Herod's Law (1999) Script

A film by Luis Estrada

POLITICAL CONSTITUTION...

...OF THE UNITED STATES OF MEXICO


HEROD'S LAW My God, they lynched a mayor just when the president...

...is talking about modernity and social peace.

Don't fuck this up, Lopez.

Don't worry, Mr. Governor.

We've taken the necessary steps to deal with it.

I'm talking about the presidency of Mexico, no less.

If I'm not careful, that asshole Ruiz Cortinez will beat me to it.

I want to get through this clean.

If I don't get at least a ministry, I'm out of the game.

Don't worry, general.

I assure you that you are valuable to the party.

I'm going to be clear about this, Lopez.

If you want to be governor, everything must be resolved.

If people mention our state, they must speak well of it.

You know better than anyone who elects who around here.

If you want my job, don't give me problems like San Pedro.

Lynching a mayor when president Aleman...

...speaks of modernity and social justice.

Don't fuck this up, Ramirez.

Don't worry, licenciado, We'll find someone soon.

This has to be solved today.

I need to arrange things with the governor.

He clearly said that I've been chosen.

Do get looking.

Find me someone not too bright.

He will hold the post for three or four months.

What do you think of him?

Who's he?

The least bad, but he's straight.

He threatened to quit the party.

No, no.

And this? That's "Sticky Fingers".

I doubt he'd accept a shitty job like mayor of San Pedro.

And this one that looks like Tin Tan. Vargas?

He's been in the party for years. He joined when I did.

He's a good man. He'll probably accept.

What do you mean "good man?"

I mean he's stupid.

He's the one. Go and get him.

Institutional Revolutionary Party - Juan Vargas


CLEANING DEPARTMENT SUPERVISOR

Hey!

Good morning.

Ramirez?

Ramirez!

Fucking Vargas, you have to call me licenciado now. Okay?

It's been a long time. Is that car yours?

Yes.

Licenciado Lopez sent me. He wants a word with you.

The governor's secretary?

What about?

You're in a fine mess.

Hurry up. He's waiting for us.

Go in.

Wait for me here.

And behave, asshole.


Well, tell him I'll call him.

Good afternoon, Vargas.

It's an honor, licenciado. Sit down.

I'll be straight with you, Vargas.

As you know, modernity...

...has at last come to our country.

We must embody the ideals of the Revolution...

...make president Aleman's words a reality.

Help the country advance, stamp out corruption...

...especially the mess caused by those who don't agree.

Certain government workers don't understand this.

They took advantage to make business...

...and grow rich at the nation's cost.

This country needs true patriots.

People like you. Thanks, licenciado.

I'm going to need your help.

Just tell me who I have to kill.

No, no, Vargas. Times have changed.

You heard what happened in San Pedro de los Saguaros?

The people rioted, there was some kind of problem...

...and there's nobody in charge. We have to appoint...

...a temporary mayor who will keep order until the elections.

Right.

And how can I help, licenciado?

You came short, Ramirez. Don't be a fool, Vargas.

The party has noticed you and I'm informing you...

...that you are to be temporary mayor...

...of San Pedro de los Saguaros.

Mayor? Me?

So you see how the Revolution is fair with people like you.

I trust you totally, Vargas.

I trust you totally.

This is a real opportunity, maybe even the start...

...of a great political career. That's right, isn't it?

Go to San Pedro and fulfill president Aleman's...

...and governor Sanchez's promises:

Modernity and social justice.

But listen, I don't want any problems.

If they mention San Pedro de los Saguaros...

...in the capital, they'd better say nice things.

No messing things up. Understood?

Don't worry, licenciado. How can I thank you?

Thank the party. Remember:

"We owe everything to the party".

Even better.

Here, take this.

Governor Sanchez himself gave it to me...

...so it's sure to bring you good luck. There.

Thank you, licenciado.

Now all you have to do is go to work.

Yes, sir.

Ramirez, brother, thank you.

Thank you. Licenciado!

Thank you, licenciado. Excuse me, licenciado.

Here you go, Ramirez.

President Aleman gave me this as a gift.

Now it's yours for finding me that fool.

Nothing more and nothing less than mayor, honey.

Finally, after so many years in that party.

It was about time something good happened to us.

Are you happy, sweetheart?

And this is just the start. You'll see.

If I do well, next stop is state deputy.

Then congressman, my golden dream.

Imagine your name on a plaque in the National Congress.

Maybe something else.

Imagine this: Senator and Mrs. Vargas.

That doesn't sound bad.

Not bat at all, Mrs. Senator.

Not bad at all.

Excuse me. How far is it to San Pedro de los Saguaros?


Good afternoon.

Excuse me, do you speak Spanish?

I think we're lost.

How far is it to San Pedro de los Saguaros?

It's right here.

You must be the new mayor.

I've been waiting for you since yesterday.

I am Carlos Pek, your secretary.

Juan Vargas, at your service.

President Aleman and governor Sanchez sent me...

...to bring modernity and social justice.

We've arrived.

Welcome, madam.

Here?

TOWN HALL

You should go and see your office, Juan.

What for? This is enough for me.

A fucking little backwater.

We're better off in the garbage dump.

No, don't say that.

You were nobody at the dump, here you are the chief.

You are the mayor.

Didn't you hear how they even called you licenciado?

He did call me licenciado, didn't he?

Yes.

Do you honestly think we are better off here?

Of course, honey.

Don't you see? Here we're important people.

This is just the start, but we have to be very, very...

...smart.

Good morning.

Pek? Pek?

Word is out that there's a new mayor.

Everyone wants their affairs deal with.

Please tell them I'll see them later.


Alright, let's get to work.

What's this, Pek?

Unresolved matters, licenciado.

There are many others, but these are the most urgent.

These are agrarian problems, this is the...

You know something, Pek? We should take a stroll...

...so I can get to know the place. Don't you think so?

The village is very small, licenciado.

We come to less than 100 inhabitants...

...most of us are Indians who...

...have lived here all our lives.

Good morning.

Don't be offended, licenciado.

They are good people...

...but most of them...

...don't even speak Spanish.

Really?

Don't they learn it at school?

Licenciado.

