HRW Research on Custom and Border Protection Officer Abuses: Info Request

Dear Listmates,

Human Rights Watch is investigating allegations of discriminatory and or abusive treatment by Customs and Border Protection Officers, including the Border Patrol and port of entry agents, in the borderlands and at border crossings.  We are interested in highlighting in particular the effects of border enforcement practices on border communities on the northern and southern borders.

We would greatly appreciate your assistance in identifying cases and affected individuals or their representatives who would be interested in participating in the research. The description of the project is pasted below and in this  flyer. Please share widely, and please contact me if you have any suggestions or questions.

Thank you very much,


Clara Long

Researcher, US Program 

Human Rights Watch

100 Bush St. Ste. 925

San Francisco, CA 94104

+1 (415) 527 0212 (work)

+1 (510) 882-0900 (Cell)


Human Rights Watch is interested in speaking with people who have personal stories or direct knowledge of discriminatory, abusive, intimidating, or unlawful treatment or practices by Customs and Border Protection (CBP) agents in the border region (the Border Patrol) and at border crossings (Office of Field Operations).


We are interested in cases involving both US citizens and non-citizens.   We are also seeking information about agency accountability for abuses, including the efficacy of CBP complaint mechanisms.


Human Rights Watch is an international, independent nonprofit organization that defends the rights of people worldwide. We cannot provide legal representation in any individual case, but our goal is to publish these accounts in a report and to ensure anyone interacting with federal immigration and border enforcement agencies is treated in a manner that respects their human rights.


We plan to conduct interviews along the northern and southern borders or by phone. If you would like to keep your identity confidential, we can change your name and any identifying details.


For more information on this project, please visit our Facebook page For more information on our ongoing and past work on protecting the human rights of immigrants and their families in the United States, please see our website


Human Rights Watch desea contactar a personas que tengan historias personales o conocimiento directo de trato discriminatorio, abusivo, intimidatorio o ilegal por parte de agentes de la oficina de Aduanas y Protección Fronteriza (CBP) a lo largo de la franja fronteriza (Border Patrol) y en los puertos de control de la frontera (Office of Field Operations).


Estamos interesados tanto en casos de ciudadanos, como de no ciudadanos estadounidenses. También deseamos obtener información sobre los procesos de rendición de cuentas por abusos y la eficacia de los mecanismos de denuncia por parte de la oficina de Aduanas y Protección Fronteriza.


Human Rights Watch es una organización sin fines de lucro internacional e independiente que defiende los derechos humanos de las personas en todo el mundo. Nuestra organización no ofrece representación legal en caso individual, pero nuestro objetivo es exigir cambios en la legislación y las políticas estadounidenses para garantizar que todos las personas sean tratadas con respeto a sus derechos humanos por parte de la oficina de Aduanas y Protección Fronteriza.


Si desea compartir su experiencia o conocimiento de casos particulares o si tiene alguna pregunta envíe un correo electrónico o llame a Clara Long, investigadora del Programa de EE.UU.

Clara Long

Human Rights Watch

100 Bush St. Ste 925

San Francisco, CA 94107



Nuestra intención es llevar a cabo entrevistas en toda la region fronteriza o por telefono. Si desea mantener en el anonimato su identidad estamos en la mejor disposición de cambiar su nombre y datos personales de identificación.

Para obtener más información sobre este proyecto, por favor visite nuestro Facebook página.  Para obtener más información sobre nuestro trabajo en curso o nuestros proyectos anteriores en materia de protección de los derechos humanos de los inmigrantes y sus familias en los Estados Unidos, por favor visite nuestro sitio web en inglés o en español



Murder in Juarez…Newsweek

Murder in Juarez

By  / April 22, 2014 10:32 AM EDT

David Farrington, a U.S. Bureau of Diplomatic Security (DS) service agent, has been vexed by a troubling question for the past several years. He has reason to suspect a colleague deliberately failed to warn an American working at a U.S. consulate in Mexico that she was targeted for assassination by a drug cartel.

Farrington, a former Marine and 10-year veteran of the State Department’s security service, was the first agent to get to the scene of the March 13, 2010, Juarez murders—another car carrying a consulate employee was attacked as well—and caught the case, as they say in police lingo. But his revulsion quickly turned to consternation, and then obsession, when he began asking questions about the whereabouts of the consulate’s chief security officer that day. Eventually, he was taken off the case, according to State Department emails obtained by Newsweek, relieved of his badge and gun, and ordered to undergo a psychological fitness review. But he hasn’t given up.

Leslie Enriquez and her husband were gunned down as they drove away from a birthday party in the drug-and-violence-wracked border city of Juarez four years ago last month. Nearly simultaneously, another car leaving the party was sprayed with bullets, killing the husband of a Mexican employee of the U.S. consulate. A senior Mexican police official said later that a drug cartel enforcer who confessed to the murders claimed Enriquez was targeted because she was helping a rival gang with U.S. visas—an allegation denied by U.S. officials.

