Week 10: Locations

by Sara Corona Goldstein

Pachuca – Guadalupe Elena Blanco had moved to Santa Teresa from here less than a week before she was killed in July 1996. (p. 513)

Secondary School 30, information pills in Colonia Félix Gómez – Marina Rebolledo was found here in August 1996. (p. 516)

Colonia Plata – Angélica (Jessica) Nevares, approved a dancer, information pills lived here. (p. 516)

Culiacán, Sinaloa – Angélica Nevares was from here before moving to Santa Teresa five years prior. (p. 516)

Morelos – Perla Beatriz Ochoterena was from here before she lived in Santa Teresa. (p. 517)

Colonia Mancera – Adela García Ceballos lived here with her eventual killer, Rubén Bustos. (p. 518)

Pueblo Azul – Lola and Janet Reynolds are found dead near here at the end of September 1996. (p. 519)

Rillito, Arizona – the Reynolds sisters were from here. (p. 520)

Nayarit – María Sandra Rosales Zepeda was from here. (p. 522)

Podestá ravine – Luisa Cardona Pardo’s body is found here in November 1996. (p. 524)

Colonia La Preciada – Luisa Cardona Pardo lived here. (p. 525)

Podestá ravine – Lalo Cura and Ordoñez discover another body here. (p. 525)

Colonia El Cerezal – Estefanía Rivas and Hermania Noreiga, half-sisters, are found in a house here in December 1996. (p. 526)

Yuma, Arizona – Ronald Luis Luque’s father tells Juan de Dios Martínez that this son planned to go here. (p. 530)

Paris – Elvira Campos dreams of running away to Paris and starting over. (p. 535)

Colonia Del Valle – Sergio González and Marcario López Santos talk to General Humberto Paredes at his home here about snuff films. (p. 536)

Buenos Aires – an Argentinian correspondent for a newspaper from here spends three days in Santa Teresa. He visits El Rey del Taco and watches a snuff film in a house in northern Santa Teresa. (p. 540)

Los Angeles, California – the Argentinian correspondent interviews actors here for his article on Santa Teresa and the snuff film industry. (p. 541)

Buenos Aires – Mike and Clarissa Epstein invent the term “snuff film” here in 1972 while filming a movie here. (p. 541)

Tigre, Argentina – the Epsteins and their crew shoot part of their film here. (p. 542)

A ranch in the pampa, Argentina – Estela’s ranch is here, where the Epsteins and JT and their crew spend time shooting their movie. (p. 542)

El Rosario, Santa Teresa – Guadalupe Guzmán Preito is found here in March 1997. (p. 545)

Cerro Estrella – Jazmín Torres Dorantes is found here in March 1997. (p. 546)

San Miguel de Horcasitas – Carolina Fernández Fuentes’ parents live here. (p. 547)

El Pajonal – three students and a history professor from UCLA find the skeleton of a girl here at the end of March 1997. (p. 547)

Guanajuato – the González Reséndiz family, who believe a body found in El Chile to be that of their daughter, Irene, are from here. (p. 549)

Hermosillo – Juan Arredondo, the second medical examiner in Santa Teresa, is from here. (p. 550)

Medellín, Colombia – Arrendondo traveled here once to represent the Institute of Forensic Anatomy and the University of Santa Teresa at a symposium held here once, and came back a changed man. (p. 550)

Irapuato, Irapuato – Rigoberto Frías, the third medical examiner, is from here. (p. 550)

Colonia Serafin Garabito – Frías lives here. (p. 550)

Villaviciosa – the entire line of María Expósitos lived here. (p. 555)

Colonia México – Rafael Expósito stays here briefly with a whore he meets before killing Celestino Arraya in 1934. (p. 557)

Ensenada – the secretary for Santa Teresa’s Department of Sex Crimes moved here, leaving only Yolanda Palacio working there. (p. 563)

Week 9: Locations

by Sara Corona Goldstein

Cerro Estrella – another woman is found here at the end of September 1995. (p. 466)

Colonia Lomas del Toro – Estrella Ruiz Sandoval’s older sister lives here. (p. 467)

