Drug War Horror: Border Agents Probed Woman's Vagina and Anus Without Consent In Fruitless Search For Narcotics

What is wrong with law enforcement in the Southwest?

Photo Credit: Department of Homeland Security/Wikimedia Commons

Law enforcement in the Southwest are about to become notorious for invasive drug searches. A week after news outlets spotlighted the cases of two New Mexico men who had their anuses searched by police looking for drugs, another woman has come forward with a similar story.

KOB 4, a New Mexico news outlet, reports thatthe American Civil Liberties Union is representing a New Mexico resident who says that law enforcement agents subjected her to invasive searches in a fruitless quest for drugs. The woman, who is anonymous, told the ACLU that after she was pulled aside by police after crossing the Mexico-U.S. border in El Paso, Texas.

According to the ACLU’s Laura Schaur Ives, federal border agents stripped searched her and told her to spread her genitalia and cough. After that, the agents are said to have pressed their fingers into the woman’s vagina to search for drugs.

Law enforcement did not find anything, so they took the woman to a hospital. “Medical staff observed her making a bowel movement and no drugs were found at that point,” Schaur Ives told KOB. “They then took an X-ray, but it did not reveal any contraband. They then did a cavity search and they probed her vagina and her anus, they described in the medical records as bi-manual--two handed. Finally, they did a cat scan. Again, they found nothing.” The woman says she never gave consent to the search.

A spokesman for the border patrol said that they can’t verify the claims made by the ACLU.

The news comes about a week after a story about a New Mexico mansubjected to 8 anal searches in another fruitless quest for drugs went viral. David Eckert is battling police in a lawsuit over the repeated anal searches. After Eckert came forward, another New Mexico man said a similar thing happened to him.


Alex Kane is former World editor at AlterNet. His work has appeared in Mondoweiss, Salon, VICE, the Los Angeles Review of Books and more. Follow him on Twitter @alexbkane.

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