Mexican Officials Continue to Demand $10,000 Cash for Return of Shoes and Van Seized at Mexican Border on March 4, 2010
NASHVILLE, Tenn. and MCALLEN, Texas, March 18 /PRNewswire/ — For 14 days, Soles4Souls, the international charity that provides footwear to those in desperate need in over 125 countries, continues to fight Mexican officials for the return of shoes en route to Guatemala that were seized at the Mexican border on Thursday, March 4, 2010. Sources from Soles4Souls confirmed that a local attorney has filed paperwork to retrieve the confiscated goods and the van transporting the goods. The authorities, however, are demanding $10,000 CASH in return for the seized shoes.
“Our friends at Harvest Evangelism Ministries and our team are working hard to reverse this injustice and retrieve the goods that were intended for adults and children in need in Guatemala,” said Wayne Elsey, Founder and CEO.
On March 4th, Missionary partners with Soles4Souls crossed the Mexican border on their trip to bring shoes to the people of Guatemala. After crossing safely with full clearance, the missionaries were then later stopped at a second checkpoint miles within the country and detained. In addition, authorities detained the partners themselves for over 12 hours until early hours, releasing them after 2:00 AM local time.
“Our partners have followed this route and process for years and had all of the appropriate paperwork for the distribution trip. The only thing that changed was the mention of the products being intended for Guatemala,” said Elsey. “The cash demands of the Mexican government on our charity whose intentions were to bring hope to an underprivileged country is unconscionable,” added Elsey.
“Soles4Souls has shipped over 100,000 pairs for charitable distribution to Mexico in the last 5 years without anything but open arms,” said Paul Wilson, President of Soles4Souls OUTREACH Division. “This is absurd,” he added.
Soles4Souls is a Nashville-based charity that collects shoes from warehouses of footwear companies and the closets of people like you. We distribute these shoes, free of charge, to people in need around the world. Since 2005, Soles4Souls has given away over 8 million pairs of new and gently worn shoes (currently distributing one pair every 9 seconds). The shoes have been distributed in 125 countries, including Haiti, Kenya, Nepal and the United States. Soles4Souls is a 501Â©(3) recognized by the IRS and donating parties are eligible for tax advantages.