A Mexican judge ordered the immediate release of a jailed U.S. Marine veteran who spent eight months behind bars for crossing the border with loaded guns.
The judge on Friday called for retired Marine Sgt. Andrew Tahmooressi (Tah-mor-EE-si) to be freed because of his mental state and did not make a determination on the illegal arms charges against the Afghanistan veteran diagnosed with post-traumatic stress disorder, according to a Mexican official who had knowledge of the ruling but was not authorized to give his name.
A gang of alleged state and municipal police officers barged into a shelter in Nogales, Sonora, where they robbed and terrorized a group of mostly Central Americans, a migrant rights organization said.
In a letter to local, state and federal officials in Mexico that was also sent to media outlets, the Nogales-based Kino Border Initiative said a group of migrants came to the comedor (soup kitchen) it operates in Nogales, Sonora on Friday morning and reported an assault that began at approximately 11 p.m. on Thursday at the Albuergue Cristiano la Roca where they were staying.
According to the KBI, a group of 20 people - 19 masked men and a large blonde woman - arrived in police pickups and began banging on the door to the shelter. Once inside, the intruders, who did not have a search warrant, ordered everyone to kneel.
Those staying at the shelter at the time included 20 migrants: 18 from Central America and two Mexicans, the KBI said. The invaders reportedly pointed pistols at their heads and ordered them to put their hands on their heads and look at the floor. Then, the men allegedly robbed the migrants of their belongings, including money and cell phones, which they gave to the blonde woman. They also threatened to turn them in to Mexican immigration authorities.
It’s a long, dangerous trip.
The genius behind Sarah’s simple but profound invention is that the Wonderbag is a non-electric, heat-retention cooker that allows food that has been brought to a boil, to continue cooking after it has been removed from the fuel source. Today, due to Sarah’s passion, energy, and perseverance, 750,000 bags have been distributed, first round of carbon credits registered and issued, production capabilities in Rwanda, Mexico and Turkey with launches in Kenya, Nigeria and Somaliland. 14,000 bags have been sold in the UK, Europe and USA, with a buy-one-give-one model to support getting Wonderbags into humanitarian relief.
There is a certain sense of destiny behind Sarah and Paul’s meeting. “Our office was in Durban as was Unilever’s South Africa headquarters located. I had followed Paul’s move into the CEO ranks and what he was trying to accomplish. But I had no understanding of corporate politics and just asked for a meeting. Paul was in for the World Cup, when we were running our first pilot program with 100,000 bags as part of a promotional package,” says Collins.
(CNN) — Joaquin “El Chapo” Guzman, the legendary and elusive chief of one of the world’s most powerful drug trafficking operations, was arrested overnight in Mexico, a U.S. official told CNN Saturday.
The official said Guzman, accompanied by a female, was captured in a joint operation with Mexican marines and Drug Enforcement Administration authorities at a hotel in the beach resort of Mazatlan. The operation had been in the works for four or five weeks, the official said.
Phil Jordan, who spent three decades with the DEA and headed the agency’s El Paso Intelligence Center, said the arrest represents a huge blow to the world’s most powerful drug trafficker.
“It is a significant arrest provided he gets extradited immediately to the United States,” Jordan told CNN. “If he does not get extradited, then he will be allowed to escape within a period of time.
Carlos Gutierrez passed out as the large blade cut through his legs — punishment for his refusal to pay a Mexican gang extortion fees from his successful catering business in northern Mexico.
Four men had forced him into the back of his vehicle at a local park before slicing just under his knees. He spent two weeks in critical condition and sought asylum in Texas as soon as he was able.
Now, facing long odds on getting approval to stay in the U.S., Gutierrez has been staging an unusual demonstration to call attention to his plight and to the thousands of other Mexicans who seek asylum in the U.S. each year from drug cartel violence, with little success. Gutierrez has been riding his bicycle through Texas using his prosthetic legs, talking to everyone he meets.