“I don’t have any reason to believe that they did believe that they did anything bad,” Farrington said of Enriquez and the other victims in a brief interview with Newsweek. “They were good people.” But he soon learned that the top regional security officer (RSO) in Juarez, Gregory V. Houston, had been asking around the consulate for the names of locally hired employees like Enriquez and one of the other victims that day. Farrington wondered why. He became even more suspicious when he learned that Houston got into serious trouble during a previous posting at the American Embassy in Sofia, Bulgaria…

Click here for the rest of the story.

3 Congressman Oppose Trans-Pacific Partnership


Free trade on steroids: The threat of the Trans-Pacific Partnership

The TPP would have a devastating effect on jobs and America’s middle class.

By George Miller, Rosa DeLauro and Louise Slaughter

April 21, 2014

Many supporters of the proposed Trans-Pacific Partnership, or TPP, trade agreement are arguing that its fate rests on President Obama’s bilateral talks with Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe in Japan this week. If Japan and the United States can sort out market access issues for agriculture and automobiles, the wisdom goes, this huge deal — in effect, a North American Free Trade Agreement on steroids — can at last be concluded.

But this view obscures the many seemingly intractable problems TPP negotiators are grappling with. There are other unresolved issues — such as intellectual property concerns that could limit access to affordable medicines — that have deadlocked the 12-nation pact.

And for every issue that is being intensely discussed, there are others that are being swept under the rug. For instance, bipartisan majorities in Congress have demanded rules in TPP against currency cheating, but the Obama administration has refused to include them.

But foremost among all these issues is the devastating effect the agreement would have on jobs and the American middle class. Americans were promised 20 years ago that NAFTA would bring an unprecedented economic boom and 200,000 jobs in the first year. The three of us doubted those promises and voted against it. The data on NAFTA’s outcomes make clear that the concerns we and other critics had were warranted.

In 1993, before NAFTA, the U.S. had a $2.5-billion trade surplus with Mexico and a $29-billion deficit with Canada. By 2012, that had exploded into a combined NAFTA trade deficit of $181 billion. Since NAFTA, more than 845,000 U.S. workers in the manufacturing sector — and this is likely an undercount — have been certified under just one narrow program for trade adjustment assistance. They qualified because they lost their jobs due to increased imports from Canada and Mexico, or the relocation of factories to those nations.

Even worse, NAFTA has been used as a model for additional agreements, and its deeply flawed approach has resulted in the outsourcing of jobs, downward pressure on wages and a meteoric rise in income inequality.

For example, to sell the NAFTA-style U.S. agreement with South Korea passed in 2011, Obama said it would support “70,000 American jobs from increased goods exports alone.” In reality, U.S. monthly exports to South Korea fell 11% in the pact’s first two years, imports rose and the U.S. trade deficit exploded by 47%. This led to a net loss of tens of thousands of U.S. jobs in this pact’s first two years.

Now we are hearing that the TPP, as we were promised with other pacts, will mean prosperity around the corner…

Click here to read the rest of the story.


This article was published on RíoDoce on 20 April 2014. It has been translated without permission for the Mexican Journalism Translation Project (MxJTP). In English translation, its length is 436 words.


by Javier Valdez Cárdenas (RÍODOCE)

He’d pissed them off and he owed them. The thing is that when push came to shove in the end they charged everybody. And since then they hadn’t stopped charging. It all began with his end: his multiplied, extended, interminable death, all beginning with no epilogue: an annual party held among the graves.

They tricked him into coming. He arrived in jeans, Stetson, and gun bulging at his front, Chalino Sánchez style. He said a half hello to some guys along the way, steering himself towards the people he had come to see. But before he arrived they peppered his body with bullets and left it, lying there, smoldering, reddened.

His corpse slumped on the steering wheel. A mix of blood and glass, bits of organic matter strewn around. His killers still got down from their vehicle, checking the corpse. Nothing inside the vehicle was intact. To make sure, they blasted him once with a forty-five to the head, then three more times…

Click here to read the rest of the article. 


The Current State of Ciudad Juárez and Future Prospects

Educ. Forum on Social Justice.


A community project designed to increase understanding of local, regional, and national issues that have a social and economic impact on the El Paso/Las Cruces/Ciudad Juárez borderlands.

To RSVP–Just Reply

Featured Speaker:

 Miguel Fernández Iturriza*

“The Current State of Ciudad Jrez

and Future Prospects”

Saturday, May 17, 2014, 10 am

El Paso Times Building, Community Room, 1st Floor
500 W. Overland Dr., El Paso, Texas 79901
(Street parking available along with parking in nearby garages and lots.)

