it was just a terrible and unfortunate accident.

For those who've lived in Mexico City, the idea of a plane crash on Paseo de la Reforma is pretty spectacular...imagine a jet crashing on the Champs Elysees and you get the picture.

Finally, going against the grain a bit here, I would say that as a PAN functionary, Mourino was probably a pig: Accion Nacional isn't my favorite Mexican political party. On the other hand, I haven't lived there for a while and don't know anything at all about him. If he was assassinated (which I frankly doubt) this is a very sinister sign for Mexico.
posted by jackbrown at 9:27 AM on November 5, 2008


dirty lies:When the drug businesses go slow, there is always kidnapping to turn to.

But hardly with the revenue at the same order of magnitude, and unlike the drug trade, few voluntary customers. Drugs may be considered malum prohibitum, whereas kidnapping malum in se. So I don't expect the same degree of corruption. Of course, there will be smuggling of diverted legal product and other "diversification" but assuming an intelligent drug regulatory regime, not anywhere as big as now.
posted by daksya at 9:34 AM on November 5, 2008


How about a Mexican active electorate?

But when you can only choose between a weak (and probably corrupt) candidate from a catholic/conservative party, and a batshit insane (and most definitely corrupt) candidate from the liberal party... what's the point?

I agree with jackbrown, Mouriño seemed to be a corrupt bastard. Also, violence has rised to an historic high, so he wasn't the best at his job. Even so, I wouldn't wish that kind of death on anyone.

José Luis Santiago Vasconcelos, who also died in the crash, was the Deputy Attorney General for Special Investigation into Organized Crime. Also a likely candidate for an assassination.

At the time of the crash, the favorite interjections in my office were: ¡Ay cabrón! ¡No mames!
posted by clearlydemon at 10:12 AM on November 5, 2008 [1 favorite]


But when you can only choose between a weak (and probably corrupt) candidate from a catholic/conservative party, and a batshit insane (and most definitely corrupt) candidate from the liberal party... what's the point?

The point is to have an organized society that can put together pressure groups that, little by little, help society advance as a whole. That's better than leaving all in the hands of the politicians, as we currently do.

Something very odd that no one is mentioning is that yeah, the crash was at one of the busiest intersections, but more importantly, it just so happens to be less than a kilometer away from Los Pinos, the Mexican official residence.

I can help but to remember that scene in The Godfather where the guy the Corleones were negotiating with wakes up with the head of his favorite horse on his bed. Seems too coincidental to me to be an accident.
posted by micayetoca at 10:31 AM on November 5, 2008


The fact is you are still wrong: No Spanish-speaking country uses "coger" as a simple interjection.

And yeah, languagehat, coger is as mistaken in Argentinian Spanish as in Mexican Spanish.

Since neither of you guys is Argentine, you'll excuse me if I take your lessons for what they're worth. I lived there for years. But can we stick to deploring the death of Mouriño?
posted by languagehat at 10:35 AM on November 5, 2008


The point is to have an organized society that can put together pressure groups that, little by little, help society advance as a whole. That's better than leaving all in the hands of the politicians, as we currently do.

You are right. We are far too complacent, and that's why we are in this situation.
posted by clearlydemon at 10:36 AM on November 5, 2008


Since neither of you guys is Argentine, you'll excuse me if I take your lessons for what they're worth. I lived there for years. But can we stick to deploring the death of Mouriño?
posted by languagehat

I live in Buenos Aires, mate. Or rather, check mate. But yeah, let's go back to Mouriño.
posted by micayetoca at 10:41 AM on November 5, 2008


Mi madre quiere mudarse a Mexico. Preocupame porque noticias tantas estes. Tengo miedo para ella.

In other words, fuck me.
posted by Talanvor at 10:41 AM on November 5, 2008


I lived there for years.

And you'll excuse me if I ask: Did you talk to anyone while you were there? If so, did they seem to laugh frequently for reasons unbeknownst to you?
posted by omegar at 11:13 AM on November 5, 2008 [1 favorite]


I've been polling people here in Mexico City and no one will really say with gusto that it was the narcos. A journalist I met told me that even if evidence is found of sabotage, the government would never reveal it publicly as it would be an admission of a truly "open war" between the narcos and the government. And if it truly is a war, they just managed to wipe out a few generals. Although you could say there already is an open war going on.

