Friday, January 30, 2009


Emilio Gutierrez Soto is an unusual kind of victim in the drug wars. A Mexican journalist, Gutierrez wrote several articles exposing the questionable tactics used by the Mexican military in their drive to put down the drug gangs in Mexico. His exposes upset Mexican authorities enough that they began harassing him. When the harassment turned to overt death threats by the military, Mr. Gutierrez and his fifteen year old son made their way to the border, crossed it, and then turned themselves over to Immigration and Customs Enforcement agents to seek political asylum. That turned out to be a mistake.

Gutierrez and his son, Oscar, crossed the border in June and turned themselves over to immigration authorities, saying they feared for their lives if they remained in Mexico.

The reporter said he had been threatened after writing several articles critical of the tactics of the Mexican military, which has been attempting to crack down on drug traffickers. ...

A few months after Gutierrez and his son were placed in custody, the teenager was released to family friends in the U.S. But Gutierrez remained locked up.

His lawyer, Carlos Spector, complained that the reporter had not received a prompt hearing, unlike many illegal border crossers.

After a postponement, the case was scheduled for March, more than eight months after he arrived in the U.S.
[Emphasis added]

Mr. Gutierrez has spent the last seven months held in a detention center in Texas, which is indeed a long time, given the speed with which the US has deported most illegals caught up in work place raids. I can't help but wonder why his case was so dramatically different. Did the Mexican government intervene and request the Bush administration keep him on ICE as a way to silence him? It sure looks that way, although, ICE and Department of Homeland Security officials had no comment for the Los Angeles Times reporters covering the story.

Yesterday, without announcement or explanation, Mr. Gutierrez was released from custody. While the good work of Reporters Without Borders and sympathetic articles in US newspapers must have had some effect, I think the new administration has more to do with his release. If I'm right, that's evidence of change I can believe in and welcome.

Good job, Secretary Napolitano, but don't stop there. Grant Mr. Gutierrez asylum. He deserves it.

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Blogger Woody (Tokin Librul/Rogue Scholar/ Helluvafella!) said...

The momentum of institutions is almost impermeable to even the most concerted efforts to reduce or redirect it, even if that were Napolitano's design...

which, along with the intransigence of the GOP and their loyal minion of the corpoRat 'press,' virtually guarantees the failure of any efforts by Obama and (those cooperating) Dims to reverse the vast array of Bushevik clusterfukks...

I am growing more and more certain with every passing day that McCaqin & the Pukes threw the 'election.' Tired of being saddled with the consequences of their outrageous, and applalling excesses, they worked just hard enough to lose safely. They came uncomfortably close, 46-52%.

9:52 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

The Honorable Janet Napolitano, Secretary
Department of Homeland Security
U.S. Department of Homeland Security
Washington, DC 20528

--Charles, MercRising

3:43 PM  
Blogger tech98 said...

The momentum of institutions is almost impermeable to even the most concerted efforts to reduce or redirect it

True, but an institution where there is some leadership and attention from the top to push back against abuses produces far better outcomes than one headed by disinterested hacks in service to authoritarian thugs with a deliberate ethos of abusing and screwing over everyone without power or privilege.

6:47 PM  

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