The U.S. Executive Office for Immigration Review did not specifically comment on Gutierrez’s case. However, immigration judges have acknowledged in court that asylum cases based on fear of crime or violence are difficult to make.
“I believe everything you just told me,” immigration Judge Stephen Ruhle told a Mexican applicant at a recent hearing in which the man described being targeted by corrupt police officers for extortion money. “But asylum is not applicable to cases like yours.”
The rest of this article is here: Legless Cyclist Rides for Asylum Seekers
This next article shows he completed his ride in Austin today:
After pedaling more than 700 miles over 12 days through dozens of Texas cities and towns that witnessed his infectious laughter, Mexico’s latest symbol of hope in a war-ravaged country finally broke down.
Carlos Gutierrez — a businessman and Chihuahua native whose legs were cut off by Mexican gang members for failing to pay a $10,000 monthly extortion demand — arrived in Austin on Saturday after leaving El Paso on Oct. 29 with three other cyclists on his “Pedaling for Justice” tour.
“This is something extraordinary, this is something beautiful,” Gutierrez, who uses prosthetic legs, tearfully said after being welcomed with chants of “Justicia! Justicia!” (Justice! Justice!) by a small but enthusiastic crowd at the headquarters of Austin’s Workers Defense Project. “This is a noble cause, this is a pacifist movement.”
The first link has lots of great photos, but the photo at the top came from this article:
Gutierrez once was a successful businessman running a food service company in Chihuahua. With no police protection, he repeatedly was held up for $10,000 a month in cartel extortion payments that he ultimately was unable to pay.
On Sept. 30, 2011, armed men showed up at a park, where he was relaxing with friends. They forced him into the back of an SUV and cut his feet off — in public.
Remarkably, he survived and recovered, but his legs had to be amputated to his knees.
The atrocity he suffered wasn’t what caused him to hold back tears Thursday as he and his team rested on Southwest 22nd Street on the West Side, on their way downtown to the Mexican Consulate.
“I’ve left that behind,” Gutierrez said in Spanish. “I left that in my country.”
When Gutierrez cries — or fights the urge to — it’s about ” mi angel,” he said of prosthetics specialist Eddie Zepeda of Las Cruces, N.M., who offered to help him without charge.
When Gutierrez speaks about Zepeda, he has to pause to gather his composure, trying to describe a man he regards as his guardian angel. Zepeda’s generosity and the speed with which he fitted him for prosthetics still overwhelms him.
The day he received his prosthetic legs, and a new lease on life, was his birthday. Zepeda was unaware, he said.
An indigenous woman squats in pain after giving birth, her newborn still bound by the umbilical cord and lying on the ground. It’s a photograph that horrified Mexicans because of where it took place: the lawn outside a medical clinic where the woman had been denied help, and it struck a nerve in a country where inequity is still pervasive.
The government of the southern state of Oaxaca announced Wednesday that it has suspended the health center’s director, Dr. Adrian Cruz, while officials conduct state and federal investigations into the Oct. 2 incident.
The mother, Irma Lopez, 29, told The Associated Press that she and her husband were turned away from the health center by a nurse who said she was only eight months pregnant and “still not ready” to deliver.
Read the rest here: Woman Denied Help Gives Birth on Clinic’s Lawn
This woman gave birth twice before. She knew it was time.
Here is the photo that has shocked many in Mexico: pic.twitter.com/NGANYr43nD (See previous tweet for context)
From the article above:
“The photo is giving visibility to a wider structural problem that occurs within indigenous communities: Women are not receiving proper care. They are not being offered quality health services, not even a humane treatment,” said Mayra Morales, Oaxaca’s representative for the national Network for Sexual and Reproductive Rights.
Lopez, who is of Mazatec ethnicity, said she and her husband walked an hour to the clinic from the family’s one-bedroom hut in the mountains of northern Oaxaca. It would have taken them longer to get to the nearest highway to catch a ride to a hospital. She said that from the births of her two previous children, she knew she didn’t have time for that.