...and the traffic this morning...todo un pedo...
posted by lovejones at 11:15 AM on November 5, 2008


micayetoca, your music is stunning. Thanks so much.
posted by louigi at 11:28 AM on November 5, 2008


And you'll excuse me if I ask: Did you talk to anyone while you were there? . omegar gets the lol of the day. i actually appreciate that this thread is working on parallel lines.

n'thing that nobody in any latin american country or spain uses coger as an interjection.

also: no mames seems to me to be too light here, no? its kind of a more friendly, "you're fucking kidding me, right?" kind of statement that is more lighthearted than this tragedia deserves...
posted by yonation at 11:32 AM on November 5, 2008


Why does this feel to me like September 9, 2001?
posted by Araucaria at 11:34 AM on November 5, 2008


yonation: in my opinion, no mames can be used in any situation. The tone makes the difference.
posted by clearlydemon at 12:00 PM on November 5, 2008


in my opinion, no mames can be used in any situation. The tone makes the difference.
posted by clearlydemon

Yeah, I completely agree. Now, for pure disbelief, nothing beats a long "¿te caaaaaaaaaeee?"


micayetoca, your music is stunning. Thanks so much.
posted by louigi

Thanks to you!

posted by micayetoca at 12:21 PM on November 5, 2008


The USA just needs to legalize all this stuff while banning importation.

mexico is trying...

Calderon Proposes Bill to Allow Some Drug Possession: "allowing possession of as much as 0.5 grams of cocaine, 2 grams of marijuana, or 0.05 grams of heroin... The proposal may aim to encourage the U.S. to do more to reduce domestic consumption, which provides a market for Mexican drug cartels that have caused a surge in violence and domestic drug use"

cf. The Long War of Genaro García Luna, Mexico’s top police official...
I asked García Luna if this was an acceptable definition of success in the war on drugs: violence down, the police seemingly in charge, the cartels operating less conspicuously and less violently. He ducked the question but did not dispute the implication. “Given the temptation,” he said, “there are people who are always going to play the game, whether by airplane or helicopter, by land, by sea, because there is a real market. ... There is no product like it in the world.” (When I asked David Johnson, the assistant secretary of state for International Narcotics and Law Enforcement, about the reason for mounting drug violence in Mexico, he said, without prompting, “In significant measure, it grows out of violent people taking advantage of the continuing strong demand in the United States.”) García Luna mentioned Colombia, invoking an analogy that Mexican and U.S. officials generally resist. Colombia has received billions of dollars in U.S. anti-drug aid under Plan Colombia, and violence has fallen significantly in the past several years. “Do you know how much the amount of drugs leaving Colombia has gone down?” García Luna asked me. “Check,” he said with a smile. And indeed, by all evidence, there has been no significant decrease in drug flows out of Colombia or in the availability of cocaine or heroin in the United States — and yet, Colombia is considered a success story.
as richie roberts sez in american gangster: "You know, I don't think they want this to stop. I think it employs too many people. Judges, lawyers, cops, politicians, prison guards, probation officers. They stop bringing dope into this country, about 100,000 people are going to be out of a job."
posted by kliuless at 12:33 PM on November 5, 2008 [1 favorite]


Damned shame.
posted by Smedleyman at 12:52 PM on November 5, 2008


involved in capturing drug lords, combating the rise of violence

Or maybe contributing to the violence by taking part in Calderon's US-sponsored drug battles?

And "combating the rise of violence"? As George Carlin once said, isn't that like fucking for chastity?
posted by telstar at 2:02 PM on November 5, 2008


And you'll excuse me if I ask: Did you talk to anyone while you were there? If so, did they seem to laugh frequently for reasons unbeknownst to you?

And I'm sure you'll excuse me if I tell you: Don't be any more of an asshole than you absolutely have to be.
posted by languagehat at 2:23 PM on November 5, 2008


Something very odd that no one is mentioning is that yeah, the crash was at one of the busiest intersections, but more importantly, it just so happens to be less than a kilometer away from Los Pinos, the Mexican official residence.

Sort of like when Rwanda's president died when his plane crashed ... "in the yard of the presidential residence".

But assuming this is a standard flight path to Mexico City airport, which seems likely given its position WSW from the runways which face ENE, it's just another hazard of an urban airport. Like AA 587 it was a smaller jet following in the wake of a "heavy" and wake turbulence may explain all.
posted by dhartung at 2:52 PM on November 5, 2008 [1 favorite]


It might have been an accident but it's hard to imagine that people in Mexico City don't secretly believe otherwise. There's a level of corruption in the anti-narco agencies that could be hard for people in other countries to understand.

Some years ago I lived in Mexico City in the Colonia Roma (not so far from the crash site). While I was there they moved the headquarters of the police vice squad into the Colonia a few blocks from my apartment. A lot of my neighbors started protesting with picket signs, trying to get the headquarters moved out of the neighborhood. They told me that they were more likely to be robbed by the vice squad than the criminals.
posted by twoleftfeet at 11:52 PM on November 5, 2008


After an investigation, the first results of it divide the blame between turbulence and human error.
posted by edmz at 2:32 PM on November 14, 2008


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