United States Penitentiary Tucson
Reg. No. 85029-098
P.O. BOX 24549
Tucson, Arizona 85734
January 12, 2008
Mr. President Felipe Calderón Hinojosa
Your Excellence, Mr. President Calderón:
I have been imprisoned in the United States for twenty-two years, serving an interminable sentence of 240 years plus a consecutive life2 sentence for a crime I did not commit.
I am referring to the widely known case of Agent Enrique Camarena 3. A crime committed in Mexico and according to Mexican Law, one that should have been tried in Mexico. As is public knowledge, I was kidnapped on January 24, 1986 from my own country, in Mexican Territory and brought, bound and gagged inside an automobile, as if I were a wild beast. My kidnapping and transfer to this country was perpetuated by judicial police from the State of Baja California and agents of the DEA bribed by high-ranking officials4 of the United States government. Once in this country and trying to justify my kidnapping, I was accused, with astounding and blatant cynicism, of violating the immigration laws of trying to enter into the United States of America illegally by jumping over the fence dividing both countries. This was a completely false and ridiculous accusation because at the time I had in my possession identification documents that permitted me to cross the border legally.
It has been established the United States government paid the kidnappers at least $50,000.005 and an additional $50,000 upon completion. As an additional bonus, these people and more than 30 members of their families received asylum in this country. It was also proven that of the six kidnappers who directly participated, four were officers of the Baja California State Judicial Police who were later fired for bad conduct and the remaining two were DEA Agents. The US government refused to identify them, even though their participation in my kidnapping was proven. (A few years ago, one of the Mexican Agents talked to persons close to my family to ask for forgiveness for his participation in my kidnapping, because he wanted to return to live with his family in Baja California.)
After an exhaustive investigation, the Second Penal Court for the Judicial District in Mexicali, Baja California, opened case No. 611866. Formal charges of kidnapping were filed in this case against Mohamed Alí Hoy Casas, Domingo Martínez Bueno, Antonio Escobedo Gutiérrez and José Luis Pinedo, against who arrest warrants were issued on March 26, 1986. The Judge from the Second Penal Court personally petitioned their extradition7 on April 25, 1986 in Case No. 467. The U.S. Government, in complete disregard and disrespect of our national sovereignty and of existing treaties refused to acknowledge the petition demonstrating an unheard of attitude of complicity between the United States and criminals.
With the initial accusation of illegal entry into the country, I was taken to court. Accusations were formulated against me for trafficking marijuana so as to keep me in jail to find a way to associate me to the Camarena case; obviously with the intention I cooperate in an investigation of a case in which I had no participation.
During the almost three years of fighting the marijuana trafficking case I suffered every kind of humiliation, discrimination and psychological pressure including inhuman solitary confinement, isolation and confinement in the cruelest maximum security prisons in the United States. After learning I had no part in the case and therefore would not cooperate, I was surprised by the charges of complicity in the Camarena case. It was evident to me the reason I was not formally charged for over two years is because there is no proof of my participation8 in this horrendous crime.
When I was formally charged in the Camarena case, it seemed logical my original prosecutor in the marijuana case, Mr. Peter Nuñez, would also handle this new case. For political reasons, however, the case was taken from him and given to Mr. Bannett9 and the case was transferred to Los Ángeles, California. As a consequence of this change, prosecutor Nuñez resigned from his position. It was clear the Government wanted to elevate politically the new prosecutor, Bannett, a person who conducted the trial without the most minimal honesty and as a gift for his corruption, he was promoted to manage the national Bureau Against Drugs in Washington, D.C. (Mr. Bannett's conscience must not be very clear, because when I was already imprisoned in Leavenworth, Kansas, I was unjustifiably isolated for many days when this gentleman visited the prison).
At the beginning of this new case, I appeared before a Judge in Los Ángeles, California. I do not remember his name, but he did not want to take the case. I suppose the true reason for him not taking the case was he did not see himself involved in a trial already politically tainted. As a consequence, the case was assigned to Judge Edward Rafeedie10.
