Yanira Maldonado Out of Mexican Jail; Feds Point to Warning of Danger in Sonora

Categories: Justice?
yanira-maldonado.jpg
via Facebook
Yanira Maldonado, after being released from jail in Mexico.
Yanira Maldonado, the mother from Goodyear who was jailed last week on likely bogus marijuana-smuggling charges in Nogales, Sonora, was released from custody, and photographs show her crossing the border back in the United States.

With that, New Times checked with the U.S. Department of State, to see if they thought it would be appropriate to tell American citizens to be aware that they could be jailed in Mexico, potentially for months or years, because they didn't check under their bus seat to see if anyone hid multiple pounds of marijuana.

See also:
-Are You 1,000 Times Less Likely to Visit Mexico After Yanira Maldonado?
-State Department Reminder: Traveling to Mexico Can Be Scary

The most recent travel warning from the State Department, issued in November, doesn't really mention anything to that effect.

A State Department spokeswoman countered that it "notes that the Sonora region can be extremely dangerous for travelers."

According to press accounts, Maldonado went to Mexico with her husband for a family funeral, and Mexican soldiers found the marijuana on the bus, under her seat, during an inspection on the way back to Nogales. Her husband, who was nearly arrested too, was under the impression that the soldiers wanted a bribe, according to a CNN story earlier this week. Despite witnesses saying there's no way Maldonado carried 12 pounds of weed onto the bus, and later, video surveillance footage showing that there's no way she carried 12 pounds of weed on the bus, she was still jailed in Mexico for a week.

The travel warning doesn't really warn Americans that this is something to look out for. Obviously, the agency may not have known it was a possibility.

"Sonora is a key region in the international drug and human trafficking trades, and can be extremely dangerous for travelers," the advisory says. In some areas, like Puerto Peñasco, the advisory says to "exercise caution" when visiting. For San Carlos, there is "no recommendation against travel" there.

There is one statement in there about police corruption.

"The number of kidnappings and disappearances throughout Mexico is of particular concern," the advisory says. "Both local and expatriate communities have been victimized. In addition, local police have been implicated in some of these incidents. We strongly advise you to lower your profile and avoid displaying any evidence of wealth that might draw attention."

The spokeswoman at the State Department didn't answer our question about possible revisions to the travel advisory. We were also directed to an additional, very lengthy page about travel to Mexico, which does include some material to that effect:

Harassment/Extortion: In some instances, U.S. citizens have become victims of harassment, mistreatment, and extortion by alleged Mexican law enforcement and other officials. Mexican authorities have cooperated in investigating such cases, but one must have the officer's name, badge number, and patrol car number to pursue a complaint effectively. Please note this information if you ever have a problem with police or other officials. In addition, tourists should be wary of persons representing themselves as police officers or other officials. When in doubt, ask for identification. Be aware that offering a bribe to a public official to avoid a ticket or other penalty is a crime in Mexico.

So, if that's not clear enough, we'll clear it up for you: Yes, there are corrupt and/or Keystone cops in Mexico. And if you don't have enough vacation time or the desire to spend a week in Mexican jail, that might be something you should consider.

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Follow Matthew Hendley on Twitter at @MatthewHendley.



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21 comments
IdontRecall
IdontRecall

It's unbelieveable how an incident like this can be used to "paint" the whole Country of Mexico as a dangerous and corrupt place to visit when people don't have to travel so far to find a worse place called Maricopa County, where there are certain people whom call themselves PATRIOTS AND LAW ABIDING CITIZENS, yet won't say a word when the Local Shurf violates its citizens CONSTITUTIONAL RIGHTS, sentenced and unsentenced people is killed in His gullags and "concentration camp", racism and corruption is wide spread, retailatory and terrorist like tactics are used,  posibly people have been framed, and on and on. Where the media doesn't dare to "investigate", where a Senator rathers to go to Mexico to try and solve this matter (Yanira's) instead of push for an investigation on this Racist Shurf.......I gues that Senator is trying to get some sympathy after His screw up.

Perhaps this incident is also beign used to discourage people from traveling and keep Them from spending Their money out there, denying Them the option to explore and get more kowledge and in consequence rendering IGNORANTS AND AFRAID. Perhaps that's been the intention all along.

eric.nelson745
eric.nelson745 topcommenter

I wouldn't go anywhere in Mexico for all the tea in China. Mexican food on this side is better and more "autentico" anyway. It just isn't worth the risk. Which is considerable. Which we now know in spades thanks to the sad experiences of the Maldonado family. I hope their lives get back to normal real soon.

