Reporting on the Mexican Cartel Drug War

Mexico: Family of 20 Crosses into Texas Seeking Asylum after Drug Cartel Murders

Monday, June 25, 2012 |

Borderland Beat


PGR Building where the Porras family is staying
by Joseph Kolb for Fox News Latino

CIUDAD JUAREZ, Mex. –  One of the largest families to cross the U.S.-Mexico border together into Texas in recent years with the hope of securing asylum arrived in El Paso on Saturday.
After languishing for five days in a hot government office here surviving on soup, beans, and water, 20 family members crossed the Bridge of the Americas into El Paso, seeking asylum after two of their relatives were killed the previous week and death threats against others increased.

Héctor Porras, 45, said he and his family fled Villa Ahumada Tuesday to Juárez, after his 49-year-old brother, Rudolpho was killed June 16, and his 18-year-old nephew, Jaime, was killed two days later while visiting his father's new grave.

In a phone interview from the Attorney General’s office in Juárez Saturday, Porras said the family, which owns small food stands in the area was being extorted by La Línea, the street enforcement arm of the Vicente Carillo Fuentes/Juárez Cartel.

"They – the police – are supposed to be here to protect us,” Porras said. “But while the store was being robbed and my brother shot, they were sitting outside and did nothing."

Since 2008, Villa Ahumada has been the scene of numerous killings that included the chief of police, kidnappings and allegations of police corruption and links to the Juárez Cartel.
"We received threats that they were going to kill more of us, so we grabbed what we could and left," Porras said.

The family quickly fled en masse to Juárez with an escort from the state police. Once in the city the family told officials at the Attorney General’s office, where they thought they would be safe, they were afraid for their lives and wanted to seek asylum in the United States, but needed protection for the 10-minute drive to the border, where they could surrender themselves to Customs and Border Protection officials to make their request.
"First they wanted to see about helping us, but then they began changing their mind where as of today (Saturday) they said we can just leave if we wanted but they wouldn’t protect us," Porras said. "We are afraid."
In a rapid series of events that Porras believes was precipitated by increasing media coverage, the officials at the Attorney General’s office, known by its Spanish initials as PGR, agreed to provide security on the perimeter of the route to the bridge but not an official escort. By around 5 p.m. the family crossed the bridge and was being processed by U.S. Customs and Border Protection.
Crystal Massey, a human rights advocate with the law office of Carlos Spector in El Paso, Texas, who has been retained to represent the Porras family through the asylum process said the family has legitimate concerns. She said families may come here, “but usually in smaller groups of threes and fours.”
“We have seen it many times in Chihuahua where families have been killed,” she said. “This is the largest single family group we have ever seen cross the border at the same time.”
Massey said last August they saw a group of 14 family members seek asylum.
Officials at both the PGR and U.S. Customs and Border Protection were unavailable for comment.
Massey said it is not uncommon for asylum seekers to receive escorts to the El Paso sector bridges from Mexican officials.
“We’ve had several families escorted to the bridge by the military for protection,” Massey said.
Porras said he doesn't feel the family, which includes his 67-year-old mother and children as young as three years old, was being held against their will by the PGR office in Juárez, but without protection the uncertainty of walking outside was daunting enough to keep them in the government building until authorities reached a decision.
He said at one point an official from Mexico City was supposed to arrive and persuade the family to relocate within Mexico, an option Porras had no interest in discussing.
The family had been languishing in a single room in the drab PGR office building in downtown Juárez without air conditioning to cool the 104 degree temperature. They slept on the floor, had no showers, and only could use one bathroom.
"The PGR is essentially washing their hands of this family by saying that if they want to leave they can but without any security," said Ruben Garcia, the director of Annunciation House, an immigrant shelter and advocacy group in El Paso, Texas. "Héctor told me he was not going to risk any more of his family without protection."
Porras said as the week wore on not only had there been no further support from the PGR, the family actually began to fear the very people they turned to for help.
"We can't trust anyone," Porras said.
Garcia said he believes the Porras family has relatives already in El Paso they will be staying with.
Though the Porras family was accepted at the border, they still face an uphill battle to acquire asylum. Most of them will file defensive applications because they do not possess a valid border crossing card – a process can take up to four years before an immigration judge makes a decision.

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31 Borderland Beat Comments:

Anonymous said...

