George Murl was like many American seniors in San Diego, living on a fixed income and dealing with prostrate cancer. A World War II veteran, George was 81 years-old when he crossed the border to fill a prescription for valium, enticed by the ads claiming price breaks at Mexican pharmacias. As he stepped outside the pharmacy with his medicine, he was arrested, put in chains and taken to the dangerous and notorious La Mesa Prison in Tijuana. There, he was stripped, beaten and abused. The charge – drug trafficking.
Chappy Dave Walden, through the La Mesa Prison Ministry to American inmates, saw George in desperate agony and was able to meet with the sick and confused man and bring his story to the attention of the outside world. As they prayed together, Chappy Dave and George Murl asked God to take over his life and situation.
“I knew that he was going to die there if he couldn’t get out,” said Walden. “I had been trying to get media attention for Americans in prison for 10 years without much success. When I shared the story of George, however, it got nationwide coverage. Because of this, the Mexican officials released him. I had asked God to let me be by George’s side when he was released and my prayer was answered. I met his ambulance at the Veterans Administration Hospital and tucked him in with a prayer.”
Currently there are six elderly Americans still in La Mesa Prison, in chains and at the mercy of abusive guards and inmates, because of these same prescription charges. No one tells American seniors that they must have prescriptions from Mexican doctors to legally buy medications. Mexican pharmacies are more than happy to fill them illegally and then turn the American seniors over to the police.