Barack Obama

I've got good news and bad news


First, the good news, which is, of course, that Obama won. The above photo was taken moments before he was declared the victor, at a results-watching party thrown by the U.S. Embassy at the Hotel Camino Real. The beauty in the silly hat is Margot Lee Shetterly from the great state of Virginia, who is alongside her husband, Aran Shetterly from the chillier one of Maine. The two are publisher and editor, respectively, of Inside Mexico, a monthly English-languague publication here. (You can have a look at Judging from the grave expressions on their faces, the woman with her hand on her cheek, and the other inspiring sympathy from Margot, were perhaps McCain supporters.


The Mexicans at the party were hardly paying attention to the election results; indeed, they seemed distracted by them. Which brings me to the bad news: Tuesday, at about 6:40 p.m., a Lear jet crashed down on Paseo de la Reforma near the Fuente de Petróleos. This would be more or less like a plane falling on Fifth Avenue in New York, or between the Café de la Paix and the Bourse in Paris. The most prominent passenger was Juan Camilo Mouriño, Minister of the Interior, and right-hand man to President Felipe Calderón.

The government is assuring us that it was an accident. However, all the Mexicans at the party seemed to think that the plane's failure was the work of drug traffickers, as Mouriño was directly involved in Calderón's war against them. All nine of the people on the plane, passengers and crew, died. Miraculously, it appears that there were only five other casualties, although 40 people were taken to the hospital. Six are in critical condition and one is among the five who perished.