Friday, May 26, 2006

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Crime of Passion ... Presna's police blotter poetry

If I hadn't given up guilt for Lent (in 1987, never to take it back), I might feel some remorse for the decadent pleasure I take in reading the worst poetry in the Spanish language, La Prensa's police blotter. Somehow, paying police reporters by the word inspires them to impart a baroque magnificance to even the most ordinary and sordid of urban tragedies. While it is impossible to translate Prensa police blotter items literally and baldly, I think it is possible to capture the essense of this odd literary form -- run-on (and on and on) sentences ornamented with a plethoria of relevant and irrelevant details, a refusal to use one word where pleonasm, circumlocution and redundancy might spring to mind and, as in Restoration drama, a positive zest for the artistic possibilities of bad taste, murder and mayhem presented in the most indirect way possible. I have translated arcana written in bad Spanish before -- an accounting flow chart written by junior accountants and programmers who hadn't a clue what they were doing, purposely confusing commercial leases and academic papers (rates available)... but to capture the essense of a Presna police blotter item has been maddening, frustrating, a difficult and tiring labor, being such a task as one should not normally undertake, but one does, with the proviso that such an impossible and improbable translation will still fall short, not meet and only dimly match, the brilliance of the original. Here then, is a small masterpiece, by Manuel Olmos Crime of Passion A man was executed by the discharge of a firearm at the corner of 28th Street and 20th Street, Colonia Proletaria Guadalupe, Delegation Gustavo A. Madero. The bloody deed occured at about 18:40, when the driver of a Passat, navy blue, with license plate PVN-64-63, issued in the State of Morelos, moving in the direction mentioned above, was passed by a bottle-green Chevy model Chevrolet, with polarized windows, a back one of which was lowered, and a shooter, with gun in hand and saying not a word, fired two times, taking the life of a 36 year old man named Lazaro Miguel Canchola Cosío. One of the projectiles perforated the back door of the vehicle while another -- the fatal injury -- drilled into the chest of Canchola Cosío, passed through and vanished into the right side of the seat, while the automobile continued on its path until crashing against a gray Nissan Tsuru with license plates 932-MLY which was parked in front of 119 20th Street, where it was being repaired in the mechanic's shop known as Ribero Service. During the course of the homicide the green Chevy shifted into reverse and fled at full speed down 28th Street, until it was lost in the streets of Colonia Proletaria Guadalupe. A few meters from the scene of the crime the wife of the recent murdered victim was mounting a bicitaxi, and present at the terrible scene in which her spouse was killed, the now-widow who is reported to be Claudia Sanabria Cureño, 32 years of age. This is only a few short meters from the location of a house occupied by 32 year old Angelica Martinez Alvardo, who supposedly maintained a sentimental relation with the recent murder victim, this house being immediately facing the site of Canchola Cosío's fatal wounding, which gave reason for a confrontation between the two women, both of whom accused the other of masterminding the crime. In light of the bloody doings, the neighors and witnesses in the vincinity called the rescue squad, which arrived at the scene 10 minutes after the attack in a Red Cross ambulance, economy number 555, commanded by paramedic Alberto Xochihua, who upon viewing the body diagnosed that the victim had already left his existence due to a projectile wound to the chest caused by a firearm. Also arriving at the scene were units of the Secretariat of Seguridad Publica (SSP), in car numbers GAM2 0142 and GAM2 0135, who, witnessing the scene between the women, detained both the presumed lover and the wife of Canchola Cosío, for transfer to Public Ministry GAM2's facilities, where a determination will be made as to who is responsible for what seems a crime of passion. Once in control of the situation between the women, the police units called for backup from the Public Ministry and the Judicial Police stationed in the Capital, the same arriving to begin preliminary investigations and to order the body removed, and the transfer the two persons involved, as well as sending for the mechanics who removed the automobile in which lay the dead Canchola Cosío. Investigations made at this time indicate that Lazaro Miguel Canchola Cosío had been sent to the South Preventative Prison on 5 April 1997 for grand larceny, reason enough to open a second line of investigation, looking into revenge related to organized crime.


Blogger Lee Strong said...

Reminds me of a fellow I work with on weekends. Every tale is embellished with comments, details, trivia ..

"I went to my neighborhood CVS Friday - it's in the building where Max Nimrod used to have a hardware store. I went there as a boy and Max always had these lollypops, the kind that Howdy Chuckles used to eat on his television show, it was carried on CBS - to buy some earwax remover when I met Anita Jeata, East High class of 1968. We used to be neighbors. Her dad worked for Burbhof's Dairy, which was on Angelo Street, but the Dairy burned down in 1971, it was a three alarm fire ...."

You get the idea.

6/03/2006 04:01:00 AM  

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