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  1. #1
    Senior Member PatrioticMe's Avatar
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    Mexican shot by Harlingen police officer ‘not a vagabond'

    HARLINGEN - Diego Rivas-Soto's hometown is so small that every man rises before dawn and walks down to the river to make adobe bricks out of clay and straw for about $5 a day.

    The village is a cluster of about 10 homes a mile or so outside of San Juan del Rio, the town in central Mexico famous for being the birthplace of Pancho Villa.

    Rivas-Soto left his wife and five children behind in August to seek work in the United States and build a better life for them, the family's attorney said.

    The 41-year-old settled in Harlingen with the hope of finding a job and enough money to send back home, attorney Juan Angel Guerra said.

    "Just like anyone else he was looking for a job and he needed money," Guerra said. "He was not a vagabond. That is not the story that I am getting from the people we talked to and police officers (back in Mexico.)"

    On the night of Jan. 5, about three months after arriving here, Rivas-Soto was shot to death by a Harlingen police officer under an Expressway 77 overpass. Police say that when they encountered him, he was trying to light a fire under the bridge.

    Police continue to withhold information about the shooting. Two of the three officers at the scene that night, one of whom fired the fatal shotgun blast, have not been publicly identified.

    Police also will not describe the knife they say Rivas-Soto brandished before he was killed.

    What they do say is that he charged at an officer with the knife and a fellow officer had no choice but to fire.

    On Friday, Guerra filed a court petition seeking to force Police Chief Daniel Castillo to release more information about the shooting.

    Guerra, the former Willacy County district attorney now in private practice, said he became involved in the case last month after he was contacted by Derechos Humanos, an organization based in Monterrey, Mexico, that seeks fair treatment for illegal immigrants.

    He said he drove to the village where Rivas-Soto was born about two weeks after he was contacted by Humanos Derechos to meet with the family, who said the last time they had seen Rivas-Soto was in August.

    The town is about a 12-hour drive south of the Rio Grande. The tar-roofed homes are constructed of the same adobe the men make every morning.

    "They would walk down to the river ... like they used to do in the old days," Guerra said.

    The former DA said Rivas-Soto's family told him that the man was hardworking, peaceful and did not smoke or drink.

    "The family and his wife of course were saddened about losing their loved one," Guerra recalled about his visit. "But the ones who were taking it the hardest were his daughters. They broke down crying."

    Guerra said police in Rivas-Soto's hometown said they would come to the U.S. to testify about his character.

    "They couldn't believe he would lunge at an officer," he said. "They said, ‘This guy was never that type.'"

    People with whom the attorney has spoken in Harlingen say Rivas-Soto was in town for at least three months before he was shot.

    At some point, he was staying with a friend in Harlingen, but she did not want to be identified for fear that the authorities would come after her, Guerra said.

    A Harlingen officer shot Rivas-Soto after police said he pulled a knife on Officer Jose Luis Palafox Jr.

    Police said Rivas-Soto pulled the knife after they confronted him about lighting a fire under the expressway near the I-69 bar.

    According to police statements, he was asked in English and Spanish to take his hands out of his pocket before he took out the knife and charged at Palafox.

    Police officials say they have already released as much information as they can without compromising the ongoing investigation. Castillo has said the case is being thoroughly investigated by the Texas Rangers and the Cameron County District Attorney's Office.

    Rivas-Soto is survived by his wife, Eduviges Chavez, his five children and his father, Roman Rivas Orozco.

    Guerra said Rivas-Soto and his wife had plans of eventually buying a new home.

    "They would have continued like every other family and he would have been able continue to send money to his kids," Guerra said. "His wife's dream was just to buy a little place in San Juan del Rio."


    http://www.brownsvilleherald.com/news/r ... olice.html

  2. #2
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    hmm

    The former DA said Rivas-Soto's family told him that the man was hardworking, peaceful and did not smoke or drink.

    Oh, but he takes a knife and charges at a cop with a gun...gee that's real smart.

    What a c*** article.

  3. #3
    Senior Member Dixie's Avatar
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    He didn't smoke and had been living with a woman "friend". Why would he need to light a fire under a bridge?

    Lighting a fire under a bridge could be considered a terrorist act becasue it can damage the bridge.

    Dixie
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  4. #4
    Senior Member PatrioticMe's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dixie
    He didn't smoke and had been living with a woman "friend". Why would he need to light a fire under a bridge?

    Lighting a fire under a bridge could be considered a terrorist act becasue it can damage the bridge.

    Dixie
    I wondered about the "friend" too and why was he no longer residing there? Good quesitons, Dixie.

  5. #5
    Senior Member ReggieMay's Avatar
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    Rivas-Soto left his wife and five children behind in August to seek work in the United States and build a better life for them, the family's attorney said.
    There's the problem - the U.S. separated him from his family. It's all our fault. (sarcasm alert)
    "A Nation of sheep will beget a government of Wolves" -Edward R. Murrow

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  6. #6
    Senior Member PatrioticMe's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ReggieMay
    Rivas-Soto left his wife and five children behind in August to seek work in the United States and build a better life for them, the family's attorney said.
    There's the problem - the U.S. separated him from his family. It's all our fault. (sarcasm alert)



  7. #7
    Steph's Avatar
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    Re: Mexican shot by Harlingen police officer ‘not a vagabo

    Quote Originally Posted by PatrioticMe
    Guerra said police in Rivas-Soto's hometown said they would come to the U.S. to testify about his character.

    "They couldn't believe he would lunge at an officer," he said. "They said, ‘This guy was never that type.'"
    Maybe he wasn't "that type" when he was living in Mexico, where he belonged and had a right to be, but who can say he didn't become "that type" when he was here illegally, living under a bridge? Maybe he was so afraid of being deported he did something out of character, but he was wrong. The police shouldn't have to wait until the knife is in their heart before they are allowed to fire in self-defense. I was also wondering if his loving wife knew he was living with a female "friend" before he moved under the bridge. It sounds like she may be planning to sue, so she can fulfill her dream of owning a house.

  8. #8
    Steph's Avatar
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    Dictionary: vag·a·bond (văg'ə-b

  9. #9
    Senior Member PatrioticMe's Avatar
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    [quote="Steph"]Dictionary: vag·a·bond (văg'ə-b

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