Juarez was like the House of Mirrors at a fair, his mastery of camouflage had even hidden him from himself. He was an actor who played a part in a very dangerous game and who had come to accept that the identity he assumed was in part a reflection of who he really was; an identity that had come to take up full-time residence in his head. Time’s irrevocable vortex had propelled him deeply into society’s dark, murky underbelly and his talent for mimicry metamorphosed him into someone almost sociopathic-like in characteristics. He wondered if the distance back to a life like the ones around him would become too great for him to traverse.
A first generation Canadian, born to Mexican parents, Emilio Leyva had not been an easy boy to raise. Involved with local gangs and drug trafficking from an early age, he had been sent to a minimum-security institution under the Young Offenders Act for two years less a day. His life changed shortly after arriving when he met the resident chaplain.
It had happened in small stages, too subtle for him to notice at first, but by the time he had left the institution, he had acquired his high school diploma with honors and his acceptance into the University of Toronto.
After graduation four years later, he had been accepted into the Royal Canadian Mounted Police, better known by its acronym RCMP. For him, it could not have been a better fit. It had not taken long before his superiors recognized his street savvy and his talents in languages, especially Spanish and French.
During several years of participating in several high-profile undercover stings, he had been invited to be part of a joint US-Canadian drug operation in Juarez, Mexico. Deeply embedded in the local drug cartel, he had acquired the codename, Juarez,
Years passed by and memory of family and himself had become nothing more than flotsam and jetsam washed up on a distant shore. Nevertheless, to say he felt nothing when he learned his parents had died would have been untrue. The important parts of his memories had been safely sealed within him, impenetrable to accidental slips that might have wedged them open to reveal the lies he plied in his role.
Intense and thorough preparation on his part ensured that he never second guessed himself; keeping a cool exterior while navigating the unexpected so often inherent in an undercover operation meant the difference between life and death. Knowledge coupled with well-honed instincts—sacrosanct to his survival—depended on patiently building trust within a target organization to establish the how, when, where, why and especially the who within its structure. Ultimately, he had come to accept that no matter the depth of his skills and preparation there was an element of letting go and a trust he had to have in letting fate and time tell whatever fate and ...