Monday, January 24, 2011

Going Postal on the Municipal Police Commander in Reynosa

I can't believe I did it.

I was helping out a friend named Wil to move a few things with my truck today when I was stopped by the municipal police. Usually it is the blood-sucking transito (traffic cop), not the municipal police, that stop and request a donation.  I've donated once in Mexico City and once in Reynosa. It's a way of life here. I pulled over and Mr. Policeman requested my papers for the truck. I hadn't been driving fast or committed any other infraction and he wasn't the transito so I was hoping it was just some sort of routine check. I gave him my registration, insurance card, license, passport and my school ID card.  I informed him I was a TEACHER since teachers are usually held in high esteem in Mexico and I hoped that would make him go away.  Then he asked Wil for his ID which he produced.  The cop should have said, "Have a nice day" and let's us go on our way.  But NOOOOOOOOOOO.  He said we would have to follow him to the police station. At this point, (grumble, grumble) I am still OK and so I followed Mr. Officer to the station.  When we arrived, he took Wil into the commander's office and wouldn't allow me in. I stood there a while wondering what is going on when the original officer asked me where do I live and who do I live with?  I smiled and pretended to not understand while thinking, "That's none of your f'ing business especially since I've done nothing wrong."

So I waited and waited and finally I poked my head in the door. I was informed by my friend that the commander told him the cop followed us from the hotel and decided to check us out.

"WHAT????" with mouth opened wide in surprise.  "What hotel?"   Not that I would really know, the only thing along this area are flea-bag motels that are rented in 4 hour intervals.  After a few more "What hotel?" I went postal on his ass.  All in English.  It might have been better if Mr. Commander did speak English because my rant went something like this....

"What fucking hotel did this cop follow us from?  We weren't in any fucking hotel!  If I wanted to bonk this guy, I would have done it in my own bed on my clean sheets! Not in some flea-bag, crack hotel where sheets are changed every 30 days whether they need it or not. I've showed you all my papers and everything is in order.  This is incredibly STUPID."

Photo from Borderland Beat to show example of narco-blockade - not my photo.
Mr. Commander glared at me and I glared back.  So I called someone from the school to help with the translations.  The friend did verify that I was a teacher (I guess my school ID wasn't good enough) and told the commander where I lived.  We were allowed to leave the police station but not without a parting shot from Mr. Commander about how I need to show respect. This is part where the breath was sucked in slowly.  In a voice that was a little more controlled than before, I stared at Mr. Commander straight in the eye and told him, "Whatever."

I found out later that in deciphering the English haze that just hit him, he thought I called him stupid. And calling someone ESTUPIDO in Mexico is a capital offense.

If you thought this would be the end of the story, you thought wrong.

So we barely left the police station and right in front of us was a narco-blockade.  The narcos highjack large transportation type vehicles and place them sideways across the road so all traffic stops.  Today they used a big touring bus (like a Greyhound) and an old school bus that now serves as public transportation. There were several other vehicles helping to block all passages.  This happens so that the gun battle may begin and no traffic can get through.  Wil told me to turn around quick which I did.  We found another route and arrived close to the center of town when we discovered all the bridges across the canal were narco-blockaded.  I didn't know which way to turn and Wil is yelling at me to turn around but in the confusion I ran through another blockade.  Apparently they had run out of big buses and were using passenger trucks. I whipped around one and Wil yelled at me to go to Linda's house that is only 2 blocks away.  Luckily Linda was home and I hid out there for an hour monitoring the Twitter feeds to find out when all was clear.  Twitter is just about our only news source in Reynosa since nothing is reported on the news.

I'm tired.  I've got more gray hair and more wrinkles.  I've promised everyone that this will be my last year in Reynosa.  Even though I've been called a liar about the negative things I've written about, I swear to God it is the truth.  My imagination isn't good enough to make this shit up if I tried.


  1. WOW!!! What a scary experience! Be careful.

  2. Jesus, Rita.

    You said it's your last year. When is that up?

  3. I hope you don't mind but I added your blog to my blog list. If you would rather I took it off just let me know.

  4. OMG! How horrible! I'm glad you're okay.

  5. Thanks to all for your good wishes. It wasn't the most brilliant moment of my life going off on a commandante. The anger just built up and sent me over the edge and, hopefully, they will leave alone from now on.

  6. Too bad more people don't call out the robbers oops police in mexico

  7. OK, i am soooo addicted to your blog. I think i saw you on Leslie's blog (motherhood in mexico) my husband is from mexico and we have been several times....driven.........crossed over into Laredo. I have not had the opportunity to go back although i'd love to. I do admit, all of this news we here in the US about the drug trafficking, kidnapping, etc is scary! That is why i haven't been back! I was glued to the edge of my seat reading this!

    Glad ur ok!!!

  8. I used to travel around Mexico on a bus or even drive around different places. I haven't gone anywhere since last July. I, formerly fearless, am too afraid now.