State Dept. Demands Review of American Citizens Attacked in Mexico

Three American citizens visiting the small Mexican town of El Sásabe, Sonora, were attacked by armed individuals in late March. The shooting landed one of the young men, Jose Rodriquez, 19, in an American hospital with two bullet wounds. American officials at the U.S. Embassy in Mexico are demanding an investigation.

This incident was revealed by Tucson-based KVOA in an investigative article by Lupita Murillo and Michale Marizco.  As a result of their investigation, the U.S. Embassy in Mexico contacted the Mexican Attorney General’s Office and insisted on a full investigation into the shootings.

Responding to KVOA, "As part of that request, we asked to be informed of the results of the investigations," said Chad Cummins, U.S. Consul in Nogales, Sonora, whose office covers the murky region of El Sásabe, Sonora where the shooting took place.

Breitbart Texas’ border security expert Sylvia Longmire reviewed the incident that took place just across the border from the tiny Arizona town of Sasabe.

“The problem with any incident like this,” Longmire explained, “where a US citizen gets involved in a skirmish with the Mexican army or police is that it's almost impossible to deduce what exactly happened.”

KVOA reported the Mexican town of El Sásabe, with its population of nearly 2,500 has been a decade-long haven for smugglers because of its proximity to the Baboquivari Mountains and the Altar Vally on the American side of the border. It is frequently the starting point for a spring migration of illegal aliens as well, according to the report. The legal port of entry sees very little traffic and leads to the American town of Sasabe, population 25.

Jose Rodriquez was born in the Mexican town where he was shot, according to KVOA, but later became an American citizen. He was visiting friends and family in Mexico prior to the attack. 

Initial reports stated that three young men had tried to evade a Mexican Army checkpoint.  It was later revealed by KVOA that this was not an official checkpoint but rather, was simply a random group of heavily armed soldiers patrolling inside the city limits of the town.  Normally, the checkpoints are set up outside of the town limits. 

Rodriquez’ friend, Gerado Fuentes, was traveling with him when the attack occurred.

"We didn't see no checkpoint. We didn't see no light or a signal where they had to make us because Sásabe, Sonora, is dark," he said to local press.

Finding a real answer to what happened that night might be very difficult, according to Longmire. 

“Mexican police agencies, especially at the state and local level,” Longmire explained, “are highly corrupt and only investigate 25 percent of crimes that occur in the country. While the Mexican military has a much better reputation for integrity, it is also a highly opaque organization that is unlikely to share any information with American media.”

The information KVOA uncovered sounds highly plausible,” she continued, “so I have reason to believe Jose and his friends are telling the truth. Unfortunately, U.S. citizens in Mexico don't have an enormous population of American activists and the Mexican version of the ACLU to speak up for any injustices committed against them south of the border.”

On the U.S. side of the border, U.S. Border Patrol agents have come under tight scrutiny and public attack for their use of force.  Breitbart Texas’ Managing Director, Brandon Darby recently reported about the Texas Chapter of the ACLU attacking the Border Patrol agents in El Paso.

“This is a political attack by special interests groups and the ACLU to limit the effectiveness of Border Patrol. The ACLU is going after low hanging fruit, they’ve seen the agency back down in the past,” Border Patrol Union Vice President Shawn Moran said responding to a request from Brandon Darby.

“We are concerned that all of this political criteria is going to make agents hesitate and second guess themselves when they are in a situation where they need to defend themselves—this could absolutely lead to a loss of life for US law enforcement,” said Vice President Moran.

Sylvia Longmire concluded, “For political reasons, the U.S. government has been loath to shine a spotlight on any missteps taken by the Mexican military or government, and I fear that the U.S. State Department won't work too hard to get to the bottom of what happened to these three individuals.”

A full video report from KVOA Tucson can be found on their website.

Follow Bob Price on Twitter @BobPriceBBTX


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