There’s a popular saying in the port city of Buenaventura : “Those who talk are carried away by the tide.”
So it’s understandable that Diego Morales doesn’t want to reveal too many details about why he agreed to undertake such a perilous mission. All he will say is that his sister owed money to the wrong people. And owing money to the wrong people in Colombia’s new cocaine capital is a good way to end up dead.
“I needed a lot of pesos fast,” says Morales, 52, a sullen-looking fireplug of a man with a scar over his right eye.
So imagine the relief when the offer came: 30,000 American dollars, half now, the other half when the work was completed, a mind-boggling amount of money for someone used to living on the equivalent of $5 a day. And all he had to do, he was told, was go on a fishing trip.
It was August 2007 when Morales was picked up in a truck and taken to a damp estuary on the outskirts of Buenaventura, a vast, tangled network of rivers and inlets bordered by dense ju...