Reporting on the Mexican Cartel Drug War

Huetamo: 4 corspes in bed of Rurales truck, and 3 Decaps in Jalisco

Wednesday, August 20, 2014 |

Chivís Martínez for Borderland Beat-Thank you to the reader who sent the story in....

Just after midnight,  elements of the Mexican Federal Police were alerted to a firefight confrontation in the outskirts of Huetamo, Michoacán. 

While making the rounds in the vicinity they spotted a truck with the emblem of the Rurales State Police. This was on the road leading to Huetamo.

Upon closer inspection of the vehicle, four bodies were discovered in the truck bed.  The identities were unknown, or even if they were Rurales as they were dressed in civilian clothing.

There seems to be much confusion over the killings.  1Aplana is reporting the dead are 3 autodefensas and 1 Rurales.  Others report  all 4 are Rurales, yet others report, "not determined". 

Remarkably, even the number of dead has been reported differently, 3 or 4, although clearly there are four dead.
PGJE agents were called to the scene to take over the investigation of the murders.


In neighboring Jalisco, in the city of Zapopan, three decapitated bodies were found in black plastic bags.  

On Tuesday, at 30 minutes past midnight, in the colonia San Nicholás, elements of the Comisaria de Seguridad of Zapopan, made the discovery.  The victims, all three male, are estimated to be apx 20-25 years of age.

The bodies, zip tied at the hands and feet, were accompanied by a narco cartalina (poster board) message that reads:

"This will happen to all of those that don't want to follow the line, we have arrived to clean out the rats and opponents"

The message was unsigned.

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Shootouts and Blockades in Reynosa-Fresas Secures Tampico Plaza


Reynosa Shootouts
This morning, the city of Reynosa recorded a series of confrontations and shootouts between soldiers and gunmen and blockades on some important avenues. attacks began around 7:40 A.M and continued for over an hour. 

Unofficial reports indicate that in the fighting  a soldier was killed and a gunman. Major shootings occurred on Hidalgo Boulevard , off  Garza Zamora, Morelos Boulevard and the intersection of  Venustiano Carranza. Also on the cruise of the railroad tracks, off the Boulevard Luis Echeverría, and Guerrero Street.

From its Twiiter account, Reynosa city government  activated the yellow light in the Colonia Ribereña and warned to avoid the area.

Buses were used to block access to the downtown area and service  was suspended during the SDR.Around 9:00 peace seemed to have been restored. Military convoys roam the area in search of more armed groups.

Crossing Calle Hidalgo and Matamoros military remains on guard.  Witnesses report seeing wounded armed men fleeing the area.

 Los Fresas and Tampico

After months of violent conflict for control of the Tampico Plaza, word on credible blogs is that Los Fresas came through the clash as victors of Tampico Plaza.

The Fresas main nemesis, Los Dragones, is reported to now be disbanded.

However,  residents report; that  cartel activity, murder, extortion, oil theft, kidnappings continue with impunity, especially in Altamira.

During the clash of the CDG cells, "Fresas", which translates to strawberries, actually used strawberries to leave their garish mark at the scene of dumped bodies.


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Mx Goverment puts Arturo Beltran Leyva's 2009 "Posada" House on the market

Tuesday, August 19, 2014 |

Chivis Martínez for Borderland Beat
"Party House"
The Mexican government Treasury department, has placed for sale one of the seized properties belonging to the late Sinaloa capo Arturo Beltran Leyva, aka "El Barbas' or 'Jefe de Jefes".

The property has some notoriety, because in December 2009, the house was used for  a lavish "posada" (Christmas party) that ended abruptly due to  the arrival of an operation by the Mexican Navy.  The navy operation was to capture the Capo, but he managed to escape.

At the home  was singer Ray Ayala, politicians, various guests, 40 prostitutes and 11 party organizers.

"El Barbas", escaped arrest. along with Edgar Valdez Villarreal aka "La Barbie and Sergio Villarreal, "El Grande".  La Barbie was one of his most trusted men and was chief of sicarios.

He escaped, after a violent pursuit on the road from Cuernavaca to Acapulco, where his safety shield was led by at least 12  ex-military,  using  assault rifles, a grenade launchers and thousands of rounds to leave a trail of wrecked vehicles and resulted in the death of two federal agents.

SCHP determined that the federation should receive for the property at least  13 million 989 thousand pesos or roughly 1,070,360 USD.  The  property is over 5 thousand 500 square meters, of which  are mostly gardens and open spaces and only 892 square meters in construction.

Note that the price is a starting price for auction type sale.  Prices in the area are 2-75 million USD.

The property's address is  124 del Fraccionamiento Paseo de las Mandarinas, in the subdivision of  Los Limoneros in the town of  poblado de Ahucatepec, located in  upscale Cuernavaca.

Six Days Later
Six days after the party, on December 16th, Beltran Leyva was killed in a confrontation with the Navy in the Altitude complex near the center of Cuernavaca.

