>> Thursday, September 18, 2008
A couple of weeks ago Holly was walking to catch the bus at 7:00 am about a block away from our house but there was something happening in the road. A big plantain truck was stopped with two men sitting on the curb and a few police around, but otherwise no action. She got in a cab since her bus's route was blocked. She asked the taxi driver what was up but he had no idea and told her that there was a sporting event or a car crash. By the time she returned from school, things were starting to get more interesting:It was a drug bust! The men sitting on the curb were the drivers, the ninjas were the narcotics officers (masked so they couldn't be identified and hunted down, we guess), and the plantains (usually useful for yummy snacks) in this case were concealing a lot of cocaine in the bottom of that truck.
The two drivers just sat on the ground all day while the police counted the cocaine. In the morning I think they were ashamed and tried to cover their faces, but by the evening they were just lying on the ground napping, probably exhausted from having spent all day in the sun handcuffed with zip ties. All of the police officers in Masaya were there, so we have no idea who was left to stop the rest of the crime. Fortunately, most of Masaya's residents congregated at the drug bust at one point or another during the day, so I guess they were where the people were. By the end of the day, there were Toña beer tents set up to shield the police from the sun, then big lights so they could continue counting past dark. By 8:30 that night (13 and a half hours after I first saw them), they were finally putting the drugs into their police pickups to be hauled away.
The newspaper La Prensa had a good story the next day with tons of great pictures. Holly was a little too afraid to offend the ninjas, but luckily their photographer felt no such fear:
To the left you can see the Eskimo that was on our street:
The rest of the La Prensa photos are really great... there's a photo gallery.
The paper reported that there was 1,700 kilos of cocaine, which if this report is true would mean that there was $187 million worth of drugs literally one block away from us. I think that the truck was probably passing through Masaya to avoid the police-heavy Pan-American highway that's farther west, then supposedly the plan was to drive to northern Nicaragua and then fly the drugs somewhere else. The eventual destination wasn't known but most people suspect los Estados Unidos.
We saw the drugs being loaded into the police trucks to go into Managua, so we assume they made it into the evidence room. We're still waiting, though, to for a fritanga to open up in front of Masaya' police station serving every plantain dish you can imagine (and trust us, there are a lot).
In a legitimately unrelated update stay tuned for Part Three: We Moved.