from: Grassroots Press. 10/16/08. Mexican Army Is Being Used in Push to Dispossess Residents of Lomas del Poleo.
photo caption: "Welcome. Lomas de Poleo." The sign strikes me as ironic.
The latest threat to the poor people who earned deeds to the driest wasteland in Mexico is army intimidation: torture and framing for illegal weapons and drugs to try to pin federal crimes on the residents. If the army can indiscriminately arrest the people there, the Zaragosa family could finally oust these impoverished citizens from their homes--which now lie in the valuable path of a proposed bi-national highway.
If it works, the soldiers would take care of the dirty work that can no longer be done comfortably by the private guards, paid by this very wealthy family, which has for several months been in the public eye. Two of the men who have resisted the relentless Zaragosa takeover effort were picked up and tortured on October 10.
From the testimony of 72 year old Alfredo Piñón Valenzuela:
“Your time is up, stupid bastard!” the soldier yelled at him, while aiming his gun.“You are really screwed” he told him, kicking him straight in his injured ribcage.
“Shoot, whatever, it was time,” the man replied, thrown on the ground and blind-folded.
“Ah, so you are not afraid?” the soldiers carried on, mocking him. “You think you are really tough, you have ‘big pants’ (‘muchos calzones’)?” [B.E.'s translation: "big boy" pants]
“Yes, and after you kill me, I will lend them to you”.
This is only the beginning of the story. You can read the entire account at Grassroots Press. It includes illegal entry, illegal search, framing for weapons/drugs violations, abduction, torture, and his subsequent abandonment in the middle of the night in a deserted, rural area.
“I thought they were going to kill me, but they just kicked me again, laughed at me and left me there.”Readers, I am almost beside myself. I will be back on the Border in six weeks. There is so much to do.
I urge you to read the gripping account in Grassroots Press in its entirety. You will not be bored. In the least.