Friday, December 7, 2012

Smoke Filled Rooms (part 2)

By ACI for Borderland Beat

For Part 1 click here
For Ibarra story click here

Jack stared at the screen, some joke he thought. Jack had been living a good life after receiving his reward. He dismissed the email and went about his day. Jack was what some might call a con. He had an affectionate relationship with gambling. When he lived in New York he would often gamble at Israeli run parking lots, stacking cards, dealing from the bottom, fleecing the naive and proud. He knew people, he could read them, but that was of little help when reading email. Jack was also adapt at the slow con, which given his terrible anxiety, seems out of place. He never left a room with out some sorted collection of benzos to battle it. But that is a story for another time.

Ivan couldn't believe his predicament. The DEA fucked him. He wished he could kill every single one of them. Why did they do this to him? He did his fucking job, he raged, how dare they? He led them right to the bastard and they leave him with nothing. Fuck them he thought. He was counting on that money. They seized millions in assests and he’d planned on getting a piece, what the fuck happened? Those filthy, lying thieves took it all for themselves. Now he was fucked, leveraged to the hilt, it felt like the whole world was falling down around him. If he didn't get cash soon he would be in too deep to get out and he knew it.

One night while drinking beers and surfing the web he came across a website. It talked about a man who fought the Canadian reward system and won. As the buzz from the Modelo settled in, his anger stewed. Fuck the DEA, all they did was lie, cheat and steal from me, maybe Canada would be different? He didn't know this guy but he was desperate and a little drunk. This was one hell of a risk, he had no idea what would happen. As the beer bottles began to pile up, he sent an email. It was then he began talking to a man named Jack.

Ivan originally thought Jack was Canadian and that he could somehow help get Ivan a reward. He began by sending information on a man Ivan claimed was major player in Canada. Jack still thought he was dealing with some nutcase, he had no idea this man Ivan was in fact the man he claimed to be. But the emails persisted, after a while Jack began listening to Ivan with less skepticism.

Jack would learn that Ivan was part of a tangled web of connections, wealth, narcos and of course greed and betrayal. Ivan came from a well known and famously connected family. His grandfather was a high ranking associate of a previous President. A symbol of what is wrong in Mexico. He was what some “analysts” might call a kingmaker of druglords. But to say that isn't correct. He wielded less power than one would think. He simply met with people and talked to his friends, making deals over champagne and caviar. He would listen to any offer, and offers were rarely denied, the unlucky simply got screwed over. This is the game which is played. He was still a puppet to those beyond him but that wasn't the way he saw it. And even if he was he didn't care, ego blinds many men.

This story is more about a man who tired to play all sides, using his connections to broker deals. He claimed he was independent, working alone and that he would work for anyone willing to pay. He played for both the Sinaloa Cartel and Los Zetas. This put him in the odd position of having more knowledge than one would think logical. Even more confounding was that he was able to live knowing such things. He was also courting the DEA, which made the game Ivan played appear even more foolish.

A man who could play all sides is a strange notion but sometimes truth is stranger than fiction. For the less naive who actually know the way things work, it might not be as surprising. To Ivan this was the way of life and he was born for the role; one which is necessary to keep the machine running smoothly.

Ivan was like a broker for his politico clan, he sat down with anyone who had cash. In this game there are no allegiances, simply a constant bidding war which never ends.

But Ivan was growing tired of this game, it had been years of walking the tight rope. His connections afforded him with a lavish lifestyle. One he had always been very accustomed to. He lived the life that only those at the top enjoy; estates and ranches, cars and boats, girlfriends and wives. Its expensive to live such a life and money has a tendency to evaporates much faster than one would expect. As they say, the higher the high the scarier the fall and Ivan was affaid of the fall. The greatest fear a wealthy man has is that he will no longer be wealthy. And when your rich it only takes a few mistakes here, a bad narco investment there and your balls are in a vice.

That was Ivan’s problem, he became a little too exposed, made one too many mistakes. He thought this last job was going to be it for him. It should have left him enough money to solve all his problems. He never thought the DEA would just fuck him like this. Not after years of working with them, playing their little errand boy, taking all the risk. He felt helpless and enraged, a bitter and humiliating defeat at the hands of broken promises. He still never once thought that irony can be a comedic bitch. He just kept searching for another angle, some way out from this disaster the DEA caused.

As days turned to months more and more information was sent to Jack, Ivan began to tell more and more details about his life. The documents he sent detailed an entire ring of players. Important players, druglords and politicos, media mogels and even documents detailing the curruption of Garcia Luna Luna, a man known as the tip of Calderon's spear. These were things Jack knew very little about as Jack didn't follow the drug war. He had no clue as to the value of the information he was receiving. Jack certainly didn't know the value of Ivan.

Perhaps this was why Ivan felt so comfortable with Jack. As time progressed Ivan began to lower his guard around Jack, he was very candid and often spoke of his troubles. He spoke of the problems he was having with his wife. The troubles he was having with money. In a strange way Jack became a sort of confidant of Ivan's. Information that has left a visible mark on an invisible game. But perhaps we are getting ahead of ourselves….


  1. The DEA will fuck you EVERY SINGLE TIME

  2. Engrossing story. Please keep[ posting it.