Wednesday, August 03, 2005

Example of Local Corruption

In a prior posting, I failed to mention Judge Ed Aparicio as an example of the local corruption. I've never met the judge, so I cannot refute any of the reports in the news. I focused on Conrado Cantu in Cameron County in the last article. Here in Hidalgo County, there was Judge Ed Aparicio who probably committed suicide a while after his office was raided by the FBI and they walked out with boxes of records. His death is still under investigation to be 100% sure that it was suicide and not something else. According to the article, there were traces of marijuana and alcohol in the judge's body during the autopsy. Unofficially, as in, you won't find this in the news, the judge left a letter and incriminating evidence that points to other corrupt officials. That is just a rumor and could easily be false. I'm not a journalist, so I don't have the high standard of proof. I only tell you what I hear and read. One thing is certain, you have to wonder, did the judge smoke marijuana whild on the bench? I don't mean at work. I mean, in the time he served as a judge. The 92nd District Court is a trial court.

If you recall in the last article about this subject, it's not exactly suprising that there is corruption in the RGV. Many people like to put down our little corner of the world as a backwater of Texas. They don't realize how much money there is here, traceable and untraceable. Here, power equals money. McAllen just had an election for Mayor. According to a local public interest group, Futuro McAllen, that reviewed one-third of mail in applications, 96 percent of them appear to have been illegally prepared. I searched for today's The Monitor article on the front page for this but was not able to find it. I also listened to Davis Rankin on KURV interview one of the members of Futuro McAllen with the same information. In fact, run a search on The Monitor for "politiqueras" to see results of voter fraud allegations in McAllen, Pharr, San Juan, Edinburg, and other Rio Grande Valley cities. If you are new to the RGV, politiqueras are political operatives who sell votes.

Going back to the previous article, there is corruption here. There is no question. In some cases, it affects trials (Ed Aparicio), in some cases it affects national policies (Conrado Cantu), and in other cases it may just be local official elections (politiqueras). There is certainly much more that is not caught and brought to light. It's like cockroaches, for every one that you see there are hundreds more hiding. The same is with our local corruption. It's the compadre politics I mentioned. If you have some connection with somebody on the inside, you can arrange things.

There is somebody I know who has a connection at DPS who can arrange to get a license for illegal aliens. I know of some people who were criminals were given a break by a local judge and were later asked to return the favor. There are judges who can take care of your ticket for a price if you get to them before the officer submits his paperwork. Believe me, if you are a business person, you can get these connections. If you don't have money, forget it. My possible connections are by proxy because I am a broke-ass Mexican. Even by proxy, I get these offers. Being broke, it is tempting at times. Deep down in one's heart, one knows that the favor will have to be returned one day.

I don't want to paint a bleak picture about the Rio Grande Valley. On the surface, this is a decent place to live. I am merely pointing out what happens behind the scenes. For the most part, our local governments carry out their duties well. There are also examples of mismanagement, but that's another topic. Just keep in mind if you move here that you should either start a high-end business or become friends with big local business owners. These people will be your gateway to getting things done. I am not encouraging you to participate in corruption, this is just business. If you move here and are broke, just pay the fine or don't fight; you don't have a chance.

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