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US Government Official Mugged By Tijuana Police

From The Counterterrorism Blog:

Two weeks ago (March 4th) a senior US Government official with the Transportation Security Administration was brutally attacked. This official, who is in charge of surveying and assessing Mexican airports to ensure that they meet the U.S. Government security requirements, left his hotel room in Tijuana, Mexico on Friday evening and crossed the street to buy his daughter a gift. While returning from the gift shop he was accosted by two Mexican police officers. They pulled the U.S. Federal agent into an alley and beat him while demanding $1,000.

[Read The Rest Of The Story]

According author Larry Johnson the TSA, rather than forcefully protesting this vivid case of corruption and abuse, is trying to keep it quiet - even blaming the agent.

Comments (24)

Permit me to advocate the l... (Below threshold)

Permit me to advocate the liberal politically-incorrect response, but the only response that is acceptable to the American people. Yank any member of the Mexican embassy staff off the street in DC, kick the friggin shit out of him, and plain ole tell Vicente Fox that he has less than 24 hours to deliver up the goons that beat up our man. If he doesn't, well you get the idea. The burden falls on the Mexican government and the Kennedy/Kerry war crimes liberals.

I've lived most of the last... (Below threshold)

I've lived most of the last 7 years in Mexico and every time I hear one of these stories and I do a little checking I find out the person telling it has left something out. Usually when I ask it's a case of the person involved breaking a law at the time and it's usually a drug law. If it was a shakedown he'd never have seen the inside of a jail, especially since he works for the government. It's much easier and more efficient for the "victim" to just disappear. If our government isn't pursuing the matter further then it's a good bet he was up to something, got caught, and is now making up a story to cover his ass. Vicente Fox may not have accomplished much else but he has cut down on corruption. Too many people come down here and think they can get by with anything and think if they do get caught they can buy their way out of it with a few dollars. It just doesn't work that way any more.

I dunno know, bullwinkle. ... (Below threshold)

I dunno know, bullwinkle. I've heard that complaint many times from certain defenders o' Mexico, to describe a generality, who generally have the common Mexican opinion that Americans are lowly and deceptive and that is that American women "all" go to Mexico "to sleep with Mexican men."

I've heard that slur so many times from so many people and it's always the same, like some sort of mantra, and a few times from middle-age Caucasian women in the U.S. defending Mexico and taking it out on fellow American females, making all American females appear as sex-driven incorrigibles, travelling to Mexico to 'violate' the trusting, gullible natives.

Such an arrogant, cruel thing to suggest...

Mexico is not the trusting, gullible group of banana eating vegetarians seeking peace and goodwill that some want you to believe. Otherwise, they'd all stay home and eat bananas and vegetables and enjoy their peaceful, goodwill laden lives. No, they don't, most try to escape just the opposite.

I tend to agree with you that there may just be more to this story than we're being told but I would hesitate to write that it's some standard behavior of misbehavior by the Bad Americans Doing Bad Things in Glorious Mexico.

Same thing as to the "Mexic... (Below threshold)

Same thing as to the "Mexico blamelessly produces drugs and sells them in Bad America because Bad Americans want and use drugs" line of reasoning to justify Mexico's cultural and commercial lack of responsibility for their very, very demonstrative presence in drug production and trafficking.

Not this time Bullwinkle. ... (Below threshold)

Not this time Bullwinkle. The man who took the beating is an old acquaintance. Very straight laced. Not the type to be on the prowl in a whorehouse or bar. Former Texas State Trooper. This time the Mexican shake down force stepped out of bounds.

Like I said, it's usually a... (Below threshold)

Like I said, it's usually a case of someone up to something. I don't know the man, the circumstances or the whole story, and I strongly suspect that we aren't hearing it all. They most likely would have shot him and left him laying in the street unless they had something on him, or there happened to be a lot of witnesses, something they avoid when shaking someone down. Very few of the officials here in my area speak English well enough to deal with gringos when trouble starts so they usually come get me. The gringos are invaribly drunk or stoned, and never admit any wrongdoing on their part, they had no idea that you can't grab the restaurant owner's 12 year old daughter and run your hand up her skirt, things like that. That was the excuse I got week before last from a New Yorker. I can't speak for what goes on in Tiajuana, I avoid the border as much as possible, but I can give you hundreds of examples on the Carribean coast from Cancun to Belize. A large part of tourists in and around Cancun are an embarrassment to people like myself that keep homes here. The locals think most Americans are rich rude drunks, and they are right 2 out of 3 on that count. I doubt that people visiting the Grand Canyon stagger up and own the trails drunk all hours of the night but then again I haven't been there in a while. If you take the news reports about the behavior of students on spring break and multiply that by 3 or 4 that's what we've been showing the people of Mexico for the last 10 years.

