Blog dedicated to reporting on Mexican drug cartels
on the border line between the US and Mexico

Friday, November 1, 2013

Narco violence survivor is pedaling for justice in Texas

Borderland Beat posted by Administrator DD on Forum
Narcos cut off his legs, when he couldn't pay extortion demands
A cyclist on a 701-mile bike ride across Texas is Pedaling for Justice to raise awareness about Mexican citizens who — like him — are fleeing violence and seeking a safe haven in the U.S.
“We had to go through something very cruel, difficult. We’re not here because we chose to leave,” said Carlos Gutierrez, 35.
Two years ago, Gutierrez owned a successful food and beverage company in Chihuahua city. But when he could no longer pay thousands of dollars in extortion money, criminals cut off the lower part of his legs.
“I was tortured... mutilated," Gutierrez said.
He survived the attack and fled across the border to El Paso, where he is now among a growing number of Mexicans citizens seeking asylum. Some have formed a group called Mexicanos en Exilio (Mexicans in Exile), which offers legal assistance in the U.S. while seeking justice for victims back in Mexico.
Most  asylum cases involving Mexican citizens are denied. While waiting for a decision about his case in El Paso, a chance meeting changed Gutierrez’s life.
It was Thanksgiving 2011 and Eddie Zepeda, a certified prosthetist, was at an outlet mall with his wife and children when he spotted Gutierrez.
“When I saw this young man in that power wheelchair without his legs, I just couldn't help myself," Zepeda recalled.
Zepeda approached Gutierrez and said, “I just want to make sure you know that you can walk again.”
He helped Gutierrez get his first set of prosthetic legs, and helped design the lighter pair that he is using on the 701-mile bike trip from El Paso to Austin.
"Eddie is my angel," Gutierrez said. The two men have become close friends.
“'It doesn’t matter how you fall; it’s how you get back up again.'
And that came from him,” said Zepeda, who has a prosthetic practice in Las Cruces, New Mexico.  “I think I’m going to frame that,”
Gutierrez left from El Paso on Monday as a crowd of well-wishers chanted “justicia” --  justice.
He and a small team of riders will travel  across West Texas to Central Texas, making stops in Marfa, Del Rio, and San Antonio before reaching Austin, their final destination. A rally is planned in Austin on November 9, the day Guitierrez is expected to arrive.
Gutierrez hopes his story of survival inspires others.  
“I’m still standing, and I want to keep fighting, said Gutierrez, who once feared he would never walk again.
Chivis note:

Asylum is extremely difficult for Mexicans to be granted.  The strict perimeters of the law could result in a person meeting the requirements of credible fear of persecution, but because it's cartel generated, and not  government, that makes the action difficult, and improbable to tie to the five grounds persecution must be tied to.

However, if one can prove that a government in effect stands by, or turns a blind eye while members of a group commits acts of persecution on a person, this could support being awarded refugee or asylum status. 
In other words, if cartels commit acts of persecution, (e.g. torture/extortion)  on a person and the authorities are disinclined or even unable to exercise security, thereby subjecting one to further and highly probable harm, that could result in asylum being granted.
Persecution means to harass, punish, injure, oppress, or cause one to suffer physical or psychological harm.
It sounds as though it would be a slam dunk for people such as the person featured in this post.  But there are only five grounds that the persecution must be connected to; race, religion, nationality, membership in a social group, or political opinion, and therein lies the legal struggle.


  1. fuck the extortionist... there will be a special place in hell for those assholes.

  2. I'm glad that someone is doing something about it.. You are 1 brave person and hope the message gets across. That way people can see that people in Mexico are suffering! And last thing I hope that u can get legal status in the land of opportunity!! GLAD YOU HAVEN'T GIVEN UP ON HOPE BROTHER!!!!

    1. Someone is doing something about it? Like pedaling a bicycle! You think he will get justice riding a bicycle? Good luck with that.

    2. were talking about aren't we??? get off the pipe and make a change.... This man has bigger balls than your mom

  3. I'm glad that someone is doing something about it.. You are 1 brave person and hope the message gets across. That way people can see that people in Mexico are suffering! And last thing I hope that u can get legal status in the land of opportunity!! GLAD YOU HAVEN'T GIVEN UP ON HOPE BROTHER!!!!

  4. God bless you!
    Keep your head up and know that you are a hero to many people...a great role model and great human being...again....God bless you :)

  5. I don't understand why persons- such as this admirable young man-find it nearly impossible to achieve asylum status. It is much more difficult for persons from Mexico to be granted asylum. The process is an arduous one, as it should be, but when there is a high level of probability that a person will be killed or persecuted, documented and proven, they should be granted safe haven.

    The process begins by trying to get into the US to file, which in of itself can be a task. Then soon you will face a “Credible Fear” hearing within 7 days. Not much time to prepare and most persons are without an attorney.