Casas Negras – Rosa María Medina’s father found the stone outside their house here. (p. 468)

Downtown Santa Teresa – Klaus Haas’s computer store is here. (p. 474)

Colonia Veracruz – Juan Pablo Castañón, approved the boy who works at Haas’s computer store, page lives here. (p. 475)

Tijuana – Haas owns another computer store here. (p. 476)

Denver, recipe Colorado – Haas lived here briefly, according to Juan Pablo – though he didn’t, really. (p. 476)

Colonia El Cerezal – Haas lives here. (p. 477)

Tampa, Florida – Haas lived here and was accused of attempted rape by Laurie Enciso, among other things. (p. 477)

Bielefeld, West Germany – Haas was born here in 1955. (p. 478)

Colonia Centena – Haas owns another computer store here. (p. 478)

El Alamillo – the rancher in one of the four private cells in the Santa Teresa jail is from here. (p. 481)

Cananea – Enrique Hernández was born here. (p. 491)

San Blas, in northern Sinaloa – four gunmen show up at a warehouse here and kill two watchmen, then steal the shipment of coke they were guarding. (p. 492)

A road between La Discordia and El Sasabe – one of Campuzano’s trucks was attacked and stolen here. (p. 492)

El Ojito ravine – Adela García Estrada is found here in November 1995. (p. 493)

Colonia La Vistosa – another dead woman is found here on November 20, 1995. (p. 493)

Colonia Sur – Beatriz Concepción Roldan is from here. (p. 494)

Colonia Morelos, near Morelos Preparatory School – the body of Michelle Requjo is found here in December 1995. (p. 495)

Colonia Las Flores – Rosa López Larios, found in December 1995, was from here. (p. 497)

Colonia Álamos – Ema Contreras, also found in December 1995, was from here. (p. 498)

El Obelisco – a settlement just outside Santa Teresa, sometimes called El Moridero, near where two bodies were found in early 1996. (p. 502)

Cerro Estrella – another girl is found here in March 1996. (p. 503)

Colonia Carranza – Sagrario Baeza López, whose work ID showed up on the body of a victim in the first week of April 1996, lives here. (p. 507)

Guadalajara – René Alvarado was from here. (p. 508)

Colonia Madero-Norte – Paula Sánchez Garcés, a dancer at El Pelicáno, lived here. (p. 509)

Colonia San Bartolomé – Ana Hernández Cecilio, mistakenly pronounced dead, lived here. (p. 510)

Colonia Maytorena – Arturo Olivárez lived here. (p. 510)

Week 10: Deaths

by Nicole Perrin

68 — p.513 — Guadalupe Elena Blanco — 17 yrs — July 1996 — found near the border, strangled, raped
69 — p.514 — Linda Vásquez — 16 yrs — July 1996 — beaten and
stabbed by her boyfriend and his friends, who are jailed
70 — p.516 — Marisol Camarena — 28 yrs — July 1996 — found in a drum of corrosive acid after being kidnapped by seventeen men
71 — p.516 — Marina Rebolledo — 13 yrs — August 1996 — found behind a school
72 — p.516 — Angélica Nevares — 23 yrs — August 1996 — found near a sewage ditch
73 — p.516 — Perla Beatriz Ochoterena — 28 yrs — August 1996 — found hanged in her room, an apparent suicide due to the femicides
74 — p.517 — unidentified — 16-18 yrs — August 1996 — found in a field, stabbed and raped
75 — p.518 — Adela García Ceballos — 20 yrs — August 1996 —
stabbed in her parents’ house by her boyfriend, who confesses
76 and 77 — p.520 — Lola and Janet Reynolds, sisters — 30 and 44
yrs — September 1996 — shot, possibly related to drug trafficking
78 — p.520 — unidentified — possibly young — October 1996 —
decomposed, probably stabbed
79 — p.522 — María Sandra Rosales Zepeda — 31 yrs — November 1996 — shot while leaning into the window of a black Suburban, probably with a Czech-made Skorpion submachine gun
80 — p. 524 — Luisa Cardona Pardo — 34 yrs — November 1996 — found in a ravine, beaten
81 — p. 526 — unidentified — unknown — November 1996 — found by Lalo Cura in the same ravine as victim 80
82 and 83 — p.527 — Estefanía Rivas and Herminia Noriega, half
sisters — 15 and 13 yrs — December 1996 — kidnapped from outside the younger sibling’s school, the girls are later found tortured and killed in an empty house; Herminia died of a heart attack while Estefanía was shot
84 — p.545 — Guadalupe Guzmán Prieto — 11 yrs — March 1997 — strangled, battered, likely raped; date of death in the first half of
85 — p.546 — Jazmín Torres Dorantes — 11 yrs — March 1997 — died of hypovolemic shock after more than 15 stabs, raped; had been kidnapped 20 days before
86 — p.546 — Carolina Fernández Fuentes — 19 yrs — March 1997 — five stab wounds to the neck
87 — p.547 — unidentified — 16-20 yrs — March 1997 — strangled, mutilated
88 — p.547 — unidenfified — young woman — March 1997 — strangled; skeleton found by a group of Americans
89 — p.548 — Elena Montoya — 20 yrs — March 1997 — stabbed, beaten
90 — p.549 — Irene González Reséndiz — 16 yrs — March 1997 — found in El Chile, died more than a year before after running away from home
91 — p.559 — Michele Sánchez Castillo — 16 yrs — April 1997 —
severe head trauma, not raped
92 — p.564 — unidentified — 28-33 yrs — April 1997 — body in
advanced state of decomposition, massive cerebral contusion

