We met our second pair of bent cops yesterday out on their ‘gringo’ hunt; we were on the bike and coming back from a day out when, coming through the outskirts of La Paz we were pulled over. The two policemen were dealing with a local guy and just as the stories go; they saw the ‘flash’ looking motorcycle obviously ridden by wealthy gringos, sent the local on his way and pulled us over. You could actually see the $$$ signs in their eyes!
Apparently I’d jumped a red light. Not a chance amigo; Mexico is not a place to dice with traffic, especially on a bike; in fact I’m the only one in this city that ever stops at stop signs – so much so, I’m more worried about getting rear ended! (The lights actually changed to amber as we went through!)
This time there was no humble pie as we both argued adamantly with the English speaking officer and his ‘Spanish only’ boss. They insisted we had to pay $100 fine to get my licence back which I refused and asked the guy how I go about challenging the fine in court. I took my licence back from his clipboard, (which didn’t please him!) and asked him to take us to the police station while Helen made a big show of writing down all the details; time, place, policeman’s rank and number, their licence plate etc.
In the end, just like the time in Tecate, the ‘boss man’ decided to let us off with a warning! Grinning like the Cheshire Cat as I pulled my helmet back on I couldn’t help thinking if they weren’t so greedy they would probably get away with a lot more of their scams!