Its a luxurious life being a cop in mexico. Where you are the ones doing the shooting and not the ones getting shot at. Why when someone dies in a U.S asylum its suicide. Lets go to mexico. Because in the end anything that i do will be blamed on the war on "drugs". Make sure to vote for Obama again so we will bring an end to this tiny little planet we call earth.

Anonymous said...

Eventually, there are going to be refugee camps along the southern border. This drug war isn't getting any better and the people of Mexico are not safe. It's a war... Most countries give asylum to war-stricken neighbors. But then again, we aren't very good neighbors. Just look at the Fast & Furious scandal. Obama was giving guns to the cartels who ended using them to shoot at these poor people. Over 300 Mexicans and one border agent named Brian Terry are dead from this dumb Obama policy.

Anonymous said...

Very, very sad... Mexico is dead, it has no soul... They have allowed the criminal cartel scum bag families to turn it into a living hell!

Anonymous said...

The majority of whats taking place in Mexico has nothing at all to do with drugs.

Anonymous said...

The linea still extorts almost all of juarez. They posted a an article here on borderland beat about how crime has lowered because of chapo in control like a week and a half ago when el diaro de juarez the front page thursday said the lowered homicides had nothing to do with anyone in control of anuthing. Its still pretty much a lawless city engulfed in crime just that killing went down from 10 a day to around 2 to 4 a day..From what I hear mexicles and aztecas each stick to their own shit and extort and carjack their areas of control which pretty much aztecas have a majority of it. they have shifted strategies, a lot of the chihuhuan youth with no jobs nor future looking for some easy money are being sent to sinaloa with the beltranes, theyre really trying to push towards revenge on chapos turf, actually in elblog del narco we see how crazy killing are becoming over there. Sinaloa with tamaulipas are the states mwith killings

Anonymous said...

I hope your kidding.

Anonymous said...

you fool it has everything to do with drugs. Cartels use the proceeds from drugs to pay off officials and military which in turn allow them cartels to keep pushing the drugs North without incident. And Mexico has lots of soul but it's a country that is lead by few who only want to fatten their pockets at the expense of everyone else. I agree that something needs to be done to help these poor people and finally put an end to all this but the only way to do that is to declare zero tolerance and shoot on site but if that happens then we'll all be on here complaining about people civil rights!

Anonymous said...

Legalizing drugs,turning a blind eye to narcos,taking the liberal arguments hook line and sinker,WHAT will that do to help create law and order in Mexico? These poor people trying to make a living selling food,set upon by criminal paracites,killed,forced to run for there lives? I do not believe for one minuite that PRI Nieto is capable of battleing for Mexico!

Anonymous said...

"This has nothing to do do with drugs." What a stupid comment. America, you need to stop the drug use. Mexico, you need to rebuild your infrastructure from ground up.

Anonymous said...

There are already refugee camps. They are called FEMA camps and they are ready for occupation

Anonymous said...

Tell us about your soul

Anonymous said...

Wow..it says a lot, when the gov't can no longer protect its own citizens! The PGR aware of the problem with the Porras family can only offer limited protection, as they made their way to the border! Basically, that's Mexico saying "hey we can't and won't protect you...but you can try your luck in the United States!"

Anonymous said...

I guess know that the cds is taken over c. Juares the carrillo fuentes organization is doing extorcions and kidnappings I guess their power in c.juares has diminished

Anonymous said...

@June 26, 2012 12:40 AM

Who ever they sent to Sinaloa don't come back La Linea is dead.

Anonymous said...

I have to agree with the person who said that this war is no longer about drugs. How can this be about drugs anymore? How does killing innocent people, extorsion of honest people, massacre after massacre be attributed to drugs?? A few years ago they fought over drug routes, and they didnt leave 49 mutilated corpses on the road. They used to battle over drug shippments or routes with out throwing grenades into public places or burning down casinos or hijacking buses and slaughtering the people in the buses and then dumping theirbodies for all to see, including kids. This is no longer about drugs, this is terrorism. It's about which drug cartel can push the shock button over the limit. Its not about how can push the most drugs over the border, its about who can terrorize the country the most.

Anonymous said...

