Panel: Threat precludes ex-informant’s deportation

Associated Press, 3/24/2010

A Justice Department immigration board has ruled that a former federal drug informant can’t be deported to Mexico because he would be tortured “either directly by government agents or indirectly by government agents turning him over to the cartel.”

Guillermo “Lalo” Ramirez Peyro, a Mexican national who informed on the powerful and violent Juarez cartel for U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement, witnessed and tape-recorded homicides in Ciudad Juarez, across the Rio Grande from El Paso.

The ruling from the Justice Department’s Board of Immigration Appeals concludes Ramirez can’t be deported right now because of pervasive corruption “at all but the highest levels of government” and because he is likely to be tortured and killed if returned to Mexico.

Daniel Kowalski, an Austin, Texas-based immigration lawyer who has reviewed the decision, said the ruling is narrowly focused on Ramirez’s case.

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