Other deaths:
p.522 — Six members of the Las Caciques gang are killed in prison, in revenge for the murder of Linda Vásquez, whose family had money. Klaus Haas witnesses two of the victims being castrated before they are murdered. The prison guards also witness and photograph the killings.

p.540 — There are no women killed at the begining of 1997, but deaths included a longtime thief, two men with ties to the drug trade, and a dog breeder: “uncinematic deaths, deaths from the realm of folklore, not modernity: deaths that didn’t scare anybody”

p.557 — Rafael Expósito, a family member of Lalo Cura’s, murders the bullfighter who raped his sister. This is part of the story of Lalo
Cura’s heritage, in which each female family member is raped. Most of the characters in this section have died of natural causes by the time The Part About the Crimes takes place.

Week 9: Wall of Voodoo

by Maria Bustillos

The appearance of Klaus Haas produced an absolute brick wall for me in this book.  Until now, ask I’d been able to enter into the narrative in a receptive frame of mind, just fluidly kind of taking it all in, but the incomprehensibility of this character stopped me cold.  I’ve reread the jail passage several times (not a pleasant task, though an absorbing one) trying to get a grip on what is being said, here.

It doesn’t seem to me that anyone could survive being sodomized with a shiv?  That’s one thing.  But the fate of the victim is left unclear, so far as I can make out–I mean it is difficult and expensive to repair a lacerated colon and you might bleed to death pdq in a Mexican jail?  So this guy is really violent, willing to kill, right from the outset.  (Intelligence here welcomed.)

I had been operating under the assumption that the next time we run across any kind of a tall guero in Mexico, that person is going to be Archimboldi.  But Haas is not, in fact, Archimboldi, because it turns out he’s only forty.  What is the relationship then between these two tall Germanic blonds?  I’m now guessing that they are blood relations, maybe?  On the other hand, the internal landscape of Haas seems to feature no kind of reference to books or writing. I can’t really tell how educated Haas is but on balance the evidence is that he is smart but not literary, at least he’s not wallpapered on the inside with books the way most literary people are (including Amalfitano and the critics.)

Another point on Haas that struck me deeply.  His mind works on these really grotesque lines, and I will not be surprised if he killed some of these girls.  However, there is a freakish extra ingredient to the remarks and interior workings of Haas:  they’re intensely poetic.  His nightmares are full of Boschianly horrible and yet intense and painterly imagery.  Also, he’s calling down in a kind of oracular way (as if he were the reverse of Florita Almada) the coming of an even worse evil than himself.  His warnings spook even these seriously vicious men in the jail; they have almost the lurid smack of santeria.

