Two days ago I met with the directors of the pre-school from which little Michelle and Christopher have been suspended due to the alleged antics of their father, or perhaps more to the point, concerns about the company he keeps. The school plans to discuss the matter with the parents at a meeting next week and tell the parents that they like the children and their mother and would like to bring them back. Anyone with concerns will be asked to speak to the director privately. They anticipate problems with one or two Guatemalan families but are willing to call in one of the most prominent and influential Guatemalans around (who has just accepted Denis and Astrid into a new school that she is starting in November) to talk some sense into them. So, hopefully the two will be able to return to school next week. The school has hired an armed security guard which they said was something they needed to do anyway.
After the meeting I met with Marielos, the mother of the younger two. She told me that the kidnapped woman who was in the other car at the time of the arrest has indicated that Alex was NOT involved in either her kidnap nor the rape which was done by one of the bad brothers. After much thought I decided to throw away Q1500 ($200) to stop the daily beatings that he has been receiving. Marielos and her mother had put Q2000 into the account of the jail bosses (the inmates run the asylums here) which was only enough to keep the other inmates from stealing his food.
Quite unbelievable that he can be in jail for phoning someone and demanding ransom and then people on the outside have to pay ransom to keep him from being beaten and starved to death in jail. Clearly the government has to know that this is going on, even condoning and probably participating in it. I actually think that Marielos and her mother are refreshingly honest. When I offered to pay the balance they easily could have just taken it and told me that were going to use it for Alex. Instead they walked me to the bank and gave me the account number and then went and had a copy of the receipt made for me as they needed the information to send a text message that the money had been paid. Marielos's mother will go again on Saturday and I will send a bag of peanut butter and jelly sandwiches with her. The school director told me today that it is very important that no one anywhere near the jail know that he even knows a gringa otherwise the price of his release skyrockets to the point where he will never get out. Marielos and her mother knew that as well so "mum" is the word. I like these two women. They are straight shooters - very refreshing. The three bad brothers had Q11000 on their "comfort" account the day after their arrest (and who are they working for?) and they are being kept away from Alex. His father thinks that, if he gets out, he should be sent off to cut sugar cane for a few years and learn to work.