Bullwinkle is correct As a... (Below threshold)

Bullwinkle is correct As a young frat boy, I got mugged by the cops in Tijuana. I did break the law. I was having some fine time hooting around with local gals and got caught drinking excellently mixed Mai Tais on the streets. Contrast that with the exceptionally useful Irish beer I am guzzling now, but I digress. Back to the story, the coppers say pay money now or go to jail. As in monopoly, there is really only one choice -- you pass go, so I goed with a lighter wallet. I deserved it, and they enriched themselves. Seemed like capitalism at work, Mexican style.

From what Bullwinkle has wr... (Below threshold)

From what Bullwinkle has written, it sounds like the cops there are as corrupt as ever. At most they are more selective about who they go after.

"If it was a shakedown he'd never have seen the inside of a jail, especially since he works for the government. It's much easier and more efficient for the 'victim' to just disappear."

So in other words, shake-downs DO happen. If they didn't, then how would Bullwinkle have anything to compare this situation to?

I live in Arizona and I can tell you that in Mexico, the only difference between the cops and the criminals is the cops carry badges. In many ways the police down there are like the mafia was here in some places. They're not in the business of fighting crime, they're in the business of regulating it.

The mistake this guy made was going outside alone. Mexico is a place where you should always travel in groups unless you speak Mexican (it ain't exactly Spanish) and look like Cheech Marin. A middle aged white-bread bureaucrat from DC would stand out like Yasser Arafat at a Bar Mitzvah.

I suspect he was warned about going out alone and that is the reason he's being chastized now. Blaming the victim is entirely appropriate when the victim was warned of the danger beforehand. If a guy climbs into a cage with a tiger, and the tiger takes a big old bite out of his ass, do you blame the tiger or do you blame the guy who should have known better in the first place?

With all due respect I thin... (Below threshold)

With all due respect I think you have missed the point. He was there to "assess their airport(s) security". He probably told them they were going to get less than an "A". He got "told" that he was mistaken. Yes, it can happen, what would the consequences to an airport or city be if the airport gets red listed? Lose tourism dollars?. You are speaking of a 3rd world country where US Law Enforcement personnel have been murdered for looking into things the locals didn't want exposed. Vincente Fox may have cleaned it up some, but don't think he can be watching all the bad boys all the time.

If a guy climbs into a c... (Below threshold)

If a guy climbs into a cage with a tiger, and the tiger takes a big old bite out of his ass, do you blame the tiger or do you blame the guy who should have known better in the first place?

I thought we were talking about Mexicans. Tigers are animals; we don't expect them to know what's right and wrong.

I'd hope we consider Mexicans to be people, and expect them to behave as such.

I believe it really depends... (Below threshold)

I believe it really depends on where you're going in ANY of these places. I sincerely doubt that ALL Mexican Police are horrible, but maybe the ones that live and "work" in those American Tourist traps like Cabo, Cancun, or Tijuana tend to be (on the average). My most recent trip to Mexico, on our training cruise we hit Mazatlan, and we tied up for 6 days. We had NO problem at all! Mazatlan is even a tourist place, not only for "white folk", but also for Mexicans. In fact, when we were there, it wasn't tourist season for "white folks", but it WAS tourist season for Mexicans. I believe that was the very reason we were left alone because on the average, Mexican tourists probably behave themselves better in MEXICO than "white folks" do. I do agree that the whole "college frat boy party style" pisses off the locals (especially the local police who have to deal with bar fights, rape, drunkeness), so maybe during "white folks" tourist season, maybe the cops are just a little on edge. Maybe their jails are just a little too full at the moment so they don't want to deal with it. I'm not condoning it, but at the same time I think "white folks" need to be blamed as well.

I am NOT saying that this particular gentleman was at fault. He probably was in the wrong place at the wrong time, with cops who were just too fed up. But then again, we DON'T KNOW ANY FACTS.

