Photo: Free Shohn Huckabee
Update below.There are two vastly different versions of what landed west Texan, Shohn Huckabee in a Mexican prison.
This week a Mexican judge will rule again, on which one is correct.
The two stories go like this: the Mexican military says border guards spotted Shohn, 24 and his buddy looking nervous on their way back into the U.S. in December 2009.
When their vehicle was searched 100 pounds of pot in two suitcases was produced.
Americans, however, say the men were returning home from Juarez after getting Shohn’s truck repaired on the cheap.
Shohn, who was recently married and had his own construction business, was run off the road by soldiers, dragged from the car, and in a move common to the military in Juarez, had his t-shirt pulled over his head to blindfold him.
From there the pair were driven to a military base and tortured with electric shock, mock executions, and beatings while authorities searched for information on cartel figures the two had never heard of.
The first time they saw the drugs was the following day when they had to pose for military photographers next to the cache.
Regardless of which is correct, both men were convicted and sentenced to five years in Mexican prison.
Shohn’s father Kevin believed his son’s story. So did the El Paso city council and Senator Kay Baily Hutchison who both asked Hillary Clinton to launch a formal investigation.
The Wall Street Journal lists three Mexican witnesses who contradict the army’s version of events and went on record saying they saw the military plant the drugs. One witness was killed before trial and the other two have disappeared.
Waiting for a verdict on his appeal this week, Shohn is realistic.
“Well, I’m just waiting. I’m hoping it comes out well,” he says. “I couldn’t even count the number of cases in here where the military has put drugs on people,” he says. “Out of 200 people in our area [of Cereso], there’s 60 or 70 people easily where the military framed them, tortured them and threw them in here.”
Renown civil liberties lawyer Gustavo de la Rosa Hickerson is fighting for Shohn’s release and word on his appeal is expected any day.
UPDATE: On July 6, Shohn’s final appeal was rejected. He is now serving out the remaining three years of his five year sentence in a Mexican prison.
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