Soon after we arrived at the U.S. embassy in Quito, Ecuador, as the new Navy and Coast Guard attaches, we discovered we had grown up about 60 miles from one another in the plains of western Oklahoma. While swapping shore stories one day, we were reminded of a vivid childhood memory—the coyote hunters. Western Oklahoma cattle ranchers understood well the menace that coyotes represented to their herds, and usually welcomed the services of itinerant coyote hunters and their coterie of greyhounds.
Here in South America, "coyote" has at least one other important meaning. Coyote is taken from the Spanish "coyotismo," which is the local term attached to illegal alien smuggling.
Remarkably, 30 years later, and thousands of miles from the plains of western Oklahoma, we have found ourselves in the midst of another coyote hunt, but this one has at least two important differences: the coyotes of South America are not solo creatures; and the grey-hounds—or, in this case, the grey hulls—are nowhere to be found.