Wednesday, November 26, 2014

31 Students kidnapped in Cocula Guerrero in July

Borderland Beat posted by Pepe and Chivis  republished from France24

Note: Cocula is about 20 minutes driving time from Iguala.  I have a post from August where 31-32 bodies were discovered on the outskirts of Iguala.  No identification studies have been performed on those remains....Cocula is as violent as Iguala, with large groups of people taken and never seen again. In 2013 between the months of May-July at least three groups were taken; 12 in May, 10 in June and 23 in July.

These aside from ongoing single kidnappings and smaller groups, including entire families from their homes.  Children are not off limits.   These kidnappings and killings are unlike kidnappings in other states of Mexico.  The only gain that one can surmise, is terrorizing the populous for control.  By containing  residents in the grip of terror.

As for student kidnappings, this is nothing new, group student killings and kidnappings have been occurring for years in Guerrero and neighboring states.  Citizens begged for help from the federal governments and PGR, appealing to both the Calderon and Pena administrations, but they refused to help on grounds it was a state and local matter.  This was told to residents, even after they stressed it was the government that was part of the killings as they were in collusion with organized crime. .....Chivis

France24 Report 
The southern Mexican city of Cocula grabbed global headlines after being named by officials as the place where 43 students who went missing in September were likely murdered. Now FRANCE 24 has uncovered a new kidnapping case in the same town.

A witness to the latest kidnapping told FRANCE 24 that more than 30 high school students, including her teenage daughter, were rounded up in broad daylight on the last day of classes. It was July 7 – the children have not been heard from since.

During and after the abduction, the kidnappers told Cocula residents they would kill them if they spoke out. Terrified families did not report the incident to authorities or the media, until now.

Their collective silence is due in part to what appears to be another case of criminal complicity between local police forces and drug cartels that operate with impunity in the region. Although the captors were wearing masks, they took the secondary school students away in police vehicles that they did not even bother to camouflage.

Video should play well in full screen....


Mexico: 11 Ayotzinapa Protesters Arrested Are Denied Bail

For Borderland Beat by DD

On November 20 three different massive marches led by students and families of the missing 43 students coalesced on the Zocolo, the main plaza in Mexico City.  The marchers were not only demanding the return of missing students, but demanding the resignation of President Engrique Pena Nieto and demanding justice for the other 22,000+ missing in Mexico.  The demonstrations were peaceful during the entire day of marching and the coming together in the Zocolo.

Earlier in the week Pena Nieto had warned that violence and vandalism would not be tolerated in demonstrations and threatened to use state force against protestors if that occurred. 

 It seems his words turned into action on the night of Nov. 20 as the tens of thousands of demonstrators started disbanding and returning to their homes at about 10:PM.  Shortly after 11:PM a small group of individuals wearing face masks started attacking the troops guarding the National Palace that faces the Zocolo.  Rocks, bottles a few Molotov cocktails were thrown. 
Estimates of the size of the group involved in the violence ranged from 20 to 40.  The army and police responded with force attacking indiscriminately the small crowd that remained in the plaza.  Police violently removed protesters from Zocala Square injuring dozens, despite pleas from the protesters
 pleading with police no to use force photo from telsur
for police to not use repression against the crowd.

The police indiscriminately attacked all those present, including Juan Martin Perez, the executive director of the Network for the Rights of Children, who was in the square with his family. A photographer from Mexican magazine Proceso was also among the injured when an officer threw a sharp piece of metal at him.   Dozens were injured and 15 arrested.
 (Foto @AissateleSUR)

Students and bystanders insisted that the masked “anarchist” were not part of the demonstrators in the marches.  Earlier in the day, social media was abuzz with allegations that police were transporting officers in plainclothes and that police intended to infiltrate the peaceful march to provoke violence.

Ayotzinapa student Dante Hernandez Castrejon said government violation of human rights of protesters that were arrested during the November 20 demonstrations in Mexico City are “way out of line” and are aimed at intimidating people who have supported the struggle to pressure authorities to find the 43 disappeared students alive. 

He pointed to the existence of some infiltrators in the area around the Mexico City airport that morning and in the Zocalo that night, but said that those arrested were students. 

