We have a bigger problem than Afghanistan right here on our Southern Border. Not only do we have hordes of illegal aliens invading our land, usurping our social welfare funds, and bringing with them poverty, illiteracy, disease, and crime – they are also a gateway for terrorists. Yes, folks, Mexico presents a clear and present danger to all Americans. One, with their murderous criminal drug cartels who have killed more people than have died in Afghanistan. Two, with their corrupt socialist government. Three, and with kidnappings and ransoming of American citizens.
Goodyear husband and daughter work to free jailed mom in Mexico
"You hear all of these horror stories about Mexico and you think it's just something in the movies, right?" said Klippel. "You don't believe it's something that could happen to someone you know. But, when it happens to your brother and your sister - it's hard, it's tough to take."
He said the bus the Maldonados were on was stopped at a military checkpoint near Hermosillo on Wednesday. The couple, with seven children and two grandchildren between them, were on their way back to Arizona after attending a funeral for Yanira Maldonado's aunt. "They interviewed several of the other passengers and after about 2 1/2 hours they came to him [Gary] and said unfortunately some of these drugs were found under your seat and you're under arrest," Klippel said.
After arresting Gary Maldonado, Mexican officials said they'd made a mistake – that marijuana was actually found underneath Yanira Maldonado's seat and an empty seat next to her. Gary Maldonado was let go and they arrested his wife - something that has terrified their 21-year-old daughter, Anna Soto, who spoke with CBS5 News on Sunday.
"I know there's people out there saying or asking 'did she really do it?" she said. "Are you sure? And, you know, it hurts to see that. If you would've known my mom, if you would've met her - you would know she had nothing to do with it."
And, then there's the concern of who to trust in a foreign country.
"His attorney had talked to the prosecuting attorney there and came back to him and said, 'You know how it works in Mexico, right?" Klippel told CBS5 News. "He said, 'no I don't.' He [attorney] said, 'well, if we bribe the judge - then he'll let you go.'" Klippel said after Gary Maldonado frantically scraped together $5,000 to free his wife Thursday, but he was told it was too late. Yanira Maldonado had been transferred to a holding facility in Nogales.
"When he [Gary] got there they said, ‘we don't have any record of her at all,'" said Klippel. "He panicked. He told me terror struck him. And he thought, for that period of time, that he'd never see his wife again." That was Friday morning.
By Friday night, officials confirmed Yanira Maldonado was, in fact, in Nogales – and her husband was able to visit her Saturday morning on the one-year anniversary of their wedding. "Yanira saw me from a distance and she just started like jumping up and down and gave me a big hug and we just cried," said Gary Maldonado, who spoke with CBS5 News via Skype on Sunday.
Klippel said the reunion was a major relief for the couple - especially after what Yanira had been through in the past 24 hours. "She had a rough night," he said. "Their interrogation included putting her in a non-air-conditioned room and waking her up several times in the middle of night - trying to get her to sign documents that she said she couldn't read." He said Yanira Maldonado maintains her innocence and believes those documents were probably admission of guilt statements.
"In Mexico, I guess you're guilty until proven innocent," said Klippel. "So, it's just been a real nightmare for them."
Klippel said the Mexican Consulate is working this case and that Sen. Jeff Flake is in contact with the family, in an effort to bring Yanira Maldonado home.
Gary Maldonado tells CBS5 News his wife is due in court Monday morning where she's expected to give an official declaration - essentially her side of the story. A Mexican attorney, hired by Gary Maldonado, will be present. Typically, a defendant has 72 hours after that to prove their innocence.
Gary Maldonado said they have a woman and her son who can testify they saw they couple enter the bus without any packages - and, he's hoping the charter bus company Tufesa will have surveillance video they can also use as evidence.
CBS5 News is waiting to hear back from the Mexican Consulate and the U.S. Embassy's Office. Flake's office sent us the following statement, "Senator Flake is personally monitoring the situation and he has had multiple conversations with the deputy Mexican ambassador."
Bottom line …
This is either a personal shakedown of an American citizen on trumped-up charges or an attempt to emulate North Korea – a kidnapping to serve as a platform for requesting money or aid from the American government?
In any event, the full weight of the United States should be brought to bear on the Mexican government. And, if they do not cooperate, there are always those black helicopters seen around the area. Not that we even have to invade Mexico, just let it be known to the drug cartels that we are going after all of their drug shipments until justice prevails. I am sure the corrupt Mexican officials will be more than willing to personally escort this kidnapped victim across the border with adequate compensation for a miscarriage of justice.
In any event, Mexico now poses a clear and present danger to America. You would think that, with their abundant natural resources, willing labor, they would be more than a third world nation. Or maybe that’s the plan – the oligarchs, corrupt politicians, and corrupt bureaucracy leisurely plunders the nation while keeping the citizens in a state of near poverty. Unarmed and unable to protect themselves against the thugs. What a great reason to fete America’s Constitution and Second Amendment today.