and northern New Mexico, USA
A History of Corruption
Northern New Mexico:
A History of Corruption
Chimayo, New Mexico USA
By Sherwood C. Ensey
The situation with heroin and cocaine, and the crime [including corruption] problem it creates, continues to escalate dangerously in northern New Mexico. The problem is so bad and so deeply ingrained into the every day life of the area that the very structure of the areas society, way of life, and government is endangered. If you look at the situation even deeper, it appears to be an exact mirror image of the negative situation that is currently happening to the structure of the people, society, and government in Colombia, as a result of the drug lords controlling power, authority, and immense wealth. Is this a look at the future for New Mexico and the rest of the United States? It could be, but as with any choice, it is for the people to choose. If the situation in Colombia is to be prevented in the USA, then the whole of the voice of the people must have a much more positive and active input [participation] into finding workable solutions to the crime and drug problems, than what the masses of people currently have now.
To the hard drugs and crime already plaguing the people, and the communities of this area of northern New Mexico, you can now add corruption, indifference, and incompetence when it comes to dealing with most, if not all of the officials over Chimayo and northern New Mexico's crime and hard drug problem's.
Local and county law enforcement personnel, municipal judges, magistrate judges, and State & Federal judges have, and continue to be involved in illegally fixing cases for politically connected friends. Massive amounts of government money which can not be legally accounted for and traced with records, has disappeared from local government coffers, and because of the lack of records it has become totally impossible for the State Attorney Generals Office to prosecute anyone for the crime. Original case files and other records with evidence against policemen and other prominent local figures continues to disappear at an ever increasing rate. Breaking News: As this article is being prepared there is yet another investigation underway into missing Court Records at the Municipal Court in Espanola, New Mexico.
Since the publication of this article things have gotten worse. Cocaine, heroin, and large sums of money have come up missing from the Espanola City Police Department - no notable or worthwhile investigation has been done. An Espanola City Police Lieutenants son has been convicted of murder over a bad drug deal, and the same Police Officer has been arrested on poaching and tampering with evidence.
This activity of special favors, and skim off of the public coffers by Espanola and other northern New Mexico politicos has been something that has been going on for decade after decade. The credo for local politicians in northern New Mexico, has been to get in office, and then set them and their friends up on easy street at the expense of the taxpayers, with both local and Federal funds being taken and/or used improperly, and many times the money being misused, is money that is misused for unconstitutional purposes.   
 Example: A replica of a Catholic/Spanish Mission, complete with a very noticeable Christian cross on top of it, was built with the help of Federal taxpayer money. The chapel [small church] is used both as a small convention [convento] center and as a religious chapel where Catholic [Christian] weddings and other religious ceremonies are preformed. US Senator Pete Domenici(R) and US Senator Jeff Bingaman(D) were highly instrumental in getting the Federal funding for this project. This is a project which appears to violate the US Constitution's mandatory First Amendment requirement, that a Wall of Separation between between Church and State exist.
 Example: A former New Mexico "pork-barrel" politician, State Senator Emilio Naranjo(D), and many of his highly costly projects, were nothing but over-cost "publicly funded" projects of a questionable nature. One such costly project is the Don Juan de Onate Visitor and Information Center on the NM State Highway that connects Espanola to Taos, New Mexico. The visitor center is rarely open, and it's facilities are hardly used. Sitting next to the visitor center is a very expensive full size bronze statue of Onate astride his faithful horse. The horse is a little less faithful now that someone has sawed off the horses hooves! So much for what some of the locals think about Onate and his former inquisition like cruelty. The cost of this rarely used "white elephant" visitor center was enormous. To give one an idea of the costs associated with the visitor center; the New Mexico State Legislature with the urging of the Senate Pro Tem, Manny Aragon, in a deal for the support and vote of Senator Naranjo, gave the Onate Center Project $750,000.00. There is no telling how many Federal Taxpayer dollars, or other Federal "bennies" were put into the Onate project.
 Example: The Espanola Industrial Park. The Federally Funded project has taken a very long time to complete, considering the Federal effort that has gone into the project. It would be very interesting to see the results of a GAO audit on the records of the project, especially considering the luck that the City of Espanola has in locating and holding onto public records.