"Changuito Ántrax" ; The embarrassing Son-in-law of the Sinaloa Ministerial Police Deputy Director

Borderland Beat posted by siskiyou_kid from RioDoce

The [big] news wasn't that they had arrested Rafael Félix Núñez, "El Changuito", a low-level gunman who advanced because they had arrested Rodrigo Aréchiga Gamboa, "El Chino Ántrax" but that he was the son-in-law of the Deputy Director of the Ministerial police, Martiniano Vizcarra Burgos. 

Ana Lilia Vizcarra Vega, a daughter from the comandante's first marriage, married "El Changuito" in 2006 and had two children. On September 12, 2014, they obtained a divorce, as documented in a court judgment. 

Some government officials went into a panic when they learned. One of them was the Governor. So he opted to talk to the reporters in twisted words: 

"If you have something to contribute with statements that expressed would be very good to incorporate them into the investigation," said Mario López Valdez to a Ríodoce journalist, to the question of the family relationship between "Changuito Ántrax" and the Deputy Director of the State Ministerial Police. 

López Valdez said to disregard Félix Núñez's family relationship with the Deputy Director of the Ministerial police. 

The top leader of Sinaloa even said Vizcarra Burgos is an agent who in recent years has given good results in the fight against crime. 

"I had no knowledge of this alleged relationship that you mentioned and that Martiniano is a police officer, for 20 or 30 years,  I don't know how many years has been in the department, and I know that in recent days has been very committed to combating crime", said López Valdez. 

The Governor said that there would be an investigation regarding the information that Ríodoce had spread about the kinship between the criminal leader and the police chief. 

But the investigative momentum went off like a bomb, when three days later, interviewed by the media during the celebrations of the day of the Mexican Revolution, Jesus Antonio Aguilar Iñiguez, head of the Ministerial Police, came out in defense of his "right  hand man", saying that it would put the whole department behind the good reputation of Vizcarra Burgos.

"It is true that this person - Rafael Guadalupe Félix Núñez, known as "El Changuito", is married to a daughter of Commander Martiniano Vizcarra, but he never advised them when they wanted to marry,", the police chief explained to Ríodoce, in a separate interview. 

"Martiniano (at left) divorced his first wife, mother of those kids, many years ago and has been living with another family," he added. 

In defense of his subordinate, Aguilar Iñiguez reported that Vizcarra Burgos' daughter, Ana Lilia Vizcarra Vega, divorced "El Changuito" this year. 

Last June she filed for divorce because she had problems with her partner, and on 23 September a judge of Costa Rica granted the action. 

He said that in the document, Rafael Félix agrees to pay 15,000 pesos a month as support for the two children they had together. They married in 2006, when Commander Vizcarra Burgos had legal problems, as a result of what happened at Cinepolis Culiacán Plaza on September 11, 2004, when Rodolfo Carrillo Fuentes was murdered. 

Martiniano has more than 30 years of service and is a serious man committed to his work,  Chuytoño said.

Martiano’s letter of few words
Commander Martiniano Vizcarra is a man of few words, who will not agree to give an interview, but did draft a brief letter. But his explanation is, to say the least, fantastic. 

"I'm a dad like any other and I agree to be the father of Ana Lilia Vizcarra Vega, and out of respect for her mother I will omit her name, but due to personal problems I live apart from them. 

"The fact that she decided to join together in marriage was a decision that I didn't have anything to do with, until today when I heard that she married a person who appears in the media since he has problems with the law, this person who I do not know and I categorically deny any relationship or friendship, or rather than in my capacity as public official in the police I have favored him, or that he would have taken advantage of my job".

The Same Southern Mexican State Where 43 Students Were Disappeared Is also Home to a Grassroots Movement that Shows How People Can Police Themselves When the State Becomes Criminal

Borderland Beat posted by DD republished from Narco News 

Community Police in Guerrero’s Costa Chica Region to Celebrate 19 Years of a Better Way to Combat Crime and Corruption 

Welcome to San Luis Acatlan
Earlier this year, Oscar Olivera, the Bolivian community organizer, and Narco News TV director Greg Berger were invited to visit this community and learn more about its successful experiences doing the job the government will not do to combat crime and corruption. The community police of that region celebrated their 19th anniversary with a series of public events  on November 8 and 9.
The original community police movement of Guerrero continues to provide a positive and hopeful example of how people can organize from below and improve their safety and security when the national, state and local governments will not do so. Its work should also be part of the national and international conversation today over the tragic events and injustices for which the state has received so much recent attention.
Here is the report from Olivera and Berger of what they learned from Guerrero’s community police movement. – Al Giordano
Rays of hot sun trickled through the branches of mango trees whose dangling fruit was nearly ripe and ready to fall. Around 80 civilians and a small group of police were gathered within a quarter of an acre of fenced off land, waiting to see what might happen next. 