The supposed homicide trial focused itself 98% as a marijuana case and only a 2% as a homicide case. The Government, with clear intentions of confusing the jury, used the argument that the "thousands" of tons confiscated at the ranches of "El Bufalo" in Chihuahua and Durango, Mexico, was a product of Mr. Camarena's investigation and therefore the reason for the conspiracy to kill him. The prosecutor presented only evidence related to my participation in drug trafficking and my relation to Mr. Caro Quintero. Even so, my participation in the homicide was never substantiated with real evidence, only circumstantial evidence and without a witness who could corroborate my participation in it. The plan was merely to create an emotional trial.
RECORDS FROM THE HYATT HOTEL11
These records do prove, in fact, that I was in the city of Guadalajara, Jalisco during the days of Mr. Camarena's demise. It was necessary that I travel to Guadalajara to inform my boss about the arrest of many of our employees and the seizure of approximately two tons of marijuana in the State of Arizona. The quantity of the marijuana lost was considerable and I thought it necessary to personally convey the information Additionally, I needed approval for money and lawyers to defend the detainees.
I arrived in Guadalajara on Mexicana de Aviación Airline, accompanied by someone that was with me during the entire trip. I omit his name for obvious reasons; I registered at the Hyatt at approximately 6:00 p.m. After dinner, my companion invited a friend to the hotel bar where we stayed until very late that night, as can be verified by hotel records. We left the hotel around 2:00 a.m. and my companion and I, his friend and four body guards went to eat at Tizóc Restaurant, a place open 24 hours, then we went back to the hotel to sleep and we did not go out the rest of the night. The next day we woke very late. I located my boss and he sent some people to pick us up from the hotel. We immediately went to the house on Lope de Vega Avenue. This was the first time that I visited that house. When we arrived at the house, I found Mr. Jorge Gómez España, a realtor I had known for a while, waiting outside the gate. Mr. Gómez España was visibly nervous. He asked me if I could help him solve a problem. Jorge was afraid my boss thought he was an informant and asked me to help him clear up the misunderstanding.
When I entered the house, my boss welcomed me. I explained what had happened in Arizona and the immediate need for money and lawyers to aid those detained in Arizona. He stated I should do whatever was necessary to help those detained as much as possible. I was there approximately 30 minutes, when I said goodbye, my boss ordered someone to take me back to the hotel. I suggested that it was not necessary, because Mr. Jorge Gómez España was outside and I would ask him for a ride. With this comment, I thought that if Jorge had any problems my boss would tell me immediately. When he did not say anything I felt it meant Jorge's worries were unfounded. I would like to mention that at this point, according to Government documents, Mr. Camarena was already dead12. During my visit there I did not observe anything strange, just normal household activity.
When we left the house I asked Jorge to take me back to the hotel and told him not to worry because his problem was non-existent. I also stated the problem that brought me to Guadalajara was resolved as well. Having said this I asked for corroboration from my companion asking him: "Isn't that so, Commandant?"
Mr. Gomez España declared these facts during the trail, but the prosecutor interpreted them to his advantage. The prosecutor presented this before the jury as if the Arizona problem was not the reason for my trip but said the real problem I had solved was that of Mr. Camarena. When we returned to the hotel we did not leave again. The three of us ate something and after a while, Mr. Gómez España, said goodbye but promised to return.
He did so later on, in the company of some ladies and we spent the rest of the day and night with them. Around 7 a.m. the next day, my companion and I left the hotel and returned to Mexicali, Baja California on the same airline, Mexicana de Aviación.
Mr. Hollestelle worked for Mr. Donald Walters's team. He was responsible for receiving the marijuana in the United States. He was arrested for contraband of marijuana, as a result of his work. Like others in the same situation he was afraid to get a long sentence. He struck a deal with the prosecutor and his sentence was reduced in exchange for his testimony, one based solely on lies.
