The adoption of the Integral Criminal Code included the sale of alcohol to minors as a violation of fourth class; ie up to 30 days in prison. That penalty, although current and real, is unusual, as evidenced by official figures: operationd of this type focus on bars and nightclubs. Little neighborhood stores, where 6 out of 10 bottles are bought in Ecuador.
Eduardo is 15 years old. He looks older. He nters the store, in the north of Guayaquil. “Do you have beer, dude?” He asks with the voice of Foghorn Leghorn. “Yes of course.” And they hand the beer. No questions. The lady, who later will say to this Journal she “never” sells alcohol to minors, argues that “he doesn´t look like 15 years old.” And it is true. But he´s 15.
In downtown, Eduardo manages to get alcohol in two other stores because he simulates he´s in a rush and his dad is in the car, improperly parked, waiting; because his brother is very busy and can not come down. And always, without much explanation or suspicion or appeal, there is always a willing shopkeeper.