Please keep the speculation to the minimum, thanks.

Henry said-I <b... (Below threshold)

Henry said-

I believe it really depends on where you're going in ANY of these places.

I sincerely doubt that ALL Mexican Police are horrible...

I believe that was the very reason we were left alone because on the average, Mexican tourists probably behave themselves better in MEXICO than "white folks" do.

...so maybe during "white folks" tourist season, maybe the cops are just a little on edge.

He probably was in the wrong place at the wrong time...

Henry also said, "Please keep the speculation to the minimum, thanks."

tee hee!

Tijuana is a rough place an... (Below threshold)

Tijuana is a rough place and the police are corrupt. I've been there. I was leery about going out in the day time, much less at night.

Henry also said "But... (Below threshold)

Henry also said
"But then again, we DON'T KNOW ANY FACTS."

I had a friend get kidnappe... (Below threshold)

I had a friend get kidnapped and shaken down in TJ for no other reason than stepping away from the main drag. It's a scary thing: there's this sort of party atmosphere, like Las Vegas--and a deceptive sense of safety, with people of all ages on the streets--but if you do one little thing "wrong" (as they define it--like straying 10 feet from the Avenue de la Revolucion) the criminals are all over you. And there are no authorities to turn to, because the criminals carry badges.

A friend of my husband's was a passenger on a bus in Mexico, and it was stopped. He got shaken down for his last $40.

In a way it's like being in New York: you have to have your "mugging money" with you. But the muggers in New York aren't doing it with the blessing of the "law."

This is like a sort of tax that we've been willing to pay as tourists, but it has to stop. And they crossed a line when they beat up an American official.

Well, from my experiences a... (Below threshold)

Well, from my experiences at an orphanage outside of Tijuana, where I went with a group of volunteers for a weekend (they went regularly, I only accompanied them once, however), there were a whole lot of eleven, twelve, thirteen and forteen year old Mexican boys and girls who were producing their own children in some ongoing cycle of lots of hands up lots of skirts but by the locals upon the locals, producing yet more locals who grew another decade and did the very same thing.

I'm sure that some Americans go to Mexico to drink Tequila and act out but it's not like all Americans can be characterised that way. I spent a few weeks in a house south of Puerto Vallarta once and didn't drink Tequila the entire time (but I enjoyed some Scotch, Gin, limes and other things...)...I'm just saying that there's a lot of bad behavior in Mexico by Mexicans and their prejudice about "The Bad Americans" behaving badly (in Mexico, even in the U.S.) is tiresome to my view.

I mean, they think very little of Americans and America, in my experience, and most of them actually look down on Americans in one way or another, but they sure do want our resources.

I'm getting tired of the game that Mexico and many from their various cultures promote about the United States, and us Americans included. From what they've done to their own country, I can't see allowing their culture(s) to proliferate in the U.S. -- cross the U.S./Mexican border, immediately there is chaos, trash everywhere, deforested hill after hill after hill, shack after shack, thief after thief.

I'm sorry here but I used to enjoy Mexico years ago (and always lent a hand while I was there, spent American dollars among other things) but the country has become a sewer. About bullwinkle's neighborhood, didn't you write earlier that you MANAGE A BAR? Meaning, if you manage a bar, you're dealing with people who are in your presence for purposes of drinking alcohol. You're going to find, routinely I'd venture to guess, more than a few alcoholics who act even more badly after a few drinks...so, it's more a case of your personal environment as to your perspective than it is to the area in which you live (Mexico) as to that American behavior about which you write.

I was just reading about some guy in Mexico who was found to have been stewing in his camp the remains, partially which he'd already eaten, of other young Mexican males that he'd first raped. Not like America made him do it.

BUT, American college stude... (Below threshold)

BUT, American college students on Spring Break "piss off" EVERYone. Even in the U.S.

It's the behavior of too much alcohol, too little parenting or adult supervision (they are there/anywhere on Break to escape all that), and people still without enough life experience to know what their limits are, or ought to be, need to be even.

I spent a lot of years in college of various types and for various reasons and I never, not once, was among the drunken Spring Break crowd. Anywhere. A few friends and I once went camping/motorhoming, so to speak, in the Southwest and had a great time, we even drank some alcohol during the week we were there, but none of us were a part of any group ugliness or community problem.

