Chile From Within

Common Carrier aka The Transporter aka Mazza Alaluf aka the Colombian who took the Amazing Race tapes

Posted in chile, Chile culture, Chile film by tomasdinges on February 17, 2009

Do you know the movie The Transporter (I, II and III)? A movie that revolves around an ex-Special Forces guy, his martial arts skills, incredible cars and his ability to drive them, but most importantly his business of transporting things, like money, bodies, human-trafficking objects, drugs, flowers, children…well, anything, without asking questions.

Well, he has an official name, according to Bank Secrecy Act of the United States, a ‘Common Carrier.” It’s not sexy, but when you consider the possibilities of their job descriptions you may get a sense.

According to:


(g) Common carrier. Any person engaged in the business of transporting individuals or goods for a fee who holds himself out as ready to engage in such transportation for hire and who undertakes to do so indiscriminately for all persons who are prepared to pay the fee for the particular service offered.

I’ll detail for you two cases of “Common Carriers,” Mazza Alaluf and a Colombian in a white shirt and a gold chain that flew in to Calama to fly out a suitcase of recorded tapes of the 11th episode of the Amazing Race, Amazing Race All-Stars.

After the intense whirlwind of the Amazing Race passing through Calama airport and San Pedro de Atacama, there was a problem. The recorded tapes from the multiple fixed cameras, the specialty cameras mounted in the cabins of front-loaders, the eight camera’s following each team member, and the aerial footage from the Cessna; every single recorded moment since they had arrived two days earlier in Chile at four o’clock in the morning, since they had flown to Calama and raced careening through the hard desert, to the garage where 25-foot-high Caterpillar dump trucks and their massive tires dwarfed a dwarf and everyone else, to the largest open-pit mine in the world, into the eroded passages through Valle de la Luna, and finally to the illusive tranquility of San Pedro de Atacama, would be lost if it were not for this Colombian transporter.

He carried a small bag and a medium-sized black suitcase that he handled loosely and lightly as if it were empty as he walked through the customs area that a few days earlier desperate contestants had run through in a dash for their first challenge.

He wore a white shirt and had a gold chain.  He had dark skin and was from Colombia. He didn’t speak much and his movements were deliberate and slow.

Me and another producer took him to our hotel room, where the tapes would be handed over.

His flight out of Calama was at 1:30, two hours after his arrival to the northern part of a country that touches the end of the world.

An entire episode of the Emmy-award winning show, primetime on CBS on Sunday nights, the product of two-and-a-half-months advance preparation, countless cups of coffee and sleepless nights and exasperating fights, not to mention hundreds of thousands of dollars and the professional reputation of the producers and the creators, Burt (friend of Jerry Bruckheimer), his wife, and Screetch, would be lost if the transporter did not do his job and safely board the flight with his now-filled suitcase, fly to Santiago, where another flight would take him to Los Angeles to deliver his cargo.


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