Friday, July 3, 2015

Violent Friday In Michoacán: 5 Dead

Update: 7/4

Translated By Valor for Borderland Beat

Michoacanos went through a violent Friday today after a shootout between federal forces and suspected gunmen in the metropolitan area of Jacona-Zamora, with a total of three people dead, and the discovery of two bodies hung from a bridge on a highway in Zinapécuaro.

The first incident occurred around 10:30 in front of the soft drink company Coca-Cola.  According to police reports, federal agents ordered a car to stop, then it was realized that the men were armed.

The crew of the car ignored the orders and fired upon the police, killing one, whose body was left lying next to a GMC Yukon.

During the shootout, the officers shot dead two of the suspects while arresting the other two.

According to 1aplana, one of the dead was ‘El Guasón’ who was a plaza boss who operated in Morelia.

Prior to this, police officers found two bodies hanging from a bridge along a highway in Zinapécuaro in the section Maravatío-Morelia around 8:30 in the morning.

Paramedics who rushed to the scene confirmed that it was two men whose hands and feet were tied.  The bodies corresponded to two males: one between 15-18 years old and the other 30 years old.  Their hands and feet were both tied and showed various wounds throughout the body indicating that they were tortured before being assassinated.

Members of various security corporations sealed off the area until the public ministry agent arrived, who later attested to the events.

According to preliminary investigations by the attorney general, the victims were suspected kidnappers and extortionists.  The investigations also suggest that people from Zinapécuaro were the ones responsible for the hangings.


PGR withdraws case, Dr. Mireles may be free in 72 hours

by Lucio R. Borderland Beat

We have been down this path before, but as reported by BB previously it was highly doubtful Dr, Manuel Mireles would be released from prison any time before the elections.

The elections have concluded, and PGR called an emergency meeting today with Daniel Moncado, of the Citizens Movement of Michoacán, and Virgina Mireles, sister of Dr. Mireles, to advise them that they have withdrawn the application for review of amparo.  

This clears the way for the release of Dr. Mireles, former leader and spokesman of the autodefensa council of Michoacán, who has been imprisoned in the maximum security federal prison in Hermosillo Sonora since June 2014.

Arley Gomez, head of PGR, made the decision of withdrawal.

Now it is in the hands of the federal judge who issues the arrest warrant.  The judge has 72 hours to reconfirm imprisonment or revoke that order and order the release of Dr, Mireles.

Virginia Mireles has been her brothers greatest advocate in the fight for his freedom, in a case that was surrounded in controversy and suspected of  being created on false charges, stemming from a personal vendetta by the then Michoacán security chief Alfredo Castillo.

Two months ago Castillo made the preposterous allegation that Dr Mireles’ intent was to “control Mexico and all of Latin America.”

Virginia has reported of Dr. Mireles declining health, saying he is now confined to a wheelchair, resulting from a a spinal injury sustained in prison that has  not been  medically addressed.

It should be noted that Nestora Salgado,  another person considered a political prisoner, was also set to be released from prison which ended badly,  with new charges being imposed against her for  murder

        PGR's Arely Gómez at left, Virginia "Vicky" Mireles right

Michoacán A.G. says "El Gallito" is now the leader of Caballeros Templarios

Lucio R. Borderland Beat

In March we posted a post titled “'El Gallito' likely the premier leader of Caballeros Templarios”. Today the Attorney General of Michoacán reports that  Homero Gonzalez Silva, alias " El Gallito " is the likely the succeeding leader of the cartel. 

The previous premier leader of the Templarios,  "Nazario Moreno Gonzalez, " El Chayo " was the uncle of Gallito, (other reports say they are first cousins) who was killed by the Mexican Navy in a 20144 operation.

In a statement released to the press, the Apatzingán ambush of June 16th that caused the death of five civilians and two policemen, was at the hand of Templarios sicarios (hitmen).

In the succeeding investigation of the event, facts were developed indicating Gallitos leadership, and that “Templarios ranches” previously belonging to Chayo now belong to Gallito.  

