Sea Creature

Sea Creature by Victor Methos Read Free Book Online

Book: Sea Creature by Victor Methos Read Free Book Online
Authors: Victor Methos
cop and Hector felt bad he had to intimidate him like that. But this wasn’t his doing, and he wasn’t going to put up with it any longer.

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11

    The mayor’s villa was one of the most secluded in Viña. Mayor Ignacio Silva had run an effective administration of the city the past three years, but he was a man that had many enemies. An unpopular anti-corruption measure had passed under his watch. Tourists were the lifeblood of Viña and Ignacio was one of the few locals who did not take this for granted. He knew all too well from his youth selling handmade trinkets on street corners that tourists were sensitive. A few bad rumors and they would look elsewhere for travel; and there were a thousand other places lined up to take their money and welcome them with open arms.
    The measure had barely passed the city’s municipal council with the approval of the regional intendant who was appointed directly by the president and spoke on his behalf. It was a simple law, modeling an Israeli counterpart from some years back: any business owner caught dealing with drug cartels was subject to a fifty percent surtax.
    The law worked beautifully because no violence was involved in its enforcement. The business could deal with drug cartels all they wanted, but they had to pay the government its share. And not just the legal share of what the business earned, but any ill-gotten proceeds as well.
    If a business owner hid funds or refused to pay, the police would arrest them. The cartels, unwilling to wage a war with the police over a few low-level small business owners, would move on to someone else. But the business owner would be ruined; some of them receiving as much as fifty years in prison.
    The measure cleaned up Viña like no other law in the city’s history. Business owners that were prone to work with cartels found it easier to move to a different city and the cartels found it more profitable to engage in gambling and prostitution—something the city officials turned a blind eye to—rather than go to the effort of building distribution channels for narcotics. When given a choice, drug peddlers always choose the path of least resistance.
    The unpopularity had come about when the cartels did something unexpected: they didn’t respond with violence. These weren’t the cartels of twenty years ago; these new generations didn’t want national attention and intervention by the army. So they chose a different path: they funded bandits to attack goods moving out of the city. The merchants were upset that they were being preyed upon, but there was only so much the mayor of the city could do when crimes occurred outside of the city.
    Eventually, the cartels cut the bandits loose but they had nowhere else to go and now the city was surrounded by roving bands of criminals with no work and no prospects for income. It was a problem that simply did not seem to go away.
    Ignacio sat at his desk, reading the news on his computer, when his phone buzzed and his secretary said that the chief of police was here to see him. Ignacio said to let him through and a few moments later Hector walked in and sat across from him without being invited to do so.
    “Hola, Hector. Como esta?”
    “Bien.” Hector crossed his legs. “We had another attack.”
    Ignacio stopped reading and turned to him, placing a pen in his mouth and chewing on the tip. “How bad?”
    “Very bad. Two people are dead.”
    “Anybody see it?”
    “No. But there is—”
    “Then we don’t have a problem.”
    “But, Patrõn, we have much blood and the two people are missing.”
    “They could have been murdered by each other for all we know. We don’t know anything, Hector. What have I told you about making guesses?”
    Hector shook his head. “I do not think we can hide this much longer, Patrõn. I want to talk to the newspaper.”
    “I wipe my ass with the Valparaiso Times . They are a piece of shit newspaper.” His face grew hot as he saw the headlines from last

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