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

Wednesday, May 13, 2020

Mexican National Whose Family Received Threats From Zetas Extortionists Is Denied US Asylum

"MX" for Borderland Beat; U.S. 5th Cir.

Request was denied by the U.S. 5th Cir.
Fidencio Munoz-Granados, a native and citizen of Mexico, was denied his request for U.S. asylum yesterday by the United States Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit.

At his hearing before an immigration judge on December 20, 2017, Munoz-Granados testified that he came to the United States as a teenager in 2003. Munoz-Granados learned from his father, Jose Fidencio Munoz de Hoyos ("Jose"), who remained in Mexico as a flea market vendor and member of the Confederation of Mexican Workers, that a trio of unknown individuals had extorted and beat him around the time Munoz-Granados left for the United States. Jose paid the money and the threats ended.

A similar event transpired in 2006. As before, Jose paid the demand to unidentified extortionists and the matter ended. Munoz-Granados then testified that around 2010 a drug cartel, Los Zetas, arrived in his home state of Coahuila. The Zetas began extorting 300 pesos per week from Jose as a quota for protection and the right to participate in the flea markets. Jose’s fellow flea market vendors received similar treatment.

After learning about the situation, Munoz-Granados, who had become a construction worker in Louisiana, began sending money to his family in Mexico to help cover expenses. At one point, around April 2014, the Zetas apparently beat Jose after he forgot to make his quota payments on time. According to Munoz-Granados, Jose responded by reporting the incident to the police,2 after which the Zetas beat him again and destroyed his merchandise until another vendor interceded.

Later, the Zetas told Jose they forgave him but would kill the first of his sons to return to Mexico. At this point Munoz-Granados became worried for his family and, because he was afraid to return to Mexico, applied for asylum in the United States.
Coahuila, the Mexican border state where his family lives
Meanwhile, back in Coahuila, Jose continued making weekly payments to the Zetas for several more years until he died from long-term health issues on October 3, 2017. Munoz-Granados testified that his family stopped paying quotas to Los Zetas when Jose died and had not received any demands or threats since doing so.

Nevertheless, Munoz-Granados stated that he remained afraid to return to Mexico because he believed the Zetas had identified him and would kill him.When asked by the IJ why he believed the Zetas would kill him upon his return to Mexico instead of extorting money from him, Munoz-Granados responded that the Zetas were mad at Jose for going to the police.

When pressed about the possibility of settling elsewhere in Mexico, such as with his girlfriend’s family in San Luis Potosí, Munoz-Granados testified that he believed the Zetas were "everywhere" in Mexico such that there were no places he could live safely. Munoz-Granados also explained that his construction skills would be useless in Mexico, so he would have little income.

Even so, he clarified that fear, not making less money, was the more important reason he did not want to return to Mexico. The immigratoin judge was "troubled" by inconsistencies between Munoz-Granados’s testimony and the documentary evidence he submitted, but nevertheless found Munoz-Granados "marginally credible."

The immigration judge then denied Munoz-Granados’s applications for asylum and withholding of removal, but declined to rule on his application for voluntary departure. Munoz-Granados appealed to the Board of Immigration Appeals (BIA), which dismissed his appeal, denied his motion to remand, and granted his application for voluntary departure.

Rejection reasons
The BIA concluded that Munoz-Granados failed to establish a well-founded fear of future persecution because Jose’s extortionists had not harmed, threatened, or made demands of Munoz-Granados’s mother and siblings since Jose passed away and, further, because Munoz-Granados had not established that he would be unable to avoid his father’s extortionists by relocating to a different part of Mexico.

Again, the evidence does not compel a contrary conclusion. Munoz-Granados testified that Jose made weekly payments to the Zetas starting in 2010, and that in 2014 the Zetas beat Jose the one time he was late in making payments.

Extortion rates in Mexico, as reported by the National System of Public Security (SNSP)
Yet Munoz-Granados stated that his family stopped making payments altogether in 2017 when Jose died and had received no demands or threats in the 3 months between Jose’s death and Munoz-Granados’s hearing before the immigration judge. This weakens Munoz-Granados’s claim of likely future persecution.

More importantly, Munoz-Granados failed to meet his burden to establish that it would be unreasonable for him to relocate to another part of Mexico, away from his father’s extortionists.

Munoz-Granados’s sole basis for claiming he could not reasonably relocate to another part of Mexico was his belief that the Zetas are "everywhere." This is not enough. First of all, Munoz-Granados himself conceded that “the Zetas are not as prominent in some parts of Mexico.” Second, while we do not question whether Los Zetas remains a forceful criminal enterprise, a fear of general violence and civil disorder is not sufficient to support a fear of future persecution.

