Mexican Journalist Says Politics Behind Asylum Delay

By Patricia Giovine

EL PASO, Texas – Mexican journalist Emilio Gutierrez, who fled his homeland in 2008 with his teenage son after receiving death threats from the army, says the lengthy delay in his asylum hearings in the United States is due to the politically sensitive nature of his case.

The hearings, which had been scheduled to resume Friday, were postponed until May 12, 2012, after the reporter’s attorney asked for a delay due to scheduling conflicts.

“We had hoped the new date for the hearings would be set for a couple weeks later, not a year and two months later,” Gutierrez told Efe, adding that political reasons are behind the lengthy delay.

The U.S. government is reluctant to grant him asylum “because they don’t want to publicly acknowledge that they’ve been financing – through the Merida plan – a (Mexican) army that has committed all kinds of abuses against Mexican civilians,” he said.
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