WE walked into the village around dusk, but with the fog pouring down the dirt streets, it could have been anytime. It was cold, and I could hardly see across the concrete plaza. The Catholic church had been cleaved by an earthquake, the gap between its two halves now spanned with sheets of plywood, but that didn’t stop people from praying in the dank cavern on a floor littered with boughs of long green pine needles.
Our accommodations were a municipal building, a cinder block structure around a courtyard with a fountain that didn’t work and an ash heap where skinny mutts gnawed leftovers. We were to sleep on the tile floor of a room with no furniture and a nonfunctioning light bulb hanging from a wire. I recognized the place from Hollywood thrillers: this was where the narco-cartel tortured its enemies.
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