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Mexico City, Mexico – Being linked to a loud noise in Mexico could lead to terrorism charges.

This is a country, after all, traumatized by drug violence.
That is why a crowd in northern Mexico was sent into panicked stampede when the exhaust pipes of two motorcycles backfired, sounding a lot like gunshots. Now the two motorcyclists are facing terrorism charges.

It was the second time in less than a year that people have been charged in Mexico under terrorism statutes for spooking the populace in areas of the country hit by drug violence. Officials say state criminal codes often lack lesser but more appropriate charges to handle situations involving acts that may be irresponsible but are hardly criminal.

The two motorcyclists, Juan Ramon Munguia and Enrique Trevino Rívera, were leaving their workplace Saturday evening at a store near the main square of the northern city of San Luis Potosi, where an Easter week festival was being held.

The two got on their bikes and fired them up, and that is when the confusion began.

"There are two versions: They (the motorcyclists) say that is just where they usually warm up their engines," said San Luis Potosi state spokesman Juan Antonio Hernández. "But there are witnesses who say they purposely continued to rev their engines , even after people had started to panic."
Because the backfiring of the engines sounded like the popping of gunshots, hundreds of people in the main square who were celebrating a Holy Week event that involves the burning of paper-mache figures representing villains started to stampede out of the square, seeking cover
 

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It's good to see political correctness and silly red tape making its way south of the border. :baffled:
 
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