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United States Court of Appeals, Eighth Circuit.

Manuel De Jesus Garcia ORTIZ Petitioner v. Jefferson B. SESSIONS, III, Attorney General of the United States Respondent

No. 17-1252

Decided: February 26, 2018

Before LOKEN, KELLY, and ERICKSON, Circuit Judges. Joseph Lopez Wilson, Omaha, NE, for Petitioner Juria L. Jones, Scott Michael Marconda, Trial Attorney, Carl H. McIntyre, U.S. Department of Justice, Civil Division, Office of Immigration Litigation, Washington, DC, for Respondent


Guatemalan citizen Manuel Garcia Ortiz petitions for review of an order of the Board of Immigration Appeals dismissing his appeal from the decision of an immigration judge (IJ), which denied him asylum and withholding of removal.1 Ortiz sought immigration relief based on his membership in the particular social group “former members of the military suffering gang threats and violence due to noninvolvement in their criminal behavior.”

After careful consideration of Ortiz’s arguments and the record, we conclude that substantial evidence supports the finding that he failed to show past persecution in Guatemala, a well-founded fear of future persecution there, or a clear probability of future persecution there, due to one of the five protected grounds: race, religion, nationality, membership in a particular social group, or political opinion. See 8 U.S.C. § 1158(b)(1)(B)(i); De Castro-Gutierrez v. Holder, 713 F.3d 375, 379 (8th Cir. 2013) (standard of review); Matul-Hernandez v. Holder, 685 F.3d 707, 711-13 (8th Cir. 2012). Specifically, we determine that: (1) Ortiz’s proposed group does not constitute a particular social group, see Gaitan v. Holder, 671 F.3d 678, 682 (8th Cir. 2012); (2) to the extent Ortiz feared general violence in Guatemala, his fear was not based on a protected ground, see Al Yatim v. Mukasey, 531 F.3d 584, 588-89 (8th Cir. 2008); and (3) he did not establish that the Guatemalan government was unable or unwilling to control the private actors he fears, see Gutierrez-Vidal v. Holder, 709 F.3d 728, 732 (8th Cir. 2013).

The petition is denied. See 8th Cir. R. 47B.


1.   The IJ’s denial of relief under the Convention Against Torture is not on appeal. See Chay-Velasquez v. Ashcroft, 367 F.3d 751, 756 (8th Cir. 2004).


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