They Kill Horses, Don`t They? (Mexicans, That Is.)
Here in northern
California, American animal lovers are watching
the final stages of the case of two Mexican
illegal aliens who
got drunk and killed a horse for fun.
Liobijildo Guzman Herrera and Noel Guido-Silva,
both farmworkers, ended a night of drinking last
April 26 by driving their vehicles around a field
near Kenwood, chasing a terrified 23-year-old
mare, running her down and causing her a painful
Gentle Song, a retired race horse with three
victories in 27 starts, belonged to a 13-year-old
Mexico has no laws against animal
cruelty and is known for its blood sports like
cockfights. So we have to understand the Mexicans`
reprehensible behavior in a cultural context. Diversity,
as we all know, is our strength.
Americans are generally unaware of
national and cultural differences, until they become too
extreme to overlook. One American value that many
cultures do not share: a strong rejection of cruelty to
animals, along with our fondness for
Even Americans who don`t normally
keep little furry creatures around couldn`t imagine
causing gratuitous pain to an animal for some sicko
enjoyment. That`s why we have
laws against cockfighting,
bullfighting and general
animal cruelty. Of course, we have our own
home-grown cases where animals are cruelly abused. But
average Americans severely disapprove of such acts.
Around the globe, however,
attitudes toward animals are very different. For
Muslims regard dogs as unclean.
Iranian dog owners have been fined or had their pets
confiscated by religious police when Fido was being
walked. Dog ownership is regarded as a Western
corruption—witness Iranian cleric
Hojatolislam Hassani`s demand that pets and their
owners to be removed: "I demand the judiciary
arrest all dogs with long, medium or short legs together
with their long-legged owners, otherwise I will arrest
Some Asians regard dogs as
becoming more flavorful when they have been
tortured in the slaughtering process.
Apparently, it releases adrenaline
into the dog`s system.
In Mexico, bullfighting remains a
sports obsession and showplace for Mexican machismo. But
it`s a fixed fight, where the bull always loses.
After there were no immediate
arrests in the killing of Gentle Song, the Sonoma County
Humane Society offered $10,000 in reward money to catch
the perpetrators. Outraged animal lovers chipped in and
the amount rose to over $20,000. In mid-June, an
tipster told police where to find the killers. The
arrest brought some closure to the young owner, who
flowers on the pasture gate at the news.
But Judge Robert Boyd indicated
that he would sentence them to the maximum three years
in state prison, reflecting the
"vicious manner in which the crime was carried out,"
in the words of a Deputy DA. The two then withdrew their
plea and opted for a jury trial.
The Sonoma District Attorney`s
office must be commended for the diligence with which
they approached the prosecution. At the preliminary
hearing, Deputy DA James Patrick Casey put on a
four-hour presentation of evidence to show how seriously
the prosecutor took the case. Furthermore, he sought a
felony verdict, not a misdemeanor.
During the two-week
trial of Guido-Silva before
Judge Lawrence Antolini, police investigators
described the pasture, which showed
tire tracks and hoof prints leading up to the
battered body of the dead horse, and jurors made a field
trip to the crime scene. Jim Michelson, the father of
Gentle Song`s young owner, testified that the mare`s
"matched her name. She was part of the family."
Sheriff`s Deputy Bill Focha
testified that one of the vehicles ran over the injured
horse as the drivers fled the scene. He knew that
because there was a
tire imprint running over Gentle Song`s head.
On March 23, Guido-Silva was
convicted of felony animal cruelty, felony
vandalism, misdemeanor trespassing and misdemeanor
hit-and-run driving. He was found not guilty of felony
conspiracy and intentionally killing a horse. He is
still looking at a couple of years in prison, to be
followed by blessed
repatriation to his
true home, as the
His sentencing is scheduled for
Herrera had agreed earlier to a
plea bargain, and pleaded guilty to everything except
conspiracy. He will hear his sentence on Monday, March
Hopefully there will be maximum
prison terms meted out to send the message south that
Americans don`t like our horses killed for the sick fun
of illegal aliens.
The next time someone tells you
that Mexican culture has enriched America, ask whether
that includes gratuitous cruelty to animals and
Once again, when open borders and
multiculturalism win, American values lose.
And a young rider has lost her