Visitors to Chimayó should be aware that drug related crime is on the rise again in our community and should exercise care to avoid being victimized by it.
Despite a 2000 law enforcement effort and some self aggrandizing reports that the 'drug war' here has been won as a result, Chimayó continues to have the highest per capita rate for deaths from overdoses in a state that leads the country in this category, and as a result hazards exist that may not be immediately apparent.
Last Friday a neighbor of mine was mugged in broad daylight after she stopped to try to help a woman who'd collapsed on the side of Santa Fe County road 94 and was bleeding from the mouth. Later the State Police in Española refused to file a report because according to them it was a waste of their time, since if they apprehended the suspects (which in this instance might have been relatively easy to do because of the evidence) "it would just be her word against theirs". The victim was also told that it was her fault since she was stupid enough to stop to try to help someone who looked like a tecato ...which unfortunately has some truth to it.
Rattlesnakes in Chimayó typically come out of hibernation and begin to become active in the spring and remain so until late fall.
The sensation of burning is the first and most-often reported symptom that distinguishes a snakebite as venomous. Some pain without a burning feeling usually indicates the probability of a dry bite.
However if bitten, keep the victim calm, warm and comfortable and get to the nearest hospital as quickly as possible. Do not apply a tourniquet or administer ice (which concentrates the venom) and if possible kill the snake in order to bring it to ER personnel to help facilitate their species identification and corresponding treatment. Additional information about rattlesnake bites is available from eMedicine.com.
The Chimayó Volunteer Fire Dept at (505) 351-2326 has EMTs and there is also 911 emergency service in the area. The closest hospital is about 15 minutes away in Española, located off of highway 285 on the western side of the Rio Grande at 1010 Spruce street. The ER phone number there is 753-7111
If for some reason your physician is not aware of the particular treatment for the poison of a species of rattlesnake, contact the New Mexico Poison and Drug Information Center at 1-800-432-6866.
"Is rattlesnake's bite growing deadlier?" Arizona Republic 6/14/08 http://www.azcentral.com/arizonarepublic/local/articles/0614snakes0614.html
The North Side Locos are active in Chimayó and also in communities such as Española.
According to local law enforcement officials other gangs (and wannabes) which frequent Chimayó include the following:
• West Side Locos and the Mann Street 13 (WSL 13 clique).
• Barrio West Side and the APT (Alto Park Thugs - a BWS clique).
• West Side 700 Block (from the 700 Block of Alameda and San Francisco Streets in SF).
• Sureno 13 and their cliques, MLC (Mexican Locos Clique) and MCK (Mexican Clique Killers).
• VGS (Vagos) - based out of California.
• SSL 13 (members have committed numerous crimes in the City of Santa Fe including robbery and murder).
• Latin Kings (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Latin_Kings_%28gang%29) and La Raza; a clique of the Latin Kings.
• Raza 13
• Norte 14
• VL 13 (Vatos Locos 13).
• Riverside Locos.
• Tierra Block (from the Tierra Real Mobile home park in Santa Fe)
• Santa Boyz.
• SBC (Santa Boys Crew) and the 201 Crew; a clique of SBC.
• Bandidos (an outlaw motor cycle gang with two Santa Fe Chapters).
See also Mara Salvatrucha (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mara_Salvatrucha) and La eMe (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mexican_Mafia).
The Governor's Organized Crime Prevention Commission have identified over 150 gangs in New Mexico with an estimated membership between 4,000 and 15,000.
Break-ins of cars belonging to visitors are very commonplace at the Santuario parking lot so either remove everything that's valuable from your vehicle or hide anything that looks even remotely valuable. There are many signs posted in the parking lots that clearly warn the church is not responsible for anything which might happen to you or your possessions in this area, so beware. In any case try to park your vehicle close to the main entrance path since there is more public activity in that area and avoid more distant spots in the lot, particularly where there is a lot of broken car window glass on the ground. Also do not park outside of the lot alongside of the county road.
Since the Santuario is located in Santa Fe County crimes that take place at this location can be reported to the County Sheriff by calling 911, however because the department is severely understaffed expect to have to wait for some time before an officer is able to respond to take a report, which typically is all that they can do since Chimayó is in the midst of a epidemic of crime and the local judicial system is essentially non-functional.
CHIMAYO, N.M. (A/P) December 7th, 2008. State police are investigating the murder of 34 year David Romero, who had been stabbed in the neck and dumped in the Santa Cruz River. Romero's body was discovered in the same area as an earlier homicide which was thought to be drug related.
While visiting Chimayó keep in mind that a systemic lack of access to meaningful education and the lack of and/or prevalence of low wage employment serve to foster the business of selling illegal drugs in this community, because (as is true in any place where the incentives aren’t good for productive entrepreneurship) people with the ambition and talent to improve their economic circumstances by becoming entrepreneurs are in some cases left with no other choice besides participating in criminal activities.
As with any legitimate business, these individuals assume the financial risk of the initiation, operation and management of an undertaking. However, because of the intense organization of the illegal drug industry in this area, their entrepreneurship is basically limited to assuming the responsibilities of becoming in effect a self employed functionary or franchisee of one of the larger multinational drug production and distribution organizations that are active in Chimayó and taking full advantage of the widespread demand for their products - which in the end are just commodities that are traded and sold in the same way as oil or wheat and under the same rules of economics that apply to any market.
In any case, while this may be just the invisible hand of supply and demand at work, it can be VERY dangerous if you happen to stray into the midst of someone's deal, so be careful not to.
¿Por qué? - Porque.