Gabacho is the true tale of youthful angst, crime, misunderstandings, love, friendship and redemption.
Over Christmas break of his senior year, a University of Utah theatre student disenchanted with his conservative Mormon upbringing, took off for Mexico with a college friend seeking a wild adventure. If the adventure hadn’t included smuggling drugs it might have been another college road trip. But after a disastrous encounter with a drug cartel, they ended up being arrested by Mexican Federales while trying to make it to the US border.
Jewkes and friend are tossed into a Mexican prison, where they find themselves anticipating torture, rape and even death. A fight with a notorious killer, struggles with tormenting guards and the difficulties of foreign prison lead to a disastrous escape attempt. To survive, Jewkes starts a theatre group with a rag-tag bunch of Mexican convicts.
From The Book:
Were we set up? Were they going to catch us at the border? Should we just throw out the weed? Jeff rolled a couple of joints. It was useless. We felt nothing, hardly a twinge. We were fucked. We’d spent our tuition, we had no more money. We needed to pay rent as soon as we got back. There was just nothing about the entire half-wit adventure that worked out.
We were carrying twenty pounds of weed just sitting in the back of the truck in a broken box held together with duct tape. Not even hidden. For a couple of fairly smart guys who’d done pretty well in their lives up to this point, we were about as dumb as one can get. We couldn’t make a decision other than to get out of Mexico. We kept saying to each other, should we toss the box out the window? What good would it do us in Utah? Maybe further down in the box the weed was better. If we could just get enough out of it to recoup a thousand dollars, that would be great.
It had been all my idea. I was edgy and bored and thought I needed a hardy adventure. Now here we were in the middle of the Sonoran Desert, bouncing up and down, following the desert dunes, carrying twenty pounds of weed that could get us locked away for years in a foreign prison.
I felt a jolt and the truck veered off the road onto the shoulder. I nearly lost control, but I got it back, like I always did, and we drove on. “Shit! I gotta keep my head,” I muttered.
I looked up ahead and saw some faint lights way down the highway. I couldn’t tell what they were. Maybe an accident… some emergency vehicles?
I eased off the gas a bit, then I saw a sign on the right. It said something like, “Inspeccion… Federeales. Alto…” By then the lights were just about on us. “Holy shit!” I shouted.
I was going way too fast to turn around. There was a barricade across the road and nowhere to go. I turned and yelled at Jeff to wake up, and when I turned back around, we were practically on top of the barricades. I was going so goddamned fast! I slammed on the brakes and veered off the side of the road. The car spun all the way around, 360 degrees, throwing dust and gravel in its wake.
When it came to a stop, I was gripping the wheel and could hardly believe we hadn’t flipped over. I thought for sure I was going to roll the truck and crash into something. When the dust settled, I opened my eyes and looked around. There were a dozen gun-toting men standing around the truck holding handguns, assault rifles, and shotguns. “What the fuck…” Jeff uttered as he sat up. “Jesus fucking Christ, man. What the hell is this?”