The Impossible Pursuit of Justice, Part 2.

February 12, 2012

Hot stuff.

[A continuation from Part 1.]

My boss F tells me to meet him at the police station under the bridge to file a denuncio (police report) to cover myself. He gives me “directions:” drive on the road that heads towards the big bridge then turn right and then left after a little bit. Street signs are rare here, so giving directions is a unique experience and following them even more fun. I cannot picture the route in my head at all, so I drive blindly.

Naturally, right where I’m instructed to turn left is a big traffic sign communicating NO LEFT TURN. Considering my recent string of bad luck, I determine it unwise to ignore the law and don’t make the turn anyway. This choice to be a law-abiding citizen turns out to be a terrible idea (seriously, Lo, this is Latin America). It has started to drizzle and continuing on the road, I can’t find ANYWHERE to turn around. After much ado, I finally meet F, where the police officer tells us that we cannot file a denuncio at that station because both parties need to be present.

Um, hello, that’s the point. The other guy fled the scene!

Instead, he sends us to another station in a different district, 30 minutes away. F is generous enough to drive my car, so we leave his at the station and set off. We stop along the way at a comisaria to double check that we are headed in the correct direction. The uniformed male slouched in the chair stares with empty eyes as F presents his question. It is clear he doesn’t know anything. About anything.

We continue on and finally find the big police station, where in front of the high rise gate stands a uniformed female. She has her arms crossed and glares hard at us, but her facade of animosity fools no one. We express our desire to file a denuncio and before we can even finishing explaining our situation, she starts shaking her head, muttering something about going to the station by the Viaducto…where we had just come from.

We persist in attempting to get her to actually listen to what we were saying, and eventually she pulls open the gate and allows us to walk onto the station grounds. She keeps reciting that both parties need to be present. Still the dumbest thing I have ever heard.

Then some chubby old guy, who looks eerily like the hottie (pictured above) spotted riding the metro in Barcelona, walks by in a ridiculously tight white tee emblazoned with “I am a bad drinker” in Spanish (midriff for all the world to see and everything). I thought he was another regular Schmoe there to file some paperwork.

Quite the contrary (or not–we’ll never know). The female officer flags him down, asks him about denuncios, and the crazy character puts his sunglasses on and vomits the same rhetoric this lady has been rotely reciting. Both parties need to be present…blah blah…you need to go to a different station…blah blah. He even throws in a gem about both parties needing to take an alcohol test. Ha! What a freaking joke. They don’t know what to do with people here, so…*shoves breathalizer test* in person’s mouth.

The mindless bantering carries on as we grow increasingly frustrated. We finally depart without having made any progress, thoroughly convinced that every single police officer/employee/crazy man spokesperson we had talked to had certainly paid someone off to pass their qualifications exams…if there are any in Paraguay.

Can you see why this country is in shambles? Their supposed justice system totally favors those who commit wrongs. I can’t imagine trying to report a sexual assault or something far more grave than a fender bender. It’s a sad reality, really.

In any case, we return to the city, where we make one last ditch effort to at least gain some information on how to proceed. We jam the car onto the side of the road when we see cops directing traffic in the hopes of getting someone to answer our questions. It is no surprise to hear them spout nonsense and send us to yet another station on the other other side of town.

With night having long fallen and a steady rain now threatening to wash us off the roads (lack of city planning also means that 10 minutes of rain creates immediate mid-car height floods–and I drive an SUV–that throw the city into watery paralysis), we give up for the day. Congratulations to us: we accomplished absolutely nothing.

A day in the life.

Part 3 up next.

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One Response to “The Impossible Pursuit of Justice, Part 2.”


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