The ACLU is representing a New Mexico woman in her fifties who was subjected by federal agents to a two-handed (!) vaginal and anal examination, an involuntary X-ray and CAT scan, and was forced to defecate in front of strangers. The woman was suspected of being in possession of drugs, on the basis of a drug-dog alert at the Juarez/El Paso border-crossing. No drugs were found. The federal agents -- it's not clear what agency they were with -- did not obtain a warrant. The doctors at University Medical Center in El Paso performed the procedures without the victim's consent, including the CT scan, which subjects people to a high dose of potentially harmful radiation.
The ACLU of New Mexico is certainly developing some deep expertise on the subject of involuntary, drug-war anal probes: see this earlier story by Mark.
A dog alerted to the woman, and Schaur Ives said federal agents stripped searched her at the facility, asked her to undress, to spread her genitalia and to cough. Female agents also allegedly pressed their fingers into her vagina looking for drugs.
The woman claims they didn't discover anything during the on-site strip search, so they took her to University Medical Center of El Paso.
"First, medical staff observed her making a bowl movement and no drugs were found at that point," Schaur Ives said. "They then took an X-ray, but it did not reveal any contraband. They then did a cavity search and they probed her vagina and her anus, they described in the medical records as bi-manual--two handed. Finally, they did a cat scan. Again, they found nothing."
The ACLU claims the federal agents never secured a search warrant before probing or touching the woman.
"And her medical records indicate that she refused consent," Shaur Ives said.
NM woman comes forward with illegal probing claims [Chris Ramirez/KOB]
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