5-years, 8-months, 28-days into Samantha’s abduction (Part 1)

ambush, ambush in Mexico, child abduction, La Mesa Prison, left behind parent, Mexican judicial system, parental abduction, parental alienation, parental child abduction playbook, parental kidnapping, 3-Day Breast Cancer Walk, Adriana Coronel Tenorio, Adriana Howitt Coronel, Ari Coronel, Ari Coronel Tenorio, Ari Howitt, Ari Howitt Coronel, Baghdad, La Mesa Prison, Tijuana Police, United States

Friday, August 8, 2014: Like it or not, in the Mexican justice system people are presumed guilty until proven innocent. The exact opposite of our system in the United States. The big problem with Mexico’s system is that people, like Adriana Coronel Tenorio (AKA Adriana Howitt Coronel, Ari Coronel, Ari Coronel Tenorio, Ari Howitt, Ari Howitt Coronel) have a hard time telling the truth. They also don’t have a strong system for discouraging perjury or filing false police reports. In essence, the practice of sending someone to prison for something they did not do is quite common and actually widely accepted because there is huge money to be made if you are on the other side of the equation.

Picking up from where I led off in yesterday’s post, as I sat in the 48-hour “timeout” it looked like Adriana was not going to pursue this any further. My attorney was visiting me every few hours to see how I was doing. We had Plan B ready just in case. He even brought me a chicken dinner that made me the envy of everyone else in the jail as I getting propositioned by both men and women in the jail for a bite of food. My first bite was the first I took in a couple days, almost losing it because my stomach was in knots with the situation unfolding. So after a couple more bites, I paid it forward and helped out those who helped others. Minutes later my attorney left for check on what Adriana was doing.

Less than 2-hours left in my 48-hours “timeout”, I heard a guard call out my name. Maybe they were letting me out early!

As I made my way downstairs, an officer handcuffed my hands behind my back. I was not going home. This guy was there to transport me to La Mesa Prison. This was really happening! The guy who drove me spoke English, so we started talking. He knew right away I was getting a raw deal. As he said that, we drove right by Adriana and her friend as they walked out of the jail where I was. Adriana taking off a neck brace as she opened the driver’s side door to get in her car. The guard driving looked over and saw them, “Punta madres!” he said. He goes onto tell me that he was sitting there listening to Adriana and her friend give their statements as they filed their false police reports and without even knowing who I was he knew they were full of shit just listening to them. Like I mentioned above, in Mexico you are guilty until proven innocent. I told the guy it was OK, that this will work itself out. After all, two days before I was handcuffed to the back of a police pickup truck thinking I was going to take a bullet to the back of my head. From where I sat, I can handle what happens from here because nothing is as bad as thinking I should already be dead. He told me with that attitude, I was going to be OK.

La Mesa Prison is infamous for a lot of things. Most notably 2-riots just 2-years before I got there. The last one killed 22-people. The evidence of the carnage was still there when I arrived in the way of large caliber bullet holes all over the walls. La Mesa Prison has a distinct smell to it. I can still smell it, even today. Think about what movie theater popcorn lathered in butter smells like. Now imagine what that would smell like if it sat out in the bright hot sun – for a week. There you go.

After intake, I was lead to a holding area where a series of holding cells (20×20) held 30+ people. The cell I was lead to was not like the others. It was actually clean. The concrete floors lined with those rugs you can buy at the border for $5. A bunk in one corner that had 3 steel beds. A half wall with a sink behind it and the infamous concrete block with the hole as a toilet. I would not be doing La Mesa any justice if I forgot to mention that the cell walls were covered floor to ceiling in graffiti. In fact the ceiling in my cell was actually covered in graffiti. So, we had artwork to look at which was nice under the circumstances.

As I walked into the cell, it was obvious there were “connected” guys in there. In La Mesa Prison, people in these cells wore street clothes. The first thing I was requested to do is take off my shoes in order to keep the blankets clean. No problem. Next, the guy offered me his bunk. I politely declined opting for a spot on the floor instead. It did not take long for that guy and I to become friends. Of course everyone was enamored with the gringo and why a gringo was in such a shit hole.