Awhile back, the Espanola City Police refused to respond to two 911 emergency call's placed to it's emergency dispatch center from one of the local convenience stores. The clerk on duty at the store, called in twice to the Espanola emergency dispatch center to report to the Espanola Police, that Miguel Trujillo, a wanted and dangerous murder suspect, was inside the store and shopping. [On August 13, 1999, Miguel Trujillo gunned down on a Santa Fe street, and in cold blood, Chris Vigil, a prominent Santa Fe Attorney who was well known for defending the little guy.] Both the security guard and the clerk on duty in the convenience store, were surprised and shocked when the Espanola Police Department failed to show up to apprehend the murder suspect. In fact, the police did not show up at all in regards to the call. This incident happened on the heels of a public statement made by Zach Pena of the Espanola Police Department, in which Pena accused the Santa Fe Police of being uncooperative in the investigation of the murder suspect, Miguel Trujillo.
One can only speculate who ordered the Espanola Police Officer's not to respond. Zach Pena of the Espanola City Police, on the other hand, continues to claim that it is the Santa Fe police and other agencies, like the NM State Police, who are not cooperating with him and his department. Pena has also publicly stated that the citizens and the public should stay out of police investigations into the problems of hard drugs, stating that such activity could be harmful and dangerous. Facts, appearances, and circumstances being what they are with crime and hard drugs in the Espanola, New Mexico area, it certainly appears to be the negative attitude of officials like Zach Pena, which continue to produce counter productive results in the area's battle to clean up the criminal and hard drug problems consuming northern New Mexico.
The intelligence gathering that I have done in regards to the criminal problems associated with hard drugs in our area, has produced some interesting results. Separate informants have handed over the names of three Santa Fe Police officers that are, or have been in some way or another, involved with the cover-up and/or sale of hard drugs. One of these officers is suspected to have been dealing cocaine out of a local nightclub for a long time now. Two of the involved officers have since left the Santa Fe PD. The information given to me by these informants who wish to remain silent to authorities, has come to me by totally separate and unrelated individuals, and the information was only given to me after these sources could not trust anyone else with the information. Considering what my wife and I continue to go through with the authorities ourselves, and the amount of graft and corruption which we continue to uncover, it is becoming very easy to understand why average citizens in the area where we live, do not want to come forward with critical information that could put these drug dealing criminals out of business for good. Not even I have faith or trust enough in the Fed's in this area to tell them what I know, and I have also asked my informants to go away and not contact me with information like this anymore. Hearing about bad cops involved with heroin and cocaine is not the least bit surprising, especially considering my background and the various places that my wife and I have lived and frequented.
Special favors for favored political friends is the normal order of business in northern New Mexico, Santa Fe, and Espanola, and it makes no difference that many of these political favors are illegal. All that has mattered to the corrupt politicians and other officials of public trust, is to use the system and the people the way that they want, and to take out of the system financially whatever they want or need. This particular system and way of doing business in northern New Mexico has been in operation since before New Mexico became a State in 1912. Corruption, crime, and special favors has become very ingrained in the way that politicians in the northern part of our State do business, and that includes our US Senators. If you are powerful and rich enough in this part of our State, there is literally no favor that is impossible - even murder! New Mexico is the land where the criminals go free, get Social Security benefits, and the victims of the criminals get the shaft.
New Mexico is not the land of Enchantment as advertised to attract the tourist trade dollar. New Mexico has literally become the land of entrapment and enslavement for both the poor, and the criminally oppressed. The rich merely move to New Mexico to take advantage of those circumstances and the poor people that are trapped in them.
Potential corruption and intentional leaking of critical information to hard drug dealers, occurring within the Region III Drug Taskforce in our three county area, may be the direct cause for many of the drug raids in northern New Mexico to be going sour. Even when the Fed's conducted there large sweep and raid of the area in late September 1999, the Fed's came away equally as empty handed. The drug operators are smart in Chimayo, and they know how to stash the larger quantities of drugs that they have, and they do it very well. Had the Fed's done a more through investigation of the situation and logistics of the illegal drug trade problem in Chimayo, then they would have been aware of this fact. Both my wife and I were aware of the situation and the logistics, so why weren't the Fed's aware of it?
Local and tribal police agencies in the area, continue to be plagued by individuals within their ranks that by most appearances seem to be working for these hard drug dealing and other criminal element types. The lure of big money and get rich quick easy, seems to be outweighing these law enforcement officers obligation to uphold the law, and to properly protect and serve the general welfare of the people and society. One recent tip off of a raid on tribal land to arrest an individual, led to the outright shooting death of a well liked and respected police officer. The murder suspect of this well liked police officer was found innocent, and continues to walk and breathe as a free man.