Two of the properties were confiscated by the government this week in the towns of Los Laureles and El Paso Cucha. (below)

Nestora Salgado Has Three New Arrest Warrants; Accused Of Killing Two Farmers

Translated by Valor for Borderland Beat

Leonel Rivero, the lawyer of the Coordinator of the Community Police of Olinalá in the mountain region of Guerrero, Nestora Salgado García, informed that his client has three new arrest warrants against her.  The charges are of kidnapping, robbery and murder.  This accumulates to six criminal prosecutions through different offences.

In an interview, the lawyer said that his client was charged with the murder of two ranchers, apparently, the same event that led to the arrest of the procurator of Olinalá, Armando Patrón Jiménez, by the Regional Coordinating Body of Community Authorities (CRAC) in August 2014.

However, Jiménez was released by the public police and soldiers on August 21, while Nestora Salgado and other members of the House of Justice of El Paraíso, pertaining to the CRAC, were taken to prison and accused of kidnapping.

The lawyer of Salgado García said that he does not yet have access to the records, but urged the implementation of the arrest warrants in order to begin the defense process, after learning that there were more complaints and orders to be applied.

Thursday, July 2, 2015

Gulf Cartel leader "Panochitas" gets 30 years prison from Court in Beaumont,Texas

Posted on BB forum by contributor NAJ from a Themonitor article.

[ Subject Matter: Panochitas of the Gulf Cartel
Recommendation: Some prior knowledge of Gulf Cartel would be useful]

BEAUMONT, Texas — A former leader of Mexico's notorious Gulf drug cartel captured last year in Edinburg was sentenced Tuesday to 30 years in a U.S. prison and fined $100 million.

Juan Francisco Saenz-Tamez was sentenced Tuesday by a judge in Beaumont, Texas, on drug and money laundering convictions.

Saenz , whose cartel nickname is a vulgar Spanish term for the female anatomy, is a 23-year-old native of Camargo, across the U.S.-Mexico border from Rio Grande City. He was arrested in October during a shopping trip to Texas.

Saenz pleaded guilty in January to distribution and possession with intent to distribute cocaine; conspiracy to distribute and possession with intent to distribute marijuana; and conspiracy to commit money laundering. Saenz -Tamez confessed he smuggled half a ton of cocaine and 90 tons of marijuana, generating about $100 million, which was taken back to Mexico and reinvested into business to buy drugs and "other things", he told U.S District Judge Marcia Crone in his plea hearing.

Noose tightens on former Coahuila Governor Humberto Moreira

by Lucio R. for Borderland Beat

Moreira responds to accusations; “Fabrications! Prisoners will say anything in order to gain freedom or benefit his sentence.  The United States has never had an indictment against me for any crime”

What a difference 4 years makes.  When Humberto Moreira resigned from his position of governor of
the Mexican state of Coahuila, he was the shinning and rising star of the PRI party, and on track to become the president of Mexico.

The governor whose motto was "The Government of the People" enjoyed great popularity among his constituents when he resigned office to make a run for the National President of the Institutional Revolutionary Party.  On March 2011, he took over the PRI presidency.  This was to be the stepping stone to the presidency of Mexico. 

In June, 2011 controversy exploded around Moreira as inquiry surfaced regarding previously whispered innuendo, “How did this humble teacher, gain such vast wealth?”

In August, of the same year, was confirmed that apocryphal documentation was issued to get the loans and that he was aware and actively participating when credits were granted to the State using fake documentation (which is a crime in Mexico).

For the PRI party the controversy could not have happened at a more inconvenient time.  The presidential election was in the 2012 crosshairs.  It was little surprise when Moreira stepped down from his position of National PRI President, many suspected a deal was cut with PRI and Moreira to resign the position in exchange for protection against prosecution. 
Lalo's funeral:Lalo's wife, father Humberto, sister, and stepmom Vanessa
Moreira, a man known for his boisterous, egocentric personality, it is doubtful that he did not insist on something sweeter than a bypass of prosecution.  It is not out of the realm of possibility that he was promised at some point to have his reputation restored, so that he may one day reenter politics.  And according to Mexican press there was no evidence linking Moreira in collusion of improprieties.

But, then again with the brother of Moreira, Ruben Moreira being the current governor of Coahuila
what is the likelihood of an investigation?  There was a severe fracture between the once close brothers, in 2012, which rendered the relationship incommunicado.

