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Crime and no punishment

29 March 2010

The most vituperous comments ever sent to the Mex Files were in response to a post on the death of Marciel Maciel.  I only left two of the best,  rather mild on the “fuckyouometer”.  My “secular leftist agenda”, as one of those commentators had it, had more to do less with the obvious relief one feels when a serial child-molester is permanently removed from the human race than with my own interest in Mexican history and politics.

Back in May 2006, I had praised the Vatican leadership for — belatedly — realizing that Maciel’s ties to fascism and the cult of personality that had been built around him during his tenure as head of the Legionaires of Christ — and the unfortunate results of Maciel’s role as the former Pope’s Mexican expert — had a baleful result on Mexico and the Church.

While I’ve followed the subsequent fallout of the Church’s investigation into the issue, and the growing scandal not just over Maciel’s life, but over child-molestation within the Church, it’s not something I particularly saw as relevant to this forum.

However, I noticed at the time of Maciel’s death something odd.  Maciel, when packed off to “to do penance for the rest of his life” (and facing civil and criminal charges in a number of countries, including Mexico) went into a Texas monestry where he died in January 2008.

It’s perfectly understandable that the Vatican would want to do an internal investigation of it’s own, and I might even accept that the Vatican — as a state — has the rights to not extradite wanted criminals.  But, how did Maciel get a visa to enter the United States, and was he considered a “registered sex offender” under Texas and U.S. law?  And, why were foreign justice officials, like the Mexicans, not alerted that a suspect in serious criminal charges was sitting not too far from the Mexican border? I never heard of any asylum hearing… was he an “illegal alien?” that the U.S. government chose to overlook?

What made me think of this isn’t so much the continuing saga of the Maciel scandals, but a small notice in Jornada that Jean Succar Kuri has finally been imprisoned.  Succar Kuri was a prominent businessman in Quintana Roo and, like Maciel, his seemingly respectable political and social position covered up his career as a pervert and child molester.  The “blue jeans king’s” kiddie-porn and child prostitution ring was the subject of Lydia Cacho’s Los Demonios del Edén which created a firestorm here in Mexico, both over the organized kiddy prostitution tourism trade and the attempts to silence Cacho. The attempts by the Governor of Puebla (who was receiving financial and political support from one of Succar Kuri’s associates) to have Cacho kidnapped and “disappeared” under the pretext of charging her with criminal libel, backfired and led not just to her release, but a reform of the libel laws and a bit more protection for journalists and researchers in this country. As with the Vatican’s forced retirement of Maciel, it was a positive step, but allowed the main perp to get away.

In the same post I wrote about the Vatican action, I noted that Succar Kuri had lost his battle to avoid extradition to Mexico. That was 19 May 2006. The Jornada story on his imprisonment was 28 March 2010. It seems the United States was really in no hurry to send a convicted child molester back.

Convicted terrorist Luis Posada Cariiles, wanted in Cuba for blowing up a civilian airliner over Bahamian air space, and elsewhere for various criminal activities, all of which he admits is also, despite his conviction on various immigration charges in the United States — and recognition that he is wanted in other countries, walking around free. His prominent presence at an anti-Cuban rally in Miami wasn’t reported much in the Untied States, but which cast doubt on the motives and the validity of the protest.

Guillermo Ramirez Peyro, a Drug Enforcement Agency “snitch” and mass murderer here in Mexico, won what Bill Conroy of Narconews called a “huge victory” in being granted asylum in the United States.

While both Ramirez and Posada may have a valid argument in claiming they would be tortured and/or executed for their criminal offenses in their own countries, there is a pattern here.

The United States expects us to “hold the line” and prevent crime from “spilling over” into the United States.  But, when criminals DO cross the line into the United States, it is loathe to return them to us.  If, as Ramirez and Posada claim, Latin American justice is brutal (and it is) then it cannot simultaneously  demand Mexico lock up or “eliminate” (without benefit of trial) those whose crimes are directed towards the United States, and overtly financed and enthusiastically supported by the United States.

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