Julian Cardona for The Wall Street Journal
Mr. Huckabee, left, and Carlos Quijas, right, say Mexican soldiers planted two suitcases of marijuana in their truck, then abused them during interrogation, allegations denied by the army.
Skip to comments.Inside Mexico's drug war, Americans allege abuse
Posted on 07/17/2010 10:20:48 AM PDT by thecodont
(via The Drudge Report)
CIUDAD JUÁREZ, MexicoTwo Americans were driving back to El Paso, Texas, last December after an afternoon across the border in Ciudad Juárez. A few blocks from the border, they were surrounded by Mexican army trucks and pulled from their Dodge Ram.
Mexico's military says it found two suitcases full of marijuana in the cab of the pickup truck. Two soldiers later testified that they drove the two Americans to a military compound on the outskirts of town, questioned them briefly, then turned them over to civilian authorities. The Americans were charged with possession of marijuana with intent to sell.
Those two menShohn Huckabee, 23 years old, and Carlos Quijas, 36are being held in a Ciudad Juárez jail. They tell a different story about what happened that night. They say Mexican soldiers planted the marijuana in their truck. When they arrived at the military base, they say, they were blindfolded, tied up, hit with rifle butts, shocked with electricity and threatened with death.
Mexico's military is leading President Felipe Calderón's war against the nation's drug cartels, and Ciudad Juárez has emerged as one of the bloodiest battlegrounds. Nationwide, drug violence has claimed more than 25,000 lives since 2006with government security forces accounting for an estimated 7% of the dead. In June alone, 103 police and soldiers were killed.
(Excerpt) Read more at online.wsj.com ...
Any civilized person who voluntarily sets foot anywhere in Mexico deserves everything he/she gets....for sheer stupidity.
I wouldn’t say that but it’s awfully easy to say, “They planted the drugs.” I guess it’s also awfully easy for the corrupt Mexican government to plant some drugs on some gringos too. It is very very stupid to go to Mexico right now if you don’t have a good reason to be there.
My thoughts exactly.
Shit, guys in jail who claim that they were framed...get Ripley’s Believe it or Not on the phone...has this ever happened before? They must be innocent! Probably went for a tuck and roll in their truck...
If it turns out the drugs were planted, that should make every American angry.
If they actually did go down there to buy 2 suitcases full of weed and bring them back, would their story be any different?
I wonder if they have learned the definition of “profiling”...
Yes lets condemn a couple of young people who have never had to take responsibility for anything before in their lives, for not acting responsibly.
That said, this excuse is older than the book.
That's true.So in *this* case my attitude is that if they're truly guilty (certainly possible) then they deserve what they get for being criminal bums.And if they are,in fact,telling the truth then all I'd say to them is "hey,excrement happens when you're in a violent,corrupt,Fourth World country".
Can’t tell who is telling the truth. Regardless, it is INSANE to enter Mexico these days!
See post #10.
And if it turns out the drugs weren’t planted, I have no problem with whatever the Mexican army did/does to them to extract intel and/or punish them.
MASSIVE DITTO! I live 150 miles from the border and haven't set foot in Mexico since the 1970’s. Nor is there ANY reason on earth I would, unless it was because I was recalled into the service and we were invading the place. (And believe me, it will take an invasion to straighten that screwed-up country out).
Why should I be angry over the stupid, reckless foolishness of two idiots who walked into a trap?
I am sorry, but I simply don’t believe this. The cartels are setting off car bombs in Cd. Juarez, there are shootouts in public places, people are getting killed on the streets daily, public officials are assassinated, there is chaos and mayhem, and the Mexican Army takes time out of its busy schedule to go after and set up two guys from the US who are obviously not big time cartel members? I don’t think so. I think they did a very dumb thing, and now it is going to cost their families some bucks to get them out of there. Unless the Mexicans decide to make an example of them, which I really doubt they will do because they have bigger, nastier fish to fry.
That post still offers no explanation as to why this should happen to someone.
It can happen because Mexico is,as I suggested earlier,a violent,corrupt Fourth World country.And that corruption isn't restricted to the civilian population...cops,judges and politicians are all tempted by bribes as well.
Mexico is so corrupt it is possible the drugs were planted as a means to get whatever they had- vehicle, etc.
If they were smuggling drugs they are incredibly lucky to have landed in jail instead of dead as most Americans that try to compete with the cartels end up.
Either way they are burned up with stupid for being there to begin with.
Any drug smuggler will accuse law enforcement of planting evidence.
“Those two menShohn Huckabee, 23 years old, and...”
Why doesn’t he just get his dad to pardon him...as he did with that guy who KILLED 4 COPS in cold blood, near Seattle?
Testimony from three Mexican witnesses at the scenepeople who said they didn't know the Americanscontradicted the army's version of events.
José Antonio Bujanda, 21, told the court on Feb. 26 that he saw soldiers pull over Messrs. Huckabee and Quijas while he was washing windows of cars lined up to cross the bridge into Texas. He said he saw soldiers plant the suitcases in Mr. Huckabee's gray Dodge Ram.
"The two soldiers went to their own truck. I saw them take out two suitcases, then put them in the gray truck," he said.
Abraham Antero Torres, a 19-year-old candy seller, testified that he saw the same. "The military men that were behind took out two black traveler's suitcases and put them into the Ram, and that was it," he said.
A third witness, Fernando Monsiváis, another window washer, told the court: "The soldiers put the suitcases in the truck, the young men's truck."
Mr. Bujanda was shot and killed in front of his home by an unknown assailant on July 2. Attempts to reach Messrs. Torres and Monsiváis to comment were unsuccessful.
Alejandro Dominguez, a fingerprint expert hired by Mr. Huckabee's family, testified in March that the marijuana packages showed no signs of his fingerprints.
I agree it is stupid to go to Mexico these days. I don't think it should result in a life sentence. According to the article, one went to visit relatives and the other went to have his father's truck repaired cheaply, which was very common before drug wars. Millions still cross to do those things every year. These guys just didn't get the memo yet.
Your compassion meter is set a little low.
All that may well be, but it still doesn’t explain why the military would do that in the first place. In fact it begs the question. I lived on the border for several years, and it reset my compassion meter.
I live on the border too, and I refuse to go across anymore and I tell everyone not too, but if some stupid young person did go across, and they got framed like this, I'd want Americans to do everything they could to help them get away from that rat-hole.
The only judgment I passed on them was that they were foolish to cross over there in the first place, given what is going on. The story still doesn’t make sense. And your “reason” why the Mexican military did it, as reported in the WSJ, sounds very dodgy. They planted drugs on them so they could question them if they knew anything about drugs? Sorry, I still don’t see why the military would be doing that.
Sounds like they planted drugs on them because they thought they were drug dealers. Have you ever heard of cops planting evidence on a suspect they believe is guilty?
The cops planted drugs on them? I thought it was the military? Seriously, looking at those two, the military could not in its wildest dreams have mistaken them for major narcotraficantes. I just can’t see the military going to all that trouble. Let us agree to disagree. And I no longer live on the border, thank God.