U.S. Government’s Role in Torture: House of Death continues to haunt Bush Administration

The departments of Justice and Homeland Security are covering it up.

Congress has buried its collective head (or possibly another body part) in the sand and refused to investigate the cover-up because it offers no political favor.

And the mainstream media has chosen to avoid any mention of this cover-up — which conceals the U.S. government’s role in torture and murder — because it does not fit nicely into their pro drug-war script.

But despite this wall of silence, the victims in the House of Death mass murder continue to reach out from the grave and bang on the door of justice.

This time, it is one of the victims’ accused killers who is helping to keep their story alive. That individual is Guillermo Ramirez Peyro — a former Mexican cop who worked as a U.S. government informant while playing a lead role in the House of Death murders in Juarez, Mexico.

And there is more. Narco News recently uncovered the trail of yet another victim of the House of Death. That individual spent more than three years in a Mexican prison after being arrested by Mexican law enforcers who were looking for low-level scapegoats in the House of Death murders.

The problem in this case is that the individual, who is a U.S. citizen, did nothing wrong yet languished in a Mexican jail cell for years due, in part, to the sins of his own government — and only recently was released from prison by a Mexican judge.

The Informant

The House of Death informant Ramirez Peyro is still sitting in a prison, however, in the United States.

He is fighting to prevent his former employer, the U.S. government, from deporting him to Mexico — where he claims narco-traffickers and their minions within the Mexican government will certainly whisk him away to be tortured and murdered for snitching on them.

But Ramirez Peyro’s Texas attorney, Jodi Goodwin, is not going to let that happen without a fight that could come with a high price for U.S. officials implicated in the House of Death cover-up.

Goodwin recently told Narco News that Ramirez Peyro’s case has been sent back to the U.S. immigration judge in Minnesota who originally ordered that the informant not be deported because of credible evidence that he would be tortured and murdered by Mexican narco-traffickers and their allies within the Mexican government.

And as part of this latest development, Goodwin says her client should have the opportunity to introduce new evidence into the public record as part of the pending immigration court proceedings. That new evidence promises to further illuminate the Bush Administration’s conspiracy to silence Ramirez Peyro and to conceal its complicity in allowing the informant to participate in mass murder in Juarez, Mexico.

The Byzantine Trail

The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) initiated the deportation proceedings against Ramirez Peyro in May 2005, according to court records. Ironically, it was DHS, or more specifically its Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) agency, that allowed Ramirez Peyro into the United States some seven years ago and employed him as an informant to target a key cell of the Vicente Carrillo Fuentes (VCF) drug organization in Juarez.

DHS is arguing that the informant now faces no danger in Mexico despite the fact that he betrayed powerful members of the VCF drug organization.

However, according to the court records, the immigration judge in the informant’s case disagreed with the DHS’ contention and in August 2005 granted him relief from deportation under Article III of the United Nations Convention Against Torture — after concluding that the informant would likely be tortured and murdered by the narco-traffickers he betrayed while working for DHS if he is returned to Mexico.

The DHS appealed the immigration judge’s ruling to the Board of Immigration Appeals (BIA), which is under the oversight of U.S. Attorney Alberto Gonzales — who has the power to appoint the board’s members and overrule or modify its decisions.

Perhaps predictably, the BIA sided with DHS and reversed the ruling of the immigration judge (Joseph Dierkes of the U.S. Immigration Court in Bloomington, Minn.). That reversal forced the informant to take his case to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eighth Circuit in an effort to forestall his deportation.

The U.S. Court of Appeals ruled earlier this year that the informant’s deportation case should be returned to the Justice Department-controlled BIA for further proceedings

And now, according to Goodwin, the BIA has remanded the case back to start — to the original immigration judge — likely hoping that the judge will revisit his verdict and find it in his career interest to issue a new ruling that protects the Justice Department’s interests in the House of Death case.

But despite the BIA’s clear political allegiance to U.S. Attorney Gonzales (who is not new to the game of politicizing the justice system), once Ramirez Peyro’s case hits the immigration court again, the door is opened for his attorney to introduce new evidence in the case. That could prove very troubling to the Bush Administration and its sycophants at DHS and Justice.

Another Victim

Although Goodwin understandably declines to discuss what new evidence she plans to introduce in her client’s case, it is clear that the well has not run dry on new revelations in the House of Death case.

On that front, Narco News has learned that at least one more victim, an innocent U.S. citizen, has paid a heavy price for his government’s role in the House of Death scandal.

Mexican authorities detained the individual in 2004 on charges related to the House of Death murders, Narco News sources confirm. This U.S. citizen was confined in a Mexican prison for more than three years. However, a Mexican judge recently found this latest House of Death victim innocent of any wrongdoing.

The individual has since been released from Mexican prison but still fears for the safety of family members as a result of the ordeal. For that reason, Narco News has chosen not to publish the person’s name at this time.

