VIDEO EJECUCION...Manuel Méndez Leyva trabajador de la Barbie

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"La Barbie" on hunger strike

   
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"La Barbie" on hunger strike
Posted October 12, 2011 | by armandogonzalez | Views 1,439 | 02:49
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The Texas-born drug cartel figure known as La Barbie is on a hunger strike.

Edgar Valdez Villarreal, 38, a U.S. citizen awaiting trial or extradition in a Mexican prison, stopped eating Sept. 26 to protest his treatment there, his family said.

His brother said he feared the Mexican government was setting Valdez up to be murdered in prison by circulating rumors that he was a snitch, because it wanted to keep him quiet about high-level corruption.

His family gave several examples of Valdez's mistreatment, but said his primary reason for the hunger strike is that he hasn't been allowed to see his wife.

"I'm not here to get sympathy for my brother, but we want to get his story out there because human rights laws are meant to be followed, and Mexico is not following them," said Abel Valdez, Edgar Valdez's brother. “He wants to be treated like a human being, not an animal, and that's why he's on a hunger strike.”

In an email, Edgar Valdez's siblings outlined his complaints of mistreatment in the prison near Mexico City known as Altiplano.

They say Valdez is kept in a tiny cell with crude facilities, gets few opportunities to exercise and his health is deteriorating as a result.

He hasn't been able to see any family members since his incarceration more than a year ago and his Mexican lawyers have to clear a series of bureaucratic hurdles and submit to humiliating searches before they can see him, the family says.

Sometimes, Valdez's lawyers are denied access altogether. When they do speak with him, they can't take notes, his family says.

“I love my brother,” Abel Valdez said. “Right now, I'm very concerned for his safety and his health.”

An official at the prison directed questions to Mexico's federal public security agency. Officials there didn't respond to a request for comment Tuesday

The Mexican government has targeted Edgar Valdez because he has information about corruption, his brother said. He gets punished if he tries to explain the situation to U.S. consular officials, Abel Valdez said.

“They're using tactics to keep my brother's mouth shut because he knows too much,” Abel Valdez said. “And they're using tactics to allege my brother's a witness against other cartel members, which is not true, and they're probably planning an assassination against my brother as we speak.”

Arrested in August of last year, Edgar Valdez stands accused in Mexico of organized crime, weapons and kidnapping charges.

He also faces drug trafficking charges in Texas, Louisiana and Georgia. Officials allege he was the top enforcer for Arturo Beltran Leyva and became engaged in a power struggle for control of territory on Mexico's Pacific Coast after his boss' December 2009 death.

The former inside linebacker for Laredo's United High School earned the nickname “Barbie” because of his light complexion.

Read more: http://www.mysanantonio.com/news/local_news/article/La-Barbie-on-hunger-strike-2213791.php#ixzz1aam49c48
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