outofjailfreeThere are two standards of law in El Paso. That is the unmistakable fact that the Whataburger Incident has proven. I have previously written about this, but until the release of the report about the encounter between El Paso Police officers and Claudia Ordaz and her fiancé, Vince Perez, I had been unable to prove it to you. The application of law must be equal to all. When a society allows two, or more sets of laws to be applied, then those subjected to the harshest standard begin feeling oppressed resulting in rebellion. It is called impunity. Mexico suffers from this and it is the single most important element in the chaos that has allowed the drug trade to dominate Mexico.

Impunity creates a society that is dangerous for both the police officers and the community at large. For the population, the notion that two sets of standards exists forces the population to question whether adhering to the law is fair, proper and something they should strive for. Society must have willing participation from the masses in order to keep order in place. Without willing compliance, anarchy begins to creep in.

Many of us have continually commented about the notion that there are two legal standards in El Paso, one for the masses and another for the people that are “connected” to the bureaucracy. Ann Morgan Lilly is often brought up as an example of the two standards. Ann Morgan Lilly was accused twice, not once, but twice of assault. The second time was publicly documented, yet the police investigation, the reasons why she was not charged and the complete set of investigative documentation have never been released to the public. At this point, we do not even know if a grand jury ever had the opportunity to weigh the evidence against her, much less a jury of her peers.

Now go back to the report about Claudia Ordaz and Vince Perez. Look at the very basic facts of what transpired that day. Two El Paso police officers interact with three civilians in a parking lot after midnight. The officers are at that location because they are needed as security to maintain order that late at night. Both officers are in uniform. Anyone that knows anything about police basics, knows that police officers are always on duty, whether they are on duty officially or working a security detail.

This is especially true when they are clearly in uniform.

Forget the rest of the report as it is subjective, depending on the point of view.

Knowing that two individuals were detained by police. Keep in mind that Vince Perez was quoted in the newspaper as stating that he and Ordaz had to give their identifications to the officers. That is the classic definition of being detained. The two police officers felt it necessary to call in a third officer to assist in the interaction. The third officer, the detective, creates a document, or information, about allegations of police misconduct and yet no one filed an official complaint.

Now put yourself in those exact same shoes and ask yourself, would you have been accorded the benefit of a third police officer to come to the scene, interview you and then give you the option to leave the location without filing a complaint or receiving a citation?

Keep in mind that for all intents and purposes, Claudia Ordaz and Vince Perez were in the custody of the two police officers. They were not free to leave until someone in authority told them they were free to leave. It appears from the report, that it was the detective that allowed them to leave.

The bottom line is that the incident escalated to the point that identifications had to be produced. Almost everyone facing that same set of circumstances would not have had the benefit of a third officer coming to the scene and intervening. That is a classic example of two sets of standards, one for the elected officials – Claudia Ordaz and Vince Perez, and another for the everyday resident of the city.

For the police, which are outnumbered by the population, two standards of law also create a dangerous situation for them as well. Not only would a non-compliant populace be dangerous to them, but the fact that they must tip toe around the community’s bureaucratic hierarchy means that the decisions made by street officers are made based on protecting themselves instead of serving the community they are supposed to serve.

Make no mistake about it, the two El Paso police officers were intimidated into calling in a supervisor to intervene. Intimidation was the only reason the detective was called in. That, again, is impunity.

The unending violence and the endemic economic strife of many of the people who live in Mexico is a prime example of impunity, where citizens are brought up to look for ways around the police and their civic responsibilities. In Mexico today, the general notion is that you’ll never succeed if you follow the laws because too many of the others are ignoring them. This is impunity.

Once impunity erodes citizenry trust, it takes generations to recover. This is exactly why the drug cartels became as dominant as they have in Mexico – because the citizenry doesn’t feel equal before the law. Look at the state of the legal system in Mexico today, the general notion that the citizenry holds for Mexican police forces and you can clearly see how impunity destroys a society.