Look.

That was the school.

What happened?

They built it in the days of Tata Cardenas.

When the government changed...

...they stopped paying the teacher and one day he left.

The same old story, licenciado.

What about the doors, the windows and everything?

That was one of your colleagues.

What did he do?

One day, the bastard sold them along with the blackboard...

...benches and everything of value.

Just like that?

He didn't sell the walls 'cause nobody wanted to buy them.

He'd have sold the whole village given the chance.

This has happened with every mayor we've had, licenciado.

Listen, Pek. What happened to my predecessor?

Why did he quit?

Licenciado...

Didn't they tell you?

They cut his head off with a machete!

What?

They cut it off, and that's not the end of the story...

...of the mayors of San Pedro.

Another was hanged, another almost burned alive.

Three mayors killed in 5 years.

Why would they send me?

I don't know...

...but they must have done something wrong, right?

Who knows? But...

...just in case.

Good morning.

What's this, Pek?

Manslaughter.

Licenciado Vargas. This is Dr. Morales.

Pleased to meet you, doctor. Six bullets.

This, like all the problems in San Pedro...

...is due to that brothel. I suppose you know it.

No, no.

With this are eight dead men, not counting the diseases...

...half the village is infected with.

Something must be done about that place!

Don't worry, doctor. I'll take the necessary steps to close...

It's your duty!

I've only arrived. I promise...

Look, it's very easy.

Do your job and I assure you everything will be fine.

If not, I promise you'll regret ever coming to San Pedro.

Who's this man, Pek?

Dr. Morales is someone to watch out for, licenciado.

He's been the PAN candidate for mayor four times...

...and always complains about fraud.

Can you believe it?

From now on, he's going to be your worst nightmare.

So it seems.

You can't imagine it.

What shall we do, Pek?

He had no relatives.

I suppose it's up to us.


We don't open until eight.

I want to speak with your boss.

She's sleeping.

Tell her it's the new mayor.

Wait here.

She says you can come in.

Miss, ah, how much are you charging?

What can I do for you?

Good morning. Sorry to wake you up at this hour, dona...

Lupe. Juan Vargas, at your service.

Sit down, licenciado. You, get lost.

Sit down.

Fancy a drink?

Not during working hours.

Well, a little shot never did any harm.

So you're the new mayor.

At your service, madam.

And the thing is...

How can I say?

Seems that a few people aren't happy about your business.

Ah, licenciado, you're just like the others...

...coming here for your bribe, right?

No, madam, nothing of the kind.

It's just that people... People or Dr. Morales?

That old son of a bitch won't leave me alone.

He turns the Indians and everyone against me.

It's not just the doctor. There's a corpse outside.

Someone who was shot here yesterday.

A corpse?

No, licenciado, someone's pulling your leg.

Nothing happened here. The thing is...

No, licenciado, everything is in order.

Don Alfredo Garcia, who was mayor before you...

...gave me all the permits.

Are you going to take this or not?

No, madam. There are things which one can't do.

Why the hell not? You're all the same, licenciado.

You're not telling me you're different.

No, dona Lupe, how can you say that?

I must shut this place down for the good of the village.

Look, you fucking idiot.

Let's stop this right now. If you have anything else to say...

...tell it to the priest. He calls the shots here.

The priest? Yes, the priest, you heard me.

Get out of here! Excuse me for bothering you.

Scram. Excuse me.

Get going. Goodbye.

And you, idiots. Get inside. What are you doing there?

Excuse me, madam.

Dona Lupe, what about the corpse?

Stick it up your ass!


Let's see, pal.

There you go.

You said so yourself, father.

The flesh is weak and there is much temptation.

Yes, but you get carried away.

But, father, you know. What does your husband say?

Nothing. He doesn't pay me any attention.

Ego te absolvum.

For penitence say 3 Holy Fathers and 3 Hail Marys.

Oh, and give me a peso for every one of your sins.

Good morning. Good morning.

Chencha.

May I help you?

Good morning, Father.

I'm Juan Vargas, at your service. The new mayor.

I know that. I was going to come and see you, but...

...I've had a lot of work. What can I do for you?

I've got a lot of problems, father.

Spiritual ones? I wish they were.

I've got a corpse outside. I just saw dona Lupe.

She told me to talk to you. Not in here.

We better go outside.

Hey, my son...

...how much does a Packard like this go for?

I really don't know, father.

But what shall we do about the corpse? He's starting to stink.

That's the authorities' problem. I just do the blessing.

What about the brothel, father?

Dona Lupe said you'd given her permission.

Ah, dona Lupe!

Did you two work something out?

What?

Did you come to an agreement?

Father, I'm not like that.

Ah, come on. I swear it, father.

Don't swear!

You think this shepherd doesn't know his flock?

Well, she did make me an offer, but that's not why I came...

...to San Pedro de los Saguaros.

You should've taken the money.

San Pedro lacks many things...

...and dona Lupe performs an important social function.

That's five pesos for the blessings.

Thanks, father.

Being mayor is exhausting, Pek.

I never imagined it would be so difficult.

It's been a bad day, licenciado.

But don't give up. It's a matter of solving the problems...

...bit by bit.

You know what? Just before I came here, I heard a speech...

...by the president that gave me some ideas, it could work.

Tell me what you think.

First...

...we'd have to fix the school.

Then pave the streets, install drainage.

People just shit in...

If you'll allow me a few words, licenciado.

Wait. Don't distract me, I'll loose the ideas.

Something grand so that people will remember us.

A dam or a highway linking San Pedro de los Saguaros...

...to the capital. What do you think?

They're great ideas, licenciado...

...but there's a problem.

What?

Seven pesos.

It's all that's left of the budget.

The last mayor...

...he spent it.

And since then, they haven't given us anything.

I thought maybe they'd sent something with you.

I'm not hungry.

You're not going to solve anything this way, Juan.

We have to think something.

You can't go back to the garbage dump.

Without money I can't do anything.

Go and see licenciado Lopez first thing tomorrow.

Tell him about the problems...

...and ask him for a larger budget.

But he told me he didn't want any problems.

But he didn't tell you where he was sending us either.

Go see him, play the martyr.