Mr. Hollestelle testified that on a certain occasion, in the city of Los Angeles, California and while accompanying Mr. Donald Walters and me in a car, he heard me tell Mr. Walters that a narcotic's agent had been beaten; a totally false statement because during that period I never traveled to the United States. I did not even travel there when my son was born on December 26, 1995 in San Diego, CA. Beside that, Mr. Hollestelle could not speak Spanish, and at that time I could not speak sufficient English to sustain a conversation. This event never happened, moreover, during his testimony before the grand jury, Mr. Walters's denied we ever made that comment and that Mr. Hollestelle ever accompanied us in a car. Mr. Walters's testimony before the Grand Jury was never given to the defense attorneys. The Government never gave it to us.
When my Lawyers cross-examined Mr. Hollestelle during the trial, he clearly admitted being a liar and a thief. He admitted to lying and to stealing property under his care. Mr. Hollestelle also declared that on a certain occasion he accompanied Mr. Caro Quintero's sister on my orders. The prosecutor had obviously established my relation to Mr. Quintero and the marijuana business - a fact that I have never denied, but these declarations do not prove my participation in the kidnapping and homicide. This is only circumstantial and emotional evidence. Additionally, my lawyers learned that Mr. Hollestelle admitted to third parties that, induced by the prosecution he lied during my trial to obtain a reduced sentenced.
Manuel Calderón was serving a sentence of 12 years at Terminal Island Prison for drug contraband. He also had a pending trial for homicide in the United States. Additionally he was requested for extradition by the Mexican Government to try him for a homicide committed in the city of Mexicali, Baja California Despite all this, his sentenced was pardon and he was not extradited to Mexico in exchange for his testimony, also completely false because I have never even seen this individual in my life. Mr. Calderón testified he had seen me on two occasions with high-ranking national officials from the Mexican police: The first time in a restaurant in Chula Vista, California and the second time at the Hotel Camino Real in the city of Tijuana, Baja California. Neither of these two meetings ever took place. As a matter of fact, the Hotel Camino Real did not even exist at that time.
During the trial there came a time were he had to identify me personally, and even though the prosecution showed Mr. Calderón a Photo album in which my photo was included, he could not identify me among the other accused, Raul López Álvarez and Jesús Félix Gutiérrez. When he could not identify me, the judge called for a recess and something unbelievable happened: During the recess I was returned to the court's holding cells; then some Marshals took new pictures of me and inserted them into the photo identification album for the prosecutor.
When the trial resumed, Mr. Calderón could certainly identify me this time. Obviously he had already been given instructions and shown the album again. Fortunately my lawyer, Mrs. Juanita Brooks asked to examine the Album and discovered the ploy. Even so, when these embarrassing events happen in court nothing happens, the judge only admonishes the prosecution by asking them not to do it again Can you imagine what would happen if the defense committed these same acts or paid witnesses? Surely the defense attorneys would be sent to prison.
This witness absolutely did not testify anything related to the kidnapping and homicide of Mr. Camarena. He was simply used by the prosecution to establish the corruption of the Mexican Government and our supposed ties to high-ranking officials of the Mexican police. This clearly made the trial seem more exciting in the eyes of the jury and was yet another hoax perpetrated by the prosecution but at a very high price: My freedom, simply for someone's lies.
Mr. Michael Malone, an FBI laboratory expert, in clear conspiracy with the prosecution and obviously receiving orders from some U.S. governmental agency, testified that one of my hairs was found in the house where Agent Camarena had supposedly been held captive. A hair was "supposedly found" in a room which existence I knew of only after having seen a miniature model of the house shown at the trial; a hair the laboratory agents from the FBI found months later, after the Lope de Vega Avenue house had been totally cleaned, re-carpeted and painted; one hair out of 500 that were found at the house. Based on Mr. Malone's reputation16, it is not inconceivable the hair could have been picked up in my cell or some other place. Moreover, this sole piece of evidence becomes totally discredited because Mr. Malone was fired from his work and is under investigation for giving false testimonies in ten other similar cases; his only apparent motivation, to obtain favorable sentences or convictions for personal interests and for the overall interest of the Justice Department. (See reports from Wall Street Journal). They are simply trying to find anyone guilty, no matter their innocence, to satisfy public opinion and fulfill the DEA's obsession of vengeance.
