Masked cops and soldiers round-up recalcitrant surfers; hit 'em with stiff-ish fines.
Thirty minutes south of San Diego on the toll road across the Mex border is the resort town of Rosarito.
Lot of retired Americans getting leathered in the sun.
A few miles of beaches. Cold water. Gets pretty good.
And, now, Rosarito will go down in some sort of history book, if they exist, of the world’s biggest mass arrest of surfers during The Big Shutdown.
In Mexico’s case, they’re currently in phase three of their COVID-19 lockdown, running from April 21 through May 30, all public places closed, kissing and shaking hands banned, no surfing etc.
See, Mex has a pretty young population, which is good, but a lot of fatties and diabetes and so on, as well as dire poverty, so it ain’t in a real good place to hit back at the Wuhan Wheeze.
Anyway, yesterday, Tijuana’s El Imparcial ran photos of masked cops and soldiers waiting for the pack of local surfers, then photographing ‘em and finally driving ‘em to jail in the back of a police pickup.
“The 22 [surfers] were rounded up before the judge and held in [jail] cells,” reports El Imparcial, “because they were surfing in the area …. at kilometer 43 of the Rosarito Libre highway. Francisco Arellano Ortiz, the head of the Secretariat of Citizen Security of Rosarito, mentioned that ‘these people were detained for not complying with the instructions of the agents, as it is prohibited to carry out any activity on the beach.”
The San Diego Reader spoke to a nearby surfshop owner, Al, from Playa Hermosa Surf & Skate Shop in Ensenada, who says each surfer was fined eight-hundred pesos, thirty-five American dollars, or thirty-five hundred pesos, one-fifty US, if they defended ’emselves in front of the judge.
“The virus cannot survive in the water,” Al told The Reader, “and by us exercising, our body’s defenses are stronger. The police are not making money with their corrupt acts that generate income, because people do not leave their houses, and they’re looking for money.”