But the question naturally arises as to why the Bush Administration was not more aggressive in publicly demanding the release of this innocent U.S. citizen from the notorious Mexican penal system. Narco News sources contend that U.S. law enforcers were well aware that the individual was never a suspect or target of their VCF investigation.

Could the Bush Administration’s public silence have anything to do with its role in the House of Death murders (which took place in Juarez between August 2003 and mid-January 2004) and the subsequent efforts to ensure its complicity remained concealed?

After all, a government loses some leverage with a foreign government when it has the blood of that government’s people on its hands — or when Mexican officials might have evidence to expose potential criminal activity within the high circles of power within the U.S. government. That creates the conditions for some serious behind-the-scenes horse-trading among the powerful political class.

If that’s the case, who knows what politicians got a piece of that action — even among the Democrats, which might also explain their silence on the House of Death to date. Can anyone argue that our current political leadership has not earned that cynical conjecture?

At any rate, this individual who was treated to the hospitality of a Mexican gulag for more than three years can be added to a long list of other victims in the House of Death mass murder and cover-up.

Sacrificial Lambs

Those other victims include the dozen men, including at least one U.S. legal resident (Luis Padilla), who were murdered and buried in the backyard of the House of Death on Parsioneros Street in Juarez. These men were slain by Mexican cops and thugs who worked for a VCF narco-trafficking cell in Juarez. The informant Ramirez Peyro assisted with the butchery and claims U.S. government officials were fully aware of his bloody deeds.

The victims also include a DEA agent and his family (who were traumatized and nearly killed by House of Death assassins) and yet another U.S. citizen, Abraham Guzman, who was murdered in El Paso — all as a result of the informant’s gruesome, U.S. government-sanctioned drug-war assignment.

Again, the informant — who oversaw the House of Death torture chamber and the burial of the bodies — claims he reported the murders, often before they took place, to his U.S. government handlers in El Paso. Those handlers (ICE federal agents and a U.S. prosecutor) received clearance to continue the informant’s ghoulish mission from high-level officials at Homeland Security and Justice, according to a legal affidavit filed in federal court in El Paso by Assistant U.S. Attorney Juanita Fielden.

And finally, also among the victims, is a DEA special agent in charge in El Paso who sought to address the ugly truth of the U.S. government’s complicity in the House of Death mass murder by sending a letter to his counterpart at ICE — a copy of which was also provided to U.S. Attorney Johnny Sutton in San Antonio, Texas. That letter detailed the dark deeds that led to the threat against the DEA agent and his family.

But Sutton did not investigate the allegations in the letter.

Instead, the DEA commander, Sandalio Gonzalez, had his career cut short as part of a conspiracy to silence him that was orchestrated by Sutton (whom President Bush describes as a “dear friend of mine from Texas”) and other high-level officials within the Justice Department, including the head of the DEA, Karen Tandy.

The Haunting Continues

All these facts have been documented in a series of more than 55 stories published by Narco News over the past three years.

However, the cover-up of the U.S. government’s role in the House of Death murders continues; Congress remains silent in the face of the solid evidence of potentially impeachable offenses (obstruction of justice) that could implicate the U.S. Attorney General and even the White House; and the mainstream media is missing in action — apparently incapable of approaching any drug-war story that requires communicating the complexity of real life or that might draw blood and upset the trajectory of their comfortable careers and source relationships.

But still, the victims of the House of Death call out from their graves. They will not be silent; their spirits will never rest until the House of Death is exposed to the cleansing light of day and the blood is washed off its walls by the hand of justice.

That is how these things work in life. Death can’t be cheated.

And so, in the ultimate twist of a great American tragedy, it appears the murderer will now speak for the murdered, soon, in a U.S. immigration court in the upper Midwest — in the same state where a worn-out I-35 bridge collapsed into the Mississippi River not far from the future site of a taxpayer-funded baseball stadium.

Stay tuned….

Comment on Global Research Articles on our Facebook page

Become a Member of Global Research

Articles by: Bill Conroy

Disclaimer: The contents of this article are of sole responsibility of the author(s). The Centre for Research on Globalization will not be responsible for any inaccurate or incorrect statement in this article. The Centre of Research on Globalization grants permission to cross-post Global Research articles on community internet sites as long the source and copyright are acknowledged together with a hyperlink to the original Global Research article. For publication of Global Research articles in print or other forms including commercial internet sites, contact: [email protected]

www.globalresearch.ca contains copyrighted material the use of which has not always been specifically authorized by the copyright owner. We are making such material available to our readers under the provisions of "fair use" in an effort to advance a better understanding of political, economic and social issues. The material on this site is distributed without profit to those who have expressed a prior interest in receiving it for research and educational purposes. If you wish to use copyrighted material for purposes other than "fair use" you must request permission from the copyright owner.

For media inquiries: [email protected]