Marco Cruz
Marco Cruz

Another mexican drug smuggler flees back to/begs US for refuge after being caught. Good thing she has an american husband to support the claim that she is an innocent victim and mormon...funny, if she was white, black, yellow, red, or any other color she would be serving life by mexican "justice". Im so sure she is the first innocent sonoran who doesnt smuggle at all. Nice house btw, i bet she just rakes in the dough while barely being able to speak english.

Lucia Perry
Lucia Perry

La mordita was always the way. Looks like she outed them on that, and their little smuggling operation. The type of economy you get when Upward mobility is limited. Is this what we want for U.S.?

Warren Klofkorn
Warren Klofkorn

Not sure how they could do worse, but they're trying. Of course, that doesn't mean I let the US off the hook for creating the drug war in the first place.

Elaine Dudzinski
Elaine Dudzinski

They knew she didn't do this. It was strictly the usual blackmail attempt by the crooked mexican police to get 5K out of the husband. So many people have gone through this. they just got caught with a squeaky clean person who they couldn't convince the US Government that she was a trafficker. What I find crazy is that she would go back there after going through this.

logicman
logicman

Its not worth it anymore.  Go somewhere else.

Hector Joe Mora
Hector Joe Mora

This could have happened anywhere in this world. Too bad she ended up being a victim.

Tyburn Gallows
Tyburn Gallows

The important thing is that now that she's free Arizonans can go back to not giving a shit about Mexican jails or the drug war there.

wtf...
wtf...

so where is your article about travel warnings for other far worst countries?

Sandy Yost
Sandy Yost

This kind of thing has happened in Mexico for a very long time. Mexico has a deeply rooted corruption problem.

robert_graham
robert_graham

@IdontRecall But the whole country of Mexico is corrupt and dangerous. Anybody who goes there deserves whatever bad things might happen to them. The only way we are going to teach mexico a lesson not to fuck with us is to go after their citizens with a vengeance.

valleynative
valleynative topcommenter

@IdontRecall  If you want to change people's minds, you first have to avoid sounding like an ignorant buffoon.   Proofread your posts.  Don't use words like "whom" if you don't understand when they're appropriate.  It would also help if you studied up on the difference between a U.S. Senator and a State Senator.


As a final note, do you honestly believe that the media is afraid to investigate Joe?  Where have you been?

valleynative
valleynative topcommenter

@wtf... Why would that seem to make sense, when Mexico is just a couple of hundred miles away, and is often a spur of the moment destination for ignorant college students?

In English we say"far worse", not "far worst".

IdontRecall
IdontRecall

@valleynative, there U go again, regurgitating the same bullshit all over again: "If you want to change people's minds, you first have to avoid sounding like an ignorant buffon....blah...blah...blah....". Talking about ignorance. I wonder who the fuck do U think U R, the "spelling monitor".

I guess U R one of the RACIST ONE's supporters, everytime I say something about the MOTHER FUCKER, there comes V.N. the cheerleader, using the excuse of critisizing my posts to defend His hero.

Why do I "have to study the difference between a U.S. Senator and a State Senator" to make my point? Do U have any idea of which Senator I was talking about?  SOMETIMES IS BETTER LET PEOPLE THINK THAT U R STUPID, AND THEN OPEN UR PIEHOLE AND CONFIRM IT. I think that fits U as a glove.

PS. CONGRATULATIONS. From now on I'm going to nickname U "THE COW", since U regurgitate so much.

wtf...
wtf...

@valleynative @wtf... God Damn! you 1978  spelling bee state champion! 

IdontRecall
IdontRecall

@valleynative, about the nickname "cow", my bad. Still U won't scape without a nickname, UR new nickname is "THE PENGUIN" that one regurgitates. LOL.

IdontRecall
IdontRecall

@valleynative, I stand on what I posted earlier, and as I said earlier also, who do U think U R to stop what I post or what I think about people. 

"My point is that you make people think that people who are against him are illiterate and stupid". WTF!!!, R U ok.I've always critisized the OLD FART's SUPPORTERS, and yes, I 've posted that somehow They R illiterate and stupid, NOT PEOPLE AGAINST HIM, beign myself against Him. If my posts MAKES U THINK THAT U R ILLITERATE AND STUPID....SUIT URSELF.

valleynative
valleynative topcommenter

@IdontRecall  You should look up the word "regurgitate'.  It doesn't mean what you seem to think it means.

I'm absolutely not a supporter of Arpaio.  If you've read anything at all that I've said about him, you'd know that.  My point is that you make people think that people who are against him are illiterate and stupid.  Please stop doing that.

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