Mexico: Shooting at Balderas Metro Station

On September 18, a man was writing on the walls of the Balderas Metro Station in Mexico City, when he was confronted by a police officer. The man reacted and began shooting, killing the officer. During the chaos, subway riders sought refuge in the subway cars, while others fled up the stairs looking for an exit. Another man, identified as Esteban Robles Barrera, decided to take matters into his own hands to prevent more deaths and charged at the gunman. His intervention was unsuccessful and he, too, was shot and killed.

Photo of the scene outside the Metro Station taken by Sharenii of Ciudad de las Sombras. Used with permission.

Photo of the scene outside the Metro Station taken by Sharenii of Ciudad de las Sombras. Used with permission.

The security video of the entire incident soon appeared on Mexican television and on the internet showing the sequence of events in graphic details. Some, like Bernardo Degaray thinks that the video should not have been shown [es] because of what it depicted.

The images clearly show the actions of the police officer and of Robles Barrera, as well as their tragic deaths. On sites like Twitter, there has been an outpouring of admiration for the bravery [es] shown by the two men. Roberto Marmolejo (@AdrianusImp) writes:

Ver el video del Metro Balderas te demuestra que los héroes todavía habitan la miserablemente esplendorosa Ciudad de México.

Seeing the video from the Balderas Metro (Station) shows you that there are still heroes in splendidly miserable Mexico City.

Other Mexican bloggers describe where they were during the tragic event. Daniel Hernandez of Intersections writes about the recent tragedy:

There is a culture of violence in Mexico, definitely, but a crazy person randomly shooting people is not the sort of thing that happens here. To put it bluntly, that's an American thing. But something is shifting.


Yesterday when I first heard the news — in a frantic call from a friend — I was in a meeting near metro Patriotismo. I rushed out to try to make it to the scene. The metro was operating as normal. Then my train stalled in the tunnel just before the transfer point Centro Medico — for a half-hour. Crowded shoulder to shoulder, in the hot tunnel, moisture on our skin from the rain, we stood … and stood … patient. When our train was finally cleared to the platform, a wall of people attempted to push into my car, while a few of us inside tried pushing out.

The blogger at Historias y Reflexions del Albuelo [es] (Stories and Reflections from Grandfather) also provides a recap of the day:

Iba yo camino al Asilo, en el camión que pasa por mí al cyber desde el que me conecto, cuando, por ocioso, le pedí su cel al chofer y me conecté a Twitter para despedirme de mis nietas y los malandros, cuando empezó a llegar la información del evento.

Al principio pensé que era una mamada más como la del pinche loco que “secuestró” el avión de Aeroméxico, sin embargo, al empezar a recibir más y más información, entendí que el asunto era delicado.

Entre lo que publicaban las fuentes noticiosas y los comentarios de reporteros y camaradas a quienes sigo, pude darme cuenta de lo serio del asunto y, especialmente, de la inquietud que embargaba al carnal Morf0 quien sabía que una amiga utiliza esa ruta para llegar a su destino y no se podía comunicar con ella.

I was on my way home, in the bus that takes me to the cyber-café where I connect to the Internet, when, out of laziness, I asked for the driver for his cellular phone and I connected to Twitter to say goodbye to my grandchildren and the guys, when I started to receive information about the event.

At first, I thought it was a joke, just like the crazy person and the “hijacking” of the Aeroméxico plane. Nevertheless, when I started to receive more and more information, I knew that the matter was very delicate.

Between what the news sources and the comments being shared by reporters and friends, I realized that it was a serious matter and especially because of the concern that came over my friend Morf0, who knew that a friend used the same (subway) route to get to where she was going and he could not get in touch with her.

The reference to the failed hijacking of the Mexican flight involves a Bolivian priest, who attempted to divert the plane indicating he had a bomb. No one was hurt and he was taken into custody.

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