MEXICO: Two Planes and a Bomb

Scene: The Aeronaves de Mexico airline office in the sweltering west-coast town of Culiacan. Time: 9 a.m. A nervous man in khaki shoves a heavy drum-shaped package across the counter.

The airline clerk, making out a waybill: "Contents?"

The nervous man: "White lead paint."

"Your name?"

"Jesus Montes . . . Look, this package absolutely must be on the 10:05 direct plane to La Paz in Lower California."

"Sure, sure."

The nervous man walks away quickly.

Airline clerks, however, sometimes have a way of being forgetful. Despite his assurances, the clerk neglects to put the package...

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