The AK-47s came out in Rocky Point Sunday night.
In the style that's become so sadly familiar in Mexico, an SUV full of armed men pulled up to a man standing near the marina in Puerto Peñasco. The men got out and, without saying anything, fired at least 16 shots from their AK-47s at the man, hitting him seven times and killing him. Here's a report in English from RockyPointNewsOnline.com .
The victim was Juan Antonio Rodríguez Nogales, 47, a traveler from Ciudad Juárez, Chihuahua. His wife and son were also present but were not injured.
Mexican press reports say Rodríguez Nogales was an entrepreneur who had a business supplying maquiladora factories. He is originally from Spain but had been living in Chihuahua for years. The family had been staying at a luxury resort or hotel in Peñasco for maybe a week, launching the boat daily, the reports say.
Our minds naturally lead us to think he was also involved in drug trafficking (at least mine does), but who knows? We certainly don't. Thousands of travelers from Chihuahua go to Peñasco in the summer.
I'm interested in this case, of course, because I wrote a story last month and a subsequent blog item about tourism and safety in Puerto Peñasco. U.S. tourism has gone down there in part because of Americans' fears about their safety in Mexico.
Indeed, a DEA official told me that the "Sinaloan Cartel" had moved into Puerto Peñasco in 2007, and their presence has increased the threat of shootouts or other violence that could affect tourists, though U.S. tourists are not specific targets. Several American residents of Rocky Point told me nothing has changed, and they live or visit there as peacefully as they ever have. I, too, found the atmosphere to be relaxed and familiar when I was there for a one-day trip in July.
Well, this victim apparently was a tourist, though a resident of Mexico. Although he was obviously targeted and there were no injured bystanders, you have to think this incident will only harden Americans' fears about visiting Rocky Point.
On a related note, I've often written skeptically about the prospect of "spillover violence" happening in the United States in any degree greater than it always has. Well, I remain skeptical about broad "spillover" occurring, but this kidnapping in Texas does seem to be an example.