After a long Sunday morning of phone calls, we finally had a late breakfast at a famous restaurant in Guadalajara called “Los Chilaquiles.” It turns out many of Mexico’s famous celebrities have eaten there. The international star Bono from the music group U2 even has his picture on the menu as well as a wall full of pictures taken during one of their tour stops.
During the morning my partner had managed to arrange a meeting with some local politicos for later that day. As we entered their compound, third world country did not immediately come to mind. Rather, we were entering a beautifully gated community with 2 story modern design homes. Each home has huge yards with beautiful trees everywhere. As we approached, the smoky aroma of Carne Asada lured us into the back yard. We were immediately introduced to everyone there, for this was a family affair, and business would have to wait.
As the evening settled into dusk and the last of the “Coronitas” was quickly approaching, one of our hosts received a phone call and stepped away for a moment. When our host re-appeared, he had a grin from ear to ear and a bottle in his hand. Good news was in the air and it was time to celebrate. Our host had made contact with a government official who was going to help us with the necessary paperwork. That was the good news, and in the bottle, our host explained, was even better news; Tequila he had been aging for years and was saving for just such occasion. And as the saying goes, ‘When in Rome, do as the Romans.’
So as the knocking got louder and louder and seemed closer and closer, I realized that the knocking was actually thumping going inside my head. I immediately jumped into a cold shower and starting feeling better. We were all reeling from the effects of the Coronitas, hurting from the beating the Tequila gave us and yet enchanted with it all. We skipped breakfast and went for lunch at a well known seafood restaurant called “El Pargo.” There we all had a soup call “Vuelve a la Vida” – which means ‘To Come Back to Life.’ The three of us definitely needed it. After lunch, we contacted the official that was going to help us. The Mexican equivalent of an FBI agent, known in Mexico as a judicial, was to assist us, but not until the next day Tuesday. We were also instructed to bring the fugitive to the city of Guadalajara, and to call the agent for further instructions once we had the fugitive and were driving to the city.
So the next morning we left Guadalajara and headed back to the country side to the pueblo of Tepatitlan. The drive on the toll roads was uneventful but the idea of getting the fugitive to the city had us all a little uneasy because we weren’t sure if the fugitive would be willing to cooperate. The family of the fugitive said that he would cooperate under the conditions explained to them, but now circumstances had changed. We would have to drive him to the city of Guadalajara instead of taking care of it in his pueblo.
We arrived at the fugitive’s home sometime before noon. His grandmother welcome us into their home, and just like the family in L.A. had said, Cesar was still in bed. We spoke to Cesar and his family, and explained to them that we were unable to get local law enforcement to cooperate, so we would have to drive to the city to meet another agent there, and then we would bring Cesar back home. Although uneasy about the situation, Cesar felt the pressure from his family in Los Angeles, and had no choice but to cooperate. As we proceeded out of the pueblo and back to Guadalajara, Cesar guided us back through the toll free roads. These roads are extremely narrow two lane roads without any shoulders. This drive was even more scenic, with fields of Blue Agave and old adobe homes and haciendas. The drive was beautiful albeit dangerous. About half way back to Guadalajara, a large truck veered into our lane trying head on to go around a slower vehicle at which point I had to slam on the brakes and veer to the right onto the non-existent shoulder. The truck passed the vehicle and quickly swerved back into his lane and narrowly missed wiping us out. The lesson; stick with two-lane more expensive but safer toll roads.
We informed the agent that we were on our way back with the fugitive. He had us meet him in a town called Tonala, Jalisco. Tonala is just on the outskirts of the city of Guadalajara. The address led us to two large ornate metal doors. To the left and to the right of these doors were artisan stores selling metalwork, pottery, painting and many other locally made crafts. Everything quite beautifully made. The metal door opened and we entered into the main courtyard of a beautiful hacienda home. Here we met the law enforcement agent, proceed to complete the identification paperwork and pictures. Afterward, we had our best meal of the trip in a local restaurant in Tonala. I had “Carne en su Jugo“- a beef and bacon stew- and the guys and Cesar had huge pork chop steaks. We had “Queso fundido con Chorizo“-flamed or melted cheese with Chorizo bits, hand made tortillas, guacamole and beans also. This was an incredible meal to sustain us for the drive back to Cesar’s pueblo. Once there we thanked him for his cooperation and he thanked us for keeping our word.
Early Wednesday morning we caught a flight out of Guadalajara and back to the states. Now back in Los Angeles, our job wasn’t over. We now had to turn everything we had gathered into a report. This report would be included in a motion filed with the Los Angeles County Superior Court.
This report was to include
pictures and fingerprints of the fugitive as well as the signed affidavits from the Mexican agent and myself officially identifying the fugitive. Now with all this done, for us the bounty hunters, our job was officially over. It would now be up to the Company Attorney to present all this to the court and “put the ball back in the hands of the court.” On January 17, 2013 the company’s motion to exonerate was heard by the courts and the bond was exonerated. Job well done by all those involved in this case! And now on to the next one……..