Wednesday, December 29, 2010

And Then, There Were None

One of the things that we tend to talk about a lot in the modern United States is the idea of Courage. And, I think, to a certain degree, we over-use the term, applying it in situations where it might not actually apply.

Well, here's a situation in which it definitely does. Erika Gandara was the sole remaining police officer in the town of Guadalupe, near the border with the United States. Narco-traffickers had killed or intimidated the rest of the police force, leaving Gandara to patrol the town alone.

And then, the cartels came for her. Her home was burned to the ground, and she was abducted. Likely never to be seen again. It's more or less a certainty that Officer Gandara expected that something would happen to her, if she stayed on the job without support. But she did so anyway. I have a hard time imagining what that must have been like, knowing that powerful people have marked you for death, and continuing to do the job, day after day.

I know it seems somehow pat or even trivial to say this, but that's courage. I don't know that I could do the same.

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