Shohn Huckabee, 23, is a newlywed and small construction business owner, well thought of and trusted by many in El Paso, Texas. He drove over to the sister city of Cd. Juarez, Chihuahua, Mexico on December 18, 2009 to save money on truck repairs. Millions of similar border crossings have gone on since time immemorial. Nearing the international bridge on his return early that evening, he was run off the road by soldiers, and became another victim of human rights violations and individual guarantees at the hands of the Mexican Army, which has over 5,000 human rights violations cases filed against its ranks. Hours later, he then became immersed in a saga of abuse and negligence, corruption, and impunity after being consigned to the infamous Mexican judicial system. His attorney, Ombudsman for Human Rights of the State of Chihuahua, Gustavo de la Rosa will soon file a special appeal (Amparo in Mexican law) to restore his freedom and clear his good name of the false charges of posessing two suitcases of marijuana that led him to be sentenced to 5 years in prison in Mexico.
Witnesses testifed to seeing 2 suitcases being taken out of the Army trucks and placed in his vehicle as he was violently removed from his truck and blindfolded. Sometime during this unwarranted and illegal detention process his own valuables and posessions were stolen and never accounted for, except for the truck that was eventually returned stripped down and in shambles. He was beaten and kicked in the back of the soldiers vehicle while driven to an Army base on the outskirts of town, where he was tortured with electric shocks, interrogated in Spanish, which he does not speak, and then threatened with death in English if he did not confess to issues he had no knowledge of. Still blindfolded, he was again loaded into the back of a truck and then dropped off at the federal investigators headquarters. His blindfolding was ripped off just before the cameras began rolling where he discovered he was standing in front of scores of carefully arranged packages purported to be marijuana, exhibited at a hastily arranged press conference meant to publicize his capture as a drug smuggler. The Huckabee's introduction to the perils of theCd. Juarez justice system were made clear when the office of Investigative Attorneys (Ministerio Publico) charged Shohn's father $1,000 dollars to even see him in order to make arrangements for his defense. These facts represent only a small insight into the nightmare, corruption, and abuse of human rights and individual guarantees that have become endemic throughout the Mexican system since the launch of the supposed Drug War. Shohn has now been incarcerated since December 19, 2009, nearly 16 months. He has the option of transferring back to the US to serve his sentence, but he is innocent and is determined to live without an unjust felony conviction on his record, which would prevent him from fully enjoying many rights and privleges that would adversely affect his livelihood and recreation. He deserves to be fully cleared..
His hearing before a lone judge revealed no evidence or forensic proof, no testimony or witnesses to support any of the claims made by two soldiers, only contradictions and lies. The Army posted on its official website that the patrol had discovered the marijuana in the truck by use of the GT 200 Molecular Detector, a ridiculously absurd divining rod that the Mexican Army has purchased for $22,000 dollars a unit, despite its being banned in many countries and the US Justice department warnings against its use. Unbiased witnesses for the defense did come forward to provide testimony consistently contradicting the events fabricated by the Army and prosecution. Shohn, in the words of the sole judge who was often absent from the room during the "trial" proceedings, was probably guilty, and then disinterestedly sentenced him to five years in prison in Cd. Juarez.
Please sign the petiton and ask that others do so, insisting that US government officials review the facts of Shohn's case, and that they excercise every means possible to call for a just and immediate review and honorable resolution of Shohn's case, and grant him freedom to return home. He has a right under Mexican law to have the previous unjust and unsubtantiated sentence revoked. We are calling on all of you to help us successfuly demand that he be cleared of wrongdoing and freed without further delay. Visit freeshohn.com for more information.
- Mayor of El Paso
John F. Cook
- State Senator
We the undersigned call on you to exercise all of your power and policy channels to call for the immediate reversal of charges and sentencing against US citizen Shohn Huckabee, 23, who has been wrongfully and unjustly imprisoned in Cd. Juarez, Chihuahua, Mexico since December 19, 2009. We insist that you convene with your counterparts to review the facts of the case brought against Shohn by the very Mexican Army involved in the controversial and discredited Chihuahua Joint Operation. We all know the facts surrounding the abuses and violations being committed by Army, judicial, and public safety officials against Mexican citizens- thousands of complaints filed, thousands of murdered victims including infants, an economy in shambles, cities and towns in ruins, their inhabitants converted into refugees. Shohn is an innocent US citizen caught up in the policies and politics of Felipe Calderon's Drug War where less than 2% of crime is prosecuted. Shohn became a convenient and useful media tool in the Cd. Juarez drug war, a US citizen used to divert attention from those truly engaged in crime, corruption, and impunity. He is a victim of abuse by the Mexican governments official public servants, who instead of guaranteeing safety and security, chose, in widely touted free trade zone, to violate his human rights and the individual guarantees of a purportedly democratic society.
Shohn has been incarcerated in the most dangerous city on earth since December 19, 2009, after becoming violently forced off the road in the part of town developed to provide a haven for tourism and foreign investors, nearing the International Bridge, where he was thrust into the ordeal of illegal and unwarranted detention by a Mexican Army patrol that blindfolded, tortured, and stole from him. He was subjected to further prejudice by the two soldiers who presented false and fabricated testimony against him during his hearing (no way a trial by any democratic standards) , further abused by his appeal in September of 2010 which was carried out in the most part in the absence of the appointed magistrate. He was, quite simply, presumed guilty by virtue of having been taken captive as he returned home to El Paso after getting reduced cost repairs done to his truck in the city touted by officials as safe and friendly for all not engaged in organized crime. His simple attempt to save money on vehicle maintenance, to have something extra for the purchase of a new home became an unimaginably expensive and life threatening travail. His father was forced to pay $2,000 for the US Consulate to be notified of Shohn's detention, which represents only a fraction of the cost and effort it has taken to gain justice and freedom for Shohn, clear his good name, and restore him to his life with family and friends and the community and work that he loves.
We again respectfully urge you to take action on behalf of a young man who has much to contribute to his community and region. Shohn deserves the opportunity to be freed so that he may help restore the hope and peace so longed for by the people of the El Paso Cd. Juarez border region.
Committee to Free Shohn Huckabee
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