Skip to comments.Exclusive: Mexico Frees Captive American Family
Posted on 12/05/2003 3:59:58 PM PST by Dan Evans
Mexican authorities have released all five members of an American family after a squad of Mexican paramilitary police reportedly crossed into the United States and kidnapped the family on their property near Candalaria, Texas.
The alleged abduction, NewsMax.com reported Thursday, occurred Nov. 24, but four of the five family members the mother and three minor children were released after several hours. The father, believed to be Ladislado Escarcega, has now also been released, according to FBI and Border Patrol officials who spoke with NewsMax.
The incident was initially reported to authorities in Presidio County, about 170 miles southeast of El Paso, who in turn notified the FBI and Border Patrol.
An FBI spokesman in Midland told NewsMax the Department of Homeland Security's border protection division was the "primary" investigating agency for the incident.
"We're keeping our superiors advised as to what's going on, but the actual investigation is being conducted by the DHS," said the official, who asked not to be named. "But we all work hand in glove down here."
The FBI spokesman also said it was his "understanding" the Mexican personnel who crossed the border were not military but instead might have been a paramilitary police unit.
Meanwhile, a spokesman at the Marfa Sector Border Patrol office said his agency was "aware of the incident," but "quite honestly, we're not sure that it occurred" the way it had been reported.
He denied the Border Patrol was the primary investigating agency and said Presidio County authorities were handling it.
"The Border Patrol doesn't have any responsibility for investigating a kidnapping," said the spokesman, who also asked not to be named. "We would be concerned about an incursion, and we're looking into that, but at this point we don't have any reason to conduct an investigation."
He said the Border Patrol believed the fifth family member "is a Mexican citizen," but he declined to comment on whether the alleged abduction occurred on the U.S. side.
"We don't know that," the BP spokesman said, adding he was not sure the family even lived on the U.S. side of the border.
Authorities in Presidio County, Texas, initially confirmed to NewsMax the incident had been reported to the sheriff's department, but a spokesman there said the FBI had taken over the investigation and referred questions surrounding the report to them.
The FBI spokesman said his agency, along with DHS, were "providing all the necessary facts" to Washington, "so if the State Department or whoever wished to" broach the case with Mexican officials, "they would be able to."
"I don't know if that has occurred," the FBI spokesman said.
The FBI and Border Patrol said it was unclear whether an actual abduction had occurred. "We're not sure there was a kidnapping," said the Border Patrol spokesman.
'Kidnapped by Mexican Officials at Gunpoint'
But the law enforcement bulletin describing the incident stated the "family of five [were] kidnapped by Mexican officials at gunpoint," then "taken by Mexican officials to Mexico."
"It's believed that the family members were shooting at rabbits along the [Rio Grande] river at the time of their kidnapping," the bulletin said. "Local law enforcement was contacted after the release of family members."
Sources told NewsMax the family was not shooting into Mexico.
Some immigration reform groups say the episode shows how badly the situation along the U.S.-Mexico border is deteriorating.
"The conditions on the Mexican border today resemble those of 1916: massive illegal immigration, cross border raids by renegade bands of armed criminals, chaos, violence, and even a reconquista movement," Craig Nelson, head of Friends of Immigration Law Enforcement, told NewsMax. "Eventually, back then, ethnic tensions erupted in bloodshed, nearly perpetuating a full-scale war between Mexico and the United States."
"Since there is no guarantee we are not headed down the very same path today, Congress needs to implement a time-out from massive legal and illegal immigration until authorities can get a handle on the situation," said Nelson. "In particular, reckless voices in Washington that argue for letting business interests dictate immigration policy must be disregarded as dangerous and irresponsible."
Under Attack by Foreigners on U.S. Soil
This latest incident follows a series of similar occurrences directed against U.S. civilians and law enforcement authorities. The most high-profile kidnapping occurred in August 1985, when an eight-man squad of Mexican troops crossed the border onto private property in San Diego County.
The troops came looking for Robert Maupin, the landowner, after he reported the presence of a methamphetamine lab to the Drug Enforcement Agency, which in turn reported it to Mexican authorities. The lab, Maupin told officials, was visible from his land inside the U.S.
More recently, in May 2002, three armed Mexican troops in a military Humvee on the U.S. side of the border near Ajo, Ariz., fired on a Border Patrol agent in his vehicle. As the agent drove away from the scene, a bullet shattered the back glass of his Chevy Tahoe patrol vehicle, which was clearly labeled with U.S. Border Patrol markings.
House Immigration Reform Caucus chairman Rep. Tom Tancredo, R-Colo., told the Washington Times a year ago that his office had documented 118 instances where Mexican military or law enforcement had been seen on U.S. soil. In 60 percent of those cases, he said, the Mexicans were armed.
Translation: "We really couldn't care less about this."
But of course Homieland Security wont close the borders...profile illegals...deport illegals...
and wants to make illegals US Citizens...or at least eligable for benefits....
Some 'War on Terror'
Border crossings like these are unacceptable. Our federal government needs to show Mexico that this is unacceptable.
Well, first we get confirmation from another source (earlier today) and then we get a lot of back-tracking. Wonder what the real story is?
IMO, Dougherty had sources that leaked info DHS didn't want out here. So Newsmax is like Debka, they can be right often. When I saw the confirmation and was pinged this was also on WND with more details I began to think government cover-up. I am glad this family is returned but we need to demand answers from DHS how this can be allowed.
Or "We really don't want to deal with this"
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