Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Military Barge Into Home of Manuel Espino, former PAN President

On Saturday a military convoy barged into the family home of Manuel Espino, former President of the national PAN party, and current president of the Christian Democratic Organization of America. In a story in Norte by Armando Delgado Sifuentes, Espino is quoted as saying this act constituted "an abuse which, unfortunately, like in most cases, will go unpunished."

Espino recounted that on Saturday his family was celebrating the birthday of a nephew when, at about 2 a.m. a military convoy entered, without asking permission or giving any warning. The soldiers startled several youths who were leaving the party as the convoy arrived. They finally were allowed to inform Mr. Espino about the arrival of the soldiers.

I told the officer in charge, "hey, you are entering a private home, you should have rung the doorbell instead of barging in with guns. You've frightened these young people for fifteen minutes. The officer said they were responding to a complaint about noise, but Espino pointed out there is only a gasoline station, some businesses, and a parking lot for trucks in the vicinity, and no houses where people could be bothered.

Mr. Espino said he wanted to make public his questioning of the utility of the strategy used by the Army in our streets, inasmuch as there are no visible authorities available to complain to, and because many complaints that are made go uninvestigated. "I know many cases of many friends who have gone through this kind of thing or worse. People are afraid to complain, and if they do, it doesn't do any good. I hope there is a change in attitude, a revision of strategy, because we can't go on living in Juarez this way. We are absolutely unprotected in Cd. Juárez. For me, the army is no guarantee of protection."

The decision to bring military troops into Juarez was made by the municipal government about a year and a half ago. The municipal government is controlled by the PRI party.

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