Among the women and men gathered were indigenous Mixtec and Tlaponec people. Civilians from the Afro-Mexican towns along the nearby coastline and other mixed-race people were also present. The civilians far outnumbered the young men from the police force, who stood stone-faced and serious.

The Costa Chica has a long and sad history of violence and inequality. Relations among the state’s various ethnic groups have not always been harmonious, and many hot, tense mornings such as these have ended in tragedy. There have been several massacres by police and military forces against civilians, some well documented, others barely known to the public.

But what was happening on this morning was no standoff, and what was occurring was far from a tragedy. Despite the tension in the air, the mood was relaxed, and some people were doubled over in stitches, laughing and telling jokes to each other.

The officers who stood among the civilians were from an extraordinary police force. The plot of land where they stood is the site of the “House of Justice” of the town of San Luis Acatlan, home to the community police force known as the Regional Coordinating Committee of Community Authorities – Community Police, the CRAC-PC for its initials in Spanish.

Tuesday, November 25, 2014

Guerreros Unidos Cell Arrested In Morelos

Photo by: Margarito Pérez

Translated by Valor for Borderland Beat
Federal Police arrested five alleged members of the criminal organization Guerreros Unidos in the state of Morelos.  The five were involved with the disappearance of the 43 normalistas in Ayotzinapa last September.

Among the detainees was Luis Adrián La Wicha Vega Rueda, who has a long criminal record as a hit man, kidnapper, and narcomenudista.  He also worked for the criminal cell headed by Irving “El Harry” Hernández González.

According to federal authorities, the detainees were carrying weapons, drugs, masks, gloves, and clear plastic bags with marijuana.

The arrest took place at kilometer 118+000 of the Cuernavaca-Chilpancingo highway at the intersection of the Puente de Ixtla-Iguala highway.

The alleged gunmen were traveling in a Honda Accord with Guerrero plates.

Source:  Proceso

Monday, November 24, 2014

"G1" Decapitated in Michoachan

At about 8:00 AM on Monday, November 24, police responded to a call from a citizen reporting two decapitated heads placed on highway 37 in the municipality of Uruapan, near the town of Tiamba, Michoacán. In front of the heads, males between the ages of 35 and 40, was a poster board with the following message:

"Here you have the untouchable Gera or G1, and I am going for all the rest of the dogs, this is the ultimatum whoever does not want to come to this side better grab their dick I am coming with everything and against everyone. Sincerely Guardia Michoacana"

The heads were identified as belonging to Gerardo Serafín and a relative, Pedro Serafín, both commanders of the Fuerza Rural in the municipality of Uruapan.  Family members reported that they had been kidnapped the day before while conducting a patrol.

In March of this year it was claimed that Gerardo Serafín, known as "El Gera" and "El G1", was a former member of Los Caballeros Templarios that had joined the then emerging group H3, which put him in charge of their synthetic drug labs.  Furthermore, it was said that he had called a meeting in Uruapan to impose charges on those involved in crystal methamphetamine: two kilograms were to be given to him for each barrel produced and $200 per kilogram from traffickers.

It is worth noting that La Guardia Michoacana has previously been identified with Los Caballeros Templarios.

warning graphic image on following page

How Peña Nieto's House of Cards Crumbled

BORDERLAND BEAT Posted by DD Republished from Huffington Post.
Written by Rodrigo Aguilera Editor/Economist (Latin America), Economist Intelligence Unit

Image Source:
The speed in which the foreign media bubble surrounding Mexico's government has deflated in recent weeks has been stunning, although hardly surprising for those of us who suspected it was only a matter of time. Admittedly, even the pessimists had been caught off guard at the speed in which Enrique Peña Nieto and his party, the PRI, managed to push through an ambitious structural reform agenda during its first two years in power. From the start, however, there were lingering doubts over the government's capacity for effective policymaking since this would be undertaken in the context of significant political-administrative shortcomings. Now that these have - tragically - become apparent, a re-evaluation of the outlook for the successful implementation of the reforms into the medium- and long-term (that is, beyond the short-term goal of negotiating and approving them) is undeniably in order. It is also worth understanding why many of these shortcomings were painfully aware to many Mexicans from the very start, but thoroughly missed abroad.

