Dock Ellis 3:59 p.m., Nov. 18
- Community Blog
Three Rosarito police officers reported for extorting an American tourist
[Translated and summarized by Fulano from an article in Frontera.info]
An American tourist from California was at Papas and Beer in Rosarito Beach on October 20, 2012. He went outside at 3AM and hailed a cab to take him to his hotel, the Festival Plaza. He asked the taxi driver how much was the fare, and was told $5, to which he agreed. When they got to the destination, the taxi driver told him the fare was $20. The tourist paid the taxi driver the $5 he agreed to and went down the street to Macho Taco.
The taxi driver called the Rosarito police who arrived quickly and told the tourist to pay the $20 or else he would be detained for 12 hours. The tourist refused, so they took the tourist to a building where a third police officer was sitting behind a desk. The tourist pulled out another $10, put it on the desk, and told the police to let him go back to this hotel and he would get the other $5, to make the whole $20. The police said no, he had to pay the whole amount then and there.
Then in walks the judge. The judge told the tourist he had to pay $180 or else be detained. The tourist asked the judge to explain why he had to pay $180, to which the judge replied, "because you have to pay." The tourist asked if he could talk to some of his friends to help him out, but the police would not allow that.
Then the tourist told the judge he could only get $100 out of the ATM with his credit card. The judge, the two police and the taxi driver went outside and had a discussion. Then the judge told the tourist to go across the street and get the $100 from the ATM. The taxi driver would accompany him and the two police would watch him to make sure he does not escape.
When the tourist got the money out of the ATM, the taxi driver told the tourist he now wanted $30, and the tourist gave him 300 pesos ($24). When he came back across the street, the judge asked the taxi driver if he got his money, to which the taxi driver said "yes".
The the judge told the tourist to go inside and give the policeman sitting at the desk 700 pesos ($56). The tourist asked the policeman behind the desk what happened to the $10 he had already put down, to which to officer said he did not know and took the 700 pesos.
The tourist asked for a receipt for his payment, and was told, "we don't have receipts here." Then he went to the judge and asked him for a receipt, to which the other policeman standing nearby said, "Mister, it is time for you go."
Upon leaving the office, the tourist went to see Rosarito's chief of police, Francisco Castro Trenti, who gave him a photo album of the police officers on the force. The tourist clearly identified Reynaldo Pérez Nieto, Christian Arturo Franco Balderas and Leónides Montoya Márquez as the three police officers involved. Castro Trenti filed a complaint with the Rosarito Public Trustee asking him to suspend to police officers involved.
Apparently nothing at all happened to the crooked taxi driver and judge.