President Calderón, as you can appreciate from my recounting of events, I was found guilty without any real evidence, merely emotional and circumstantial allegations. With witnesses paid in one way or another, by forgiven sentences as well as large quantities of money, all those persons were placed in the Witness Protection Program17. There were many more witnesses at the trial, but they all testified on my participation in the contraband of marijuana and the drug seizures in Arizona. The only evidence presented that was related to the kidnapping and homicide was the receipt from the Hyatt Hotel and the declarations given by Mr. Jorge Gómez España, Eugene Hollestelle, and Michael Malone. Even so, you will not find any solid evidence to prove my guilt. These testimonies and evidence do not legally make me guilty of kidnapping and homicide.
President Calderón, I have been completely sincere with you by accepting my participation in the trafficking of marijuana. I know it is nothing I can be proud of but it is necessary that you know the truth. My participation in the contraband of drugs is a deed for which I paid with a sentence of 20 years that I completed in 1998.
I agree I should pay for the crimes I committed but in regards to the Camarena case, I am completely innocent, which is why I am asking for your help. When you receive this letter nearly 22 years will have passed for me but I still have a family and very strong wishes to return to my country.
After the trial, my lawyer, Mr. Panzer, interviewed the jury that participated in my trial to learn the psychology of the case and therefore be able to apply it in future cases. The majority accepted they believed in my innocence regarding the kidnapping and homicide but they declared me guilty because I belonged to a large organization that smuggled marijuana. But I was tried for homicide, not for belonging to an organization or for dealing marijuana. Unfortunately, the declarations after the trial could not be legally used to proclaim my innocence or to demand a new trial. Where is the logic in that?
The work done by my lawyer, Patrick Hall has been excellent. In fact, he succeeded in having the case reversed twice18 by the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals. Despite this, and bowing to political pressure, the Supreme Court nullified the decision of the Ninth Circuit creating completely illogical jurisprudence according to international law.
My defense lawyers presented a brief before the U. S. Court of Appeals opposing the evidence obtained in an illegal search of my houses in Mexico. Additionally, documents, which the prosecution presented as apparent proof of my guilt, had been obtained without any legal search warrants, in violation of Mexican sovereignty. My lawyers quoted the Fourth Amendment of the U.S. Constitution, which clearly states the need for a legal search warrant. This appeal was found in my favor concluding the supposed evidence obtained could not be used against me.
The prosecution appealed this decision to the Supreme Court, which found in their favor. It seems logical the Supreme Court should favor the decision of the Ninth Circuit but as luck would have it, it was at this same time General Noriega was kidnapped from Panama. If the Supreme Court had sustained the decision of the Ninth Circuit, it would automatically have created jurisprudence for all nations. The U.S. government could not have used any of the documents obtained from Panama against General Noriega because these had been taken in the same illegal way as when my houses were searched. The Supreme Court dictated "the Fourth Amendment was not applicable to my person because I was not a U.S. citizen, a decision that does not fit any legal logic.
The Mexican Congressional House of Representatives repudiated this absurd judgment. The Supreme Court gave "patent rights of piracy" to DEA agents so they could act against the internal laws of other nations, ignoring their sovereignty as well as existing treaties. How much more obvious can the arrogance of the American government be? This appeal was derived from my marijuana case and was emitted during my trial for kidnapping and homicide, a trial I lost and for which I was sentenced to 240 years plus a consecutive life sentence.
This interminable sentence that I unjustly received for the kidnapping and homicide was again appealed to the Ninth Circuit. My lawyers based it on 21 errors that happened during the trial. One of these legal errors was sustained for the violation of the extradition treaties established between Mexico and the United States19. In this new appeal, the Ninth Circuit resolved that existing treaties of extradition with Mexico were violated and consequently all charges against me must be removed. Additionally, a different judge from the same Circuit rendered judgment on another point of my direct appeal. There was not enough evidence for my having been tried.
