The Reyes-Salazar family flee Mexico seeking asylum as entire families flee Northern Mexico



Press release: 10 am – Thursday, June 28, 2012
at the Law Offices of Carlos Spector
1430 E. Yandell, El Paso, Texas 79902

Doña Sara Salazar the 78 year old matriarch of the politically active Reyes-Salazar family refused to leave Mexico as long as any of her loved ones were still living there. Last week, after receiving a death threat, her last grandson, Ismael Reyes-Reyes decided to leave Mexico and seek asylum in the U.S. The departure of 22 members of the Porras family from Villa Ahumada as well as the Mexican federal government’s inability and refusal to protect them convinced Ismael Reyes-Reyes to leave Mexico.

Doña Sara has lived every mother’s worst nightmare: first they killed her grandson; then her daughter; 7 months later her son; and then they threatened her with a gun while they kidnapped another daughter, son and daughter-in-law. Six days after the kidnapping they burned her home. Two weeks after the kidnapping they threw the tortured bodies of her children in the street.

According to AI, the Reyes family was “clearly being targeted in the most brutal way.” Six family members having been killed since November of 2008.
Julio César Reyes Reyes was shot and killed on November 16, 2008. – Grandson
Josefina Reyes Salazar was shot and killed on January 3, 2010. – Daughter
Rubén Reyes Salazar was shot down in the street on August 18, 2010. – Son
María Magdalena Reyes Salazar was kidnapped on February 7, 2011. Her body was dumped on the street on February 25, 2011. – Daughter
Elías Reyes Salazar was kidnapped on February 7, 2011. His body was dumped on the street on February 25, 2011. – Son
Luisa Ornelas was kidnapped on February 7, 2011. Her body was dumped on the street on February 25, 2011. – Daughter-in-law

Saul Reyes-Salazar and his immediate family were granted political asylum in early January 2012.

Law Offices of Carlos Spector, 1430 E. Yandell, El Paso, Texas 79902

For more information please call Alejandra Spector or Crystal Massey at or (915) 544-044

More than Words: Photojournalist captures the violence in Mexico via El Nuevo Sol

Julian Cardona/ Photo by Karla Henry for El Nuevo Sol

Mexican photojournalist Julian Cardona presented his photographs illustrating the violence in Mexico and the economic turmoil its citizens face during his visit to California State University, Northridge on Tuesday, April 11.

Sharing photographs from his books including Exodus/Exodo and Juarez: The Laboratory of our Future, Cardona noted the ramifications of North American Free Trade Act (NAFTA), an agreement among the US, Mexico and Canada, and the risks migrants face when crossing the border.

“First thing I realized was that in the city there were external forces and transnational forces that were playing a role in the everyday life,” said Cardona.

As a photographer for El Diario de Juarez, he witnessed first hand the effects of foreign markets in Mexico, noting the privatization of the public enterprise and market de-regularization.

To read more, visit El Nuevo Sol

For more on the violence in Mexico, click here

Mexicanos en Exilio–Austin presentations

Many Mexicans need asylum to escape government persecution

Jorge Luis Reyes Salazar remembers when soldiers arrived in March 2008 in Guadalupe, a small Mexican farming community along the border in the Juárez Valley about 50 miles from Juárez.

They swept through the streets of his hometown, he said, terrorizing families and ransacking homes in what they said were searches for drugs, guns and money.

“A war began, but not against narco trafficking — against civil society,” Reyes, 19, told an audience of about 70 people Wednesday at a forum held by the Texas Observer. “The people — people like my family — began to protest.”

The young man was among four survivors of the drug war ravaging Mexico who were in Austin this week to share their stories and call attention to the struggle of thousands of families who have been forced to flee their country in a mass exodus. They have not come to the United States in search of the American dream, they said. They have been forced to abandon everything to save their lives.

To win an asylum case, a person must show a fear of persecution resulting from membership in a certain social, religious or political group, among other enumerated grounds…


Justice in Exile

Mexico’s drug war is often presented in the Mexican and U.S. media as a battle among government forces and the drug cartels. Seldom do we hear about the deep and systemic corruption of Mexican officials that allows the violence to flourish. Four members of a recently formed nonprofit in El Paso called Mexicans in Exile said Wednesday night they were forced to flee their country because of government corruption.

The panelists—Saul and Jorge Reyes Salazar, Juan Fraire Escobedo and Cipriana Jurado—told their harrowing stories at The Texas Observer’s forum “Government Persecution, Human Rights and Mexico’s Drug War” on Wednesday night at the Texas Hillel Center in Austin. Their El Paso attorney Carlos Spector spoke about winning political asylum for the exiles and the nonprofit group’s goal to build civil society in Mexico and to seek justice for victims of the violence.