Even when Humberto’s son, Eduardo “Lalo” Moreira, was murdered by the Zetas Cartel in Acuña in October 2012, Governor Ruben Moreira did not attend the funeral, nor any of his family.  Humberto blamed his brother for the death of his son, pointing out that Ruben had removed Lalo’s bodyguard weeks prior and his armored vehicle.  Ruben left municipal police in charge of protecting his nephew, and it was the municipal police who aided Zetas in the murder.

IACHR: Mexico slow to grant access to soldiers in missing students case

Borderland Beat by DD from material provided by el Universal . ABC. Fox

In late 2014 an agreement was signed by the government of Mexico, the families of the missing students from the Ayotzinapa Normal School, and the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights to create a team of experts to analyze the government's investigation of the missing students and make recommendations.  

.Four months after initiating proceedings, the Commission experts warn the federal government has only delivered 30% of the requested information completely,   while 24 percent have been answered partially and the rest are being processed.

The Commission has made some progress and in a press conference last week announced that since their last report in May  they visited the Iguala police station, the dump in Cocula where the government says the students' remains were burned and the river where the ashes were allegedly dumped. They also said they had interviewed former Iguala Mayor Jose Luis Abarca and his wife, Maria de los Angeles Pineda, who the government has said ordered the capture of the students. The team, which was formed to analyze the government's investigation and make recommendations, has two months remaining on its mandate.

 The investigators said one of the biggest obstacles to pursuing their investigation is that the military has not allowed them to interview 27 soldiers that evidence suggests have some knowledge of the events of Sept. 26 and 27 last year.  

The government says students from a rural teachers college in the state of Guerrero were seized by police in Iguala on Sept. 26, and turned over to a criminal gang that killed and incinerated them. The remains of only one of the students have been identified.

Some of the students say soldiers were present during the shootings and abductions  on the 26th.  
 When the team pushed for an answer to their request which was made 3 months ago to interview the soldiers, the military said it was still "evaluating the validity of the source" that made the request and that "the official answer is that there is no answer".

There are only 2 months left on the teams mandate as set forth in the agreement signed to create the team.  

Other problems of access have been, the visual inspections of the government of Guerrero files and satellite photographs that the PGR has not delivered. In addition, there have been no safeguarding of evidence, such as the  commercial buses the students on and they were shot. Currently they are operating in the transport companies

Wednesday, July 1, 2015

El Menchito detained for the 4th time....

Lucio R. Borderland Beat material from Reforma used

read backstory of his ordered release here

After a federal court judge ordered the release of Rubén Oseguera González, “El Menchito”, he was picked up via a Blackhawk helicopter at the federal prison Altiplano No. 1, and transferred to SEIDO (Special investigations of Organized Crime) arriving at 4:30 pm.

Shadowing the Blackhawk was a second helicopter carrying artillery and snipers.

“El Menchito" will be made ​​available to the Special Unit on Kidnapping of  SEIDO to testify about the disappearance of two people in Michoacán.

The Attorney General's Office has now detained the son of the premier leader of CJNG or the fourth time, on a new indictment for the crime of disappearance. 

Please note that while some media report this is the 4th arrest, others report it is the 3rd.  This reporter recalls only one before the arrest of 5 days ago, making this the 3rd, but that could be wrong.

PGR is appealing the federal court’s order of release.  

One of the points made by the court was  that Menchito is an American citizen and as such was denied access to the consul of the United States.  However, PGR rejects that, saying consul was with Menchito’s attorney after the arrest.  PGR’s appeal also rejects most of the other key points made by the federal court, but noticeably absent was a mention of a warrant.   The lack of a warrant is the major point of contention by the court.

EL Menchito once again free

Lucio R. for Borderland Beat

After prosecutors hailed the arrest of “el Menchito”, designating him as “number two man in Cartel Jalisco New Generation”,  (CJNG) he has been ordered released from prison.

Citing a lack of evidence and due process, Nadia Villanueva Vázquez, a federal judge handed down the order to release Rubén Oseguera González  aka “El Menchito" son of Nemesio Oseguera “El Mencho”  leader of CJNG.

