Espinoza and I have traveled many roads together, but none as unpredictable as the one we are now approaching. Whether he's standing in the midst of a slum, a jungle or a battlefield, his idiosyncratic elegance, mischievous smile and self-effacing charm have a way of defusing threat. Finally a respite from the cyber technology that's been sizzling my brain and soul.
Pope Francis blazed a trail and left town two days before. Regis Hotel with my colleague and brother in arms, Espinoza.
That source and another on the ground in Sinaloa reported that over the next several days, two military helicopters were shot down and Mexican marine ground troops laid siege to several ranch properties.
There were additional reports that 13 Sinaloa communities had been ravaged with gunfire during simultaneous raids.
Espinoza reclines in the passenger seat to rest his back. Evidently, El Chapo and his men, after leaving us the night before, had skirted through the jungle back to a ranch property.
By the time we hit the city, the weather has cleared. Twenty minutes later, Kate, Espinoza and I, along with Alonzo, get into two taxicabs and head to the airport. So Kate and I board the charter back to Los Angeles. According to media reports that didn't come until days later, a cellphone among his crew had been tracked.
He notes with delighted disdain several through which his money has been laundered, and who take their own cynical slice of the narco pie."How much money will you make writing this article? I answer that when I do journalism, I take no payment. I consider offering to accompany them, though the circumstances would certainly prove any protective action futile. Despite that, I'm feeling frustrated at having to wait eight days to get him in a corner – to ask everything I think the world wants to know. So I only ask questions one couldn't forget the answers to. We escape its subtle brume, and I join my colleagues inside the bungalow.
I could see that, to him, the idea of doing any kind of work without payment is a fool's game. Before my adrenal rush of paranoia can inspire insult or injury, Chapo has returned. With Kate tucked cozily into bed, his crew and he are fast and furious into body armor, strapping long-barrel weapons and hip-clipped grenades. There are two beds and one couch a short distance from where Kate can be seen sleeping on a third bed behind a privacy divider.
I land in the late afternoon, then sit around the airport until the evening hours, hoping a stranger will tap me on the shoulder and tell me he is a friend of Alonzo's and that I should leave with him.After a few days in Lima, and an overnight in Managua, Nicaragua, to visit an old friend, it's October 11th – the day El Chapo and I had agreed to meet.Understandably, he and his crew had gone dark during the raids.La Comision Nacional de los Derechos Humanos (the National Commission for Human Rights) struggled to enter the area but were prohibited.Villagers protested their treatment by the military.