“I am naming him Salvador,” said Lopez, a name that means “Savior” in English. “He really saved himself.”
When I was a kid in Fullerton, California, the woman across the street went to the hospital to give birth to her eighth child. Someone, a doctor or nurse, told her she was not ready, and shoved a towel between her legs. The woman survived, but her baby did not. The woman was Hispanic. Two of my sisters were born in that hospital.
I worry that we are moving towards this kind of health care, instead of away from it. Demonizing brown people and reserving health care for the rich will take us back to deadlier times.
Here is some more background on maternal care in Mexico.
Enough time has passed since the incident in which two men were shot dead from a helicopter that it must have seemed safe to close the investigation and take no further action.
Almost eleven months ago, I posted this Page about the shooting. At that time I said, ‘I hope the trooper who chose to shoot loses his job. There is no excuse for this.’ Now I’m not so much determined that the trooper should be punished as that those who created and maintained the policy allowing shooting from a helicopter be held responsible. I know that will never happen. At least the policy has been changed. The case is also under review at the U.S. Department of Justice. There may be an independent investigation.
A grand jury has declined to indict a Texas trooper who fired from a helicopter at a fleeing pickup near the Mexican border last year, killing two Guatemalan immigrants and sparking controversy.
The killings led the Texas Department of Public Safety to bar troopers from shooting at suspects from the sky unless their aircraft is fired upon.
The grand jury heard testimony from witnesses and considered evidence, including a video of the incident taken from the helicopter, according to Rene Guerra, the Hidalgo County district attorney.
“Once you see the video, everybody is able to judge for themselves. There’s nothing hidden in the shooting — you can observe the chase from the helicopter. It is what it is,” Guerra said.
Texas safety officials initially defended the shooting, saying the trooper followed the policy at the time, which allowed officers in helicopters, in cars or on foot to fire on vehicles during pursuits to apprehend suspects, disable vehicles or defend themselves or others.
The policy set Texas apart from other states. In California, for instance, Highway Patrol policy allows troopers to shoot at vehicles only to stop a threat, not to disable a car. CHP officers can’t shoot from a helicopter, a spokeswoman said.
According to the new Texas policy, “a firearms discharge from an aircraft is authorized only when an officer reasonably believes that the suspect has used or is about to use deadly force by use of a deadly weapon against the air crew, ground officers or innocent third parties.”
Under the new policy, “a suspect’s driving behavior including aggressive or reckless driving to evade arrest does not constitute use of a deadly weapon by the suspect.”
Read the rest here: Texas Trooper Won’t Be Indicted in Border Helicopter Shooting Deaths
Miguel Angel Trevino Morales, the notoriously brutal leader of the feared Zetas drug cartel, was captured before dawn Monday in the first major blow against an organized crime leader by a Mexican administration struggling to drive down persistently high levels of violence, officials announced.
Trevino Morales, 40, was captured by Mexican Marines who intercepted a pickup truck with $2 million in cash on a dirt road in the countryside outside the border city of Nuevo Laredo, which has long served as the Zetas’ base of operations. The truck was halted by a Marine helicopter and Trevino Morales was taken into custody along with a bodyguard and an accountant and eight guns, government spokesman Eduardo Sanchez told reporters.
Sanchez said the Marines had been watching rural roads between the Texas border states of Coahuila, Nuevo Leon and Tamaulipas for signs of Trevino Morales, who is charged with murder, torture, kidnapping and other crimes.
Raymond Rodriguez was 10 years old in 1936 when his immigrant father walked out of the family’s Long Beach farmhouse and returned to Mexico, never to see his wife and children again.
The son would spend decades pondering the forces that had driven his father away, an effort that reached fruition in “Decade of Betrayal,” a social history of the 1930s focusing on an estimated 1 million Mexicans and Mexican Americans unjustly deported or scared into leaving their homes in the United States by federal and local officials seeking remedies for the Great Depression.