The Houston Chronicle, 2/4/2011
A high-profile U.S. asylum case for a journalist from Mexico who fled across the border after saying he received death threats due to his critical coverage of the Mexican military during the bloody drug war has been delayed for 15 months, his attorney said Friday.
Emilio Gutierrez Soto spent about seven hours pleading his case to Immigration Judge Robert Hough in El Paso last month, but the hearing ended without all the evidence being presented. It had been set to resume Friday, but Gutierrez’s lawyer, Carlos Spector, asked that it be rescheduled since he had been called to testify as an expert witness in another case in federal court.
Spector said through his staff that the hearing won’t now be allowed to continue until May 9, 2012. No reason was given for such a lengthy delay, though Spector’s office believes it could be that U.S. authorities hope Mexico’s brutal cycle of drug violence will have calmed somewhat by then.
When told of the decision, Gutierrez at first laughed in disbelief, then complained the decision was politically motivated.