Because of this judgment and so the U.S. government could continue taking kidnapped persons from other countries, and also to cover up legal corruption, the prosecution again appealed to the Supreme Court. There were so many political pressures brought to bear the Supreme Court had to judge against the Ninth Circuit. This time it delivered another ridiculous resolution, arguing that the current extradition treaty was not violated because it did not contain a specific clause that prohibited the kidnapping of Mexican Citizens to bring to trial20 to the United States. So why were these treaties created then? Even so, it was included in the judgment that the kidnapped persons in this specific case were under the jurisdiction of the President of the United States)21.
Could you ever imagine that both these ridiculous arguments were issued by, supposedly the most intelligent and honorable people of this country? Were they somehow forced to prevent the unmasking of the entire Justice Department's corruption by denying us our freedom? Or is it they simply don't care about the other 106 countries' opinions with which they have signed extradition treaties? Or are they simply trying to show the world the United States government is the universal police and can violate treaties, laws and the sovereignty of any country simply to accommodate its political needs?
This aberrant judgment from the Supreme Court specifically ignores the sovereignty and laws of Mexico and legalizes kidnapping. It opposes the Charter of the United Nations and that of the Organization of American States as well as many other international laws.
I would like to mention we have in our possession arguments (Amicus Brief22) presented to the Supreme Courts of seven countries, many universities and thousands of lawyers that oppose the emission of this ridiculous judgment.
President Calderón, in 1990, I requested the assistance and intervention of Mexican President Carlos Salinas de Gortari through a similar letter. In that letter, I explained to President Salinas some details of my case, which convinced him of my innocence.
I asked him to intervene with U.S. authorities and to conduct an investigation in Mexico regarding my involvement in this case, since 90% of the investigations were made in Mexico, and where dozens of persons had been arrested and whose declarations were on file. I told him that following an extensive investigation, if he found my name mentioned in relation with the kidnapping and homicide, even under duress, he could forget about my petition for help but if he did not find my name involved, then be should defend me as his countryman, from the terrible injustice happening in U.S. Courts.
Taking note of my petition, President Salinas assigned Mr. Sergio Vela Trevino (Deceased) to investigate my roll in this case. The investigation concluded there was no evidence of my involvement with the Camarena Case23. As a result of the investigation, President Salina's government filed a second diplomatic protest with the U.S. State Department, which has never been answered satisfactorily. In fact, the Mexican government hired a law office in Washington, D.C. to defend Mexico's position concerning the violation of the extradition treaties and supporting the 9th Circuit decision. As a result of our appeals, we appeared before the U.S. Supreme Court where we requested that extradition treaties be honored as well as the decision of the 9th District Court of Appeals, which ruled that the extradition treaties with Mexico had been violated and as such we should be repatriated to our country.
Nevertheless, on July 15, 1992, the Supreme Court declared that the procedures utilized by agents of the DEA to kidnap and take foreigners before American justice were "legal"24. The Supreme Court dictated that the American Government "...could ignore its treaties with other nations, including international laws to kidnap foreign citizens and take them before U.S. courts." It was an unacceptable ruling beyond all logic. It is incredible that when two countries agree to maintain respectful relations, a few agents can promote the kidnapping of Mexican citizens through bribery.
At that time, Mexico developed an intensive diplomatic campaign to bring to light before public opinion and multilateral forums that the Supreme Court's ruling was an affront to International Law. Six Heads of State from South American countries requested an opinion from the International Judicial Committee of the Organization of American States25 regarding this case. Said Committee gave its opinion with nine votes in favor and one abstention. It ruled that the kidnapping was a transgression against the National Sovereignty of Mexico and as such, a grave violation of International Law. It also pointed out the obligation to repatriate the accused.
