In an unpublished decision, the Third Circuit remanded an application for protection under the Convention Against Torture, based on fear that Mexican gangs would target a returning deportee with family members in the United States. The applicant presented evidence from an expert witness that the Mexican government is unable to control gangs. The Board of Immigration Appeals concluded that the Mexican government was making attempts to weed out corrupt officials and train its military and law enforcement not to engage in acts of torture, and thus, that it would not acquiesce in the torture of the applicant.
On appeal, the Third Circuit concluded that the Board had not considered "the possibility that, even though the Mexican government attempted to protect its citizens, it could still acquiesce to torture due to its inability to actually protect its citizens from torture. There is no indication that the agency considered evidence, such as Dr. Boerman’s report, indicating that the Mexican government could not control Los Zetas or the corrupt officials who are involved in kidnappings and torture. Rather, the agency seemed to assume that as long as the Mexican government tried to help its citizens, then it could not be found to have acquiesced." An excellent reminder that the desire to protect is not the same thing as the ability to do so.
The full text of Torres-Escalantes v. Attorney General can be found here: http://www2.ca3.uscourts.gov/opinarch/144663np.pdf