Inexplicably, this marks the third time in 18 months that Menchito has been acquitted of charges and released by federal judges citing either lack of evidence or “illegalities” in due process.

The Toluca federal judge also ordered the release of Menchito’s accomplice Julio Alberto Castillo Rodríguez, both were arrested on June 23rd by the Mexican army  in Zapopan, Jalisco.

The judge referred to two points in his ruling; that the Attorney General's Office (PGR ) not offer enough evidence to prosecute them on charges of organized crime, storage of firearms and possession of cartridges for the exclusive use of the Army and that federal authorities made "​​serious illegalities", when they  entered the home of suspects without a warrant.

Additionally, the ruling stressed that Oseguera and Castillo were detained illegally by the army,  and they were not made ​​available to the SEIDO until nine hours after being arrested, and were denied council until after statements made to PGR.

Menchito had already been transferred to supermax prison, The Federal Social Readaptation Center No. 1 "Altiplano", in the state of Mexico.

Tuesday, June 30, 2015

The most dangerous Narco Juniors in Mexico

Translated by Otis B Fly-Wheel for Borderland Beat from a El Debate article and El Universal

[ Subject Matter: Sons of Narco Capos
Recommendation: No prior subject matter knowledge required]

Serafin and Ismael Zambada

Reporter: El Debate
Ruben Oseguera Gonzalez, "El Menchito", was captured by Federal Forces on the morning of 23rd of June in Zapopan, Jalisco, considered to be the second in command of the CJNG, only operating under his father Nemesio Oseguera "El Mencho".

According to reports by the Authorities in charge of security, Oseguera Gonzalez, 25 years of age, is the financial operator of CJNG, resulting in his first detention in 2014, in the metropolitan zone of the Jalisco capital, who had 25 million pesos and large calibre fire arms.

El Menchito, also was responsible for ordering executions of rival groups, a situation that he could be linked to the crimes of homicide in more than 70 bodies exhumed from clandestine graves in Jalisco.

Monday, June 29, 2015

Detained, the head Sicario for Sinaloa Cartel

Translated by Otis B Fly-Wheel for Borderland Beat from a Proceso article

[ Subject Matter: Felipe Quintero Saavedra "El Iraki"
Recommendation: Some prior knowledge of the Sinaloa Cartel would be useful]

Felipe Quintero Saavedra, "El Iraki", was detained by elements during operation Parral Seguro in Chihuahua; he is related to more than high impact  assassinations.

Reporter: Juan Jose Garcia Amaro

Elements of Operation Parral Seguro detained the head Sicario of the Sinaloa Cartel that operates in the South of Chihuahua State, he is linked with at least 20 executions of high impact in various towns of the State.

During his declarations, Felipe Quintero Saavedra, alias "El Iraki", 20 years of age, according to his criminal history he was born in Culiacan, Sinaloa, where he formed part of "la clica los plebes", informed the Attorney General of the State.

He is considered at the head Sicario for the Sinaloa Cartel, the Attorney Generals office said this subject is one on the priority objectives for capture of the Chihuahua Government, he has been known for 2 years to be running cells of Sicarios in this region.

Sunday, June 28, 2015

A Drug War Informer in No Man’s Land

Borderland Beat posted by DD, republished from NYT

Luis Octavio López Vega fled Mexico with the D.E.A.'s help, but the agency later severed its ties with him. Mr. López, 64, got a face-lift years ago and now lives in hiding in the western United States. Photo by Monica Almeica/The New York Times

The forecast called for record snowstorms, and Luis Octavio López Vega had no heat in his small hide-out.

Thieves had run off with the propane tanks on the camper that Mr. López had parked in the shadow of a towering grain elevator, near an abandoned industrial park. Rust had worn through the floor of his pickup truck, which he rarely dared to drive because he has neither a license nor insurance. His colitis was flaring so badly he could barely sit up straight, a consequence of the breakfast burrito and diet soda that had become part of his daily diet. He had not worked in months and was down to his last $250.

Going to a shelter might have opened him to questions about his identity that he did not want to answer, and reaching out to his family might have put them at odds with the law.

“I cannot go on like this, living day to day and going nowhere,” Mr. López, 64, said one night last winter. “I feel like I’m running in place. After so many years, it’s exhausting.” 

