Photo by Marco Tulio Valencia
Julián is a coke dealer. He’s 44. He’s been working Mexico City for two decades. He agreed to take us on a ride-along as he worked. The phone never stopped ringing, not for a minute.
VICE: You couldn’t see us yesterday because you had a really important poker game. How was it?
Julián: Great, man. I won. We split the pot. I got 1,000 pesos. It was relaxed. There was a tournament today, but I won’t be going.
Do you have contacts with the police or politicians?
Of course, with the AFI [Mexican FBI]. Everyone is well connected, and everyone is so full of bullshit – epecially over there in the organised crime and anti-kidnapping units. I take care of the heavyweights from the AFI. They send their bodyguards to me in armoured cars and shit.
[At this point, Julián pulls up to a drugstore.]
You buying medicine?
No, just candy for my diabetes. Oh, yeah, I’m diabetic. If you do not complicate your existence, fuck, life is worth shit. I won’t be long, hang in there.
[Ten minutes later we are driving south of Mexico City.]
Julián: Look at that guy [pointing at a transvestite]. Shit. It’s a shame he’s got an antenna.
Have you ever gotten a blowjob from one of them when you were really coked up and horny?
With hookers, of course. At my age, I can’t be judged if I do a guy or I don’t.
Do you work all over the city?
Yeah, but I don’t get near downtown. More cops. More probabilities. It’s basically that, not that I’m afraid. If a guy calls me from down there and asks me for only one bag and tells me he’s paying by cheque, I say, “Buddy, go fuck yourself.”
Have you ever been in a gunfight?
Sure, years ago when I was powerful and moved a lot of kilos. But I’ve never been to jail. The thing is, you get caught and you get kidnapped, fucking kidnapped. They don’t get you like in the US, where you get arrested and go to jail. Here, they grab you with the intention of getting your money. They just take you in a car and do all sort of things to you so that you shit your pants.
Anyway, I used to carry weapons, but not any more. They only get you in trouble. That was in the 90s when I made 10, 15k daily. But so much dough goes to your head. The cops fucked me up three times in two years.
They had you on a short leash?
No. Remember, all great empires fall on account of women. Women fucked me up. But the first rat was an asshole who worked with me. He ratted me out.
So you don’t want to be the next Tony Montana?
Not any more. There’s an old saying: “It’s better to be the president’s brother than the president.” I don’t want anyone looking at me.
Do you sell to anyone?
Not to rapists and kidnappers, not me. Not to that kind of asshole.
How about 13-year-old kids?
No, not at all. It would look like paedophilia. You don’t sell to a kid. No kids or pregnant women. But the thing is, generations change. You have to adapt to your times. Sometimes, someone kind of young calls me, and they get the vibe, so they never call me again. It’s better that way. And where do they get the money? They steal it from their parents. I mean, you make your money, you buy your drugs, it’s your own problem. But if you’re stealing from your parents, that’s when problems come. I have a lot of clients my own age, and I don’t give a shit about them. It’s like, when I tell them, “Take care,” it’s like, yeah, take care because you’re the source of my income.
Do you have new clients every day?
No, not any more. I have my client base. I’ve got some really strong ones who spend between 5,000 and 8,000 pesos a week. Even I have to tell them, “Man, what do you do with so much shit? You should invite me sometime, you fucking asshole, you’re going to have a heart attack.” I don’t like selling to crack users. I hate it. They’re a pain in the ass. They’re on my case all night, and it’s business, sure, but I also need to get my rest.
You don’t take care of crackheads at all?
Not any more. It’s not the same as before. I used to have a lot of fucking energy, health and balls. I still got the balls and the energy, but I lost my health. I need to get my rest. I don’t sleep, but I need to lie down, be at home, watch a movie. I don’t usually drive around waiting for calls.
What kind of movies do you like?
Extreme violence. Cops and robbers.
Do you have vacations?
That’s the problem. Everyone tells me to go to Acapulco. “Let’s go there, let’s go to this place,” and shit. I could go to Cuba or the States or wherever the fuck I want to go but the only thing in my mind right now is my kid, Fatty. He has autism. He was deaf, but now the little fucker can hear thanks to a cochlea implant. I’m sending the little asshole to China for some really expensive therapy, and then I’m buying a house with a pool, because the fucker loves water. My motivation, my goal and my project is my kid. That’s it.
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