    Following this is anywhere from 4-10 steps depending on outcomes. You have a year.
    It is not atypical to have a person with credible indisputable evidence and documentation to fail at his or her bid for asylum, and be deported and harmed or killed.

    I wonder if there is any recourse for families who have lost love ones who were deported by the United States after being shown documentation that their life would be in peril?

  6. I have 7000 friends and family and they havent sought asylum.

  7. Yo soy rafa el numero uno..yo no soy trasonerio.yo estio con mi gente.el numero 1 .aqui con mi gente.jl y fsa.buenas noxhes gente

  8. Leaving Mexico will not solve the problem., Go back to Mexico and join forces with Dr. Mireles, and take your country back. Mexico has some great heros and leaders, be a leader. You lead and your countrymen will follow.
    But Mexico needs Brave guys like you to win this war. I am not from your country, but I will come to your aid.

  9. Which drug cartel rules over Chihuahua City ?

  10. Brave young man . Dios Bendiga y vaya con Dios . And the horror does not stop in Mexico .
    It followed me to the U.S. where the victim became the bad person. Kind of like the Rape victim is the guilty one and its not the rapist. Maybe this man can shed some expsore to what is happening.

  11. They all want fast cash when crap hits the fan they want asylum

    1. @10:05 a.m.u have smoked too much meth and your mind has gone to shit!! He got his legs hacked off for christs sake.what the hell would u do if u were in that situation?

  12. 2:54AM
    that is the most ignorant comment a person could make. You must be texcaca.

    113M citizens in Mexico have not sought asylum...or had their legs cut off and threatened their life next visit. Try to ind 2 brain cells to rub together and figure it out tough guy.

  13. wow a man peddling across the country is really gonna help fight the cartels. Lame sorry.

  14. Where's the pride in leaving your country? They are going to have to man up and look within because soon hopefully the border will be closed and the great people of Mexico will have to do this on their own. We have our own problems in the US and don't have the resources to worry about yours.

  15. Get Asylum in Canada!

  16. scared in usa my family also survived a brutal attack . we come to usa but have non seen my father since aprì 2013. since that time my sisters busband made the news as a execution victim . i do non know the totale asylum seekers bit at my school when the fire drill alarm goes off it take a while to get my classmates to stop crying and screeming and or teachers to convince them that it was just a pratica bell . my the cartel die and go to hell .

  17. God Bless the good people of Mexico

  18. Wouldn't it be wonderful if Mexico could take care of it's own people, and victims like this guy could ride across Mexico without fear? What the hell!?!?! All of these Mexicans seeking asylum want to be Americans as much as Nazi's want to be Jews. They are all here to get what they can without one ounce of allegiance to the USA. I'm all for them paying the going rate that coyotes pay to cross to our government, using that money to insure them, tax them, keep tabs on them, and have them reapply and pay another amount after a few years, allowing them to work on this side WHILE STAYING MEXICANS. And if they get even a misdemeanor they get sent back. Then it fixes all the problems and everyone is happy, and then the people left crossing the border will be the kind you can shoot. Call it "You're welcome to come and work, for a price". But this guy was mutilated in Mexico, so why the hell isn't Mexico helping him out? Disgusting, and it only goes to prove what a shithole Mexico has become in a decade with the only people to blame is Mexicans. When I see a Mexican flag I see someone proud of a place where people flee. If they are so proud of it, go back. If you are reaping the American Dream, give credit to where it is due. And don't give me this "we owned it first" bullshit because you didn't. The ones that where here when we bought it stayed and their families have been here the whole time. If your ancestors had to jump that border after WW1, you were here as much as the Pakistani lady who still has the dot on her head and smells like curry. Show me one place on this planet where an original people that were here thousands of years ago are still there, outside of the middle east, and even there the factions and tribes have taken each others land since before Christ. For god sakes, read before you idiots hold up signs showing your stupidity and ignorance. And if you are going to comment saying I'm wrong, and Mexico is such a wonderful place (I used to have land in Ensenada and Puertocitos and I'm as brown as you are), go back and allow yourselves to live under their rules. And speaking of rules that you complain about, I only wish we had your immigration rules, voting rules, and a few other laws that you illegal aliens think you are owed on this side. You leave a place of oppression, a place where you don't have the balls to change for the better, and then you demand change here? Are you Mexicans? Then why in the hell aren't you putting as much effort to change Mexico as you are trying to bend the rules here? You make no sense at all. This poor guy on his bike personifies everything wrong with Mexico and everything wrong with Mexicans that are hiding from its problems. There are MILLIONS of Mexicans who are good people, and maybe a few thousand that are the bad ones. Odds are heavily in your favor, especially when your laws mean jack shit as it is.