A history of failed reformists

Anyone thinking that the government of Enrique Peña Nieto represents a fundamental shift from the way Mexican politics is done is grossly mistaken. He is neither a "reformist" nor a "modernizer", two words that are frequently misused by foreign observers when labelling a statesman who is believed to be steering country in the direction of liberal democracy and free market policies. Not coincidentally, the last Mexican head of state to have been bestowed such praise was Carlos Salinas de Gortari (1988-94) who despite having successfully negotiated NAFTA and gained Mexico a seat at the OECD, ended his presidency with an indigenous uprising in the state of Chiapas and handed off to his successor an economy that was just days from plunging into a massive balance of payments crisis (the so-called Tequila Crisis of 1994/95). With this in mind it should not be surprising why many Mexicans have remained broadly sceptical of Peña Nieto's achievements: it wouldn't be the first time in their lifetimes that the country was tipped for success only for hopes to come crashing down.

The Quiet Extradition of Mochomo

Borderland Beat posted by Siskiyou_Kid translated and republished from RioDoce

Charges are pending in three different US courts
In a diplomatic move that surprised many, the Mexican Government extradited Alfredo Beltrán Leyva, "El Mochomo" to the United States, who was wanted since 24 August 2012 for drug trafficking, and whose indictment, of just three pages, shows a makeshift document a judicial record that fixes accusations against one who was one of the former leaders of the Sinaloa cartel. 

Contrary to the records of traffickers such as Benjamín Arellano Félix, Joaquín el Chapo Guzmán, Ismael Zambada  El Mayo and Osiel Cárdenas Guillén, the Alfredo Beltran indictment only says that since about the year 2000, he introduced to US territory at least five kilograms of cocaine, in addition to 50 grams of methamphetamine, a kilo of heroin, and approximately a thousand kilos of marijuana. (This is not all that unusual to issue a bare bones indictment before a suspect is in US custody charges will be amended)

According to the civil code of the country, the amounts described above should be sufficient to keep him in prison for life, particularly those related to the judicial sections 959, 960 and 963. 

However striking a paragraph in the indictment, of which Ríodoce have a copy: United States wants from Alfredo Beltran an amount of money still not specified, which must be paid before being sentenced and go free; this as part of the punishment to which they will be subjected. 

The record says that it will take into account profits made by "Mochomo", according to research from the USDOJ, of which depends on the DEA and the FBI, to then determine what amounted their incomes product of drug trafficking, and then seize his properties, assets, either that the same Alfredo Beltran makes payments through a third party transaction say the document, signed by the prosecutors Arthur G. Wyatt and Andrea Goldbarg. 

Brooklyn and Washington, D.C.
Monday November 17, two days after being extradited in the midst of a total stealth, Alfredo Beltrán Leyva was filed with a Federal District Court in Washington, D.C., where it was facing to judge Alan Kay, who after reading accusations for crimes for which he was extradited, the Mocha said to plead not guilty. 

Perhaps judge Kay did not expect such a response, and was for this reason that although initially said the 21 Friday would be the first preliminary hearing, finally canceled it and the date for a new hearing was pending.

No one in the United States Department of Justice (USDOJ) could clarify why the cancellation, or why was first presented in Washington DC, and not in Columbia Ohio, or in Brooklyn New York, where he also faces charges for drug trafficking. 

Ríodoce asked the USDOJ for a copy of the charges faced by "Mochomo" in the districts of New York, Washington DC and Ohio, concluding that all districts were of exactly the same accusation. 
According to the code of procedures criminals of United States, title 1, chapter 21, the same charge can be used in different district courts in the country, always and when all these States is typified as a crime charges that a detainee is accused. 

This means that the Mocha will be prosecuted for the same crimes in three different places, as it would happen with capos such as El Chapo Guzman and Ismael Zambada, but unlike them, the accusation against the youngest of the Beltrán Leyva is somewhat ambiguous because it presents no dates, places or accurate amounts of drugs trafficked, as he observed the record 1:12-CR-00184-RJL. 

