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Saturday, May 14, 2011

Update

I know that you all have been waiting once again for some new news. Not a lot has changed except that we now know that his case has been assigned to a judge with the last name of Molina. Yes, it is a panel of three judges that see the case. According to the lawyer these judges meet once a week to discuss the cases that they have been given individually. Kevin says that he doesn't feel that it is going to be very long before a decision is made. But, this is Mexico so anything can happen. Gustavo asked Kevin to come back in two weeks to get another update.

Nick Cassey with the Wall Street Journal wrote another article to talk about the letter that Senator Kay Bailey Hutchinson sent to Hilary Rodham Clinton. Here is a copy of that Article for you to read.

By NICHOLAS CASEY

A Texas senator urged Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton to look into torture allegations made by two Americans in a Mexican prison, calling their accusations "very troubling" in a recent letter.

Sen. Kay Bailey Hutchison (R., Texas) wrote to Mrs. Clinton about thecases of Shohn Huckabee and Carlos Quijas, two Americans convicted of drug crimes who say Mexican soldiers abused them during an interrogation in 2009. The letter is dated May 11.

"The allegations of torture and the denial of basic due process to United States citizens, Shohn Huckabee and Carlos Quijas, are very troubling," Ms. Hutchison wrote. "It is my hope, especially in the midst of Mexico's war on drugs, the U.S. consulate can help to ensure that U.S. citizens are treated humanely and fairly."

Any high level attention of the case could cause new frictions between Washington and Mexico City over how Mexico is waging the drug war. Under the terms of the Merida Initiative, the U.S.'s $1.4 billion drug assistance package for Mexico and Central America, Mexico stands to lose a portion of funding if there is evidence of human rights violations in its pursuit of drug traffickers.

Mssrs. Huckabee and Quijas were convicted last year for attempting to smuggle two suitcases of marijuana. Each is serving a five-year sentence in Ciudad Juárez, across the border from El Paso, Texas and are appealing the decision.

The two men say when they were detained near the border, soldiers beat them with rifle butts, shocked them with an electricity machine and threatened to kill them during an interrogation. Three witnesses in the trial testified they saw soldiers put suitcases in the vehicle driven by the two Americans. One of the witnesses was killed by unknown attackers after giving testimony.

Their story was the subject of an investigation last year by The WallStreet Journal and marked some of the first credible allegations of abuse of Americans by the Mexican military since the drug war began in 2006. More than 5,000 complaints from Mexicans have been filed toMexico's human rights commission against the military, many of themalleging torture.

This year, interest in the allegations of the Americans has grown. In April, the city of El Paso passed a resolution saying the U.S.consulate had not conducted "a vigorous review of the facts" and calling for the State Department to look into the case."

The Mexican justice system presumes that all suspects are guilty and that the burden is on the suspects to prove innocence," the resolution said. Sen. Hutchison included a copy of the document in her letter to Mrs. Clinton.

A State Department spokesman said Sen. Hutchison's letter would receive a "high priority," and said all allegations of abuse are investigated by the department. He did not comment specifically on the case of the Americans, citing privacy concerns.

The Mexican military did not immediately comment on Hutchison's letter. In past interviews, the military has said it did not abuse the men or plant evidence and that their account is false.

Contacted Thursday, Mr. Huckabee's father Kevin said that his son had not received a fair trial because proceedings had been difficult for his son who did not speak Spanish and often did not have a translator."This is not due process," he said.

Write to Nicholas Casey at nicholas.casey@wsj.com

Keep talking to people that matter. We will win this war. Pray that all involved in this situation will look deeper into this horrible ordeal. We now have lost even more days that he can never retrieve with his family.

Tammy

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Keystone



Here is a picture when he did some work at Keystone. Shohn was always a big supporter of Keystone Heritage Park. He did a lot of work there and supported all their activities. He worked with most of the Board of Directors and was loved by all. He liked working for the cause of preservation of our natural resources.



Enjoy this photo.