It's a case of the personalities involved, is all I can say, as to the college crowd behaving badly during notorious Spring Break. Even California and Florida don't like their behavior, after a point, which has happened only after all those dollars in local income failed to compensate for all those complaints and all that damage and residue afterward.

So, they go to Mexico, at least some of them. But, again, it's a case of the persons involved, not about our American culture, us as Americans. Or even them as Mexicans. It's a case of humans behaving badly, anywhere. They'd do the same thing in India, Thailand, Australia, New Orleans, Denmark, etc....

The subject is not what nat... (Below threshold)

The subject is not what nationality of heavy drinkers behaves the worst. The subject is, official Mexican disrespect of Americans, practically codified into law.

Yes, I long ago realized th... (Below threshold)

Yes, I long ago realized that, Attila Girl, but was making comments about earlier allusions here and otherwise using examples to make a larger point: behavior is individual and circumstances are significant and important as to what behaviors are manifested by whom and where and why.

And that the "Big, Bad Amer... (Below threshold)

And that the "Big, Bad Americans" prejudice is alive and well in Mexico and among many Mexicans and that they have little room to stand on based upon their own corrupt society.

And a lot of Mexicans illeg... (Below threshold)

And a lot of Mexicans illegally (and some legally) attempt to become big bad Americans themselves...

Yeah, but many of them cont... (Below threshold)

Yeah, but many of them continue to then decry the United States afterward, "taking jobs that Americans won't," and, "you can afford health insurance, we can't so we deserve free healthcare," and many other things.

I know many people who originated in Mexico and they're nice people, but there's an ongoing derision about the United States by many who immigrate, legally and illegally (ARE there legal immigrants any longer from Mexico?), and that is that they come here "to work" and yet don't object to the many millions of dollars that their presence costs the U.S., that their illegal status is nothing to blink at, that the laws are not worthy of respecting, that the United States taxpayers exist for to care for them....they generally display a terrible disrespect for the country and Americans and most seem to feel entitled to be here, combined with the Mexican government's encouragement of their illegality (that it's not important, that nothing called 'illegal immigration' actually exists, etc.).

The mood has changed, not that it was poor to begin with. In Los Angeles, something past fifty percent of working adults cannot.read.even.adequately.to.comprehend.public.transportation....

Mexico caused that.

People who immigrate legally make an effort to declare citizenship in and for another country and then go about doing what is required by the new country to accomplish that. Illlegal immigration is entirely self-centered and mostly disregards, if not denigrates completely, the lawful method that the country requires. I've asked before and I still am: is THAT the type of citizen that the U.S. needs? No, it doesn't.

Many in Mexico send their children across the border daily for a free education, free healthcare and later, free housing, services, even college at taxpayers' expense. For starters. What I find most offensive is that they never respect the country that they take so much from. And many of them really disrespect the Americans from whom they are making their living.

I wish that English was dis... (Below threshold)

I wish that English was displayed EVERYWHERE IN THIS COUNTRY.

We need to put it to a vote NATIONWIDE. Should English be THE language for this country? YES OR NO.

If you can't speak english, either learn it and become at least a visitor or a citizen, or get deported to whatever god-forsaken country you came from.

I own a bar in Texas, not i... (Below threshold)

I own a bar in Texas, not in Mexico. My point about American behavior in Mexico is that the bad ones stand out, that's true for the bad Mexicans in the U.S. also. They never forget the bad ones, and we're just like them in that repsect, but in the last 10 years or so I see more and more Americans behaving terribly down here. This is by no means the majority, and it's not just Americans, Europeans are just as bad. It only takes a small percentage to make a long-lasting bad impression. I live in the far opposite corner from Tiajuana, you can't be any farther away and still be in Mexico, but I have been there several times and I can say without a doubt when a cop shakes you down for getting off the main drag it's probably money well spent, he's possibly saving your life if he keeps from going. Not that it's right, it's still a crime. A few apples are spoiling this for everyone, bad cops, and bad tourists and bad citizens on and from both sides of the border. If you ever want to see a truly beautiful country with great people stay away from the border, stay out of the tourist traps and visit the real Mexico. It also helps to learn enough of the language to get by, which is substantially less than most Americans expect tourists from other countries to learn before they come to the U.S.






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