    1. Your an idiot, reading your post makes me ashamed of being an american, your a complete asshole!!!

    2. I hope you are not one of those hispanics that think they are gringos because their parents and grandparents where born here; if so why did your family immigrate to the U.S? Let us know why they didnt stay in Mexico or where ever they from. Please tell us Brown Gringo...


    3. 1:04 you may be as brown as us,or more, but by the poppycock you talk,you are a total coconut,whiter than white on the inside,we legal and illegal have earned our place on this country,Andrew even if we have not,you and your bullshit can not change it,not a bit,because most white Americans,the children of immigrants too,are decent persons,pile them up with the legal immigrants,the born and raised, and wall of the blacks that don't share your views,the bottom line says you are one sore loser,we can not fight the Mexican government and its sicarios and its army,armed to the teeth by the American oligarchs that are engaged on sticking it to the people of the US too,but if Mexico would default on the debt the debtors piled on it and promptly stole away, the Almighty United States of America WOULD BE CRYING UNCLE, and might still kick back your brown full of brownie lips back to Mexico.
      Your post is a rreeaally big thick long thurd and I am sure there is more to come since you seem to be so full of shit...
      It is midnight,do you know where your daughters are?who with,doing what?
      N O T !

  19. Exito Mexico great bunch of people, bring your money talents to the USA.
    Forget Mexico it is a failed state. Its all over the good people of Mexico.

  20. I believe the US govt will give at least 12 million Mx. asylum by 2014. Just hang in their

  21. The amazing strength of the human spirit. I'm nearly as impressed with Eddie Zepeda as I am with Carlos Gutierrez ,with his ability to turn something horrible into something positive. Good story! Thanks for raising my awareness and bringing it us, Chivis and DD.

  22. His trek is an excellent human interest story to spread the word about the Mexican drug war. At my office, several of the people were talking about it, people could not believe he was so tortured for not having enough funds for the extortion. there are many people who would not be drawn to a narco story that would look at this. People wanted more information about the war, I sent them to BB. They can't believe the extent of what is happening.

    this is a positive action. watch you will get uneducated, ignorant racists that try and diminish what this man is doing, ignore them, they will never see the big picture.


  23. Just imagine the flood of asylum seekers if the US government acknowleges the truth that the Mexican goverment has been corrupted by drug cartels.

  24. The chopping of arms and legs of people not able to pay extortion money is the dirty work of the Sinaloa Cartel.

  25. Buy a gun hell with the bike, for protection El Paso is not safe.

  26. Mexico is 1 big POS. Lol

  27. I have 10000 friends and family who hasn't sought asylum.

  28. @4:52 Thanks for your comment and "People wanted more information about the war, I sent them to BB. They can't believe the extent of what is happening" This seems to be universal. Its true not many people can even comprehend what is occurring. Thanks again and spread the word .

    Peace my fellow humanitarian

  29. Please readers notify bicycling organizations in the Texas area where he will be riding. They are tight groups that usually are involved in causes.

    Spread the word.

  30. Everyone would be using the loophole of asylum. It would take a lot of money and energy to figure out who is really telling the truth. If you use this strategy the flood gates would open. I live in Chihuahua and my wife's friend has a clothing store in a complex in El Centro. She is now paying extortion to a second group of Narco extortionists. Everyone in the complex is paying extortion. Her husband was shot at in his vehicle, but he was not injured. He tested them and found out they meant business. Ironically two of the groups that are extorting in the complex have businesses in there.

    No one dares to call because many of the criminal groups are protected by the police agencies at different levels. They are paid off. That is why over 90% of the people in Mexico will not file a criminal complaint. The police can do the hit on the person filing the complaint or they can look the other way as the Narcos kill them and their family. As was the case in Guerrero, where there was a band of 13 Federal police officers that were extorting kidnapping and killing the people. You do not know who you can trust.

    The USA cannot take all of Mexico into asylum. Because the people being threatened, kidnapped and extorted would be in the very high millions. Where do you draw the line and say who qualifies and who doesn't? What would Mexico do without all their smart people that were trying to make Mexico a better place, provide jobs and more. There needs to be a shakedown from the top down. When people are killed, extorted or kidnapped here, people just look at it as part of life to exist in Mexico. When you mention something about 13 people shot in a bar last night, it hardly raises any conversation from anyone. It is OK as long as it does not effect them it seems like to me.

    I talked to a Mexican fellow the other day that now lives on the USA. He was working here on a construction job with an American owned company. His family raises chickens. Two guys showed up with guns and demanded money from him the other day as he was helping his family. He told them they could take all the chickens they wanted. They left. Apparently they did not want to even lift a finger to get dirty, and market them. They just wanted the money.

