Monday, January 11, 2010

Church of Nuestra Señora de Fátima Mazatlán

Rectoria de Nuestra Señora de Fátima.

People cannot fail to notice that when they walk into the Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception in central Mazatlán how the lush golden interior virtually forces you to your knees begging forgiveness. Wherever you sit you come under the gaze of saints many in attitudes of suffering. Suffering brought on by yours and my sins! You cannot help feeling extremely guilty, well I can’t anyway as I rarely venture into a place of worship for anything other than gawp at the art. Catholic devotees like it that Jesus suffered and they like it that all iconography dedicated to him show him to be in extreme pain.

However if you go to the Rectoria de Nuestra Señora de Fátima on the hill in Callejón Corona Col. Montuosa you can witness a 14 meter, beautifully detailed wooden statue of Jesus suffering from wounds like you have never seen before. He has been virtually flayed alive with bones visible and blood running from terrible wounds. This man is a victim like no other. Besides this dramatic sculpture, not much religious iconography is to be seen in this angular concrete building. As a result this large Jesus nailed to an enormous cross has an unexpected impact and virtually takes your breath away and forces all who enter to become completely subservient to the man. He crushes you with your remorse. I had to restrain myself from throwing myself to my knees grovelling and begging forgiveness for anything. All my sins and petty crimes came rushing before my eyes, things I had long forgotten way back.

I fairly sprinted out for fear of an immediate unconscious conversion and handed all my money that I had in my pocket to a surprised Padre Aguilar. That is the idea, I presume from the sculptor who carved this wonderful piece of art. The idea to make all who gaze upon on this sculpture guilty as hell for allowing Jesus Christ to become in such a state of tortured agony. So if you are a serious sinner and desperately need atonement, this is the place to go.

Saturday, January 2, 2010

'Sugar Cold Turkey Syndrome’. Kids brandishing plastic guns terrorise downtown Mazatlán.

The notorious pint-sized posers of the terror gang duo brandishing 'sawn-off' plastic shotguns.

This reporter was unlucky enough to stumble upon two dramatic examples of the well-known post Christmas disease of ‘Sugar Cold Turkey Syndrome’. On the morning of 2 January 2010 I was sauntering down the candy store district of Mazatlán Calle TTE. Azueta and was confronted by a pair of pint-sized hard-cases brandishing plastic weapons outside a candy and piñata store. Seeing my camera they brazenly ordered me at gunpoint to take their photograph, posing like Bonny and Clyde in the film posters, thinking the image would cement their youngster notoriety. Seconds later they rushed into the store and demanded the shop attendant to hand over bags of candy, making sure the jellied snakes were amongst the loot. As can be seen from the dramatic hastily taken snap, the shopkeeper was visibly shaken and in a state of terror.

They rushed off down the street shovelling candy into their mouths and disappeared amongst the back-alley ways of central Mazatlán, no doubt hoping to 'fence' their sweety stash.

Later that day whilst purchasing fine dried marlin at Juarez Market, I heard a number of ‘pops’ and turned around and snapped two images of another form of kiddie gun crime gripping the capital, that of the drive-by shooting whilst sitting on the front of their father’s motorised bicycle. As can be seen in the blurred image, the youngster is seen pursuing an unfortunate man who was heartlessly gunned down in view of thousands. It was later found out that he had been the accountant turned police informer of the notorious aforementioned gang of violent candy store caperers.

The increase of violent plastic weapon robberies and drive-by shootings occurs most every year at this time because uninformed parents give gifts of these to their children who inevitably use them to rob stores selling sweet foods after the indulgence of such foodstuffs over the Christmas period. These poor kids have overdosed on sugars and cold turkey can set in on the first days of the New Year forcing them to take to the streets and ‘do over’ any sweetmeat selling shop they walk passed. However we can be reassured as most of these deadly weapons normally fall to pieces a few months later, the incidence of these crimes drops as a result.

A plainly terrified shop assistant held up at gun-point by the notorious kiddie crime duo.
A plastic gun gunman chases a terrified fleeing 'snitch'.
The heartless coup de gráce at point blank range of the kiddie crime syndicate candy store shooters accountant as he lies slumped under a parked car.

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