 It was around  3 pm  a meal was being prepared in apartment number 201, one of the five residential towers called Altitude, located in the Lomas de la Selva, in Cuernavaca, Morelos, where el capo Marcos Arturo Beltran Leyva lived.

He was having a meeting with La Barbie, discussing details to receive a special dinner guest.  It was General Leopoldo Díaz Pérez, head of the Military Zone 24, headquartered in the capital Morelos.

Government forces move in
From noon until shortly before 5 pm on Wednesday 16, more than 100 commandos of the Navy of Mexico began surveillance of the facility and quietly started to evacuate the occupants of the apartments.

The marines began their operation equipped with heavy artillery, tanks and armored vehicles, including helicopters hovering overhead. All this movement occurred between 1 am and 4 pm and before the actual entry into the facility of Altitude.

When Beltran Leyva's  first security wall had been defeated, and  the marines felt they had the situation under their control, and made their advance in towards the condo.  The members of the Special Forces were greeted with gunfire. This generated a massive gunfight. From their armored vehicles, the Marines triggered 7.62 caliber machine guns and assault rifles AR-15, while another elite military commando from the helicopter rappelled down on top of the condominium where Arturo Beltran was located.

At the second wall of security, Beltran Leyva's group of sicarios responded with dozens of fragmentation grenades and bursts of AK-47 and AR-15 fire power through the windows of department 201, located on the second level of the 15-story building

Five  hours passed, from the first advance, up to the point of the shooting that took the life of Arturo Beltran, and the sicarios were running out of grenades. No longer capable of an offensive, three of the five sicarios who were defending Beltran were shot dead in the condo. Another sicario jumped to his death.

La Barbie managed to escape, how, remains a mystery.

Decapitated Head 
Within  weeks of Belran Leyva's burial, a decapitated head was discovered on the front step of his elaborate tomb.

It was left without a message.  At another tomb the headless body was left.  The two tombs were at least 150 feet from one another.

The corpse was that of a food worker and why his head was left at the dead capo's tomb also remains a mystery.

Property for sale

The sale property is not currently accessible to the public, and  administrators have installed three guard houses to prevent onlookers from entering the street where the house sits.   .

The SAEB placed the property on sale,  as well as two other properties seized by the Attorney General's Office  (PGR)  that were offered for sale through Banrural and Fiderca, in Morelos.

Below is at the party house

and  below are videos of the shootout that ended his life 

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Drug Trafficker Fugitive on Canada's 10 Most Wanted List, Captured in Guadalajara


Chivis Martinez for Borderland Beat

The fugitive was on Canada's 10 most wanted list, captured in Mexico where he was known to have criminal ties, after 4 years on the lam

Cory Vallee is a member of the United Nations Gang.  He is wanted on a Canada-Wide Warrant for the slaying of rival gang member Kevin LeClair and the slaying of an innocent party, Jonathan Barber.  Vallee is also wanted for the Conspiracy to Murder the Bacon Brothers and/or their associates.   He grew up in Florida.  Vallee is also associated to a drug trafficking network in Mexico.  Before his arrest he was last seen in Canada in October 2009.

Twenty-six-year-old Kevin LeClair,(at left) who police say was a high-ranking member of the Red Scorpion gang, was gunned down outside the Thunderbird Shopping Centre in Langley as he sat in his truck in February 2009.  After his death it was disclosed that LeClair had "cooperated" with police on a case.  

The Red Scorpions are a British Columbia based organized crime group and nemesis of  the UN gang.

Barber was killed in hail of gunfire in May 2008 as he drove a Porche  owned by one of the Bacon brothers through Burnaby B.C. 

Barber, 24, was shot by mistaken identity, just after he picked up the vehicle belonging to one of the Red-Scorpion-affiliated Bacon brothers to install a stereo.  and LeClair died the following February during a daytime shooting at a shopping centre.

The UN gang was founded by a group of high school friends, from  middle class suburbia, who formed the group in the late 1990s.  The gang  linked with an Asian organized criminal group and later, with  Mexican cartels.  They group experienced rapid growth,  running an enterprise involving helicopters flying across the US-Canada border trading much sought after British Columbia cannabis for  Mexican cocaine to be sold in Canada.  The group has ties to The Hells Angels. 

Monday's Capture in Guadalajara
Cory Vallee — (above)  a man police claim played a major role in the Lower Mainland's 2008/09 bloody gang feud — was arrested in Mexico on Aug. 13 and appeared briefly in a Vancouver court Monday.

Vallee, 37; who has evaded police for four years, had been charged in absentia with two counts of first degree murder, one of attempted murder, and one of conspiracy to commit murder

Arrested in Guadalajara, carrying a fake ID, Vallee's identity was quickly confirmed and he was transported back to B.C., according to a statement from the Integrated Homicide Investigation Team (IHIT).

In the statement, Kevin Hackett, Chief Officer for the Combined Forces Special Enforcement Unit of British Columbia, said Vallee's arrest was a testament to the dedication B.C. officers have to the victims and families of gang violenc;

"as a result of tremendous cooperation between IHIT, CFSEU-BC, Mexican authorities, and others, we were able to track down and arrest one of Canada’s most wanted men who had managed to elude us for four years," said the statement.

