Javier Lopez-Gonzalez v. Jefferson Sessions

FILED NOT FOR PUBLICATION DEC 18 2017 UNITED STATES COURT OF APPEALS MOLLY C. DWYER, CLERK U.S. COURT OF APPEALS FOR THE NINTH CIRCUIT JAVIER LOPEZ-GONZALEZ, No. 14-72810 Petitioner, Agency No. A072-912-895 v. MEMORANDUM* JEFFERSON B. SESSIONS III, Attorney General, Respondent. On Petition for Review of an Order of the Board of Immigration Appeals Submitted November 14, 2017** Pasadena, California Before: KOZINSKI, HAWKINS and PARKER,*** Circuit Judges. A successful Convention Against Torture (“CAT”) “applicant must show both a greater than 50 percent likelihood that he will be tortured . . . and that a * This disposition is not appropriate for publication and is not precedent except as provided by Ninth Circuit Rule 36-3. ** The panel unanimously concludes this case is suitable for decision without oral argument. See Fed. R. App. P. 34(a)(2). *** The Honorable Barrington D. Parker, Jr., United States Circuit Judge for the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit, sitting by designation. page 2 public official would . . . acquiesce in that torture.” Madrigal v. Holder, 716 F.3d 499, 508 (9th Cir. 2013) (citations omitted). An applicant’s testimony, “if credible, may be sufficient to sustain the burden of proof without corroboration.” 8 C.F.R § 208.16(c)(2). The IJ found that Lopez-Gonzalez’s testimony about his kidnapping was credible. He testified that his abductors tortured him and questioned him about “which cartel that [h]e belong[ed] to.” He also testified that his captors threatened to kill him if they saw him again. The IJ thus erred in holding that Lopez- Gonzalez would not likely be tortured again because past torture is “the principal factor on which we rely when an applicant who has previously been tortured seeks [CAT] relief[.]” Nuru v. Gonzales, 404 F.3d 1207, 1218 (9th Cir. 2005). In light of our recent holding that many Mexican “police officers are involved in kidnapping . . . or acting directly on behalf of[] organized crime and drug traffickers,” Madrigal, 716 F.3d at 507 (quotation marks omitted), Lopez- Gonzalez has sufficiently “show[n] that public officials demonstrate[d] ‘willful blindness’ to [his] torture[.]” Zheng v. Ashcroft, 332 F.3d 1186, 1196 (9th Cir. 2003). Willful blindness satisfies the CAT requirement of government acquiescence. Id. page 3 GRANTED. 14-72810 Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit ca9 9th Cir. Javier Lopez-Gonzalez v. Jefferson Sessions 18 December 2017 Agency Unpublished 3a52635848d84cf1563acea6ffdea59c9db23b36

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