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Puerto Vallarta News NetworkEditorials | Letters

The letter to the editor written by, Alejandro Riestra, (see here) though civil, I am afraid missed the point of my article.

In his letter he wrote, "Puerto Vallarta still belongs to the Mexicans, it is still being used by the nationals, and the less privileged people that live here deserve Doug's respect, because after all, this land still belongs to them. I'd like to extend an invitation for the writer of this article to return to this country, or to buy a house in Punta Mita, where the large walls that surround the development will keep away the poor Mexicans, who without a doubt will continue to live here with more dignity than the American political class."

I am afraid Mr. Riestra is a bit confused. I did not write the column about Puerto Vallarta. In fact, I have written how that PV seems not to exhibit some issues evident in central Mexico. That was the point of the article. What Mr. Riestra also missed, was that I live in Mexico and have been here for many years.

His statement, "I'd like to extend an invitation for the writer of this article to return to this country..." is evidence that he did not understand that I never left Mexico. I live here. His statement: "the less privileged people that live here deserve Doug's respect, because after all, this land still belongs to them...." is also very confusing. I am a champion of "the less privileged" in Mexico.

If Mr. Riestra would have bothered to read ALL of my columns he would see that I not only have spent a great deal of time on my computer defending the rights of Mexicans to work in America, regardless of their legal or illegal status, but I have spent even more time trying to correct myths and stereotypes about Mexico and her people. His statements are unfair and not deserved. I have even written a book about it. Here is the thing: I am a writer. I do not softsoap anything when I write. That is dishonest. And as a writer, I do not just shoot off my mouth to produce a column.

When I wrote the column about Begging in Mexico, I confirmed everything I wrote with the Mexicans I have been living with in Guanajuato for years. Here is an example: When you sit in Guanajuato's Jardin and an indigenous beggar sees your gringo face, they will bypass all of the Mexicans and come straight for you.

When you tell them no, then they will shuffle off past the crowd of Mexicans that they COULD HAVE begged money. I had observed this for years and finally began asking around. Of all my friends I asked, 100% of them told me that the beggar has a certain preconceived set of suppositions about gringos. They believe that we are all wealthy and would not mind parting with our riches.

Now get this: The reason, my friends tell me, that the beggars bypasses the Mexicans sitting in the Jardin with me is that they know the beggar's scam and won't give them money. Americans are seen as a fountain of wealth! I cannot begin to account for how many incidents we've seen here nor how many times this has been confirmed by our Mexican friends.

In other words, I do not write what I cannot confirm. To notice these things and not to write them is to be dishonest. Though what I write could have been written better, I will write about the good and the bad. Most of the writing you read about Mexico totally, in the interest of being politically correct, will not write about the things in the culture that could use an adjustment.

I would invite Mr. Riestra to read all of my columns before he begins making value judgements on my character. I have been a defender of Mexico in all my columns and books. Perhaps that fact blew past him. Perhaps also he should read what Mexicans have to say about Mexican character before he begins slinging defamation charges.
- Doug Bower

Click HERE to view a list of a all of Doug Bower's recent writings.
These letters are vital to us, as they keep us apprised of what our readers are thinking, and place us in a much better position to direct our future efforts accordingly. Please keep them coming to! -thx

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