 Mr. López, a native of Mexico, said in Spanish that he has lived under the radar in the western United States for more than a decade, camouflaging himself among the waves of immigrants who came across the border around the same time. Like so many of his compatriots, he works an assortment of low-wage jobs available to people without a green card. But while Mr. López blends into that resilient population with his calloused hands and thrift-store wardrobe, his predicament goes far beyond his immigration status.

Mr. López played a leading role in what is widely considered the biggest drug-trafficking case in Mexican history. The episode — which inspired the 2000 movie “Traffic” — pitted the Mexican military against the United States Drug Enforcement Administration. Throughout the 1990s, Mr. López worked closely with them both. He served as a senior adviser to the powerful general who was appointed Mexico’s drug czar. And he was an informant for the D.E.A.
photo; Monica Almeica, NYT
His two worlds collided spectacularly in 1997, when Mexico arrested the general, Jesús Gutiérrez Rebollo, on charges of collaborating with drug traffickers. As Washington tried to make sense of the charges, both governments went looking for Mr. López. Mexico considered him a suspect in the case; the D.E.A. saw him as a potential gold mine of information.

The United States found him first. The D.E.A. secretly helped Mr. López and his family escape across the border in exchange for his cooperation with its investigation.

Dozens of hours of testimony from Mr. López about links between the military and drug cartels proved to be explosive, setting off a dizzying chain reaction in which Mexico asked the United States for help capturing Mr. López, Washington denied any knowledge of his whereabouts and the D.E.A. abruptly severed its ties with him.

Violence Continues In Michoacán; Reign of Impunity Extends

Translated by Valor for Borderland Beat

Michoacán is one of the states with the most violence in the country due to the dispute between drug cartels in the Tierra Caliente region, which covers 17 municipalities in the state along with nine in Guerrero and five in the State of Mexico.

Municipalities include:

Michoacán: San Lucas, Tuzantla, Susupuato de Guerrero, Nocupetaro, Caracuaro, Tiquicheo, Huetamo de Nuñez.

Guerrero: Arcelia, San Miguel Totolapan, Ajuchitlán del Progreso, Tlapehuala, Coyuca de Catalán, Zirándaro, Cutzamala del Pinzón, Pungarabato, Tlalchapa.

Estado de México: Tlataya, Amatepec, San Simón de Guerrero, Tejupilco, Palmar Chico, Sultepec, Zacualpan.

The fight from organized crime for the control of the plazas and the inability of the state government to maintain a state of peace caused the armed uprising of hundreds of civilians from the communities of La Ruana and Tepalcatepec to make up groups called autodefensas in February 2013.

Cartel Gunsmiths

Lucio R. Borderland Beat republish in part from Motherboard and BB Archives

In October, 2014 The ATF agency along with Mexico’s PGR agency dismantled two shops, both in Jalisco, one in Guadalajara, that was producing AR-15 rifles.  The factories were part of an network that sold its product to organized crime groups.  This was the first of its kind to be discovered in Mexico.

The shops manufactured the weapons for organized crime groups in Michoacán and the local cartel, Cartel Jalisco New Generation (CJNG). It is estimated the shops were only operating for a few months. The material was imported from the United States.

Below is an extract from an in-depth article of the same subject from Motherboard titled “The Cartel Gunsmiths”, use the link to read full article.

Written by Brian Anderson

It was usually evening when the three men arrived at the shop. They would roll up in a Volkswagen Beetle, and come to a halt at a nondescript, garage-sized warehouse in a strip of shops in a residential neighborhood in Guadalajara, in Southwestern Mexico’s Jalisco state. They would park the Bug, and proceed to drink on the curb. Eventually the men would go inside, entering through a street door. They always locked the door behind them.

This went on for at least two months in 2014, according to a neighbor of the shop, where the men seemed to work odd hours. They never drew much attention to themselves, so there was little reason to believe their shop, located at calle Isla Trapani 2691, was in fact a sophisticated illegal gun manufacturing plant, and that the three of them were using the space to quietly produce homemade, untraceable firearms for one of Mexico’s fastest-growing and violent crime syndicates.