The waiting
Alfredo Beltrán Leyva was detained in Federal Prison - Central Office HQ, a maximum security prison located in downtown Washington DC. 

For his extradition, it took almost seven years, since that January 21, 2008 in which elements of the Mexican army surprised him inside of a residence of the colonia bureaucrata and seized cash, jewels and weapons, until the moment in which the PGR agents handed him over to agents of the US Marshalls, on the border with the United States. 

Precisely would that capture the trigger for his older brother, Arturo Beltrán Leyva flew to Culiacan to confront "El Chapo" and "El Mayo" over the  arrest of his younger brother, according to documents established by the USDOJ, which in turn would lead to a bloody war for control of the most powerful organization of Mexico. 

Now Mochomo, according to what has happened with other lords, will be confronted with other Sinaloan prisoners who are held in prisons in the United States and at the time agreed to testify in favor of the USDOJ to be faced against members of the Sinaloa cartel, which would strengthen the accusations.

Chapo's mother Doña Consuelo Loera raised the Beltrán Leyva Brothers

The History
Born in 1971 in La Palma, Badiraguato, "El Mochomo" was raised together with his brothers by Doña Consuelo Loera, mother of Joaquín Guzmán, when their mother died, according to people close to the family, they said at the time.

La Palma, less than 100 metres from La Tuna, would have eased that friendship between the two women, therefore, on the death of one of them, the other was responsible for the care of the Beltrán Leyva children: Marcos Arturo, Héctor, Carlos and Alfredo. 

U.S. Federal Court: 22 years for Chapo's lieutenant Alfredo Vázquez Hernández

Borderland Beat posted by Siskiyou Kid

When arrested, Alfredo Vasquez-Hernandez said he had never even met Joaquin “El Chapo” Guzman, let alone served in Guzman’s Sinaloa drug cartel.

On Monday a U.S. judge sentenced a reputed lieutenant of captured Mexican drug lord Joaquin 'El Chapo' Guzman to 22 years in prison for his role in a $1 billion conspiracy to traffic narcotics to Chicago and other cities. 

In sentencing Alfredo Vasquez-Hernandez, Chief U.S. District Judge in Chicago Ruben Castillo said he wanted to send a stern message to Hernandez and other Mexican traffickers. Hernandez, 58, is one of 11 alleged traffickers indicted in Chicago, including Guzman himself. Hernandez was the first to be sentenced. 

"I tell you on behalf of all citizens of Chicago ... we are tired of this drug trafficking," Castillo told Hernandez, who minutes earlier apologized to the court and U.S. government and asked Castillo to take pity on him. 

The case is regarded as one of the U.S. government’s most important against Mexican cartels. Guzman remains jailed in Mexico and Mexican authorities haven't said if they might extradite him to Chicago. 

The spotlight during and in the lead-up to Hernandez's sentencing was on the credibility of two Sinaloa cartel associates-turned-government witnesses, Pedro and Margarito Flores. 

Secret recordings and other evidence provided by the twin brothers in 2008 led to the Chicago indictments of Hernandez and 10 others, including Guzman and the Flores twins themselves. 

Hernandez, of Mexico, was the first up for sentencing. He pleaded guilty to possessing drugs with intent to distribute. 

Hernandez was a close friend of Guzman, using his logistical skills to ship tons of heroin and cocaine by train from Mexico to Chicago concealed in bogus furniture cargo, according to the Flores brothers. 

But defense lawyers accused the brothers of exaggerating Hernandez's rank in the cartel to curry favor with U.S. prosecutors and ensure the lowest possible prison terms for themselves. 

The twin brothers sought to hoodwink federal agents even after they agreed to cooperate, they allege.
Lawyers for Hernandez also cited court documents indicating the brothers - while behind bars working with the feds - had someone hide up to $2.5 million in cash. From jail, they also allegedly bought a $100,000 Bentley as a gift for Pedro Flores' wife. 
Click to enlarge
Vazquez’ attorney becomes contentious with reporter over reports that his client “turned on Chapo”, in video below

 Material used in this post from: Chicago Tribune, Department of Treasury-ABC News=BB Archive