The Elephant and the RabbitApr 2nd, 2010 | By Michel Marizco | Category: Chismes, General News
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THE BORDER REPORT
The family of the man arrested for the murders of people connected to the U.S. consulate was beaten and held captive by Mexican federal forces for two days before being dragged into the spotlight as a suspect, his family says. If true, it suggests a gross setup in a high-profile murder case that’s lingered on for weeks and is beginning to embarrass the law enforcement agencies on both sides of the border.
Talking to Diário de Juárez, Ricardo Valles de la Rosa’s wife says the Mexican Army picked him up Wednesday, March 24, beating him and planting a gun on him. She also says he was not a member of Los Aztecas but that he was indeed deported three years ago on immigration records from El Paso.
How’s that old joke go? Three teams of cops, Russian, American, and Mexican compete to see who can track down a rabbit first. The Russians and the Americans fail; the Mexicans drag in an elephant with a terrified look on his face. He’d obviously been beaten. “That’s no rabbit!” a judge yells. “Why of course it is,” says one of the Federales. “He confessed it to us!”
True or no? The case is bizarre. If you’ll recall, Valle was arrested after the FBI told the Mexicans who he was. That’s what the Mexican Army claimed anyway. The Americans have referred all reporter questions to the Mexicans, a move I find curious in this time of “unprecedented cooperation.” Curious but also illustrative if they know the Mexicans have the wrong guy. Remember that. It will be an important point later, once it disappears. If the Mexicans set the guy up, everybody will blame Mexico. That is to be expected. The Americans either helped the Mexicans pull the setup or they stayed quiet while it happened. That part won’t make it to the news.
Then there is the manner in which the announcement of Valles’ arrest was handled. Last Tuesday, Mexican officials specifically said Valles was not a suspect. Then they said they had a suspect in custody but wouldn’t say who. Then they charged Valles with acting as a lookout for the gunmen, following Lesley Enriquez and her husband, Arthur Redelfs in one SUV; Jorge Salcido and his children in a second. Yesterday, they publicly claimed, and they’ve said this before, that Redelfs was the target they were after because of the way he treated jail inmates in El Paso County.
Of course the family could be lying; I’ve noticed in all my time working on the border that the families of accused individuals rarely speak out, not unless they have a strong compulsion to do so. And the fact that the wife gives specific information on when the alleged levantón happened suggests a reasonable level of fact in her tale.
The fact that the Chihuahua Attorney General’s Office and the PGR have changed their stories on Valles’ arrest also suggests there is more going on here than what has been revealed. The Americans had a warrant for Valles out of El Paso County, a drug charge, don’t remember the specifics. The Mexicans have repeatedly stated it was the FBI’s work that led to their picking Valles up. The Americans haven’t negated this. If you’re going to engineer a fictional arrest, why arrest a man with a family who may speak out? Why arrest him in front of witnesses? That also makes no sense.
Did the Mexicans rush an investigation to calm the Americans down?
Did the Americans help the Mexicans fictionalize an arrest to calm everyone else down?
Is the family lying?
Was Valles really a lookout?
Was Redelfs really the target?
We shall see.