Additionally, during the Second Latin-American Summit in Madrid, concern was expressed regarding any judicial ruling which threatened the principle of full respect for a foreign State's territorial sovereignty. As a result, Latin-American Presidents requested that the United Nations Assembly request an opinion from the International Court of Justice. The United Nations included this matter on its agenda for the General Assembly and circulated a resolution to present to the International Court.
In reply, a proposal was made in Washington to initiate an immediate analysis of the case. The only result was that President Clinton's government wrote letters to Mexico, in which they promised not to allow, encourage or tolerate that its agents repeat the aforementioned acts26. In November 1994, a treaty was signed which prohibited international kidnappings between Mexico and the United States. Nevertheless, the aberrant ruling emitted by the U.S. Supreme Court which validated the kidnappings is still in effect which means that the U.S. can continue kidnapping our countrymen whenever it is convenient to their interests, ignoring said treaties.
If the U.S. has violated Extradition Treaties signed with 106 countries is it likely they will respect this last one?
Despite all the support received from International sources, the Mexican government lacked energy and acted in a submissive manner when the U.S. presented its sugarcoated proposal. Had Mexico acted firmly and with integrity, the violation of national sovereignty, extradition treaties and kidnapping of Mexican Nationals would have sufficed to merit our return to our country. I don't mean by this that I seek my repatriation based on technicalities. I am appealing to you to HELP ME PROVE MY INNOCENCE, BECAUSE I AM INNOCENT, and to ask for your intervention to prove that the entire Camarena Case is a veritable farce created by the U.S. I am just one character in this comedy in which the main objective was to adjudicate the corruption within Mexican Institutions.
President Calderón, the preceding facts are not only conjecture on my part, they are recognized as true by the Mexican Government, in fact, they were denounced officially by the Mexican Consul to the United States, Mr. José Ángel Pescador, in a letter he wrote to President Ernesto Zedillo on March 19, 199927. In this letter he denounces that: "This case was manipulated in the United States to cast aspersions for narcotics trafficking on outstanding, Mexican citizens" and he emphasized that: "The objective was to stain the image of officials at the highest level, including the President of the Republic of Mexico."
He described the trial as "plagued with irregularities and actions of doubtful reliability." Additionally, he emphasized that: "The trial virtually became a trial against Mexico and the public servants in our country", he assures officially that: "Everything was manipulated to create guilt and stain the images of Juan Arebalo Gardoqui, Manuel Bartlett and even the President among other high ranking officials. He maintains additionally, that: "There was not the slightest doubt that all efforts were made to fabricate guilt." Mr. Manuel Bartlett, in his declarations, additionally declared the entire Camarena case as "spurious and an infamy." As a result of the official protest by Mexican Consul José Ángel Pescador, the Secretary for External Relations, Mrs. Rosario Green, issued a diplomatic message28 to the U.S. State Department similar to two previous ones presented in my case but was unable to obtain a positive response.
It is a very telling fact that throughout the exhaustive and meticulous investigation performed by the Mexican Judicial Authorities in relation to the Camarena case my name was never mentioned29; not even in declarations under torture of many detainees in Mexico or even as a suspect or as vaguely associated with the investigation. This patently and unmistakably demonstrates my innocence. There are thousands of declarations on file and my name appears in none of them. What other proof could be used in my favor?
Prejudicially against me, and in clear failure of his duty, Federal Judge Edward Rafeedie refused to admit any evidence that could demonstrate my innocence, especially evidence established by Mexican Judicial authorities, claiming they could be influenced by the existing corruption in Mexico, but when the prosecution presents evidence and testimony, which has been proven false and or fabricated, then it is deemed admissible. In my case I was denied my human rights, the benefit of Mexican Sovereignty and laws, human dignity, natural law and the international laws of both countries. Additionally, the laws of the United States have been ignored and violated because judges involved in my case have ignored legal precepts and have acted with clear intention to destroy me by following perverse and secret instructions from other American governmental agencies without the least intention of procuring justice.
