Merida is

Merida is a very crime-free city, and it is also heavily patrolled by at least two different police departments, the state and the city.  I would be shocked and amazed if I were to find out that the Federales were not also here.  This afternoon as I was returning from the mall on my bicycle, I was passed by a motorcylce cop.  City, I think.  He was wearing body armor, at least on his upper body.  He had an automatic rifle slung over his back.  His belt held two extra magazines (Sports Illustrated and Cosmopolitan), and at least one sidearm.  There were other weapon-like objects dribbling down his legs toward his boots.  The state guys ride around in 4 wd pick-ups.  There are two guys in front and at least one always in back.  The back guy has his automatic unslung (for better comfort while seated on the bench?), with his finger on the trigger and his thumb on the safety.  The mall I’d just come from had at least a half dozen armed guards, stationed one at each door and the others scattered about.  Who in their right mind would want to attempt a violent crime in these conditions?

As a result, any and all of us can walk, ride, jog, (almost) anywhere in our fine city at anytime of the day or night, with no fear of assault or battery.  Is it a police state?  I think not.  Tourism drives the economy here, now that nylon rope has wiped out the sisal business.  Complete and utter safety goes a long way in making a tourist destination attractive.


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