As Mark mentioned earlier WHYS will be coming live from Mexico on Monday. It’s the shows first broadcast from Latin America & myself and Alicia have arrived early to make some final preparations. In the build up to the trip the BBC safety team was keen to warn me of any potential dangers, they talk of high crime rates and express kidnappings but I have to confess I’ve seen very little to be worried about.
Clearly people are concerned here, most buildings have their own security guard but so far, fingers crossed, I’ve witnessed nothing but a warm & colourful city. Admittedly we’re staying in a nice part of Mexico City but I haven’t felt threatened. I read that when it comes to killings Mexico ranks along aside Iraq, it’s a shocking statistic but it bears no relation to the Mexico I’ve seen. In fact there’s been a scary incident outside our hotel, the road outside is full of police & ambulances but it has nothing to do with violence. The hotel security guard says part of a building across the road has collapsed on a number of workers. Looking at the number of news trucks outside I suspect it’s going to make big news here. It feels like half of Mexico city’s emergency services are on the scene.
At the airport Alicia was held up by customs. I don’t speak Spanish but tried to listen in on her heated conversation with the official as they riffled through her bags. I assumed they were looking for drugs. Turns out they were worried that she may have had cheese in her bag! So much for a NARCO state, they’re more worried about contraband cheddar creeping across the border. In case you wondered, she didn’t have any cheese, but she did have a large stash of wine gums.
Tonight I’m meeting a number of people we’ve invited to the show, I have a feeling they could change my initial impressions of the country. Drug violence has touched many of their lives, some of them have been kidnapped and held to ransom while others have seen family members killed. I’m keen to talk to them about their view of their country and where it’s heading.
If you would like to see any of the pictures I have taken today check out our flickr site