Take him a present, that always works.

I know just what to give him.

In conclusion, president Miguel Aleman declared...

...to the workers and peasants sectors that this devaluation...

...was painful but necessary, and insisted that by facing...

...our problems, we guarantee a bright future for everyone.

No doubt there are people who knows how to do things well.

How can I tell licenciado Lopez I can't do the job?

I'm sticking out my neck.

I'd rather be in your shoes.

Eat and sleep, sleep and eat. Eat and sleep.

That's life.

Fuck it!


What? What happened to your car?

That junk heap broke down.

Let's see if I can help you.

Get in.

Start it up.

Stop, stop.

I think the engine's fucked.

Don't tell me.

It can be fixed, but...

...it won't be cheap.

Go ahead. I'll pay anything.

Again, carefully.

He who knows, knows.

What do you say?

How much do I owe you?

Hey, for a Mexican friend, just 100 dollars.

One hundred dollars?

Shit, shit! But I don't have that kind of money.

Look, this is all I have. And the pig?

No, it belongs to my boss. Well, give me that.

But you'll leave me broke. Look, this is what we'll do.

Go to San Juan de los Camotes and wait for me there.

I'm the mayor, see?

Emilio Gabriel Fernandez Figueroa, at your service.

I'll pay you there, okay?

What? I said it's okay, pal.

Don't worry. We Mexicans are people of our word.

I'll pay you on time.

Thanks a lot.

Have a good trip.

Fucking gringo, same as the rest.

He wanted to trick us.

But... they don't know that we Mexicans are better fuckers.

What's this, Vargas?

A present from San Pedro de los Saguaros.

Get that swine out of here!

So, what's new?

Well, licenciado, I don't know where to begin.

I'd like to see if it's possible for you...

...to give me a bigger budget.

No, no, Varguitas, no. The elections are coming up...

...and all the funds must go to the party...

...to that there are no surprises.

Ask me for anything. Anything at all, except that. Not now.

Well, since you're giving me the chance.

How about moving me to another town?

Fucking hell, you really turned out to be a wise guy.

No way. It's Herod's Law here.

Either you fuck them or you get fucked.

But there's no money left. This makes it very difficult.

We need so many things.

Imagine if everyone asked me the same as you.

It'd never be enough. When it runs out, it runs out.

To be honest, licenciado, I planned to do as you told me...

...that modernity and social justice stuff, but...

...the truth is, it's difficult.

I'll give you some advice. Sit down.

Here you go.

Those are the federal and state laws.

Do I have to read it all? No, no, Vargas.

This will earn you your money.

If you know how to use it, you can get money out of all.

You've got fines, taxes, license fees.

Use the law to your benefit, and you're made.

Remember: In this country, honesty gets you nowhere.

You'll get me into deeper trouble.

They don't respect authority in San Pedro.

Authority?

Come here. I'll show you authority.

Stand here.

Hit me here.

No, no, licenciado.

Go on, man, don't be afraid. Hit me here.

Come here, Vargas.

Did you understand?

I'm your boss. Your superior. Get it?

Anyone who breaks the law is messing with authority.

They'll be punished. I'm the authority.

Got it?

But the people in San Pedro are wild, licenciado.

Did you know they cut the last mayor's head off?

They cut his head off?

That's easily solved.

Take it.

Go on, take it.

If they threaten you with a machete, show them the gun...

...and see if they still give you a hard time.

Keep it, man, keep it. Put it away.

Don't kill anyone.

Remember, everything in this book that says...

...Executive, Legislative, and Judicial Powers... that's you.

The maximum authority of San Pedro of whatever?

De los Saguaros.

San Pedro de los Aguados, you got it.

Go on, and put the gun away.

Thank you, licenciado. There you go.

Take this little book and this gun and enforce authority.

Thank you very much.

Excuse me. Go ahead.


Gloria!

Sweetheart, I'm back!

How did it go, my love? Very well.

Are we moving to another village?

No.

Then they raised your budget?

No, sweetheart, look.

What's that for? Lopez gave it to me.

You're going to bring us problems.

No, my love. On the contrary, we'll solve them with this.

I know how. I study the law and learn to use the gun.

Fine, but put it down. It's making me nervous.

My pistol makes you nervous?

"This are crimes against public order: Moral of fences... prostitution... endocinity...

...and white slavery".

Sweetheart!

Sweetheart, do you know what "en-do-ci-ni-ty" means?

No, I don't. Let me sleep.

You think I'm stupid?

Always trying to sneak away, bitch!

What were you thinking?

Fuck! I just look away, and you are trying to leave.

What were you thinking?

You think I'm stupid? Get inside, you bitch!

Ungrateful little tarts!

Nobody else would feed the pigs.

There you go! Good morning, dona Lupe.

Good morning.

What do you want, bastard?

With all due respect, I have an order to close this house.

According to the penal code, you're breaking several laws.

Selling alcohol without a license.

Involvement in manslaughter...

...plagiarism, kidnapping, "lenocininity".

Rape, corruption of minors, threats...

...violation of the inhumation laws, white slavery...

...plus, beating your employees like that.

Look, this is my property, right, licenciadito?

In my house I'll beat up anyone I fucking like, how about that?

Look, dona Lupe. Here you can read the laws...

I don't give a shit about your fucking laws!

Please, dona Lupe, have some respect.

I represent the nation's authority.

You don't get it! Dona Lupe...

You don't get it. Please, dona Lupe.

Please, dona Lupe!

I want us to communicate like decent people. I...

You think you scare me?

You need balls to use that gun, asshole!

Please!

You coward! Come back here, you son of a fucking bitch!

Come back, asshole!

You son of a bitch!

What's up, licenciado?

If they ask for me, tell them I've gone.

No, that I don't work here anymore.

Are you sure it was in the leg?

I think so, sweetheart. Let's go.

So what? That's what your boss told you to do, right?

Yes. Something like that.

You're the authority, honey.

They have to respect you.

It's just that this lady...

Let's see, here.

Get back to work.

Is your idiot boss in? It's dona Lupe.

Come in, come in.

Good morning, dona Lupe.

Come in.

How have you been?

Pek, please leave us.

