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A Decision

September 29, 2002
  • Chapter 1
Chapter 1

Enrique sinks deeper into drugs. By mid-December, he owes his marijuana supplier 6,000 lempiras, about $400. He has only 1,000 lempiras. He promises the rest by midweek, but cannot keep his word. The following weekend, he encounters the dealer on the street.

The supplier accuses Enrique of lying and threatens to kill him.

Enrique pleads with him.

If Enrique doesn't pay up, the dealer vows, he will kill Enrique's sister. The dealer mistakenly thinks that Enrique's cousin, Tania Ninoska Turcios, 18, is his sister. Both girls are finishing high school, and most of the family is away at a Nicaraguan hotel celebrating their graduation.

Enrique pries open the back door to the house where his Uncle Carlos Orlando Turcios Ramos and Aunt Rosa Amalia live. He hesitates. How can he do this to his own family? Three times, he walks up to the door, opens it, closes it and leaves. Each time, he takes another deep hit of glue.

Finally, he enters the house, picks open the lock to a bedroom door, then jimmies the back of his aunt's armoire with a knife. He stuffs 25 pieces of her jewelry into a plastic bag and hides it under a rock near the local lumberyard.

At 10 p.m., the family returns to find the bedroom ransacked.

Neighbors say the dog did not bark.

"It must have been Enrique," Aunt Rosa Amalia says. She calls the police. Uncle Carlos and several officers go to find him.

"Why did you do this? Why?" Aunt Rosa Amalia yells.

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