* Miguel Fernández Iturriza is a prominent businessman and civic leader in Ciudad Juárez.  He currently serves as director of the Plan Estratégico de Ciudad Juárez.
Forums are held on a periodic basis and are public events. Organizing committee: Oscar Martínez, Virginia Martínez, Kathy Staudt, Joe Heyman, Stephanie Acosta, Jacque Wehmeyer, and Marshall Carter.

Copyright © 2014, El Paso Social Justice Education Forums

Mailing address:  To be determined

Zetas Smuggling Baseball Player From Cuba?

Several people on the list have sent this story of the LA Dodgers player and human trafficking connections in major league baseball. A lot of greed going on in this story and not all of it can be blamed on the Zetas (IMO). The original story is in the Los Angeles magazine (posted below). Picked up later by ESPN and NPR.

Escape from Cuba: Yasiel Puig’s Untold Journey to the Dodgers | LA Mag

No One Walks Off The Island | ESPN

From Cuba To LA Baseball Diamond, Yasiel Puig’s Dangerous Odyssey | NPR

3 Murders In Juarez | 3 Asesinatos En Juárez…El Diario

At least 3 people were killed April 20 in Ciudad Juarez. Below are the links to the stories.

Asesinan A Dos En Bar De La Vicente Guerrero

El Diario | 08:29

Un hombre y una mujer fueron asesinados a tiros esta madrugada en un bar ubicado en la colonia El Barreal.

Aunque no fueron proporcionadas sus identidades, en el lugar trascendió que las víctimas eran el encargado y una cajera del establecimiento, denominado Werever, que se ubica en la calle Vicente Guerrero esquina con Colombia.

De acuerdo con testigos, alrededor de la 1:30 de la mañana arribó un auto compacto color blanco, del que descendió una persona que ingresó al negocio y se dirigió a la barra para de inmediato disparar contra sus objetivos.

Tras lograr su cometido el atacante se dio a la fuga.

Al lugar llegaron autoridades municipales quienes acordonaron la zona e implementaron un operativo para dar con el o los sospechosos, pero hasta el momento no se han dado a conocer resultados.

Posteriormente, personal de la Fiscalía acudió a recoger los cadáveres y realizar los peritajes necesarios para esclarecer el doble homicidio.

Matan A Un Hombre En La Colonia Plutarco Elías Calles

Un hombre fue victimado a balazos esta madrugada mientras caminaba por la colonia Plutarco Elías Calles.

La víctima era una persona de aproximadamente 19 años, cuyo cuerpo quedó tirado en plena vía pública en el cruce de Almoloya e Isla Curazao del sector antes mencionado.

Debido a que las autoridades acordonaron casi 50 metros a la redonda del lugar del homicidio y al hermetismo de los mismos agentes, no fue posible conocer mayores características del asesinado.

Vecinos del lugar dijeron no conocerlo y descartaron que se trate de algún residente de esa calle.


Homeland Security Reissues Immigrant Asylum Rules…AP & LA Times

It looks as if the USCIS (US Immigration and Citizenship Services) wants asylum officers who hear initial claims of credible fear to allow people to stay in the US only if they have a significant possibility of winning when they do eventually have a hearing before an immigration judge. It looks as if this could the kind of change that immigration lawyers warned of when the large groups of people organized by the National Immigrant Youth Alliance began to cross the border en masse and ask for asylum.  But the effect will most likely be to make it even more difficult for genuine asylum seekers fleeing violence and persecution in Mexico and Central America to even have a hearing before a judge. The articles mention 36,000 credible fear claims in 2013, but I do not think the articles mention how few are actually granted in court already. Fewer than 5 percent for people from Mexico and Central America.   In many jurisdictions, the asylum caseloads are so heavy that hearings may be scheduled years ahead. This rule change is a way to cut the caseload, thus denying the asylum seekers their chance to have a full hearing on their cases. The LATimes story is below.

Click here for the AP story: Homeland Security Reissues Immigrant Asylum Rules

Click here for the LA Times article: Immigration Officials Raise The Bar On Asylum Interview Process

Journalist Couple Murdered In 2010…Guerrero


This article appeared first in Spanish in the book, Tú y yo coincídimos en la noche terrible by Lolita Bosch and Alejandro Velez Salas, published by Nuestra Aparente Rendición in 2012. It is published at the MxJTP for the first time in English and with the permission of the author, who reserves all rights to the English original.

The Mournful Murder of a Married Couple: Juan Francisco Rodríguez Ríos & María Elvira Hernández Galena

By Andrew Kennis

On a typically hot and rainy night in the southwestern part of Guerrero, several gunmen briskly walked inside an Internet cafe owned and operated by a married couple who both practiced journalism. The gunmen proceeded to pull out their revolvers, after having gotten out of a black car with tinted windows, and shot and killed the couple at close range. He was shot three times, while she was shot four times. The date of the double-murder was June 28, 2010.