Go and see if it's raining.

Please, madam.

You're looking very well.

I wanted to apologize. Cut the crap, Vargas.

Let's get to the point.

How much do you want to leave me alone?

No, dona Lupe, the law must be obeyed.

Then just look the other way. Here.

Your business is very crooked, dona Lupe.

Only you know that, because you read that huge book.

Here's more money.

You promise nobody will know, dona Lupe? You promise?

Nobody will find out.

So now we understand each other, licenciado.

You're a tougher cookie than I expected.

Let me help you, dona Lupe.

Get off, I can manage.

And to show you I don't bear a grudge, come to the brothel.

I'll invite you one of my girls.

Thank you, dona Lupe, I'll come by.

Nosy little tarts! Look at you!


Afternoon.

"Entry forbidden to Women, Minors, Soldiers in Uniform...

...Animals and Indians".

Fifty?

But how?

I don't make that much.

Well, how much can you manage?

Well...

Maybe twenty, once in a while.

Good.

We'll discuss your takes later, eh?

Thank you.

That sign by the door. It's hard to understand, confusing.

Take it down.

Just look at that.

Pek...

...fine this asshole.

What for, licenciado?

Let me think.

Lock him up and we'll decide later.

Don't let him out until he pays a fine of five pesos... no, six.

Juan, come to bed!

What's that?

Nothing.

Where did you get all that money?

It's not mine, don't get me wrong.

It's money from contributions, taxes, fines.

They're saying something else in town.

Especially Dr. Morales.

He's going around saying you're the worst one yet.

Be careful, dear.

That old bastard could ruin everything.

I must tell him that this is for the good of the people.

I got it. Why don't we organize a dinner party...

...and invite all the important people of San Pedro?

We have money now.

That's what all politicians do, right?

Okay.

Whatever you want, dear.

Good evening, friend.

I looked for you everywhere. Where's my money?

How are you doing, Sam?

My name isn't Sam. It's Robert...

Robert Smith. Nice to meet you, madam.

What's this, Juan?

Gloria, this is my friend, Robert.

He almost saved my life. Hey, I want my money.

You owe me, remember? I want you to pay me now.

It's late and I don't want to be on the road.

No, no way. You stay here with us.

Gloria, fix us some dinner.

They won't say Mexicans are bad hosts.

Alright, I'll stay. And the money?

Look, friend. The country is having economic problems.

We'll talk about it tomorrow. Go and get your things.

Okay.

Where is he going to sleep?

Look, I've got a good proposal for you.

Help me and I swear I'll pay you everything. Plus interest.

What is it?

You play engineer and help me modernize this village.

These people have money under their mattresses.

Yeah, sure, but I want my money.

I'm not talking about 100 dollars...

You could be making a grand or more.

Maybe. But I want 50% of everything that you get.

Fuck!

I'll give you 20%. Fifty or nothing.

Okay.

As you know, we Mexicans are men of our word.

Here, distrustful paleface. Here it is on paper.

Is it clear about the interest?

Yes. It's all there.

Okay.

Okay, friend.

To our partnership.

What?

Partners. Cheers!

Cheers, partner.

Tell me, Mr. Gringo. Yes?

Is it true that your countrymen are still very angry about...

...the expropriation of the oil business?

Well, yes, a bit. But they know that in time we'll get it back.

And more. Much more.

What did he said?

He says that in the US they think we're a dictatorship.

And I agree with him. The perfect dictatorship!

No, no. Forgive me, but that's why we had a revolution.

In Mexico the vote is respected.

It's not out fault that people always vote for my party.

If there was real democracy in Mexico...

...the president would be a priest.

Don't exaggerate, doctor...

...or father Perez here would be governor.

Good idea, my son. Good idea.

And you, you were involved. What do you think, Pek?

To be honest, the Revolution brought many changes.

But we didn't fight it to suit a few politicians.

Unfortunately, the poorest are still just as poor.

Yes, yes, Pek. You're quite right.

Fortunately, we made of the Revolution...

...the basis for our institutions.

And the country's future has never been brighter.

Please, licenciado, what future are you talking about?

The government is in the hands of a bunch of crooks.

Your boss is the worst of them all.

The puppy of the Revolution.

You are a fine example of the scalawags that govern us.

What have you done besides extorting anyone you can?

Tell us, what have you done for the good of San Pedro?

Doctor, let me pour you another drink.

No, honey. Sit down.

Ladies... gentlemen...

...that is why I've invited you here.

As you know, I went to the capital a few days ago...

...to meet with the secretary of government...

...and discuss the serious problems of the village.

And I would like to inform you that...

...modernity will at last come to San Pedro de los Saguaros.

We'll make the promises of our president Aleman come true.

And how are you going to do this?

I have specific instructions to start right away by bringing...

...electricity to San Pedro.

And here, straight from the US, is engineer Robert Smith.

And that's nothing. Once these works are done...

...president Aleman himself will inaugurate them.

Cheers, friends!

How thrilling. Why didn't you tell me before?

Sit down, honey. Cheers!

Cheers! Cheers!

Hey, dear? What?

,, Didn't you get a bit carried away?

About what?

What you said about electricity and the president.

No, honey. It's all true, I spoke to the governor's secretary.

Tell them to pull harder, Mr. Pek.

As you see, doctor, my party always delivers.

You should have closed that brothel first.

All in good time. First things first.

And the first thing, my friends, is progress.

The future of our nation!

There's your great work. Fucking gringo!

Sorry, Mr. Mayor. It was these Indians.

This never happens with American workers.

Go on! Help them! Let's try again!

Pull! Pull!


Afternoon, dona Lupe.

You know what day is today?

And where is Esmeralda?

That son of a bitch!

Fucking shameless dwarf!

How does that asshole manage to be so brazen?

You don't have money for taxes. But what about this?

Pay me.

To you too, idiot! Take a hike!

What?

Listen, who the hell is going to pay me?

Show me some respect, dona Lupe.

That is one thing, but this is something else.

I'm here for your taxes.

How can I pay you, asshole?

Since you came here I've lost all my clients.

Do what you want. I have nothing to pay you with.

Well, dona Lupe, maybe we can work something out.

