Griev­ing mother faces charges, de­por­ta­tion

La Semana - - FRONT PAGE / PORTADA -

Clare­more, OK -- Con­mo­ciona a la co­mu­nidad his­pana de Clare­more y Tulsa la forma en la que las au­tori­dades han mena­jado una in­ves­ti­gación en donde una fa­milia his­pana es­tuvo in­volu­crada en un aparatoso accidente.

Last Oc­to­ber 26, Marcela Liz­beth Zuñiga had an au­to­mo­bile ac­ci­dent in which her youngest son lost his life. The events oc­curred on High­way 20 in Rogers County near Clare­more.

Marcela was driv­ing the ve­hi­cle with three peo­ple on board, when, ac­cord­ing to the Ok­la­homa High­way Pa­trol re­port, her reck­less stop­ping on the road caused an­other ve­hi­cle to hit the car, re­sult­ing in the death of one of the pas­sen­gers, Zuñiga’s 17-year-old son.

For their part, the au­thor­i­ties dealt with the ac­ci­dent as case of man­slaugh­ter and be­gan to in­ves­ti­gate the driver. The Ok­la­homa High­way Pa­trol agency de­ter­mined that Zuñiga did not have a valid driver's li­cense at the time of the ac­ci­dent, so they gave no­tice to the United States Im­mi­gra­tion and Cus­toms En­force­ment agency (ICE), who in turn ver­i­fied that the woman did not have per­mis­sion to re­side legally in the coun­try. Ac­cord­ing to the au­thor­i­ties, suf­fi­cient el­e­ments were found to be­lieve that the woman would flee the coun­try, so last Satur­day, De­cem­ber 15, they com­pleted an ar­rest war­rant, ICE agents ar­rived at the woman's home and then ar­rested her and took her to jail. She re­mains in Rogers County Jail in Clare­more, charged with man­slaugh­ter, driv­ing with­out a li­cense and im­prop­erly stop­ping on the high­way.

The tragic ac­ci­dent left ev­ery­one in the car in­jured, in­clud­ing Zuñiga. Her fam­ily and friends con­sider the ac­cu­sa­tion that she in­tended to flee the coun­try un­founded, be­cause the death of her youngest son caused a very painful time for the whole fam- ily, and cou­pled with this an­other of their chil­dren, a friend and Zuñiga her­self have not even fully re­cov­ered from the ac­ci­dent where they suf­fered se­vere in­juries from the great im­pact of an­other car crash­ing into them.

Should the charges against Zuñiga pre­vail, she could serve five years or more in prison be­fore fac­ing de­por­ta­tion to Mex­ico.

MARCELA LIZ­BETH ZUÑIGA

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