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US Border Agent's Killer Released

U.S. Representative Judge Ted Poe (TX-02)

Wednesday, July 9, 2008

In January, Border Patrol Agent Luis Aguilar was tracking drug smugglers on the Mexican-U.S. border. A Hummer apparently carrying drugs crossed into the United States and tried to flee back to Mexico when Aguilar and other Border Patrol agents gave pursuit. Aguilar got in front of the Hummer at some distance and he put spikes in the road of retreat, but the Hummer, rather than go over the spikes, drove off the road, ran over and killed Aguilar, and fled back to Mexico.

Border Patrol Agent Luis Aguilar

The driver was Jesus Navarro Montes. And he fled to Mexico, ditched the Hummer with some friends, but was arrested by Mexican authorities 3 days later and charged with certain offenses.

Now the facts get a little messy. Montes is the only suspect in the murder of Aguilar, but he has recently been released from jail in Mexico. Some Mexican authorities say he was not in jail for the murder but unrelated smuggling charges. Even so, he was not tried for those charges even though he waited in jail for 6 months.

Mexico also says that the United States has failed to file extradition papers from the United States to Mexico requesting the extradition of Montes. Extradition papers are a legal requirement between countries to bring criminals from one country to another. It's been 6 months and certainly those papers should have been filed some time ago.

Our Justice Department, however, refuses to comment on whether extradition was requested or the papers were filed. This is a bit odd and curious why our government won't say whether or not they even filed the appropriate paperwork and what the problem is. Did our government fail to file this simple paperwork? And if so, people in our government ought to be fired. This is inexcusable. And if Mexican authorities released prematurely, Mexico has some explaining to do as well. There is obviously incompetence in somebody's government regarding the release of this individual.

Meanwhile Navarro Montes is running lose somewhere in Mexico, laughing at both governments and probably still smuggling drugs into the United States. The Aguilar family still weeps, and they are waiting for justice for the death and murder of their loved one.

This ought not to be. Our government should be as concerned about prosecuting drug smugglers that murder American Border Patrol protectors as they are about relentless prosecuting border agents like Ramos and Compean that were doing their job when charged with violating the civil rights of a drug smuggler on the border. We need some answers, and not blissful silence and excuses from our government. Navarro Montes needs a trial so that justice can prevail because justice is what we do in this country.



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