I'm feeling very romantic.

Alright, let's go. No, dona Lupe.

Son of a fucking bitch!


You've got no idea how everyone has changed.

The only thing anyone talks about is the president's visit.

What are they saying?

They're very excited about the electricity.

Everyone speaks well about you, love.

They say you're the first mayor...

...who's going to fulfill his promises.

I'm excited too.

Juan, I'm preparing you a surprise...

...so you make a good impression on the president.

What is it?

No, I told you it's a surprise.

I'll show you when it's finished.

Oh, Juan...

...if you keep on like this, you won't be just congressman.

You'll be much more.

And...

...I also got a present for you.

Couldn't you give it to me tomorrow, honey?

I had a very tiring day.

Wait, wait.

Wait, wait.

Just what I told you, father.

He's not only corrupt, but lazy too.

I'm sure the whole thing is a farce.

Pardon, doctor, what are you talking about?

I heard you're in business with dona Lupe.

And we're prepared to take the necessary steps to sack you.

Excuse me, doctor, but the law authorizes me...

The law? The law you apply is a farce.

An excuse to steal money from the people.

Tell him, tell him what we found out.

I don't want to get involved in your business, but...

...the Indians have complained to Dr. Morales about you.

Excuse me, father, but I simply apply what it says here.

Do you think I go around making up laws?

Well...

...I've warned you.

Either things change or you'll hear from me!

Nothing satisfies this guy. That's the way opposition is.

They criticize everything.

Look, I'm going to give you some advice.

You got to be careful and don't go waving that pistol around.

Put it away!

I swear that he's taking it the wrong way.

Don't swear in vain.

I can help you with Dr. Morales...

...but you have to help me too.

Whatever you say, father. I'd be very grateful.

Well, you know...

...I want to buy myself a car.

A car? Don't worry.

I have some savings.

I want something modest.

Maybe an old Ford...

...or a Packard like yours. It's a good car, right?

Here, father.

But, my son...

...this won't even buy me a tire.

Well, here.

Those who repent...

...go to Heaven.

Help me buy my car...

...and you won't have any problems.

God bless you, son.

Good luck, father.

Fucking priest!

Good morning, dona Lupe. What's good about it?

Get my money ready while I have a quickie with Perlita.

This bullshit is over, you son of a bitch!

What's up, dona Lupe?

You just don't understand, asshole! Pancho!

Pancho! Shit!

Look, this is the asshole I told you about.

Hello, buddy. Show him who's in charge now.

Throw him to the pigs!

Dona Lupe, dona Lupe! To the pigs!

What's happening, dona Lupe? Squeal like a pig!

I'm the representative of the law!

My ass! Squeal like a pig!

Give him a good kicking!


My love! What happened to you?

I fell down somewhere.

What? You smell like a pig.

Fuck you!

What's that?

Isn't it beautiful? Bobby brought it.

Hey, wait!

Today's Thursday and you said I'd get an advance.

Don't bother me now, gringo.

Leave him alone, Bobby.

Don't you see how he is? Poor thing.

Well, to cheer you up, I'll show you the surprise...

...I'm making for the president.

Surprise!

Do you like it?

It is very nice. Bobby helped me.

I'm glad you liked it, dear.

Now I'll show you how we dance in America.


I'm telling you this bitch is fucking with me.

Don't go soft on them or they'll do whatever they want.

Take care of that. Because I've seen how you...

Vargas, you're not planning on killing me too, are you, fucker?

No, no, please!

Look, I'll give you everything I've got. Look, look!

I've got more money in the house.

Put the gun down, you're too much of an idiot to handle it.

Please, don't kill me!

I've got news for you, dona Lupe.

Good news and bad news.

The good news is that those who repent go to Heaven.

And the bad news?

It's your turn to face Herod's Law.

There, you old witch!

That's for disrespecting me.

And that's for not respecting this nation's institutions.

And that's for...

...your dirty mouth.


Juan!

Juan, wake up!

What? What's the matter, honey?

I've been trying to wake you all day, but I couldn't.

Where were you last night?

Well, I couldn't sleep and I took care of some business.

Don't play dumb, Juan. I know everything.

What do you know?

That you spend all day with dona Lupe's whores...

...and one day you'll catch a disease off them.

My love! No way!


Honorable Congress of the Union...

.fellow congressmen...

...citizen and countrymen.

I appreciate the distinction from my party.

My party?

My party!

Gloria, Gloria, have you seen my PRI pin?

Maybe one of your girlfriends has it.

Son of a bitch. No, not son of a bitch.


My party-

My party-


My pin!

My pin!

What's this, Pek?

Some locals brought them. I went out to tell you.

But they are dead, Pek! Where did they find them?

In the deep creek. And what else? Talk to me!

Some peasants took their animals out and found them.

I think it was a robbery, licenciado.

They had nothing of value on them.

This is very strange, Pek. Yes.

Go and take a statement from the peasants...

...and see if they know anything else.

Yes,

Fucking dona Lupe! Even dead you won't leave me alone!

I'm going...

...to the port.

Where there is...

...a golden ship...

...that will take me.

I'm going now.

I just came...

...to say goodbye.

Goodbye...

...woman.

Goodbye...

...forever.

Rest in peace.

Thank you for coming, father.

Is this all the salvation of a soul is worth to you?

Dona Lupe left us nothing. Even her shoes got stolen.

Goodbye, licenciado.

Don't worry, father, I'll take care.

Goodbye, my children.

God bless you.

Girls...

...you know how sorry I am.

Dona Lupe was like... like...

...like a sister to me.

Always so happy, so kind.

But death comes when we least expect it.

Thanks for coming, licenciado.

You can count on me for anything.

Hey, listen. When do we reopen the business, girls?

Dolls!

See, dona Lupe? You never know who you're working for.

Afternoon.

What's up, licenciado?

You found out something about the murder of dona Lupe?

We're on it. There are several suspects.

Everything points to crime of passion.

Crime of passion? What about the robbery?

That was a red herring.

But I didn't come to discuss that.

I want you to do me a favor.

But I've already paid you for the month.

No, no. Nothing to do with that.

I'm here to make a business proposal.