Here is the scoop for all you speculators. In 2008 Chapo's GN made a push to take the Villa Ahumada plaza, a key point for the entry of drug shipment through the aduana just before reaching the sprawling city of J town. Some of the key families that worked for La Linea were targeted, but essentially most of the town was loyal to the local crews working the transport route. When this invasion occured in Villa Ahumada those with Salgueiro and Marrufo took over the power structure there. Fast forward back to the present and neither of those capos are free so their operational capacities have been nullified, enter La Linea once again but this time a restructured NCDJ to reclaim the plaza essentially by eliminating those families that proved to be disloyal when GN controlled for those couple of years. The extortion bit is just a smokescreen to look legitimate but at its core I wouldnt doubt that this family provided a front for GNs now collapsing shipment operation through Villa Ahumada.

Out of all the readers here I doubt any of you know what breathing the air in Villa Ahumada feels like, so keep this in mind. Aside from the food stands and a little bit of Pecan groves there is very little available in terms of opportunities for a family as large as that to scratch out a living. Drug smuggling is a key economic base for the entire town.

How is this case any different from the numerous families that have been ousted by the ruthless Gabino Salas because they remained loyal to the fractured Escajeda clan after the capture of Rikin? No difference at all.

Its just the way shit is in my home land, we sit at the edge of two centers (Mexico DF Washington DC) of power that are often at odds with each other and we the population along the Juarez Border is essentially run as a fiefdom to the most ruthless warlords, and for a long time that warlord has had the loyalty of the majority of the criminal clans along the Juarez border. Why would native criminals want operational command transfered out of their city and state? That is why it is called NCDJ.

Anonymous said...

People that argue that if drugs are legalized the Cartels will jump to extortions and kidnappings have no clue..

Think about it, why is Mexico so lawless? Because everyone is trying to get a bite of the drug business. Government officials, cops, generals, everybody. Why? Because it pays A LOT! I am not talking about $50,000 to $100,000, I am talking millions of dollars. Look at Calderoni, some people say became a millionaire under Amado.

For example Juarez. When CDJ controlled the city, kidnappings were unheard of, I used to go to that city at least 3 times a week. At that time I had a 2004 Yukon, with a nice stereo and the works. No ONE ever tried to steal it from me, NO ONE. My ex drove her Porsche to Juarez everyday. We all knew who the top players were and we just avoided them.

Here comes the allege "war on cartels" and the first thing that happens is Juarez loses its police force. Once there are no cops, every little shithead decides to extort, steal, and kidnap. The only reason they got the courage to do that was because the cops were too busy working for Chapo or for JL. These people are what we call opportunist, not drug dealers.

They exist in every country, we saw them in Louisiana after Katrina. Instead of helping their fellow neighbors they went on a rampage of stealing and looting. That is what Mexico is seeing right now. The only reason cops and higher officials are not doing a thing is because they are too busy taking bribes from Cartels. If you take away that money, there is the possibility that they will let people extort and kidnap, but it will never be to the level most people claim. WHY? Because the risk outweighs the reward.

Think about it, you kidnap someone and you ask for 50,000 (has to be someone from a rich family), you need to pay cops off, politicians, and other accomplices. You also need to deal with a living human being that might escape or die on you. On the other hand, all you need to do is get 2 to 3 kilos across El Paso to make that money. Yes, you may get busted and go to jail for a while. BUT, if instead of taking 3 kilos across you take 100 kilos then the risk is heavily outweighed by the reward. Kidnapping is lucrative but not as much as drugs.

What I am trying to say is that if drugs were to be legalized OR they seized to exist, Cartels will have more trouble recruiting people for illicit activities like extortion or kidnapping. Yes, we will have some people doing it, just like any other 3rd world country, but not to the extent it is being committed right now.

The only reason Linearos are still kidnapping and extorting is because in their simple little minds (it is pretty simple because Aztecas are really dumb) they believe their cartel is going to take over Juarez. You can see them on Borderland Beat arguing how the Juarez Cartel will rise again and take over the city. They still believe they will go back to the days of Amado Carillo, when it used to bring 100 million a week.

If anyone disagrees I want to hear a clear and concise argument, I am open for debating :)

Anonymous said...

@12:32

At first glance your argument looks to develop into a sound one, but it breaks down when you exhibit your complete lack of knowledge about the actual situation in Juarez.

You state that the only reason Linieros are still kidnapping etc but neglect to point out that not only are Aztecas kidnapping but their rivals as well Mexicles and AA who are supposedly backed by Chapo. Now If they are backed by Chapo and Chapo supposedly does not permit kidnapping extortion etc why are they doing this on Mexico's southeast side?