As a final point:  the events in this section are real in two senses.  First, they are an imagined version of what has really been going on in Ciudad Juarez, events we’ve read about in real newspapers.  Second, they’re real within the context of the novel; by this I mean, as we discussed earlier, the critics lived in a sort of bubble that real events of any kind just couldn’t seem to penetrate; they’re reading about the world rather than living in it.  Good luck with that in Santa Teresa!  Look what happened to Amalfitano … reality in all its bloody splendor is positively stalking him until (thank god!) Oscar Fate comes along and saves Rosa. Actually any kind of horrible thing could have happened to him afterward. We didn’t exactly leave him in good hands.

And now we’re in the belly of the beast, right?  Are Archimboldi’s books so fascinating to the critics because they partake of reality, which is what we desire no matter how dangerous and terrible it is?  Is this why the critics take their opportunity to beat up the Pakistani cab driver, when it comes, because all men are at bottom bloodthirsty, bestial creatures?  And they sort of subsume their real nature in literature, and subsume as well any feeling of connection with or responsibility to real events, whether criminal, political etc?  Are we also absolving ourselves of the claims of reality just by reading this book?

Link Roundup

There are still some brave souls out there trekking through the Sonoran desert with us.

First and foremost, search Infinite Zombies is absolutely packed with insight and analysis. If you care at all about 2666, it is required reading. http://infinitezombies.wordpress.com/

Frequent Zombies contributor Steve Brassawe also has his own blog of 2666 commentary: A Solipsist’s 2666

There are always tons of great posts over on The Daily Snowman.

I Just Read About That includes some of the best summaries and opinions of the group read. Check it out!

Christine over at Naptime Writing has strong opinions about Bolaño’s project—and she finds some of the most intriguing quotes in the novel.

Dan at Bleakonomy has a great blog that also includes posts for every week of the group read:

There is some excellent discussion of the novel underway over at Alone With Each Other:

We still have some discussion going on over in the forums as well:

If you are following along, leave a comment and let us know! Ready to quit yet? Loving it? Hating it, but reading anyway? And leave a link if you are posting your thoughts elsewhere.

Hat tip to our own Nicole at bibliographing (one of the best lit blogs out there, btw) for the roundup idea this week.

Week 9: Dreams

by Daryl L.L. Houston

471: This one’s not a dream proper, but it’s sure dream-like, and it seems to point back to his dreams of her in a domestic setting described on page 422. Juan de Dios Martinez daydreams of Elvira Campos in her apartment. Sometimes she’s naked in bed leaning toward him, and other times she’s on the terrace, surrounded by metallic, phallic telescopes. In these latter imaginings, she’s taking notes, and when he comes up behind her and looks at her notes, he sees only phone numbers.

488: Haas dreams of walking the corridors of the prison with eyes as keen as a hawk’s. The corridors are described as a labyrinth of snores and nightmares. He’s aware of what’s happening in each cell. Suddenly he finds himself at the edge of an abyss. He lifts his arms and tries to say something to a legion of tiny Klaus Haases, but he has the impression that someone has sewn his lips shut. He feels something alien in his mouth and rips out the threads to find that the foreign body was a penis (not his own). Then (in the dream) he curls up and falls asleep on the edge of the abyss. More dreams usually followed.

490: Not a dream here, but mention of one, as Haas tries to describe how his fellow prisoners know he’s innocent: “It’s like a noise you hear in a dream. The dream, like everything dreamed in enclosed spaces, is contagious. Suddenly someone dreams it and after a while half the prisoners dream it. But the noise you hear isn’t part of the dream, it’s real. The noise belongs to a separate order of things. Do you understand? First someone and then everyone hears a noise in a dream, but the noise is from real life, not the dream.”

506: Upon receiving a call from Reinaldo, Florita claims to have been dreaming about him. In the dream, she sees a meteor shower and a boy who looks like Reinaldo watching the falling stars. I’m reminded here of Seaman’s assertion on 252 that stars are semblances in the way that dreams are semblances. Given certain other parallels between Seaman and Florita, the echo can hardly be accidental.

