McAllen Couple Sues Mexico for Damages Following Shooting
MCALLEN – Two U.S. citizens are suing the Mexican government for damages following a shootout in Reynosa on April 4.
Memories of that day still haunt Luis Alfredo and Alejandra Aleman.
“It's not fair what happened to us,” Alejandra said.
The couple had just picked up groceries in Reynosa after a visit with family. They were driving back to the international bridge when they were showered with bullets.
Luis has scars from that day that will never heal. He's told CHANNEL 5 NEWS he’s missing a finger and has no function in two of the remaining ones. He also has a permanent limp from a bullet wound in the foot.
This week, the couple returned to Reynosa for the first time since the shooting.
They had government escorts when they went to file an official complaint against the Mexican Marines.
“I was very nervous and afraid, very afraid,” Alejandra said. “It's something indescribable and we were in an armored vehicle.”
The Aleman’s said it was men in uniform shooting at them from the ground and from the air. They believe the Marines mistook them for someone else.
Both recalled shots coming from a Marine helicopter in the air. But the Mexican government has repeatedly denied any involvement.
“They shot at us, and they left us alone because they didn't help us,” Alejandra said.
Their bullet-damaged Tahoe now sits in their driveway. There are 43 holes in the vehicle. The couple said it’s a daily reminder of how close they came to dying.
One of the bullet holes is in the passenger seat where Alejandra’s stomach would have been had she not moved to the floorboard of the front seat. Although she ended up escaping without serious injury, a bullet did graze the back of her head.
The cost of replacing the windows and other parts on the Tahoe cost a couple hundred dollars. The Aleman’s said the medical bills for Luis top $200,000; the emergency helicopter flight to San Antonio alone was $60,000.
That's what the Aleman’s want the Mexican marines to pay. Whether it happens or not they're still thankful.
“Thank God we are alive. God gave us a second chance,” Alejandra said. “Unfortunately, the situation there is going from bad to worse,” she said. “There are a lot of shootings all over the place, and assaults, carjackings, robberies and burglaries.”
The couple said they won't go to Reynosa again if they don't have to. They recommend everyone follow that advice as well.
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