Man Fights to Get Back Vehicle Impounded in Mexico for Expir
BROWNSVILLE – After a month-long battle with Mexican authorities, a Brownsville man is turning to CHANNEL 5 NEWS for help.
Gilbert Rendon says what was supposed to be a quick trip to the dentist left him without a vehicle.
He says he didn't even make it past the Mexican “Aduana” when his troubles started.
"First thing they did was look at my inspection sticker," he says, "well, it was expired."
Rendon says Mexican authorities immediately seized his 2002 Chevy Venture.
He was told by Mexican authorities that it's against the law to cross into Mexico with expired tags.
"What effect does that have in Mexico, why does it bother ya’ll?" Rendon says. "'No, you just can't do it. ‘It’s the law.' I said, 'I've never heard of that law, do you have it posted anywhere?'"
Rendon says despite pleading and arguing with Mexican authorities, he ended up crossing back into the U.S. on foot.
He says he now depends on rental cars and borrowing vehicles to get around.
But Mexican officials are making it difficult to get his property back, he added.
"They want you to fill out like 25 pieces of paper - and I'm not exaggerating," Rendon says. "Not only fill them out but then you have to translate them into Spanish, pay $100 for a lawyer, another $100 - I said, ‘You know what, never mind.’"
CHANNEL 5 NEWS went to the Mexican consulate in Brownsville to find out why Rendon's vehicle was impounded and how he can get it back.
Consulate Spokeswoman Vanesa Ortega declined to comment on camera.
She confirms, though, that there are laws in place that prohibit vehicles from crossing into Mexico with expired tags.
Ortega says it's done to crack down on stolen vehicles being sold, and in turn, protect the Mexican auto industry.
Rendon says authorities should find another way to do that.
"Please treat the American citizens with respect. We're going over there to spend money, to buy stuff, you now," he said.
Rendon said he will continue to fight to get what is rightfully his back to the U.S.
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