More than 100 people attended the event, including several human rights attorneys, immigration attorneys, members of the Mexican Diaspora and community activists…






Mexicanos en Exilio–Asylum Project events in Austin, TX, March 26-29

A series of events will be held in Austin, March 26-29 regarding political
asylum for Mexicans fleeing the violence.
Details are available at the Mexicanos en Exilio Facebook page and in the
attached flyer. An outline of the scheduled events is below.

Mexicanos en el Exilio Facebook

Mexicanos en el Exilio Twitter

The Asilo/Asylum Project seeks to inform the University of Texas and
off‐‑campus communities about

the injustices and violence in Mexico by sponsoring a weeklong set of
activities around asylum cases

represented by *Mexicanos en el Exilio*. We also intend to build long-term
support in Austin for future

cases of asylum seekers from Mexico. Our asylum guests have faced
incredible life-threatening

violence and have been forced to leave their homes. We are offering them an
opportunity to voice

their concerns, fears, and hopes for themselves, their families, and their


*Monday, March 26*

*Limited Space Available*

*Welcome dinner hosted by the*

*Project Asilo Committee at Takoba*

*Restaurant, 1411 E 7th Street, Austin,*

*78702 at*

*7:30 p.m. RSVP required at*

* by*

*Monday, March 19.*

*Tuesday, March 27*

*Event Free & Open to the Public*

*Panel Discussion on Asylum for*


*Chair: Carlos Spector*

*SAC 1.118*

*3:00—5:00 p.m.*

*Wednesday, March 28*

*Free & Open to the Public*

*Public Forum on Asylum for Mexico*

*Sponsored by The Texas Observer*

*UT-°©‐‑Austin Hillel Center*

*7—9 p.m.*

*Asylum Speakers: Cipriano Jurado,*

*Juan Escobedo, Jorge Reyes; Chair:*

*Carlos Spector and Melissa del Bosque.*

*RSVP required at:*


*Thursday, March 29*

*Limited Space Available*

*Passover Seder*

*Aside from ceremony, special guests*

*and invited asylum speakers will speak.*

*For more information, please contact:*

Emilio Zamora, Professor, Department of History, University of Texas at
Austin, Austin, Texas 78712-0220 512 475-8706, 512 739-0168*

Texas Observer: Tyrant’s Foe Carlos Spector

See the attached profile of Carlos Spector and his political asylum
practice in the current issue of the Texas Observer. This is a companion
piece to the story about the hyperviolence in the Valle de Juarez that was
posted last week. That story is online here:

The Texas Observer

The Deadliest Place in Mexico

Tyrant’s Foe by Carlos Spector

The Deadliest Place In Mexico Who’s killing the people of the Juarez Valley?–Melissa del Bosque in the Texas Observer

To reach the deadliest place in Mexico you take Carretera Federal 2, a well-paved stretch of highway that begins at the outskirts of Juarez, east for 50 miles along the Rio Grande, passing through cotton and alfalfa fields until you reach the rural Juarez Valley, said to have the highest murder rate in the country, if not the world.

The Juarez Valley is a narrow corridor of green farmland carved from the Chihuahuan desert along the Rio Grande. Farmers proudly say it was once known for its cotton, which rivaled Egypt’s. But that was before the booming growth of Juarez’s factories in the 1990s left farmers downstream with nothing but foul-smelling sludge to irrigate their fields. After that, the only industry that thrived was drug smuggling. Because of the valley’s sparse population and location along the Rio Grande’s dried up riverbed, a person can easily drive or walk into Texas loaded down with marijuana and cocaine.

For decades, this lucrative smuggling corridor, or “plaza,” was controlled by the Juarez cartel. In 2008, Mexico’s largest, most powerful syndicate—the Sinaloa cartel, run by Joaquin “El Chapo” Guzman—declared war on the Juarez cartel and moved in to take over the territory. The federal government sent in the military to quell the violence. Instead the murder rate in the state of Chihuahua exploded. The bloodshed in the city of Juarez made international news. It was dubbed the “deadliest city in the world.”

Click here to read more

Reyes Salazar Family Press Conference

There are several video clips at the link below to the press conference announcing the grant of political asylum to Saúl Reyes. In  one clip is a statement from Jorge Luis Reyes, the son of two family members kidnapped and murdered last year. The main video clip features Sara Salazar speaking about how the killings of her sons and daughters. “I had 10 children and only four remain alive, they have killed them all, and  I can’t do anything… my heart is dry, I don’t have any more strength to do anything else”, said Doña Sara Salazar.

Mi corazón está seco, dijo Sara Salazar, El Diario de Juárez, February 8, 2012