This story takes place 3-4 months back but I think it’s a story worth posting.

I had coffee with my friend, Francisco the other morning. He told me that 17 more people had been killed in the past 2 weeks between Sahuayo (where I live) and Jiquilpan; they’re about 7 km apart.

The good news was that it was still the bad guys killing the bad guys (Jalisco’s New Generation Cartel vs. Michoacán’s Cartel de los Caballeros Templarios) and there were still no civilians involved.

He brought this up to preface the other piece of more personal news, namely one of the Caballeros chiefs was in the El Cito Cantina (my favorite watering hole) asking questions about me. Like was I undercover DEA? If not, who was I and what was I doing in Sahuayo?

Fortunately the questions were directed to Francisco who more or less told him that I was just a guy trying to earn a living from the huarache business.

This kind of interestingly played into an article that the EETimes (electrical/electronic engineering publication) published about the same time that said that cartels had kidnapped something 35-40 electrical engineers in recent months (I think more north of here) to help them build their clandestine communication’s networks. I copied Sarah to the article that same week and told her that people in my profession just can’t seem to get a break these days; their jobs are either getting sent offshore for less pay or they’re getting kidnapped to work for free.

So, was I worried? No. Should I have been? Who knows? Francisco wasn’t worried. And if he was worried I’d definitely be worried.

I was in the El Cito a few nights later for the first time in a couple of weeks. I had to more or less quit going because the local guys have this bad habit of buying rounds of tequila. That night turned out to not have been an exception. I didn’t even have a chance to buy my first beer. Gilberto bought that one and I made the mistake of sitting with Salvatore (just like last time) who kept pouring me and Paul tequilas. And these aren’t your paltry size stateside shots, oh no. These glasses are 90 ml – 3 ounces – and filled to the brim. A person can always say ‘no’ which I did 100 times, but ultimately to no avail. In the end Salvatore, that grinning devil, beat me again.

I had arranged to meet the Paul there at 5 pm. He’s a Scotsman who had just started teaching at the local language school and I wanted to introduce him to the cantina, the people and the great live mariachi music.

The cantina closes early on Sunday so I thought that would be the most benign day to do it. Little did I know that we’d run into the ever affable Salvatore.

The cantina closed up about 6:30 pm and Paul and I were convinced by Salvatore to have one last little drink at another cantina around the corner. I have discovered that tequila is a most amazing beverage that among other things makes you say ‘yes’ a lot. And the more you drink it the easier it is to say yes.

I’d never been in the other cantina. I knew it was there because I could always hear mariachi music blaring out the door when I walked by but the place didn’t have a sign out front so even to this day I don’t know what the place is called. And I’d always been a loyal El Cito patron. The El Cito serves free food, has a great bunch of guys, and most always has spectacular live mariachi music.

Anyway, to finish this story, there was a cop in Cantina #2. I made the mistake of admiring his pistola; a Colt .45 auto, just like my old one, only his had pearl handles.

He slid the magazine out and handed it to me for my further admiration. Do you realize that they use hollow points down here? I thought that was against the Geneva Convention?

There was a dude in there dressed like a lady and she got visibly upset when the old whore sitting at her table flashed her tits at us. (The El Cito doesn’t allow women probably because of that kind of misbehavior)

I made up my mind to split at some point. I thought it was about 8:30 but found out the next morning from Paul that it was actually closer to 10 pm. He didn’t get put into a cab until midnight. I wanted to walk home but I got put into a cab anyway.