The giant aircraft had arrived just before dawn so that it was sitting on the concrete apron as the sun rose. The U.S. flag painted on the fuselage was out of place there, foreign, but comforting to some of the people arriving. The wide, heavy wings drooped low and provided shade for the people as they gathered for the brief ceremony. The air force crew, dressed in their flight suits, went about their tasks of readying the airplane for the flight, as if oblivious to the drama. A few of us would make the trip to San Diego and Calexico for the ceremonies and funeral, those remaining had another job to do.
Capi’s funeral would be held in Guadalajara, the Consul General and the DEA contingent would represent the U.S. government there. The Ambassador and his wife, the U.S. pathologist and three of Kiki’s co-workers, as well as the DEA agent-in-charge from Mexico City, were to be on the airplane to the United States. Kiki’s body, placed in an imposing metal casket, was transported from the morgue in an old Cadillac hearse escorted by the Federal Highway police, blocking traffic, the fifteen miles to the airport. At the airport the Mexican Federal Judicial Police were conspicuously absent, and there was no one of importance representing the Mexican government.
Kiki’s grandmother and an aunt were welcomed among the group, which would accompany the body on its final journey to Mika and home. The tiny old lady was a perfect picture of the other Mexico, the impoverished, abused masses.
Born and raised in South Texas, James Kuykendall was a U.S. Border Patrol agent at the age of 21.He later spent several years matching wits with drug traffickers on the Texas/Mexican border as a U.S. Customs investigator and Drug Enforcement Administration agent, then had tours of duty in Guayaquil and Quito, Ecuador, Houston and Guadalajara, Mexico before retiring as the agent-in-charge of the DEA office in Laredo, Texas. Since retirement he has done private investigations in Texas and Mexico, risk consulting in Panama and security work in Hermosillo, Mexico. Presently owns a real estate appraisal business in Laredo, Texas, where he resides and, most recently, was a consultant with the Narcos-Mexico television series. Picture appears left to right, James Kuykendall, Mexican Official, Kiki Camarena.