Police who use illegal drugs also continues. Santa Fe Police Officer Edward Gallegos was recently taken into custody and charged with felonies for the use and sale of illegal steroids. In 1991, a Rio Arriba Sheriffs Deputy was brutally murdered during a domestic dispute call that went severely wrong. An inventory of the slain  Rio Arriba Sheriff Deputy's personal possessions [as part of the field investigation of his murder & 6 others] uncovered a small amount of rolled up marijuana in the Sheriff officers pocket. This situation was totally covered up by investigating officials [How do I know? I was there!]. On yet another occasion, this writer witnessed a situation where there was a continual and very noticeable drug deal going on not far from a Rio Arriba Sheriff's unit parked on the lot of the Holy Family Church in Chimayo, New Mexico. When the Rio Arriba Sheriffs Deputy was approached and told about this situation, the Sheriffs Deputy told me to mind my own business and that he was not going to look into the matter. These types of situations have aided in the hard drug dealers impunity in the past, and they continue to do so now.
There are very dedicated and good law enforcement officials, but it continues to be the few rotten apples that make the whole system look bad. There are plenty of good officers in New Mexico and elsewhere, who knowingly work along side officers of a questionable nature, and yet these good officers generally do not report these rotten officers. The reason why these good officers do not generally report other officers, is because of the police officers unwritten Code of Blue [protecting each other no matter what], and the obligation that a good officer feels to abide by this silent code. Good officers need to realize that the best code is reporting the bad officers around them, and that when a good officer does this, then both justice and equality are best served. Serving the law [in the US], is supposed to be about serving and promoting, justice, equality, and the rights of humanity, under the guidelines of the US Constitution, and doing this first above all else. It seems that many of our law enforcement personnel have forgotten this basic obligation.
The District Attorney's Office of the State's 1st Judicial District, is also having problems with confidential, critical, and important information going out of it's office. Stolen and confidential information leaving the DA's office [via someone in the DA's office], is going directly into the hands of the hard drug dealers, and this information has been very helpful in providing critical information to the hard drug dealers about who the confidential informants are, and what type of information these confidential informants have been providing. This has aided the hard drug dealers in their ability to thwart investigations into their business, and to kill off the opposition and others that are opposing and interfering with what these organized criminals are doing. This information and other confidential information, was provided to District Attorney Henry Valdez at a meeting on August 18, 1999. As of December 19, 1999, there has still been no communication from the District Attorney with either my wife and I over this issue. When this information was turned over to Federal Law Enforcement authorities in early December of 1999, they seemed relatively unconcerned, and like they could give a shit less about what I was saying.
America needs fixing, and to fix something up it takes money, work, involvement, and an honorable effort to get the job done. That is all that I, or any American is asking of those in power, and if those in power can't provide that support and honor, then it becomes the duty of we the people to get the job done ourselves. That was the determination that founded and built this Nation, and it is that same determination that will reclaim it for all true Americans.
Its high time that we start fixing our problems, and you can't do that with bogus tax cuts for political gain, crime, corruption, cover-ups, unconstitutional acts, incompetence, and indifference directing the lives and actions of our public officials.
As long as the situation continues as it is, there will be no positive solution to cleaning up the crime and drugs plaguing northern New Mexico, Chimayo, or for that matter, the rest of the United States.
The people in the United States have become the pawns of an increasingly uncaring and ungrateful Nation, and as a result, we the people are no better off in 2000 with the government and the officials that we have now, than what my ancestors had with their oppressors and tyrants back in the middle1700's. Sadly, we as a Nation and a people, have come back full circle to the same oppressive, unfair, and unequal point that we were at some 250 years ago.
We can choose to fix the problems and to heal ourselves and our Nation, or we can choose to go after the greed and the false wealth and ignore the problems with indifference, corruption, crime, and incompetence, and in the end destroy who and what we are as free Americans.
In the end the right choice is most always there, but it is up to each of us as individuals to see and decide for our self.
One more note; the playing field for cooperation that is beneficial to all parties, and that will produce the most success and sweetest reward, is played on a two way street that should be regarded as equal ground by all parties involved. In it's simplest form, it is called give and take.
A dab of political corruption and a little political white wash is not going to make the crime and hard drug problem in Chimayo, and northern New Mexico go away!
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