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Jul 20, 2017

Julio Valdez Tells Senate ‘Anybody’ Could Have Gotten Immigration Files

Julio Valdez

Before his investigation into Arthur Saldivar’s missing files expanded to look at their contents, former deputy of National Crimes Investigation Branch Julio Valdez was tasked with finding out how they were removed under the eyes of Immigration officials and who couriered them to Saldivar. The attorney wasn’t talking then, but simple observation found that there were almost no safeguards in the security of the filing room where files were kept and retrieved when needed, which was fairly often, according to Valdez.

 

Julio Valdez, Retired Superintendent of Police

“I went back, re-interviewed the same persons that were already interviewed because they were apparently from the Nationality section…”

 

Mark Lizarraga, Pro-tem Chair, Senate Special Select Committee

“The persons whom you listed this morning?”

 

Julio Valdez

“Yes, they were working the Nationality Section; they were also, some of them I think were assigned to the Permanent Residence section and there were some were couriers who were working in and out of the office. What I did notice visiting the Immigration office, going into where you apply for passport, there is a space; there is a door going in to the right-hand side; in that office is where apparently all the documents are stored, there are cabinets. To my turn, anybody goes in and comes out of that office; because people are right at the entrance waiting application for Nationality Section – going for passport, there is the door, anybody could have access – that was not locked. Anybody could go into that office and get into the filing cabinets, retrieve those documents. That was my conclusion then.”

 

Mark Lizarraga

“There was no proper security.”

 

Julio Valdez

“No proper security.”

 

Mark Lizarraga

“But was the room always occupied by persons, lot of people?”

 

Julio Valdez

“Subsequently to this, in days [gone] by I used to visit Immigration office to notice and monitor movements; I wanted to know what they were doing, and yes, from my time going there it could be seen that Immigration officers going into the filing room…”

 

Mark Lizarraga

“It’s a separate room, just not properly secured?”

 

Julio Valdez

“It’s not properly secured; people were going in and out to the office and back out; apparently when they need something they go in, retrieve the file and walk out.”

 

Mark Lizarraga

“Was the door to the file room in a room that a lot of persons occupied as a result of their jobs?”

 

Julio Valdez

“There’s a door entrance; it was kept closed but not locked during normal working hours. I’m not sure if it was locked.”

 

Mark Lizarraga

“But persons would work in the outer room?”

 

Julio Valdez

“Inside? No, people were waiting for passports in the aisle (gestures) If you go to Immigration there is an entrance…”

 

Mark Lizarraga

“The entrance to the file room was off the corridor…”

 

Julio Valdez

“Where even the general public could have had access.”

 

According to Valdez he never found out how the files actually got to Saldivar’s house; they had simply been left there by the courier and he was tipped off about them. 

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Viewers please note: This Internet newscast is a verbatim transcript of our evening television newscast. Where speakers use Kriol, we attempt to faithfully reproduce the quotes using a standard spelling system.

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