Finding comfort in Anapra

Ariel Presbitero
November 12, 2010

It’s really remarkable having our two Columbans, Fr. Kevin Mullins and Fr. Mikey Donnelly, living in the area amidst the military presence and the daily patrolling of federal police loaded with guns and ammunition.

Fr. Mickey Donnelly, and Sainiana Tamatawale, lay missionary from Fiji

Fr. Mickey Donnelly, and Sainiana Tamatawale, lay missionary from Fiji

Sometimes the police presence is felt in the form of convoy trucks of 6 or more, stopping from house to house and interviewing people.  People are brave, yet smart enough not to say anything.  It can be seen that they are terribly scared of what’s going on in their community. Many have fled because they were victimized by the violence and to avoid further threat to their lives, they opted to migrate to other Mexican cities or to El Paso.

Sainiana Tamatawale, a Columban lay missionary-in-training, and I arrived at the border last Wednesday (10/27) and since then it has been busy with daily visitations in different parts of Rancho Anapra parish and Ciudad Juarez.

Sometimes I feel how privileged Rancho Anapra is because they have two check points to go in and out of the parish community, as well as having federal police plus the municipal police that patrol the area.  Other areas in the outskirts of the city are left unsecured. Perhaps because Rancho Anapra is the most peaceful of all the areas and to avoid conflict and confrontation, they choose the lesser incidence of violence.