I've got to find a place for dona Lupe's girls...

...and I thought we could make a partnership.

No, licenciado. My business isn't prostitution.

I guarantee you, we'll get loaded. What do you say?

No, lic.

Fine.

Cheers.

Look! There's my boss.

He'll make it as governor.

Well, it won't be easy for him.

Terrazas is related to the president.

He's got the party base behind him, even the unions.

My chief won't allow it, he's a good bastard.

If he wins, I'll be in the big leagues. Cheers!

Pek, Lady Luck is smiling on us.

Someone did us a big favor getting rid of dona Lupe.

And that's not all; our boss is set to be governor.

Nothing can stop us.

Good afternoon, doctor. You must be pleased.

You were the only person who wanted dona Lupe gone.

And now it's going to be real hard for her to come back.

Are you insinuating I had something to do with that?

You were the only one who had anything against her, right?

That's a lie! You are a shameless opportunist!

Don't get excited, doctor.

I'm sure that you killed her.

But you'll be sorry, licenciado.

You'll be sorry!

This is your end!

Listen, licenciado, this isn't a good idea.

Hardly anyone can read here.

It doesn't matter, Pek. It's got to have some use.

Dona Lupe. Fifty pesos. What's that?

He's asking what it says. Didn't I tell you?

Come.

Only you could suggest that the doctor was guilty.

They're going to fire me because of that bastard.

When Lopez is about to be made governor.

Oh, Juan, we have to do something.

Let him calm down.

But tomorrow morning go and apologize.

Humiliate yourself if you must, but calm him down.

Who knows what that bastard is capable of?

Make something up. Tell him you've found a suspect.


Hello, girl, is your boss in?

Good morning, Rosita. Good morning.

I'm sorry to be here so early without warning...

...but I must speak with your husband.

Chencha, go and get some firewood!

Go on, stop hanging around!

Come in, licenciado. Come in, make yourself at home.

Thank you.

Please excuse my appearance, licenciado.

Rosita, is your husband here? No, he isn't.

Do you know where he is?

He was very angry.

He couldn't sleep all night.

He woke up very early and went to the capital.

He went to complain about you to your bosses.

Rosita, it was all a misunderstanding.

I came to tell him we've got a suspect...

No! Really?

I have to go, Rosita. No, no, licenciado.

You are going to stay here. I'll take your mind off it.

That's fine, my child. You can go.

Now... what's up?

You must help me, father.

I'm about to be unemployed, and you without a car!

Why? Fucking Dr. Morales.

We had an argument and he went to talk to my bosses.

But we must stop him or we're fucked!

Forgive him, Lord.

Help me, father. What should we do?

J... K...

L...

M, M, M, M.

M. Martinez.

Morales, Morales... doctor.

All the stuff about his wife, but everyone knows that.

Ah, here it is. This will fix him, but it's going to cost you.

What is it, father?

You remember the girl who works for them, right?

"No once, but many times, at nightfall Dr. Morales violently...

"...entered my room to abuse me sexually".

Write down her details. And you'll sign as witnesses.

But, licenciado, isn't this a bit exaggerated?

It wasn't exactly what the girl said.

Isn't it true, Chencha?

Pek, we cannot allow a pervert like him to go free.

We must act decisively. Now I'm sure this doctor...

...is involved in the murder of dona Lupe.

My husband's right, Pek.

We can't leave this poor girl with that old pervert.

I think Chencha should stay with us, Juan.

She can help me at home.

No, no, no.

I know who'll take care of her better than anyone.

I'm very sorry, doctor...

...but licenciado Lopez won't be able to see you today.

But I've been waiting all day. I must speak with him.

I have something important to tell him.

I'll tell him. But if you like, come back tomorrow...

...and maybe he'll have time.

Fucking PAN members!

What does that asshole want? The usual.

He says Vargas of San Pedro is pocketing and...

...he's made a fortune in that fucking village we sent him to.

You know.

Licenciado...

...why don't you go home? I'll stand guard here.

No, no, no. I'm not moving from here.

I don't know why, Ramirez, but I think today's the day.

But, licenciado, you haven't eaten or slept in three days.

I think that...

Yes?

At your orders, general.

Are you sure? But, general...

Yes, yes. Don't worry.

I'm a party man. I know the rules.

Thank you for calling.

Fucking shitty party!

What happened, licenciado?

Terrazas got the nomination in the capital!

Now we're fucked!

If Dr. Morales wasn't in trouble with the law...

...he wouldn't be living in a shitty village like this.

No, licenciado.

Do you believe that about the girls?

Six girls have denounced him.

But he seemed so decent and educated, I never thought...

The PAN members are just hypocrites.

Licenciado!

Forgive the intrusion, but we've caught a suspect.

What?

You better confess, Filemon!

I swear on my mother, I didn't do anything, boss!

I swear somebody put me those shoes.

Don't write that, Pek.

I think you need something to help you remember.

Go inside and see if you can find a bottle, Pek.

Confess and I'll pay you well, Filemon.

Confess, asshole!

Yes, yes!

I did it!

What happened, licenciado?

Nothing, nothing. What's going on, Juan?

Nothing, honey. Go back inside.

Write it down, he confessed.

On Thursday morning, around seven o'clock.

...Dr. Morales sent for him...

...and offered him...

...twenty pesos...

...and a bottle to do a little job.

Sons of bitches!

They want to send me as ambassador to Bolivia.

Me! The party's founder!

That's how those assholes licenciaditos pay me back!

They want to cut me out so they can do their businesses...

...without sharing the pie!

But what do we do? We're not going to sit and wait.

Of course not, Lopez! We'll form a new party.

The Party of the Real Revolution.

You'll see the faces of those assholes!

And I swear in six years time I'll have their asses!

I'll be president!

But that's a long time. What do we do in the meantime?

Give them a scare, Lopez.

Solve it like we used to in the old days.

Come on, Filemon! Stop looking so sad.

I know what's bothering you.

Look what I brought you. Go right ahead.

I'm sorry. Here.

There you go.

Boss, I swear to God I didn't do anything.

You know better than I where those shoes came from.

I found your pin among the bodies.

Look, if you let me go, I won't tell anybody. I swear, boss.

