Editor’s Note: As a general rule, Frontera NorteSur prefers not to use anonymous or unidentified persons as the main source(s) of information for a story. But on-the-ground realities in Mexico increasingly challenge this principle. Often, journalists sticking hard-and-fast to the attribution rule will have nothing to publish, even if a story is of crucial significance.
So in the interest of furthering public knowledge and debate, FNS has decided to publish the following story based on an interview with a trucker who asked that his real identity not be disclosed for obvious reasons. For purposes of this story, we will simply call him Rafael, or Rafa. The trucker’s story, important aspects of which are confirmed by other sources, also conveys a seldom-heard point of view from a sector of the population that is caught up in the so-called drug war but largely forgotten in the reporting on and analysis of the violence and its implications for the future of Mexico.
Frontera NorteSur Feature
Rafael yanks out the old billfold and displays a lone 200-peso bill, a denomination roughly worth $16 and declining in value every day as fuel, food and more keep going up and up and disposable income down and down. With more than a glint of regret in his eyes, he remarks how in the old days his wallet would bulge with as many as 10,000 pesos. Those were the good years, he recalls, when a trucker’s life was one of happiness and a profession that earned a good living.