On Saturday, March 31, Pedro Álvarez Icaza went out for a run in the woods bordering the rural community of Pinar de la Venta, located eight kilometers west of Guadalajara, and my home for many years.
It was 7:20 a.m. “I’ll be back for breakfast in two hours,” he told his family. Since he was familiar with the trail he planned to take, he brought with him neither cell phone nor water.
Noon arrived, but not Pedro. Worried, his family started calling friends and a search begun. Instead of relaxing on the sofa writing about my past adventures, I found myself on a team assigned to cover one of the many possible trails Pedro may have taken. Little did I know it was just the beginning of a very long day of scouring the woods.
“All we have to do is walk as far as he could have jogged in one hour,” we figured. The trouble is, there are very deep canyons everywhere in the northern sector of the Primavera Forest, so much so that it is known as one of those places “where a straight line is not the shortest distance between two points.” So, at the edge of every 50-meter drop we shouted “Pedro, Pedro!”
Several hours later we were no longer the only ones out there. Helicopters were buzzing overhead and the woods was now filled with Protección Civil officers, firefighters, foresters and even federal cops, all of them shouting “Pedro, Pedro!” in every corner of the forest. Yes, 911 had been called and everyone was there but the Mexican Army.
Meanwhile, far away from the searchers, Pedro was in a bad way.