The Cliff: An Emilia Cruz Story
THE CLIFF: An Emilia C ruz Story by Carmen Amato
THE CLIFF: An Emilia Cruz
“It’s against Mexican law,” Emilia
“Driving a car?” the gringo asked
“Just what is your relationship to the
owners of this car and their driver?” Emilia
asked. The man sitting next to her desk had
yellow hair and a starched blue shirt and the
impatient confidence all norteamericanos
seemed to have.
“The Hudsons come to Acapulco every
few months.” He pulled out a business card.
“I manage the hotel where they stay.”
Emilia took the card. K urt Rucker,
General Manager, Palacio Réal Hotel,
Punta Diamante, Acapulco.
The Palacio Réal was one of the most exclusive and luxurious hotels in Acapulco, an
architectural marvel clinging to the cliffs above the Punta Diamante on the southeastern
edge of the city. Even the card was rich, with embossed printing and the hotel logo in the
“Let me explain,” Emilia said. She carefully laid the card next to the arrest file on
her desk and tried to look unimpressed as she settled back in her desk chair. “A Mexican
citizen may not drive a vehicle that carries a foreign license plate without the foreign
owners of the vehicle being in it.”
“So the problem was that the owners weren’t in the car,” Rucker said.
“Yes,” Emilia said. “Seor Ruiz was alone in the vehicle.”
“The Hudsons drive down to Mexico several times a year.” Rucker leaned toward
her and one immaculate sleeve bumped the nameplate reading Detective Emilia Cruz
Encinos. There were initials embroidered on his shirt cuff. Emilia resisted a sudden silly
urge to run a finger over the stitching.
“They always hire Ruiz when they come,” he went on. “They travel all over and he
does errands alone. There’s never had any trouble before. Monterrey, Mexico City,
“Well, seor.” Emilia moved her nameplate. “Here in Acapulco we enforce the