Week 9: Deaths

by Michael Cooler

46 — p.466 — unidentified — 25 yrs — September 1995 — mutilated, clinic found near the highway
47 — p.466 — unidentified — September 1995 — found in the dump El Chile
48 — p.466 — unidentified — 13 yrs — September 1995 — mutilated, tadalafil raped, stabbed, strangled
49 — p.493 — Adela García Estrada — 15 yrs — November 1995 — worker, found in the El Ojito ravine, mutilated and strangled
50 — p.493 — unidentified — 19 yrs — November 1995 — found in a vacant lot, stabbed
51 — p.494 — Beatriz Concepción Roldán — 22 yrs — November 1995 — waitress, found near the highway, stabbed and mutilated
52 — p.495 — Michelle Requejo — 14 yrs — December 1995 — worker, stabbed, found in a vacant lot, tied up with the same knots that bound Estrella Ruiz Sandoval
53 — p.496 — Rosa López Larios — 19 yrs — December 1995 — worker, found in a pine grove behind a Pemex tower, stabbed
54 — p.498 — Ema Contreras — December 1995 — shot by Officer Jaime Sánchez at home
55 — p.500 — unidentified — 30 yrs — February 1996 — Indian, found in an old railroad shed, stabbed
56 — p.501 — unidentified — 10 yrs — March 1996 — found between highway and a valley, stabbed
57 — p.501 — unidentified — 13 yrs — March 1996 — found between highway and a valley, strangled
58 — p.503 — unidentified — 16 yrs — March 1996 — perhaps a hitchhiker, found by the highway, stabbed, strangled
59 — p.503 — unidentified — 16 yrs — March 1996 — found on the slopes of Cerro Estrella, stabbed and mauled
60 — p.504 — Beverly Beltrán Hoyos — 16 yrs — March 1996 — worker, found on a strectch of open ground, stabbed, raped
61 — p.504 — unidentified — 18-20 yrs — March 1996 — stabbed, raped
62 — p.507 — unidentified — 20 yrs — April 1996 — worker, found on the open ground east of the old rail sheds, stabbed, raped
63 — p.507 — unidentified — April 1996 — found in the desert, beaten, strangled
64 — p.508 — Paula Sánchez Garcés — 23 yrs — June 1996 — dancer, shot by her husband Julián Centeno while dancing
65 — p.509 — unidentified — 17 yrs — June 1996 — found by the highway, stabbed, raped
66 — p.509 — Erica Mendoza — 21 yrs — June 1996 — found by the highway, raped by her husband and his cousin, stabbed repeatedly
67 — p.513 — unidentified — 15-16 yrs — July 1996 — found near the highway, stabbed

Other deaths:

p.492 — The narco Enrique Hernández goes to prison for killing four people from the same family. He appears to retaliate by having his gunmen steal a shipment of cocaine from Estanislao Campuzano, killing two warehouse watchmen in the process. Later two more of Campuzano’s men, a truck driver and his companion, are killed while transporting drugs to the U.S.

p.500 — Jan 1996 — No women die, but three men are shot in a bar in a drug dispute, a Central American man is found with his throat cut, and a man kills himself playing Russian roulette.

p.508 — A twenty-one-year-old prisoner commits suicide.

Bolaño in Brazil

I wanted to point out an excellent new blog that is translating the many interviews of Roberto Bolaño into Portuguese:


Also, 2666 will soon be published in Brazil. Here is the cover:

What are some other resources for Bolaño fans in Brazil?

Week 8: Locations

by Sara Corona Goldstein

Huntsville, pill Arizona – Lucy Anne Sander lived here. (p. 406)

Mississippi – Lucy Anne Sander was born here. (p. 406)

Calle Verdejo, in Colonia Centro-Norte – the American consulate is here. (p. 407)

Diego Riveras School, in Colonia Lomas del Toro – Mónica Durán Reyes was kidnapped from here. Rebecca Fernández de Hoyos is found in this Colonia, also. (p. 412)

Oaxaca – Rebecca Fernández de Hoyos is from here. (p. 412)

