Drug-Smuggling Tijuana Architect Tells Local Media He Was Coerced

On Sunday, U-T San Diego border reporter Sandra Dibble conveyed to readers the shocking case of well-known Tijuana architect (and U.S. citizen) Eugenio Velázquez. After being caught at the border trying to smuggle 12 pounds of cocaine into San Diego, he is scheduled for sentencing in December.

The coverage likely had a lot to do with an even more shocking letter, sent on Tuesday by Velázquez to local Tijuana media. Dibble has confirmed with the 51-year-old man’s attorney that the correspondence is from him. Per Dibble’s follow-up item:

“My actions were the result of a situation of high risk, threat and intimidation,” Velázquez writes. “What happened to me at the beginning of March cannot be understood outside of the context of the fight against organized crime and the consequences for citizens. The victims of this situation are not only the dead, who number in the thousands, and those who mourn them, but also those of us who have had the misfortune of calling the attention of those who consider us easy prey for their objectives, which has been devastating for me and (my family).”

The majority of the Facebook-verified commenters sitting below Dibble’s twin articles are having none of it. Very cynically, they for the most part vocally assume that Velázquez did this for other reasons.

Update – 12/11/12: Velázquez, in light of the circumstances of his crime, has received the relatively light sentence of six months in federal jail beginning January 11.

[Photo of Tijuana Cultural Center’s El Cubo, designed by Velázquez, courtesy: cecut.gob.mx]