In the morning I went to check on Gwyn again. He was shivering. He told me that he managed to get a few hours sleep by resting his head against the metal bars and nuzzling into his armpit so he could breathe in his own body odour, rather than the pungent smell of the faeces that was piled up in the corner of the cell. I s**t you not. It was horrific to see and I dread to think of what Gwyn was going through.
I rang the embassy, who informed me that I would have to speak to consulate, whose hours were Monday - Thursday 9am - 11:30am. What hours are them?! Again, basically useless. It worries me that idiots work in these types of jobs.
Mario helped in being a translator again and explained that the mother would sign the form to release Gwyn if she got some money from us, despite the fact it was her son's fault. It was either coughing up the money or Gwyn would remain in jail over the weekend and would be released on Monday. We were between a rock and a hard place. The mother seemed disinterested in the welfare of her son, but no surprise wanted money from westerners. Everything I thought Mexico was has been confirmed today - corrupt and willing to rip off foreigners at any given opportunity. The minister and Mario were extremely helpful in persuading the mother to sign without us having to pay her any money. They requested she do so, or they would inform the government that she doesn't send her child to school. The government give Raramuri people money to 'bribe' them in sending their children to get a formal education. No surprise that most of these children don't go to school, the parents pocket the money and you have their brood working on the streets selling handicrafts and other tourist trinkets and crap. It was suggested that we could provide some 'assistance' for the travel back from the hospital, but as she had dragged out the process (it was now 1pm and Gwyn had been detained for 22 hrs now) I did not want to offer her anything. She could have done this last night. I would've had no problem in offering money then. I was beyond furious now.
I also explained to the police officers that they had a legal requirement to contact a foreigner's consulate or embassy promptly if they were detained. They did not do this despite my begging. I also said that as Gwyn was innocent, we will not paying any money to them. They did not want to get the embassy involved, so released Gwyn without having to pay a 'deposit' or bribe. A bit of lying helped. In fact the embassy were useless and provided no assistance.
Apart from the Minister, the police officers were extremely incompetent and lazy; I had to tell them what to do. They showed no compassion to Gwyn's situation even though he was confirmed as innocent at 7pm the night before. They illustrated corruption against foreigners with requesting bribes. There was no urgency for them to act and get this matter rectified. I took pictures of Gwyn's cell and the conditions he had in order to make a formal complaint.
After Gwyn's release, we then went to pick up the van from the impound. As this was a private company, we would have to pay in order to get the van released. He charged 1500 pesos (about £75) for essentially towing a drivable van 8km and holding it in his yard for less than 24hrs. It was utterly disgusting and he refused to move on the price. It was either we pay or he holds the van with additional daily charges. We had no choice but to pay. By this point I wanted to burn his holding pen down and wipe the smug expression of his face.
To show our appreciation to Mario, we offered to take him and his family out for a meal, but Mario informed us that his wife had prepared a meal for us all and he took us back to his house for coffee and a traditional Mexican meal to celebrate that Gwyn had been released with 'minimal' payment and a record 24 hours. No one at the table had known anyone to come out of that situation and not be held in prison for at least 72 hours, whilst the police 'investigated'. Powers of persuasion worked again ;-).
The meal was amazing, with some type of pasta I'd never seen before in a tomato base, beef with onions and cubed potatoes, salad, homemade tortilla wraps, fresh orange juice. I felt so honoured to be there. His family joked around the table and were extremely hospitable and polite.
The ordeal was too much for me and I was overwhelmed with seeing Gwyn out of that hell hole and the selflessness of Mario who requested nothing from us. Mario used his phone to ring Gwyn's UK insurance and the UK embassy in Mexico City; he drove me back and forth to the police station; he brought Gwyn a duvet to keep him warm and off the cell floor; he made us food and drinks; he translated everything for us at the police station and negotiated on our behalf; he used his internet to search for options; and he used his own time to help us. We gave Mario 1000 pesos (about £50), which he initially refused. We told him to take it as a gift for his baby, who was due in a few days.
After lunch, we played with his little boys in the garden, then said our good byes.
We made the 40km journey to Divisadero so we could finally see the Copper Canyon (the main reason we came all this way). The Canyon did not disappoint and resembled the Grand Canyon in the USA. Between Divisadero and Areponapuchi there's 4km of different vistas of the Canyon. The Copper Canyon is definitely worth seeing and we were lucky enough to camp out on the rim, watching the sun set. Even though the Copper Canyon is four times bigger and even deeper in parts than the Grand Canyon, the Copper Canyon just doesn't get the tourists. It was extremely quiet when we were there, apart from the usual Raramuri sellers and the odd Mexican tourist walking around. We assumed it was quiet due to it being a hassle to get there via car, or the other option would be having to pay the overpriced train/plane ticket to Creel. It just isn't as accessible as the Grand Canyon.
If you are ever in this region stay at Casa de Huespedes Perez. They can arrange all of your tours and Mario will go to the end of the earth to make your stay amazing.