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House of Death Informant Files Lawsuit Against U.S. Government
by Bill Conroy
Tuesday Jul 5th, 2011 5:42 PM
Former Mexican Cop Who Helped Oversee House in Juarez Used for Torture and Murder Claims ICE Still Owes Him Money
A deactivated U.S. government informant who played a key role in multiple homicides in Mexico while under the supervision of U.S. prosecutors and federal agents has filed a lawsuit against the United States in the U.S. Court of Federal Claims.

Although the pleadings in the litigation are are now cloaked from public inspection, the attorney handling the case told Narco News previously that he planned to file the lawsuit, which he said would allege that Uncle Sam has failed to pay his client in full for his informant services.

The pleadings in the former informant’s litigation are filed under seal, in part, to assure that his location is not revealed, given his life is in jeopardy, according to Steve Cohen, the attorney for the sidelined informant — Guillermo Eduardo Ramirez Peyro.

The U.S. Court of Federal Claims in Washington, D.C., is authorized to hear money-related claims based on federal statues, the Constitution and contracts involving the United States. Ramirez Peyro, according to past testimony he provided in immigration court, claims the U.S. government, specifically his past employer, U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), owes him at least $400,000 in informant fees on top of the more than $200,000 he has already been paid. The litigation, if successful, would undoubtedly add interest and damages to that amount.

Cohen, when contacted by Narco News last week, did not comment on the pending litigation, other than to indicate that Ramirez Peyro’s life is still very much in danger due to his informant work against a cell of the powerful Vicente Carrillo Fuentes drug organization in Juarez, Mexico.

Ramirez Peyro is a former Mexican cop who rose to a very high level within a Juarez cell of the Vicente Carrillo Fuentes drug organization that was overseen by an individual named Heriberto Santillan Tabares. At the same time he was working as one of Santillan’s right-hand men, helping to oversee his criminal enterprises, including a house that served as a torture and killing chambers (the House of Death), Ramirez Peyro also was working as an informant for ICE, with his activities not only known, but also approved, by high-level officials within DOJ and the Department of Homeland Security, of which ICE is a part.

The Santillan cell that Ramirez Peyro served was responsible for murdering more than a dozen people between the summer of 2003 and early 2004 — most of whom were tortured first and then buried in the backyard of the House of Death in Juarez, a Mexican border city south of El Paso, Texas. Ramirez Peyro helped to arrange and even participated in some of those murders, according to public records.

Evidence of the U.S. government’s efforts to cover-up its complicity in that carnage was later exposed exclusively by the online investigative publication Narco News in a series of stories pointing the finger at high-level officials within DHS and the DOJ.

In a related matter, Ramirez Peyro’s ICE handler, former special agent Raul Bencomo, also recently filed a lawsuit in federal court against the government. Those pleadings, lodged in the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit, are still in the early stages, with the parties’ briefs not available.

Bencomo is seeking redress for what he contends was ICE’s wrongful termination of his employment in February 2009. ICE fired Bencomo, in large part, due to what it claims was his failure to follow supervisors’ orders related to the House of Death case. Bencomo initially appealed his firing through the U.S. Merit Systems Protection Board, which issued a final ruling against him in February of this year. That ruling has been appealed directly to the Federal Circuit court.

Prior to his official termination, Bencomo had been on ICE’s payroll but off the job since 2004 as a result of being placed on “administrative” leave for reasons still not publicly acknowledged by the agency. His dismissal this past February, some five years after being benched by ICE, arguably was carried out to clean up one of the few remaining loose ends in the House of Death carnage.

The script in this case: a lone Hispanic federal agent, Bencomo, is to blame for the bloody deeds of a U.S. government informant, Ramirez Peyro.

To read the full story, go to Narco News.

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