The criminal attorney was ready. He had everything he would need, including his briefcase with all the documents pertaining to the case. He wasn’t nervous. He felt more than prepared, but he wondered.
Would the suspect cooperate? Would he provide any meaningful new details that would help him solve the case?
All of a sudden, he got a phone call. It was a prison official saying the inmate was not ready. Ortega would have to wait a while longer. The hours went by.
By the time he got a call from the same prison official saying the hearing could proceed, it was well past 10 at night. A full 12 hours had passed since the scheduled time.
Ortega’s first shock was that he and an associate weren’t taken to the room where hearings were normally conducted, but to a room right next to that of the prison’s director, where a clerk was already setting up his printer and computer for the hearing.
The door opened and the inmate finally appeared. It was Joaquín “El Chapo” Guzmán. He cracked a smile as if he were attending a social gathering and greeted everybody in the room.