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Juarez Kidnapping Victim Not Congressman Reyes’ Sister-In-Law

EL PASO — The victim in Juarez kidnapping last weekend is not Congressman Silvestre Reyes’ sister-in-law, according to Vincent Perez, a spokesman for Reyes.

According to Perez, the woman kidnapped is a distant relative of Reyes’ wife and has never met the congressman. Her kidnapping was in no way connectedto herrelatives relation to Reyes, he added.

Perez said this action is done without regard to the victim’s identity, country of citizenship, or legal status. While the Congressman was kept apprised of the situation, he had no other role, he said. Any suggestion that Congressman Reyes somehow influenced the actions of law enforcement is false, he added.

The Organization of Citizensfor Responsibility and Ethics in Washington (CREW)– a citizen watchdog group — believes Reyes got involved in the investigation and is looking for answers.

CREW’s allegations are based on information from a leaked Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE)memo. It stated ICE contacted andhelped Mexican authorities lay out a strategy to recover the kidnapped woman.

A spokesman with ICE said the agency does get involved in criminal cases outside the U.S. In this case, the agency admitted they helped in the investigation by providing interview, communication and logistical assistance. This is something the agency has done before, the spokesman said.

“It seems there are real questions about why ICE would have gotten involved in this particular kidnapping when they typically do not get involved with kidnappings of foreign nationals in foreign countries,” said a spokesman with CREW.

CREW claims the release identified the woman as Erika Posselt. Posselt was freed and brought back to the U.S. — where her family lives, the leaked memo stated.

Perez said the Congressman’s office acted according to law. “The kidnapping was reported to Congressman Reyes’ district office by the victim’s family, who are U.S. citizens,” said Perez. “His staff immediately notified law enforcement authorities.”

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