MEXICO: Carrier Rats

"Wanna make a few hundred over the weekend, B,ud, driving a new Buick across the border?" If Bud did, and didn't mind smuggling, he got behind the wheel and purred south. At the border town of Laredo, a tourist card could be bought for $2.10. From Laredo south to Monterrey is only 146 miles over good roads, and at Monterrey a pickup would take the Buick, and sell it for $5,600.

In the ten months since the government slapped an embargo on all but the most essential imports—in a desperate attempt to conserve Mexico's dwindling dollar credits—smuggling has become an...

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