Garrett Harris 2 p.m., May 29
- Community Blog
Waterboarding and Abuse in Rosarito
Waterboarding is a form of torture in which water is poured over the face of an immobilized captive, causing the individual to experience the sensation of drowning. Although a variety of specific techniques are used in waterboarding, the captive's face is usually covered with cloth or some other thin material, and the subject is immobilized on his back. Water is then poured onto the face over the breathing passages, causing an almost immediate gag reflex and creating the sensation that the captive is drowning.
An American expatriate who has been living in Rosarito for the last seven years in a mixed American/Mexican household tells this chilling story of what happened to his Mexican nephew in Rosarito on June 23, 2011. Here is his story.
I'm not sure how to write this without someone thinking I am pushing an agenda one way or the other. I just write what is going on around me and take the hits. Last month a cousin in Ciudad Juarez was kidnapped and beheaded for not paying extortion money on his restaurant. Last week my adult nephew here in Rosarito was actually water-boarded by the Mexican military. What is going on with this place? I know few tourists are impacted by this stuff- but most real Mexican families are.
My nephew came over to the house today and twice blurted out this story, in Spanish and English, so he and I could be sure I understood it. He has bruises on his body and his ribs are taped up. He was at a friend's house last Thursday night drinking beer outside with a fire. They heard a gunshot (no- it's not them). About five minutes later the Rosarito municipal police roll up, and seeing a small party figure it's they who fired the gunshot.
They opened the house door voluntarily to let the police in to look around and they didn't find any gun or drugs. Then the Mexican military rolls up and comes into the house while the Rosarito police are still there. Next the Rosarito tourist police showed up, but did not enter. The Mexican military were all wearing masks, as well as all but one Rosarito municipal police officer..
First my nephew was put up against the wall and kidney punched from behind by the military, who demanded to know where the guns were. The two other men with my nephew were also handcuffed and hit in the stomach with rifle butts. The military kept wanting to know where the gun was, and when no gun was found they then wanted to know where the drugs were.
The military were hitting my nephew and his friends on the face and chest, but not beating them too badly at that point. One of my nephew's friends was vomiting because he was hit so hard in the gut.
Then the military apparently decided my nephew was being "too quiet" and must have more information. They took off his handcuffs and laid him down outside on the patio. He is a big and powerful man and it took four of them to hold him down. By this time the Rosarito municipal police were shaking their heads at all the unnecessary abuse and said to each other, "they were just drinking beer- they don't have and gun or drugs- let's go".
All but one Rosarito municipal policeman left the house and went outside and didn't watch after that. The Mexican soldiers kept my nephew pinned down, pulled his T-shirt up over his head and then poured water from a pan over his nose and mouth. The soldiers took the pan from the sink. It held soapy water with food scraps used to wash dishes and poured that into his mouth through his T-shirt.
My nephew said he did OK at first, but then became very panicked with the second pan of water, and he tried to throw the soldiers off of him. That's when they broke his ribs with a rifle butt. He started screaming very loudly and he thinks the soldiers then became afraid all the neighbors would hear what was happening, so they just left.
More like this:
- Baja & Border News Translations: Bicyclist Arrives in TJ From NYC; Blackmail Complaint Filed Against Rosarito Police — Oct. 15, 2012
- Greetings from Tijuana — Aug. 6, 2008
- The Guns of Mexico — April 6, 2000
- In a State of Bloody Mayhem — Jan. 14, 1999
- Are We Ready to Rumble? — Aug. 28, 1997