Ernesto and Alberto continue to hitchhike, becoming increasingly hungry, since they’re running out of money to buy food. Miserable and cranky, they experience the emotional toll that physical hardship places on people.
At this point, the men are traveling without the safety net that money, letters of introduction, or motorcycles have provided them in the past. In their euphoria at the beginning of the trip they thought they were having a wild, risky adventure, but now they’re discovering the actual hardships of living outside the middle class.
While waiting at the next village’s police station for their next ride, the men witness the reporting of a murder. The accusers suspect an Indian of the crime and bring a photo with them, which the sergeant shows Ernesto and Alberto, saying it’s “the classic image of a murderer.”
The police sergeant blatantly employs racial stereotypes to investigate a murder. This episode shows how much government institutions, such as the justice system, are biased against indigenous people.