Nuevo León, Mexico:
Hola. My name is Pancho Montana and I’m writing from deep inside Mexico. Pancho Montana’s not my real name. And I’m not a “real journalist,” because that would be a real stupid profession for me to be in here in Mexico, tops in the world when it comes to murdered journalists. And journalists don’t die quickly here either—they die in a variety of nasty (and incredibly creative) ways.
So yeah, my native country is not a fun place to be a reporter. As for the name “Pancho Montana,” that’s something I chose some time ago when, out of the blue, I started writing an irregular “Narco War” column for The eXiled Online, issuing reports from the front lines of the Mexican narco-war, from my home state of Nuevo León.
Back when I sent my first narco-war dispatch — in 2008 I think it was — the American media didn’t really give a shit about the narco-war in Mexico. To them, it was just a bunch of savage beaners icing each other. So I thought that I should get the story out — and what interested me the most wasn’t so much a kind of “holy shit, you have to hear this!” compulsion to get the story out; the truth is, I was really curious about what looked to me like a new type of 21st century conflict: a civil war with non-state actors, and I wanted to share that curiosity with others who might find it interesting. And yeah, mostly I wanted to score some bragging rights with you Scarface-obsessed gringos, showing you that Mexico was a giant death-match zone packed with thousands of bloodthirsty Tony Montanas, armed with way more firepower and shitloads more drugs than that Cubano cockaroach ever had — literally thousands of tons of whatever your druggie sweet-tooth fancies: from weed to coke, to heroin and ecstasy, and even piles of crystal meth for the redneck demographic.