To qualify for withholding of removal, an alien "must demonstrate a clear probability of persecution upon return."

Note: This post includes excerpts from the court document released by the United States Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit. The original and intact source is linked here.


  1. Wow I My self feel that this is respondiabilty of MEXICO not USA
    Gangs are MEXICOS problem
    I feel for this Guy Buuut""
    if The Gov.State and Federal cant control the gangs its NOT USAs problem nor should we take every single person running away from this
    If mexico wants to Pay for this Guy to live here pay his medical food house etc sure we can help

    This is where we have to put a foot down Sorry but if this man and every other person in Mexico fights back and Stand up instead of running away from his country

    Its a very sad place to be in
    i understand that its not easy living there But They must defend and fight back for their own country
    i know he and others will die or be murdered but THose gangs are not our problem Its Mexicos job
    Am not saying its right or I am right But if all that want to run away from gangs are Giving them more power Running away is not going to help the other good people that live in Mexico
    sorry but if we allow one thousands will follow. All because of gang bangers. take away these gangs power over you, get the upper hand
    We here in USA have so many problems with our own people
    We cant fix Mexico also

    1. I have told the story of when my Mexican employees asked me in 2011 when zetas and cdg were in a horrific brutal war. They asked me if the U.S. was going to enter mexico and save it. It was a rumor. I said no. and explained Mx has sovereignty and Independence and US only could consider entry if asked or in a declared act of war. which neither would happen.

      Next Q: why do we have these problems and US doesn't? A: Mexicans are apathetic, most likely for self preservation, US has problems but has the rule of law, and Americans have a mindset of willingness to serve our country for the good of the nation, even if it means giving ones life. I said "Mexicans are not there yet, but that is what real change will take, not elections, not apathy. I do't blame narcos. Narcos of course are responsible for their bad deeds, but narcos are doing what is allowed and are conducting themselves as narcos do." I think Mexicans can blame the man in the mirror. Superman is not coming.

      There was silence, then nervous laughter.

    2. You just perfectly described philippine people/culture as well. I've been living in the Philippines for 4 yrs, and the q:why do we hve these problems and the US doesn't is also asked here although it's not as bad here as in Mexico, it's not good.

    3. We had an office in Cebu about 17 yrs ago. We closed it because of violence. we have never established our business in mexico for the same reason.

    4. Your words are Perfect and so true. So who is going to change the mind set to help Mexicans change ?
      You write so well and explain things so easy Thank You
      The Good Mexicans Do need a Superman 😭but sadly he is not real Maybe a comic book that has heros instead of narcos ?

  2. Let one in for threats of extortion, let the whole country in....there goes the neighborhood.

    1. I wonder if "there goes the neighborhood" is what Mexicans said when their land was stolen from then. Slowly but surely we will take it back

    2. Take back what? Mexico? Your country? When do you plan to start?

  3. About 28,000 Americans died fighting in the American Revolution in order to live the way we do today. If the Mexican citizens revolted against the cartel and corruption, how many would die? Would it be worth it?

    1. 10:50
      True need another Pancho Villa type but one that has only one goal in mind and does not have an ego or greed in mind Only the true welfare of Mexicans
      but i fear its far far to late and to much money that reachs way to far to othets in power

      It will never ever change
      I hate writing these words
      but hope for them is lost.

      I learned something the other day They say the world is NOT millions and billions yrs old
      so maybe a complete wipe out is coming sooner then we think ?

  4. As a person with political connections in the USA I tried helping one of the Reyes Salazar Family members of Guadalupe facing extradition and it was to no avail.....many of their family was previously granted permission.....nothing I could do about it...I fully support doing an immigration bill but Pelosi won't allow it because they can use it as a wedge issue for elections.

    1. WTF are you saying ?
      What bill do you surport
      Your words have no information
      Explain please what was in YOUR PLAN ? No body would state what you just did with out saying, How, What, you purposed !
      tell us the rest. your words are empty

  5. meanwhile a drug lords with a criminal history but promises to be a good boy are granted extra asylum. next thing you know they're in Atlanta posting pictures with stacks of 100's ,seen it happen many times here smh.

  6. Coahuila has always been a favourite of el senor Lázca el patron 40 and mr wonderful himself z42 I plan to visit one day and see for myself


    1. Apropos of feeling ok today?

      More gang talk...wonderful.

    2. OOH 11:47, you are such a big man zeta, we are all so very impressed with your psychoses.

  7. Zetas are a bunch of woman's private parts


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