So crossing into Mexico from Guatemala, which I’ve done probably a half a dozen times, is usually a simple affair. Not so this time around. Just as a little background and context – I am a dual-national holding a US and Mexican passports. I would obviously enter Mexico on my Mexican passport, which I did, but about 30kms into the country you get to a checkpoint and get a temporary import permit that allows you to take your “vehicle” further into Mexico.
Well, as it turns out, if you are Mexican, you can only enter with a vehicle with foreign tags past this point if you can show foreign residency, which I did using my Foreign Residency document from Guatemala. Well, that wasn’t good enough for General “Malacara” as I’ve decided to name this particular bureaucrat that I was dealing with at Banejercito – the place where you undergo this process. He wanted me to get some kind of stamp put in my passport from Immigration Ministry back in Guatemala City (mind you I’m about six hours away at this point). I ended up going over the customs directly, who were incredibly kind and ran it up the foodchain, but came back with the answer that it was up to Banejercito.
Now, knowing full well I wasn’t going to go back to Guatemala City for this, we thought of giving my wife a power of attorney and have her import the bike… nope, that wouldn’t work because she doesn’t have a license and the bike is not in her name. My last resort was to go back to the border, go out with my Mexican passport and come back in, to my own country, as a tourist on my US passport. As I was about to go back to get back on the bike, I saw General Malacara and held up my US passport and said, “it’s a pretty sad day when foreigners have more rights in one’s own country than citizens do, I’ll have to go back to the border and come back as a US Citizen…” to which he replied “Oh, you have a US Passport, you should have said that in the first place, we’ll get you settled right away.
Now his guy was just wanted to be a huge pain in my arse, because as soon as I get handed the permit… what does it say next to my name in the nationality box – “Mexican” Dammit!
By this time, it was 1pm, three hours wasted and we had to ride the rest of the day in scorching heat. I’m tired now, so I’ll fill in the rest of the day in my next posting, for now I bit you a good night…. and sorry, no pictures of Malacara – no pictures allowed at this facility, so you’ll just have to picture this piss ant bureaucrat in your mind’s eye.