Look, I've got a pal in jail.

I'll tell him you are my friend so he'll take care of you.

What do you say?

Go ahead.

Fucking Filemon, you're really a good guy.

I need a piss. How about you?

Come on, Filemon.

I can't help you with that.

There.

You're a good guy, Filemon.

Fucking Filemon.

Look what you made me do.


I'm telling you again, Sharkey. You can't let me down.

When Terrazas gets out of the car, you go near him, Negro...

...and you shoot him! If they catch you...

...say it was an accident. When I become governor...

...you'll be out of jail and stinking rich.

And you, Sharkey...

...you know well. My future is in your hands.

Let's get to work.

Are you sure, licenciado?

With all due respect, I think it's very risky...

...killing a candidate in broad daylight.

We got no choice, Ramirez. The dice are rolling.

I'm going.

Not that one, damn Negro. Play the same one.

Fucking Filemon!

Look, Perlita.

It's like when you have an asshole client...

...and he asks you to do something kinky?

Would you do it?

Do you know what "kinky" means?

Sometimes you have to do things you don't like.

That's Herod's fucking Law.

And the girls?

Girls? Girls?

How is Chenchita doing?

Did you think about it, girls?

Five percent of what you earn is yours to keep.

Great business!

We're not sure, licenciado.

Look, my dears, you can't run this business by yourselves.

I'll be your man...

...once my boss is governor.

Fucking Filemon! I miss you already, bastard.

I didn't mean to.


Play it again, Negro!

Negro!

Negro!

Girls!

Girls!

Girls!

Licenciado, you are a day early.

How did it go?

Fine, Pek. What about the doctor?

He hasn't come back yet.

But there are more accusations against him.

Do you want to see them? Later, I'm not in the mood.


Motherfuckers!

No, no, love. This isn't what is seems.

Don't speak in English to me, asshole!

This is the end of the external debt, gringo!

Go, Bobby! Go before he comes around.


I want to explain all to you, love.

It's not what you think.

The gringo forced me because of what you owed him.

It was horrible, love.

He insisted that I pay him.

I said we had no money and he got really violent with me.

He tore off my dress. It was horrible, love.

Poor little thing.

I understand, baby.

These fucking gringos are sons of bitches.

But you are...

...you are a fucking bitch!

Whore!

Stop it! Come here, you bitch!

No!

Now you'll see, bitch!

Juan.

Juan!

I'm checking if that fucking gringo didn't rob me.

I already apologize, Juan.

You went with the hookers in that brothel...

...and I never said a word.

You can't keep me tied up here like a dog.

Don't mention those treacherous sluts!

And don't mention dogs; they're faithful.

Licenciado. Licenciado.

Licenciado, things are getting out of hand.

Calm down, Pek.

What's up?

Dr. Morales is back and the locals want to lynch him.

Licenciado.

That fucking old man!

Juan.

Juan! Juan!

Juan!

Take them away, Pek.

Tell them to go home. I'll take care of it.

Open the door, doctor!

Licenciado Vargas, are they gone?

Yes, they are gone. Move aside.

Doctor, for your own sake, I advise you to leave town.

But why? It's been discovered...

...that you were the intellectual assassin of dona Lupe.

We have proof and a signed confession.

That's a lie! Who would dare to accuse me?

You're also accused of corrupting minors and rape.

Your servant told us everything.

My little girl. It can't be. Chencha?

Doctor, you'd get at least 40 years for this.

But to show you how generous I am...

...I'll give you till dawn to leave town...

...or I'll wash my hands.


Let's continue.

"In every trial the criminal order will..."

That's useless too.

Write this down, Pek:

Article Number... whatever.

Given that recent events have severely affected the revenue...

...of the municipality, it is decreed that as of today...

...9th of October of 1949, without exception...

...all the inhabitants of San Pedro de los Saguaros...

...must pay an extra tax on their lands...

...as well as for cows, pigs, donkeys, turkeys, hens...

...and for all other animals known or yet to be discovered.

Gee, licenciado, everyone's very poor already.

It isn't right to be so hard on them.

Don't exaggerate, Pek. It's for the community's good.

Once I'm governor and you're mayor, do whatever you want.

Don't distract me or I'll lose my inspiration.

Let's continue. As of today...

...the term of office for local mayors shall be extended...

...from six to twelve. no... to twenty years...

...with four possibilities of reelection.

You never know.

Two hens.

What did he say? What?

He has nothing left.

Maybe he can pay you after the harvest.

No! Tell him I'm sorry, Pek!

We won't detain the progress of the majority for a minority.

Lock him up. Next.

Look, licenciado Vargas...

...fire me if you want...

...but I can't be an accomplice to all this bullshit.

You're indeed the worst mayor we've ever had!

What did you say, Pek?

Don't disrespect me in front of the people.

I'm sorry, licenciado.

Sorry my ass! Let's talk about it inside.

And you wait here!

Damn fucked up village!

And to think I was going to make you mayor, asshole.

Open up!

Get in there.

Subversive old bastard!

Fucking moaning Indians!

You're holding back social progress, assholes!

It's your own fault.

I wasn't making enough, licenciado.

I offered you a deal and you turned it down.

Get the money and you can reopen.

See what happens when you think about politics?

You didn't take care of business.

Looks like the bullets are flying again.

Fuck! Why didn't you tell me my boss didn't get nominated?

He can still make it if the candidate dies.

I bet it was Lopez who had him killed.

You're mad, asshole.

Those things never happen in my party.

Who knows? Anything is possible in politics, licenciado.

Be careful.

See you.

Good luck, brother.

"At the scene of the murder attempt, the police assist...

...Terrazas, who is taken to the emergency room".

My boss? No way!

Remember the words of our Lord, my son.

You should forgive your wife.

Forgiveness is the only thing that gives soul peace.

Shut up! What do you know about women?

They're all bitches!

Leave her chained up if you like...

...but forgive her.

Have you heard that three more families left town?

Yes, yes. Don't worry about it.

How can I not worry? You're acting like a monster.

Not really, father. Don't pretend.

You've never had it so good.

But now that I think it over, keep worrying.

If something happens to me, you'll be in deep trouble.

