From the August 2014 magazine.

A Search for the Ringleader

At a tense military checkpoint in Mexico, a member keeps his cool and gets a big surprise

I once took a trip to Mexico, the country where I come from. I was very content with my sobriety at the time, so I took along some La Viña magazines to give away. Not knowing to whom I would give them, I figured God would help me out. There was a lot of political turmoil in the part of Mexico where I was going at that time, and federal police patrols were everywhere. None of us knew what to expect in all this chaos. Each time we encountered a military checkpoint there was a lot of tension. But I felt at ease walking around with my mother and sister and confiding in a Higher Power that I had acquired in AA. I remember telling my family, “The Army will detain us but nothing will happen.” Full of anguish, my mother said, “Not even God would want this.”

On the way back the police aggressively detained us. They took me out of the car, and everyone was scared. When one of the soldiers asked me where we were going, I said quietly that I was here visiting my family. Looking me directly in the eyes, he said, “We’re searching for the ringleaders of organized crime and you appear to work for a ringleader.” I stood there thinking to myself, Yes, I work for God, he is the most important leader.

-- Crispín P.

San José, California

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