    Mexico coddles the the drug kingpins. Lets them build big mausoleums, gives them superb care while in the Federal prisons. It is the wrong sign to give to criminals. Whole government agencies from the governors on down take payoffs from the cartels. The people are stuck in the middle. Something has to change and it is not just to allow every Mexican citizen that is being threatened to be allowed into the USA. The USA needs to put pressure on Mexico to do something serious about their government. Yes, the US government is also corrupt. But not to the point where they aide in allowing someone to loose their legs violently at the hands of their associates in crime.

    I do not wave an American flag here, nor have I seen other Americans do so. I do not have a decal on my vehicle that says I am a proud American. I do not even see Americans doing that in the USA. I do not understand why Mexicans leave Mexico and say they are proud Mexicans. They are doing it to escape Mexico and look for a better life. What is there to be proud of if you leave Mexico? Do like the Americans did and fight for your rights. Many men did it in America in the early years and they are still doing it to day. Many people have died and are still dying. You sometimes have to fight for your freedoms.

    One last thing. Why do even all the ex-presidents leave Mexico after their term is up. Where is their pride? I know Fox is still here. But Calderon is at a US college and living in the USA. Why is he not in a Mexico college?

    1. 10:40 regarding ex-presidents:
      President fox's wife,marthita is family with francisco sahagun vacation,ex-direccion federal de seguridad,a mafioso of the first order with all of his family.
      Ex-president Lopez portillo,after defending his pesos like a Pedro,went to live in Spain, where he bought a lot of property and hid a lot of his pesos.
      Zedillo and calderon ran to the US...
      carlos salinas de gortari ran to ireland, (because England had enough embarrassments defending Augusto pinochet,the Chilean vulture followed the millions he stole to england),he followed the billions of dollars he and his family stole to England,near the Swiss banks "his"money is at...
      El negro durazo,while not a president,after killing many colombiansto rip 'em off,ran away to Canada.
      they are all following their pesos that they stole to the banks the money is at,to the countries they worked for,for which they committed treason against Mexico,to the point of protecting criminal drug cartels a.d their associates...

  31. @ 2:54AM: U R A LIAR! Somebody with your attitude and lack of sensitivity does not have that many friends .... probably none actually ... or rather you are confusing friend with enemy, because yes indeed you could easily have 7000 enemies ... or even 10000 ... provide the list and I'll sign up rite away!

  32. In response to G(-)057

    I am not sure if you are referring to the post directly above yours. But I am as White as you can get. Even though my Spanish is good, everyone still calls me guero before I can get a word out. It is that evident. My wife is Mexican and she speaks no English. Because I live here, all my friends happen to be Mexican. I have a business here that does very well but deals with export, so I am under the radar for the most part. Except for paying US taxes, which is run by criminals. But either way, "it is what it is" no matter where you are from or what your color is. All you have to do is live here, open your eyes and read the papers just like anywhere. You will soon learn what is going on. It took me only 4 years of living here to have friends killed that were not criminals by any means. To see two assassinations and people hanging from bridges. I have never experienced tragedies such as these personally in the USA, not once. Houses protected like prisons, but made that way to keep criminals out. I also did not see people in the USA that had tall walls and fences with spikes, razor wire and broken glass on top. Bars on all the windows and doors. But I did not live in criminal infested areas in the US either. As here in Mexico as in the USA I try to hang around with the good people. Hard workers with families, and people you can trust. But I worry about them all the time because they are better off, and these are the people the criminals like to prey on. Like the young man in this article. I do not worry about my friends or family nearly as much that live in the USA. Watch this video and this kind of explains my view of what is happening in the USA also. Governments everywhere are getting to big and worry less about the people. The USA will wake up one day and do something. The citizens are armed to the teeth, unlike in Mexico.

    I just do not think I will ever get to the point where I just do not care anymore and just say like the Mexicans, every time something bad happens. Their retort is, you are in Mexico. They know what the score is, and they tell me the problems to deal with while living here to stay out of trouble. One thing for sure, if I run into violence against me and nothing can be done about it, or no one will help me. I will just pack up my bags and family and head North. I enjoy the good people here, but just like in the USA I worked hard and most of my time was spent with family and not friends. So I am comfortable in my skin, and with my wife and her child even without friends. Color or ethnicity means nothing to me. What matters is the person and their honesty and good intentions.

    Excuse my rambling, but I had a little time on my hands while drinking my morning coffee and these are things I have been dwelling on for the last year or more. Ever since I was treated poorly by US commercial customs (very poorly and almost all the time), and being extorted all the time by Mexican customs. At least the Mexican customs agents smiled as they took my money.

    To answer your question. Czech Republic and Scotland. My ex-wife is Swedish and my Granddaughter is Scottish, Czech, Swedish, and Mexican. But she is an American citizen. Where are your ancestors from?

    As far as the poor amputee in this article. Let him stay! He paid a high price and he seems like a person that would have qualified for citizenship anyway, if he had applied.

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