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ALBUQUERQUE — The police chief of a Mexican border town racked by smuggling-related violence fled to the U.S. seeking asylum after his deputies abandoned him, federal officials said Friday.
Emilio Perez, the chief of Palomas, Mexico, showed up at the international port of entry in Columbus, N.M., late Tuesday, saying his two deputies had left the department and that he now needed protection, too, according to Doug Mosier, a U.S. Border Patrol spokesman in El Paso.
WASHINGTON – The Bush administration and law enforcement officials appealed to Congress on Thursday to approve a $1.4 billion foreign-aid package to Mexico – assistance they say is needed to stabilize a region rocked by a renewed surge in drug violence.
After a hearing in New Orleans, an appeals court judge says federal prosecutors may have overreacted in their case against former border agents Ignacio Ramos and Jose Compean. The two men are serving lengthy prison sentences for shooting a fleeing drug suspect.
Judge E. Grady Jolly is one of three judges in the 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals hearing the appeals. He questioned whether the two agents would have been charged if they had reported the shooting. "For some reason, this one got out of hand, it seems to me," Jolly said of the agents' prosecution. He said it seems "that the government overreacted" in the prosecution that led to a 12-year prison term for Compean and an 11-year term for Ramos.
It was almost a year ago that three masked gunmen armed with grenades and assault rifles stormed into the newsroom at El Manana, a daily paper in the border town of Nuevo Laredo, killing one reporter and leaving a second paralyzed for life.
These days El Manana's newsroom is protected by a bulletproof barrier, but its effect is largely symbolic, as much as anything a barrier of silence, a statement of what can't be said. The atmosphere among reporters and residents of this Mexican town of about 500,000 is still one of fear and wariness.
Reporters say they have given up reporting on narcotics trafficking and the government and police corruption that accompany it.