Juan Francisco Rodríguez Ríos, and María Elvira Hernández Galena, were respectively aged just 49 and 36 years-old when they were murdered. Rodriguez’s child was just 17 years-old when he witnessed all seven bullets end the lives of both of his parents.

In a chilling display of the kind of impact that widespread journalist killings have had in Mexico, colleagues reached for comment at El Sol de Acapulco, where Rodríguez had been working for the last half decade, produced reactions full of trepidation and fear.

“I didn’t have any relationship with him, aside from that of a working relationship,” the editor Carolina Santos whispered into the phone. “But I can say that he was a friendly person and always very respectful of everyone with whom he worked,” Santos added, albeit with hesitation.

Immediately following that comment, however, my call was transferred over to a reporter who made it a point to mention that she never knew Rodríguez and that no one was “authorized” to talk about him except the publisher of the paper.

What the silence amongst Rodríguez’s colleagues left in the wake of his death does not prevent us from finding out about, however, includes the following: Juan Rodríguez had been practicing journalism in Coyuca de Benítez, located within the Costa Grande region north of Acapulco, during the previous two decades. When he was killed, Rodríguez was the local stringer writing forEl Sol de Acapulco, as well as El Diario Objetivo of Chilpancingo.

Just hours before his death, Rodríguez had been on-the-scene reporting on a march commemorating the 15th anniversary of the Aguas Blancas massacre, which occurred after police had attacked a march of peasants in Coyuca de Benitez, murdering 17 of them in 1995.

Apart from his stringing and Internet cafe duties, Rodríguez was also a trade union representative for the National Union of Press Editors. Just days before his death, Rodríguez and several dozen of his journalistic colleagues had roundly condemned the persistent violence against journalists, which in 2010 was reaching a fever pitch. Eight journalists had been killed in Mexico and one had been missing at the point that Rodríguez and Hernández were killed in 2010, putting it as a year to out pace 2009 in terms of total journalists murdered, which saw 13 journalists slain. Further, the deaths marked the third and fourth murders of journalists during 2010 in Guerrero alone.

While a spokesperson for the state prosecutors told media and human rights investigators at the time of the murder, that suspected robbery was the cause, local journalists anonymously quoted by the press, spoke disparagingly about this explanation holding much weight. Internet cafes typically have no more than 600 pesos on hand and are not prime targets for robberies.

The double-murder attracted international condemnation and disdain. Irina Bokova, the Director-General of the U.N. Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization, said that these kind of crimes must not go “unpunished.” Carlos Lauría, the Committee to Protect Journalist’s senior program coordinator, said that the wave of murders was causing “widespread self-censorship.”

In a curious footnote to the killings,.38 caliber bullets were found at the scene of the murder, which occurred during a year that the controversial and since revealed U.S.-based Fast and Furious gun-walking program was at its height. .38 caliber revolvers were among the leading weapons that were walked under the program that resulted in thousands of high-powered weaponry winding up in the hands of the leading drug cartels in Mexico. However, since less than 5% of murders ever result in any significant investigation or prosecution, no suspects for the murder have ever been revealed, much less whether Fast and Furious weapons were used in the scene of a heinous murder and an apparent attack on journalistic freedom and autonomy.

Reportan Hallazgo De Tres Narcofosas En Acapulco

Reportan Hallazgo De Tres Narcofosas En Acapulco

(El Diario De JUÁREZ)

Acapulco, Guerrero ─ En la zona conurbada del puerto de Acapulco se reportó la ubicación de al menos tres fosas clandestinas con cinco cuerpos, tres de los cuales ya han sido exhumados por personal de la Procuraduría General de Justicia, Protección Civil y de los Servicios Periciales.

“Hemos encontrado tres cuerpos, dos hombres y una mujer, que presentan un avanzado estado de descomposición; y nos encontramos en la colonia Jacarandas parte alta, muy cerca de un arroyo, en la zona conurbada del puerto de Acapulco.

“Las tres fosas se encuentran a una distancia de entre tres y 15 metros cada una, a una profundidad de un metro o metro y medio”, confirmó personal del Ministerio Público de la colonia Emiliano Zapata.

Según los primeros informes los restos humanos tienen aproximadamente diez días y los cuerpos presentan un avanzado estado de descomposición y hasta el momento no se aprecian disparos.

El reporte del hallazgo de las tres fosas clandestinas, ocurrió por la mañana al filo de las nueve horas y se envió a través del Servicio de Emergencia del 066, aunque fue hasta pasado el mediodía en que autoridades de los tres niveles de gobierno localizaron las tumbas.