Full Of It

Today’s Independent:

Michael Colgan said yesterday that four “stuffers and swallowers” — couriers who ingest drugs or carry them internally — have been caught in Dublin Airport so far this year.

But some couriers have died after packages have ruptured and poisoned their systems with massive doses of narcotics.

I watched Maria Llena Eres De Gracia (Maria Full Of Grace) this weekend. Tell you what, it put me off becoming a drug mule. I literally wouldn’t have the neck on me to swallow those massive pellets.


The film is told from the point of view of a pregnant Colombian teenager who decides to ditch her rose-stripping job (where you are under constant observation and have to ask permission from the despotic boss to go to the toilet) and head for the city, but ends up becoming a drug mule instead. She makes it to the US, after evading the customary X-ray for suspected drug mules in the US airport due to the urine sample showing that she’s pregnant. She and two other teenage girls get taken to a motel, where they are made to come up with the goods. One of the girls dies, and is cut open in the bathroom by her captors. The other two escape while the captors are dumping the body. They speak no English, and the only person María can get in touch with is the sister of the dead girl.

As the title indicates, there is an ironic undercurrent to this story: in the New Testament, the pregnant teenager María has to go to Bethlehem on a little mule, only to find there is no room at the inn. The pregnant teenager María in this story goes to New York as a little mule.



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December 2007
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