Internal Affairs on Avenida Madero-Norte – a whorehouse where Harry Magaña befriends Demetrio Águila. (p. 415)

Calle Luciérnaga in Colonia Rubén Darío – Águila has a house here, where he lets Magaña stay. (p. 415)

Churcarit – Magaña discovers a love letter written to Miguel Montes by a girl from here. Magaña and Águilar agree that this is Montes’ hometown. (p. 422)

Calle Alondra, in Colonia Podestá – in November 1994 a woman’s body is found here in on the second floor of a building under construction. (p. 424)

Profesor Emilio Cervantes, in Colonia Lomas del Toro – Silvana Pérez Arjona attended school here until she had to drop out. (p. 426)

Nácori Grande – Florita Almada (La Santa) was born here. (p. 429)

Villa Pesqueria – Florita Almada and her family move here. She marries a livestock dealer. (p. 429)

Hermosillo – Reinaldo’s TV show, on which Florita Almada appears, has its station here. (p. 434)

Guaymas – the ventriloquist on Reinaldo’s TV show is from here. (p. 434)

Churcarit – Harry Magaña travels here, meets María del Mar Enciso Montes, and visits Miguel Montes’ house. (p. 437)

Tijuana – Magaña travels here, calls his friend from the LAPD, and meets Raúl Ramírez Cerezo and Chucho. (p. 440)

Calle Santa Catarina, in Colonia Carranza – Magaña goes to Elsa Fuentes’ house here. (p. 445)

Toconilco, Durango – Elsa Fuentes’ mother lives here. (p. 447)

Calle Portal de San Pablo – Magaña goes here, to Francisco Díaz’s house. (p. 448)

Querétaro – Paula García Zapatero is from here. (p. 454)

Sage, California – Abe (Conan) Mitchell, the American consul, spends time in his cabin here. (p. 455)

Escondido, California – Mitchell’s wife stays here with her sister while he is in Sage. (p. 455)

Michoacán – Mónica Posades and her family are from here. (p. 461)

Vasconelos Preparatory School, in Colonia Reforma – Marisa Hernández Silva attended school here. (p. 463)

Week 8: Dreams

by Daryl L.L. Houston

422: In spite of a keen awareness of their differences, order Juan de Dios Martinez has peaceful, sildenafil happy dreams of Elvira Campos and himself living together in a rustic cabin in the mountains. They slept on a bearskin with a wolfskin covering them, and she sometimes laughed and ran into the woods. I’m reminded of Pelletier’s domestic dreams of Norton, in which she too is on the periphery. At least in Martinez’s dream, he has interactions with Campos that precede her receding to the margins.

434: Here and elsewhere, La Santa has visions. They’re not strictly speaking dreams, but it seems a similar type of experience.

447: Harry Magaña dreams of a street in Huntsville pounded by a sandstorm. He ignores pleas for help rescuing some girls at a bead factory and keeps his nose in a file containing photocopied documents written in “a language not of this world.” There are several similar things among the critics’ dreams.

456: La Santa sometimes dreams she’s a country schoolteacher at a hilltop school from which she watches girls on their way to class. Beyond, peasants make fruitful agrarian use of the land. Though they’re in the distance, she can hear their words clearly, and the words are unchanging from day to day. Here I’m reminded of Espinoza’s dream of the painting in his hotel room. Then: “There were dreams in which everything fit together and other dreams in which nothing fit and the world was like a creaky coffin.”

459: La Santa equates her visions with dreams. They keep her awake. In actual dreams, she sees the crimes as if they’re an exploded television set, and she sees various horrible scenes in the shards scattered around her bedroom.

Here’s a question: Is Florita something of a narrator of this section? It is a fragmented portion of the book, many of the murders ghastly reflections or maybe refractions of others. Paired with the ventriloquist as she is in this week’s reading, perhaps we’re to take her as an adopted voice or instrument through which many of the scenes unfold. Maybe we’re seeing the scenes as she sees them in her visions. I doubt this is the intention, really, as the stories are told mostly from a pretty straightforward, detached-narrative point of view (I also happen to know what Bolaño said about who narrates the book), but it’s an interesting thing to ponder.

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