After a suspect is pronounced guilty by the police he is handed over to a municipal judge who handles misdemeanors. In our case the municipal judge passed us over to the Baja California State Police, or the State Justice System where they handle felonies and other high profile cases like drug trafficking. Here in America this would be similar to the FBI.
In the Napeolonic system they have 36 Hours to decide to pass your case to a judge. The treatment during this set of hours is really unique. If you are poor you go 36 hours without food and blankets. If you are middle class or richer you can have food delivered in including pizza from local places. You can keep your cell phone and make phone calls and you can pretty much do whatever you want.
In our cell block men and women are placed together in a common holding area so yes the unthinkable shit happens and did happen. Sex acts occured between people of the opposite sex that was most likely voluntary if not paid for. I’m told this is not uncommon.
In retrospect the conditions of the cell/holding area were fairly humane for all parties. Showers were not working but their was access to water to wash with in a private fashion. The toilets were smelly and bugs were crawling around on the floor but it was not unbearable and was bleached out every day.
This was however the longest 36 hours of my life. Being told to trust the shithead who had put me here was pretty difficult. And yet I really had no choice. He had far more experience in dealing with Mexican law and frankly I trusted that he had our best interest in mind. What I soon learned was he had his best interest in mind.
The first night they take us down to the State Police office where an investigator interviews with guns clearly visible. And use some heavy handed tactics. Like not speaking your language and typing all kinds of stuff and yet acting like they dont understand what you are saying.
Then without a translator present asking you to sign statements that you don’t have any clue what the heck they mean.
I don’t recommend signing these. And I didn’t sign mine.
Finally after a few days you are pretty much out of it. It had been 2 solid days of shitty treatment and little food. And well I still had no real idea of what was going on. But I made a solid decision to stand with the group of people I believed gave me the best shot of getting out alive. And playing my cards the best I could.
I would follow “John”‘s advice and play along with his plan and not testify against him. But play the neutral card. When in reality I wish I had just sandbagged the motherf—–. Because in reality he probably deserves it. But alas I made the wiser choice.
Finally nightfall. And time to make a declaration. A declaration is an official statement on your behalf to the prosecutor.
I made a knowingly deceitful decision to just play along with everyone to say that I didn’t know of any activities and well that I didn’t think John was guilty and I was just a renter.
And while part of this is true. I knew deep down that John was guilty and I was partly wishing the worst for the bastard for dragging all of us into his mess.
All 5 of us made declarations and were given the impression that again we would be headed to La Migre, the Mexican Immigration department to return to America.
But again we didnt….