Now you know why El Paso is synonymous with public corruption. Impunity has created the notion that public corruption is the norm and following the law is only for the people too stupid to know any better.

Martin Paredes

Martín Paredes is a Mexican immigrant who built his business on the U.S.-Mexican border. As an immigrant, Martín brings the perspective of someone who sees México as a native through the experience...

7 replies on “Impunity in El Paso”

  1. The cartoon is correct except in El Paso they are released and still collect the $200.

    What about the judge that “mistakenly” handle his own divorce. A reprimand ! Robinson was stopped with nothing on his vehicle or about it was legal. Nothing happen ! The two board members that admitted fraud against the Feds in the hospital scandal. Nothing happen ! The commissioners court manipulating the city council meeting while on the county’s pay. Nothing happen ! Cost over runs and missed deadlines on the plaza project, still not finished. Nothing happen ! Acosta treacherous agreement to leave city employment and not return. She is on city council ! The perv gets caught showing his children sex videos of their mother, doesn’t pay child support in Arizona, outstanding warrants in AZ and NM. He’s hired by the commissioners court, cuts a court deal, hired by school board to do door knocking and maintains uninhibited access to city hall and commissioners court ! Stout gets caught campaigning on the States dime. Placed on vacation and gets elected ! Well, we know about Wilson. She gets hired by workforce !

    Then we have the El Paso Hall off Shame members getting incarcerated and being inducted into the Hall. What was the first count ? 30. This next time? 6. The U.S. Marshal forced to resign or be escorted out of his office. A few years ago, the FBI Special Agent in Charge is pals with mobsters and goes to jail. We have a horny State Judge. We even have a former commander of FT Bliss hooking up former West Point classmates. Oh, we have such a wonderful city and county !

    Still believe there is equal justice in El Paso ? I’m sure you do and I’m sure you will vote for the crooks over and over.

    1. Do tell about the Prev’s New Mexico legal issues, I heard a rumor that he even has some legal issues in Oklahoma. He prides himself as being Cesar Chavez’s godson but maybe he prides himself for being like Chavez in his later years when his legacy was tainted. But please all his legal issues need to be plastered on here so that people can see him for he truly is a POS

    2. So what did the prev do in Nuevo Mejico? Is this true and where exactly was this?

  2. Martin, you’re an idiot. Go back to whatever country you crawled out of and stop showering El Paseons with your ignorance. A cop you are NOT, the officers wanted the subjects to leave by default that is not being detained. You are beating the damn horse and what remains is your stupidity.

  3. Beatthechicken
    Clearly an Ordaz /Perez supporter. Yep Martin only smoking gun is that the report was with held by the city and once the city was outed they did their two step dance to try and cover it up. Also Martin never address getting a possible stolen government documents. Then again the city has not launch an investigation so it’s kind of hard to blame Martin when the city and a city official are just as guilty of violation of the law.
    As to Ordaz and Perez they were just passengers in the vehicle in question and unless the officers had probable cause they were involved in a crime they had no right to question them or ask for their I.D. but only the driver of the car. So did an officer or officers over step their authority looks possible.
    Then again as elected officials there was no reason to throw out the do you know who we are card in an attempt to favor so kind of special treatment beyond their rights as a citize.
    All Martin has shown is you got some real big problems and issues with elected officials and El Paso government. Then just turn a blind eye again as is the standard for El Paso and next time no one will even blink when such happens.
    See it gets easier each time to look the other way, say it’s no big deal, become conditioned, except and expect bad behavior from your local elected officials and bad government in El Paso.

  4. Thomas, ju gotit mang. The people in El Paso are trapped in the culture of the politicians can do whatever they want and there’s nothing we can do. Unfortunately that’s brought over from Mexico.

    Chicken has been plucked so many times that it has become acceptable.

    Corruption is routine, expected and accepted. Change that and real progress will be the result. None of let’s build a train, stadium, tall buildings. None of that does anything for the city except for the sleight of hand and those that speak out of two different orifices.

    1. So corruption was invented in Mexico? Because there have never been corruption among white folk?

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