Sunday, April 27, 2008

Blackberry caper update

You’ll recall the Mexican official named “Rafael” who scooped up seven Blackberry PDAs at the New Orleans NAFTA meeting. (See my blog “No es de nosotros” below.)

Well, we have a couple more news source updates that give us a follow-up on our pal and what happened to him once he got back home.

According to the L A Times his name is Rafael Quintero Curiel from Presidente Calderon’s press office. (Maybe he’s one of those folks who believes any coverage, even negative coverage, is better than nothing.)

Well, Rafael was fired from his job over the incident. But the reports don’t add up. Some say he was gathering up the PDAs because he thought they belonged to the Mexican delegation. Others seem to think he had a touch of larceny, or perhaps even espionage.

For example, here what the Associated Press reported: “In a letter sent to Mexican newspapers and broadcasters, Quintero Curiel said he had picked up the phones because he thought they had been left behind. He said that as he rushed to the airport, he had given them to a driver to take back to the hotel to hand them over to management.”

That’s a little different than the L A Times report that said, “…the Secret Service caught up with him at the airport, where he "said it was purely accidental, gave [the BlackBerrys] back, claimed diplomatic immunity and left New Orleans with the Mexican delegation.”

So, did he send them back to the hotel on his own, or did the Secret Service confront him at the airport?

Why would he have to claim diplomatic immunity? And why was he fired when he got back home?

The White House is giving non-answers like, “It is under investigation” and “We don’t know if the devices contained any sensitive information.” Heck, the White House isn’t even saying how many devices were stolen, only “a couple.”

Maybe Rafael can open a pawn shop now that he is officially unemployed.

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