Anyway, I repented so I can go to Heaven.

See you, father.

Juan...

...you can't keep me like this forever.

You're right, honey.

Fix me some dinner.

Look, look!

All this could have been yours.

Now what's the matter?

You want to poison me, don't you?

No, no!

You're going insane, asshole!

Shut up! Don't disrespect me, bitch!

You fucking bitch!

Be very careful not to do anything stupid.

Oh, fuck!

Stop! I said stop!

I didn't do anything.

What's the matter with you, Vargas?

Sharkey, my friend.

Friend, my ass.

Licenciado Lopez wants a word. Go on!

We're in a hurry. Come on!

Move it!

Yes, licenciado Lopez.

I think Mr. Vargas has gone a little bit insane.

He treats all the locals very badly.

Here he is, boss. He tried to run as soon as he saw me.

Licenciado! To what do I owe the honor?

Nice to see you.

What the hell happened here, Vargas?

This man told me about all the crap that you've been up to.

What have you told him, Pek? About the doctor? Dona Lupe?

Don't play dumb, Vargas! Look how you got this place.

This doctor came to see me and said you were up to...

...all sorts of business in the name of the mayor's office.

Tell me the truth, asshole.

Licenciado, it's time to go.

Easy, Sharkey. Calm down, we have time.

I want to hear what Vargas has to say. Well?

Let's see, Licenciado, where do I begin?

When I came to San Pedro...

...I was determined to fulfill the pledges and the orders...

...of our president about modernity and social justice.

But I felt really bad, everything was fucked up.

They don't speak Spanish.

So Mr. Pek here had to translate for me.

There was this priest and a woman...

...involved in businesses which didn't pay taxes.

And that is how I realized the laws didn't work out...

...and I changed them.

I can't believe it, Vargas.

You really changed the Constitution?

You're such a smart guy.

"If the will of the people demands it...

"...the term on the office may last up to twenty years...

"...with up to four possibilities of reelection".

You son of a bitch.

Not even Porfirio Diaz could have pulled this one off.

And I thought you couldn't get something out of this town.

So, how much is there left?

All of it!

That's almost all, licenciado.

From what you said you made a hundred times more.

Don't fuck with me, asshole! Where is it?

It's not here, licenciado.

It's in the bank of San Pedro, right?

Where the hell is it? It's inside... in the house.

Go and get it! Hurry, Sharkey, those assholes are after us.

Gloria!

Gloria!

Gloria!

Honey?

"Darling, I went to the States with Bobby".

"See you in...

...in hell."

That fucking whore!

What's the matter, Vargas?

She's a whore, right?


Well, Pek. You found something?

No, licenciado. Keep looking, asshole.

I don't know where he hid it.

Well, Vargas?

What have you got for me? They took it all.

Do you take me for an asshole?

It's true, licenciado.

They took it all, left me without a cent. Look.

What's all this?

I had a fortune.

But a fucking gringo and my slut wife...

...left me without a cent.

Look, you...

Be careful, Vargas.

Be careful.

We're being followed and they'll be here soon.

Sharkey!

There's no more Sharkey. Careful, Vargas.

You better put that away, you could...

Fucking Vargas, you shot me, asshole!

Sorry, licenciado. But it is either you or me.

I was doing fine till you said that I was the law.

The only authority. Herod's Law.

By your holy wife that...

Go on, mock me, asshole!

Mock me!


It's Herod's Law.


It's all bullshit.

Women...

...are all whores.

And cows...

...are all mad.

The gringos...

...are sons of bitches who want everything.

You and your advice, look at your advice!

This country has no solution. No solution, licenciado.

Does it? Does it? Answer me, asshole! Answer me!

Fucking moaning Indians, you'll see now!

Out of the way!

What's going on?

Fucking Indians!

Delinquents!

This village is mine!

Transgressors of the law and institutions!

Everything I do is for your sake!

You're poor because you want to be poor, assholes!

Friends!

Juan Vargas.

Fellow citizens!

It wasn't me! It wasn't me!

Juan Vargas.

It wasn't me, it wasn't me!

I'm sorry!

Forgive me, friends!

I did it all for your own good!

No, no, no!

No, no!

I didn't do anything. I didn't do anything.

Over here!

Help me!

Help me!

Where's Lopez?

I didn't kill him!

Help me! Help me!

Excuse me, how far is it to San Pedro de los Saguaros?


Good afternoon.

Do you speak Spanish?

We're lost.

Do you know how far is it to San Pedro de los Saguaros?

This is it.

So, you must be the new mayor.

I've been waiting since yesterday.

I'm Carlos Pek, your secretary.

Pleased to meet you, Jesus Canales.

President Aleman and governor Terrazas have sent me to... bring here modernity...

...and social justice.

It's here.

Welcome, madam.

Here?

Hey, Pek, I have a question.

What happened to the last mayor?

Well, you know, they say so many things.

Oh, licenciado, if I tell you...

And so ends the fourth report of president Miguel Aleman...

...reaffirming that the unity and solidarity of the Mexicans... will triumph over any challenge...

...peace and social justice are guaranteed.

That the recent agreements are just another obstacle...

Hey, we've got problems with Chino's truck.

Call me licenciado, asshole.

I'll be there as soon as I finish this.

Honorable Congress of the Union.

It is an honor to be here at this seat of democracy...

...representing my home state.

Today, more than never, we congressmen...

...must fulfill the expectations of our nation.

We must be alert and fight without quarter...

...against the Revolutions enemies. Yes, just as I did...

...I thwarted the conspiracy of licenciado Lopez...

...the ambitious governor's secretary...

...along with evil people, to murder that wonderful man...

...the recently elected governor Terrazas.

Friends...

...I am not ashamed to admit it.

I have come to this Congress with bloodstained hands.

I don't deny it.

To ask for pardon would be hypocritical.

But this is not the blood of a stranger or a brother.

It is the blood of an enemy, an enemy of the men...

...who defend the ideals of the Revolution!

We have overcome another obstacle; many more remain...

...'cause our party's challenge, for the good of the nation...

...is to remain in power forever and ever!

Thank you, my fellow countrymen!

HEROD'S LAW