So, I told them. I figured they would find out anyway so why lie. Two things they don’t like in prison, rats and liars. Keep to yourself and you will be OK. All of a sudden a guy who was sleeping under the tri-bunk rolls out from under the bunk, introduces himself, and proceeds to tell me he was in for the same thing – except he actually did beat his wife and when he got out he was going to do it again. Then he rolled back under the bunk and fell back asleep. The rest of the guys in on the conversation noticed the 3-day Breast Cancer Walk shirt I had on and took note that Adriana picked the wrong day to have me ambushed with that shirt on.

That night the guy who got the crap beaten out of him by the Tijuana Police was introduced to this very same cell. It turns out this guy knew a few people there. Not sure it was a coincidence he was in that cell with his friends or not. I did not really care. I got props for helping him out after the beating he took, and apparently that carried a lot of weight with his friends. Next thing I know I am getting a crash course in all the Spanish curse words in between domino games.

It was not all fun and games. One of the other rules of the cell was that everyone had to wash up once a day. Again no privacy. It was worth it because it kept the bugs away and from what I hear the La Mesa Prison bugs come with birth certificates they are that big. Prison staff took my shoestrings, not to mention the $250 I had in my pocket which I never got back). So I had to make shoe strings out of the cuffs of my Breast Cancer 3-Day Walk shirt. Nothing says I hate women more than raising money and volunteering for the Breast Cancer 3-Day Walk and actually wearing the shirt as I was proud of my involvement in the event.

All told I was at La Mesa Prison for 5-days. It did not take long to realize that some of the guys there had better lives inside the prison than outside. One guy I met had been in the prison for 2-years because he could not pay a $200 fine for breaking into his own car when he locked his keys in the trunk. Talk about shit luck. On a couple of occasions, the whole prison went into lock down. A couple of brawls broke out among the general population. It did not take long for the riot police to swarm the facility and take control. Scary to think that shit can hit the fan that fast as I looked up and could see the machine gun bullet holes left behind from a couple years before.

My attorneys and the US State Department were livid I ended up in La Mesa. My attorney told the powers that be we had the money ready to pay in order to keep me out of La Mesa. Not to mention I was told it was rare to take me from one facility to La Mesa early because of overcrowding. Typically if you declare you have the means to avoid La Mesa, they extend every courtesy to make sure THEY get paid. So, that can only mean someone PAID to have me taken to La Mesa early. Do the math.

Finally, I was told I was going home. Of course from the time I was told to the time I actually walked through the gates of La Mesa Prison to score my freedom was another 16-hours. Little did I know my friends were waiting on the other side of those walls to greet me. To them, they might as well have been in Baghdad because the neighborhood surrounding La Mesa Prison looked a lot like the war-torn Iraqi capital. As all of this was going on, the leader of this particular holding cell was trying to encourage me to take part in a La Mesa Prison tradition. Upon lights out an anti-establishment chant could be heard for blocks, breaks out among all the prisoners. It goes on for a good 5-minutes. As I was lead out of the holding cell to my awaiting friends, the leader of the cell asked me how I was treated while there. Trying to comprehend what I was being asked, I mentioned that under the circumstances I could not have asked for a better situation, thank you.

If I did not live this, I would not believe it myself. My friends would tell you the same thing. No doubt there was a much greater force out there that had my back because 7-days prior I thought was going to be my last.


2 comments to “5-years, 8-months, 28-days into Samantha’s abduction (Part 1)”
  1. “From where I sat, I can handle what happens from here because nothing is as bad as thinking I should already be dead.” That is chilling.

    I remember when Adriana used to joke about bribing the cops into taking you on that joyride through Tijuana. Who does that?

    She had you ambushed by the cops, right in front of your daughter and she actually thinks that was funny?

    What I would not give to see her behind those bars for what she has done to you and Samantha.

  2. Unbelievable. This Adriana woman has put you and your daughter through hell. Pardon my language but the only way to describe such a woman is batshit crazy cunt.

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