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Mexican Authorities Target Rancher Accused of Shooting Illegal Immigrant

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The Mexican government plans to assist in a civil lawsuit against an Arizona rancher who fatally shot an illegal migrant on his private property.

The rancher, George Kelly, was acquitted of criminal charges by a US jury that deadlocked 7-1 in favor of not guilty.

“Because of the unique circumstances and challenges surrounding this case, the Santa Cruz County Attorney’s Office has decided not to seek a retrial,” Deputy County Attorney Kimberly Hunley said.

“Mr. Kelly and his wife have been living through a nightmare for over a year, and they can finally rest easy,” attorney Brenna Larkin stated.

“While that injustice to Gabriel and his family is unfortunate, we are at least pleased to know that the injustice will not be compounded by scapegoating an innocent man.”

Despite this, the Mexican consul general condemned the decision and said Mexico would explore legal options with the migrant’s family.

“This seems to us to be a very regrettable decision,” Mexican Consul General Marcos Moreno Baez stated.

“We will explore other options with the family, including a civil process,” he added.

The rancher’s lawyer criticized the Mexican government’s interference in the US judicial process, noting the migrant had been previously deported and was engaged in criminal trespassing.

“The defense is curious about the Mexican government’s continued involvement in this case, and its attempts to influence judicial proceedings in this case. Myself and my colleagues have represented many different Mexican nationals who have been stuck in custody in the United States,” Larkin said.

“The Mexican consul general rarely (if ever) reaches out to get involved in their cases.”

Cuen-Buitimea was “clearly involved in criminal activity,” the statement added.

“Mr. Cuen-Buitimea had previously been deported numerous times from this country. Had he obeyed the law, he would never have been there and he would never have met this end.”

“We would hope that the Mexican consul general would encourage their citizens to respect the laws of the United States, just as we encourage our citizens to respect the laws of Mexico. It is unfortunate that Mr. Cuen-Buitimea continued to make the tragic choices that put him in harm’s way, but those were his choices.”

The involvement of Mexican officials in this case stands in hypocritical contrast to how Mexico would respond if a similar situation occurred in reverse across the border.

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