Abounding in arguments that support my innocence I must point out Mexican authorities already found, tried and sentenced those guilty in the Camarena case. Justice has been imparted. Again I point out that no where in that process is the name of René Verdugo Urquídez mentioned, so in amazement I ask myself, can it be Mexican law means nothing to the American government? Is it that Mexican Judges have no credibility in the United States? Can it be that International law means nothing to the United States?
In the courts of the United States there have been three trials related to this case in which six Mexican Citizens have been involved. In the first one, Jesus Félix Gutierrez, Raul López Álvarez and I, René Verdugo Urquídez were tried; in the second, Rubén Zuno Arce and Juan Bernavé and in the third, Rubén Zuno Arce again. Additionally, it almost came to pass that a fourth trial was almost conducted against Dr. Humberto Álvarez Macháin. All three trials were conducted in the same manner as my trial by the prosecution: By lying, buying witnesses, and pardoning sentences in exchange for testimonies and many more irregularities.
After our lawyers reviewed the files from the three cases it was found that in each of the trials the government proposed a different theory30. It seems the sole purpose of this system is finding the innocent guilty, merely to satisfy the personal aspirations of some members of the judicial system, with complete disregard for morality or caring about the consequences of a guilty verdict on the lives of the accused, their families and friends. Logically with three different theories, at least two are false, or all three are as in this specific case.
There is no doubt in our minds that all the innocent people sentenced in the United States for the infamous Camarena case are simply scapegoats of the American Justice System. We are fully convinced justice was not sought at our trials. The purpose rather, was to place Mexican Institutions on trial and to expose the corruption in some of the branches of Mexican government, especially in the area of fighting drug trafficking. This was done in an effort to obtain concessions in other areas of Mexican government and to apply political pressure in order to ensure results that would satisfy their own wicked interests.
It bears mentioning that this scenario with the Mexican government would also reap the same benefits in other South American countries as a result of these same political pressures. Not only was the Mexican government defamed with lies and bad faith but also some high-ranking officials who, to date, have charges pending against them. As can be seen, several birds were killed with one stone: Public opinion was satisfied, officials were promoted in their careers, and the desired objectives were obtained from Mexico and other Latin-American countries.
In one of the three cases, false evidence was presented in which Mr. Manuel Barttlet Díaz, at that time Secretary of Mexico, Mr. Álvarez del Castillo, Governor of Jalisco, and Mr. Arébalo Gardoqui, Mexican Secretary of National Defense, among others, were involved in direct conversations regarding plans for the kidnapping and homicide of Agent Camarena.
To date, these persons still have warrants of arrest for these same crimes. This goes against all logic and supports my theory. How is it possible persons who worked all their lives to create a prestigious name for themselves at a national level, would expose themselves in meetings of this nature when they have countless employees in their confidence that could represent them?
What is most incredible in this case is that the only person arrested in the U.S. who was directly involved and physically participated in Mr. Camarena's kidnapping is completely free31! I am referring to Mr. René López, who, I repeat, did participate in the kidnapping but to whom the Prosecution granted immunity in exchange for testifying lies against Mr. Ruben Zuno Arce and against the aforementioned officials. Is it possible that in this country founded on the principle of Justice for All, that self-confessed guilty persons go free and we, the innocent, remain incarcerated?
Mr. President Calderón Hinojosa, no one can deny that the kidnapping and homicide of Mr. Camarena was a monstrous act and I do not wish that on any human being. I hope the next comments will not be taken in bad light: There are many speculations regarding Mr. Camarena, some affirming his honesty and others assuring the contrary. Even though I want to believe in the myth the government created after his death, there is a fact that creates doubts in my mind: During the time I was confined at MCC. San Diego, there was also another prisoner by the name of Sullivan, a U.S. Customs Agent32. He was detained for corruption and contraband of drugs and was sentenced to 12 years in prison. On one occasion he came to my cell and told me he was very upset with the other agents, his co-workers, because even though they participated and received monies from the same crime, they made a deal with the prosecution and testified against him. Evidently angry for his coworker's treason he told me he was part of a team from the Bureau of Customs who were awaiting the arrival of Mr. Camarena from Guadalajara, to arrest him for corruption. He also told me Mr. Camarena's arrest was foiled by the events in Guadalajara. Even so, he placed himself at my disposal to testify about this whenever I needed him.
