Mexican Judge releases suspect in death of Border Patrol Agent

Jesus Navarro MontesAmid fierce U.S. government protests over the release of a suspect in the killing of a U.S. Border Patrol agent, Mexico yesterday pledged close cooperation with U.S. authorities. But Mexican officials said they have yet to receive a request for his extradition or arrest.

Jesús Navarro Montes, who is suspected of drug smuggling, is accused by U.S. authorities of driving a sport utility vehicle over agent Luis Aguilar in January near the U.S.-Mexico border west of Yuma. Navarro was released from a Mexicali prison earlier this month after Judge Laura Serrano Alderete, of the Baja California 12th District, cleared him of an unrelated migrant-smuggling charge.

Mexican federal prosecutors are appealing Serrano’s ruling, saying it was based on a technicality. But their hands have been tied on the more serious homicide charge because the U.S. government has yet to formally demand Navarro’s detention, said Ricardo Alday, spokesman for the Mexican Embassy in Washington, D.C.

“To this day, the U.S. has not presented us with an extradition request, an arrest warrant, nor with evidence so we can move to prosecute him on the Aguilar case,” Alday said.

As far back as February, Mexican officials asked U.S. authorities to seek Navarro’s extradition or provide evidence so that Navarro could be held in Mexico, Alday said. “Mexico is really committed to working with the United States. We want justice to be served,” Alday said.

The status of U.S. requests for Navarro’s extradition or arrest remained unclear yesterday. The FBI office in San Diego, which is investigating the case, and the U.S. Department of Homeland Security referred questions to the U.S. Attorney’s Office in San Diego.

Debra Hartman, spokeswoman for the U.S. Attorney’s Office, wrote in response to an e-mail yesterday that “we have no comment at this time” as to why neither an arrest warrant nor an extradition request nor evidence in the case has been presented to Mexican authorities.

After Navarro’s release became public Wednesday, U.S. Homeland Security Secretary Michael Chertoff said in a written statement that “we are shocked and appalled.”

Chertoffdiscussed the issue yesterday with Eduardo Medina-Mora, Mexico’s federal attorney general, said Laura Keehner, a Homeland Security Department spokeswoman.

Medina-Mora “assured Secretary Chertoff that they will vigorously appeal the judge’s decision,” Keehner said. “He expressed once again the government of Mexico’s condolences to the family of the slain Border Patrol agent Luis Aguilar.”

Bottom line, the US Attorney DID NOT seek extradition of this suspect. There is no failure on the part of the Mexican government to cooperate in this matter, it is the failure of the US Government. And what is Mexico supposed to do? Keep him in custody until the US “gets around” to filing extradition papers? Ever heard of “Habias Corpus? But keep the faith. This assklown will be back in the US and will get busted once again. That is a given. My question also would be why is Comrade Chertoff “outraged”? The US Government dropped the ball on this one.