Do you know what is actually happening in the State of Chihuahua? Lets see, NCDJ is pushing back a splintered GN structure since Marrufo and Salgueiro were turned in by Chapo to cover his ass, when he couldnt close the Chihuahua deal. I am not saying that Chapo doesnt exist in Chihuahua, but in 2008 all the talk was that the Sinaloa Cartel was moving in to eliminate the Juarez Cartel and control the plaza. 4 years later, what the fuck does the Sinaloa cartle control? Some officials, some territory, but you cannot deny that he controls the plaza like he controls Nogales or Agua Prieta? Plain and simple.

I am simply providing you an analysis of a situation. If you look at the situation in Chihuahua, and notice what is going on you can put two and two together and realize that the structure that Chapo had erected for his takeover of Chihuahua is battered and bruised and the next few months will tell if it completely collapses, because it is obvious that the Carrillo's allies in Chiahuahua are still there and they have not been eliminated despite all the pressure put on them.

Perhaps this is bound to last a generation but I would just prefer if my state goes back to peace wehter it be because one or the other gets eliminated or they call mutual truce, but since I know what's up there that will not happen unless a negotiaor steps in to smooth things over.

Anonymous said...

what an ignorant comment....what do you know about the life of a cop in mexico??

Anonymous said...

My sister and I have been talking about those camps for a few years, we always thought they would be used for martial law never thought bout them being used as refugee camps

Anonymous said...

There is no god!

Anonymous said...

Four years is all that's needed so they can produce an anchor baby or two. Why are we as a nation unwilling to help our own but willing to take in 20 welfare recipients that aren't even entitled to be here.

Anonymous said...

Aztecas believe that their cartel will take over Juarez AGAIN! Who is this ^^^RETARD. They have never lost Juarez, only the valley and that's because the guy who ran the valley for Juarez cartel was caught by military who were by the way on the payroll of chapo. The reasons the death toll has fallen is because GN doesn't leave the valley of Juarez unless they kidnap regular random people to kill and claim they are Juarez cartel lookouts or whatever.CDS needed the valley to come into Juarez and try take over.yeah they failed!their is so many drugs that are shipped through that border that you can't tell if it's Juarez or CDS loads, but I can tell you this either way they are getting taxed by Aztecas on the El Paso side!

Anonymous said...

America stop the drug use? Isnt it easy to blame america for everything? If they let their country go to shit & be overrun dont blame america! The police in mexico suck & dont do shit!

Anonymous said...

Mexico is lawless because Mexico has no functioning public institutions. There is no rule of law.

Police do not solve crimes they take money. Judges do not dispense justice they take money. Prosecutors do not prosecute lawbreakers they take money. You can buy your way out of nearly any crime in Mexico, assuming you are caught, which is a huge assumption. Ever try to report a crime in Mexico? Were the police even vaguely interested? Did they try to make you go away, tell somebody else, talk you out of it?

The conviction rate in Mexico is less than 5%. In the US it is over 90%. Why? Because one system/government believes in itself and the other does not. Mexican people put up with a corrupt system for decades. In many ways they liked it. But when the billions of dollars of drug money were introduced into the system, the system that barely functioned, ceased to function at all.

See the documentary film "Presunto Culpable", it's available online. Google it. You will understand better.

Anonymous said...

Relax with the cheer leading. Juarez Cartel asked for chi chi from BL and z and still are falling!

Anonymous said...

39% 0n welfare are whites 38% blacks 16% lations of all nations so STFU!!!

Anonymous said...

Cds asked for chi chi from the entire mexican government AND THEY ARE STILL FAILING!!!

J said...

Really good information in here, I'm glad I saw the. Whoever posted all the insightful stuff about Chihuahua/Juarez, should post a whole story/break down on mainboard.

Anonymous said...

Very interesting infomation. Thanks (United Kingdom)

Anonymous said...

Extortion...wrong. This family,Porras, has been targeted by la linea because this family backs up the sinaloa cartel. Do your research...the families,"Muñoz and Marrufos",have also been targeted and also left villa ahumada. Why get upset about this case...it's going on all over chihuahua. here,la linea once again has control of villa ahumada ,the last family backing up cds was this one,porras,gone now....

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