Tuesday, 13 November 2012

Some Housecleaning

Scenes from Taxco, Mexico.  The proper name is "Taxco de Alarcon", Mexico's silver capital, and it is a charming colonial town nestled in the mountains of Guerrero state between Mexico City and Acapulco.  The baroque Santa Prisca Church that is the centerpiece of Taxco's zócalo. This view was taken from a restaurant rooftop cafe.
Santa Prisca Church - very centre of Taxco
    We have been working on a story from the past.  When we are wrong, it is necessary to advise the OROG of the fact of my error and the reason behind the error.   It is only meet and right.
    Some weeks back, a trio of military officers, two attaches from the American Embassy and one fairly high ranking member of the Mexican Navy, a captain were intercepted by a cluster of SUVs, ostensibly working with the Mexican federal judicial police, outside of Taxco, State of Morelos south of Mexico City.
     The entire episode turned out to be almost impossible to believe, even by Mexican standards.   There was a vehicle with three allied military officers from two countries going to as Mexican "special operations" training facility in the mountains between Taxco and Cuernavaca.   The setting is like Cecil B. Demille, John Ford, and Peter O'Toole coming together on something for a movie called "Life in Paradise''.   There were 16 or so people who purported to be federal civilian police officers who pursued the first car, shot it up, and detained the three occupants, who somehow had remained essentially unhurt.
     One of the reasons, in fact, that we had thought that the explanation that there was a mis-identification crisis was the fact that the three detained people were not brutally beaten up or killed and thrown on the side of the road, while the impersonators drove off in the SUV.   A group of military people came along, and other federal police....as it turns out not so happenstantially.    They got down and secured the peculiar site, and began to unravel  the situation.

     What turned out is that one little thing tricked up the first body of civilian officers.  It was continuity.   After two months or so of detention and interrogation conducted by the Naval Infantry's Judge Advocacy, things came into greater focus.   The first thing that helped was small overnight bags in a couple of the police vehicles with changes of clothes that had been worn.   There were enough clothes for 6 men.   They were clothes that matched the size of the men under detention,  and the clothes bore DNA from several of the men.  Then three of the total of six SUVs that were involved in the detention of the American and Mexican military people were official police vehicles, but none had been authorised for usage on that day....in fact they were scheduled for standard maintenance, and had been taken from the "taller" where they normally undergo oil changes, etc.    The other three were look-alike vehicles but they had no police markings or normal police-type interior fittings.    It became a waiting game, and a process of finding out who would sing longest, loudest, and best.   The issue has ended, about five days ago.

     Several of the cops were, lamentably, actally cops.   Four or five, I do not remember now, had false credentials that were readily figured out....leading to the certainty that none of the perpetrators would be released any time soon, if ever.   So, the game is no longer afoot.   Some of the men have already been sent to the facility in the Islas  Tres Marias in the Pacific Ocean quite some distance off the Mexican west coast.   The others are now in the super-max Almaloya Prison northwest of Mexico City a couple of hundred kilometres.
     The sad part is that there was significant involvement of some Federal civil police, although it should be noted that their action seemed to be provoked by the fact that it was time for their drug, blood, and polygraph....that seemed to have been a common thread, and they thought they could kidnap some important personalities and make a good ransom.
     Thankfully, a detail had trailed two of the police SUVs that had been reported as under unauthorised use....and that passive trailing detail uncovered the  whole sordid mess.

     That is the best information we have now.   It was not what I hoped for, but it would make a good movie anyway.   We are greatful that the good guys won....finally.
El Gringo Viejo