The aforementioned makes sense because at the moment of his death, Mr. Camarena had been transferred from Guadalajara to the DEA station in San Diego, CA, and had been given one week to prepare for his transfer. Unfortunately, the homicide occurred during that week. If these facts are true, his death paved the way for the creation of a hero and was the onset to the creation of the farce in which we, the accused, are trapped in this country.
We believe this plan was perfectly orchestrated by some obscure Washington agency after the death of Agent Camarena for the aforementioned purposes. To accomplish these goals they found the adequate persons who, once sentenced, would have no opportunity for defense against such monstrous legal corruption. At that time, the press was ignorant of the truth and other mediums of communication were controlled. We were at the mercy of a jury that believed blindly in the judicial system because since birth, all Americans are taught to believe blindly in the government, especially when they have before them a totally partial judge. We were all found guilty, solely by circumstantial evidence that could be manipulated easily so as to appear credible. In effect, appearing in court in this country is a mere formality; the accused are guilty because the government is accusing them and the government never lies.
René Verdugo Urquídez:
Ruben Zuno Arce:
Raul López Álvarez:
Jesus Félix Gutierrez:
Humberto Álvarez Macháin:
It is worth mentioning here, hoping it is not misunderstood, that Dr. Macháin had more evidence against him than René Verdugo Urquídez33. In a legal deposition it was established Dr. Macháin was present during the kidnapping of Mr. Camarena and he admitted curing the wounds produced by Mr. Camarena's torture. Dr. Macháin can thank God for his good fortune. Had he gone to trial, he never would have regained his freedom.
I agree I should serve a reasonable sentence for the crimes I committed but it is inadmissible to be serving an indeterminate sentence for a crime in which I did not have the slightest participation.
Viewing the Camarena case from another perspective I ask myself, who is more of a criminal, this system or us? The American system, knowing beyond a doubt we were innocent proceeded to violate the laws of both countries and confined us for life in maximum security prisons in order to satisfy its political necessities. As a consequence of this interminable sentence we have to spend the rest of our days separated forever from our families. Additionally, we do not even have the right to invoke prisoner exchange treaties because the U.S. makes this contingent to determinate sentences and their free arbitration. Life sentences are considered indeterminate and not subject to arbitration.
President Calderón, in the 22 years that have passed I have used every legal means available in this country's justice system. My resources to continue the fight have been exhausted and I am convinced the judicial system will not recognize its mistakes, much less admit our innocence. To do so would show the world the corruption of the American justice system of which this country is so proud. This case is so corrupted we are sequestered practically as objects of national security and it would be difficult to let the truth come to public light. I am convinced the only way to get justice in this case is through an in-depth investigation not only of my person but of the entire case, and I assure you that you will come to the same conclusion as I and will be convinced that all persons sentenced in this case are innocent. Only through your help will my partners of misfortune and I be able to return to our beloved México.
In my case, specifically, and based on a resolution by the U.S. Supreme Court, I am at the hands of the Federal Executive of the United States. Through this Supreme Court resolution, the President of the United States has the ability to repatriate me without countermanding, opposing any judicial instance or creating any legal controversy because in the opinion emitted by the Supreme Court wherein kidnappings were legalized it was also opined that everyone involved in this case was at the disposition of the Federal Executive. I hope to God that you might interest yourself in my case and allow me to explain to whom you deem convenient, the details of my case because to explain it in this letter would be impossible. It would take me hours or perhaps days to retell all the arbitrary actions of this judicial system.
I leave you, thanking you in anticipation for the time and assistance you might render me to return to my country.
René Martín Verdugo Urquídez