Vallee is accused of being part of the United Nations gang plot against rival organized crime group, the Red Scorpions, led by the notorious Bacon brothers.

In 2008, 24-year-old Jonathan Barber was gunned down in Burnaby, in what police say was a case of mistaken identity —  Barber was installing a stereo in a car that was owned by one of the Bacon brothers.

Vallee is also accused of being part of a United Nations gang plot to kill Jonathan, Jarrod and Jamie Bacon.

Police are still hunting for the final suspect in the conspiracy, Conor D'Monte, who hasn't been seen since 2009

For further information on these and other Canadian organized crime gangs there is a 5 part documentary, below is part 1 of the 5.  "The Gangster Next Door"

 Source: Interpol News-The real Scoop-Royal Mounted Police Website-

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Mexico's Drug War Increased Suicide Rates Among Youths


Army in Apatzingán
Photo by: Gustavo Aguado

Translated by Valor for Borderland Beat

The drug war in Mexico, initiated by the administration of Felipe Calderón Hinojosa, has caused an increase in the number of suicides in youth, said María Elena Medina Mora, head of the National Psychiatric Institute (INP) as part of the “Wounded Mexico Debate, the psychosocial effects of war”, and organized by the Faculty of Psychology at UNAM.

She reported that the exposure to violence, as a witness, victim, or participant in the events, has led to attempts and the execution of suicide, without having the ability to give them care, due to a lack of public policies in the country for this sector.  According to the INP studies, 75% of suicides are caused by depression.

The psychologist noted that from 1990- 2010, homicide became the fourth leading cause of death among males aged 15-29 in Mexico, so it is extremely important to attend to the states and their populations that are close to war.  “We still remain at a very high level when it comes to violence”, she stated.

She expressed that the appropriate authorities need to implement public policies in order to combat organized crime, however, she said that priority needs to be given to the youths and adolescents as they are most likely to fall into the trap of drug trafficking.  In addition, due to their age, they are the most psychologically damaged, “protect them and give them attention”, she said.

A 2010 study, by Héctor Castillo Bertier, a sociologist and researcher at UNAM, announced that at least one million youths between 14 and 29 years old, are vulnerable to organized crime due to a lack of education and employment.  The economic power of a narco is a big factor in convincing young people to join their ranks.

The sociologist also stated that the government is not interested in planning something to solve this problem that affects the entire country, “the State does not provide care for youths and adolescents, nor is it intended to do so”.

Source: Michoacán 3.0

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"La Tuta", Lord of the Videos, Captures the Government On Tape

Monday, August 18, 2014 |

By Jose Gil Olmos for Proceso  translated by Reed Brundage MexicoVoices
With the spread of various recordings in which he appears with several players in Michoacan politics, making agreements or giving orders and demonstrating the power he has gained over the government of Fausto Vallejo and the political institutions of Michoacán, Servando Gómez, "La Tuta", became the Lord of the videos.

The teacher from the rural municipality of Arteaga, founder of La Familia Michoacana and the Knights Templar, has shown that he has a very clear vision of the political and strategic use of the media and social networks. His criminal group is the only one, among those that exist in the country, which has in its structure a special area dedicated to implementing a communications policy to impact public opinion and the government.

During the administration of Fausto Vallejo, the leader of the Knights Templar held meetings with various officials, including the interim ex-gobernador, Jesus Reyna, and the son of the former governor, Rodrigo Vallejo Mora, who were recorded as being tied up and subject to his will.
So far, five recordings have been leaked that demonstrate the intimate links between organized crime and the political class of Michoacan, which, according to Father Gregorio Lopez, vicar of the cathedral of Apatzingán, is linked almost entirely to the Knights Templar.

In a society of images, broadcast video and photographs have become an important part of the strategy of any group that wants to impact public opinion, influence government decisions or strike back at the actions of their opponents. This is well understood by "La Tuta", who knew very well the value of the recordings of the meetings held with various players from Michoacan politics.

"Information is power", this is the starting point of "La Tuta's" strategy, who, in key moments, has dispersed video images or compromising photograph of meetings, such as the ones he had with Reyna and VallejoMora. In that sense, the video recently released by Reporte Indigo also stands out; it shows PAN deputies at a party with prostitutes, after an alleged meeting for legislative work, a party also attended by an alleged drug trafficker.

In 2015 there will be elections in Michoacan for the governorship, the local Congress and 113 municipal mayors, while, at the federal level, new members of the Chamber of Deputies will be elected. The spread of these videos with compromising pictures may be a foretaste of the foul play that different political groups will deploy in the campaigns to impact the image of their opponents.

But beyond this, and the media strategy of organized crime and political groups which these videos reflect, is the close link between these two groups, the political parties and criminal groups, that, as time passes, more and more meld together, integrating into one body a single power group that begins to govern some states such as Michoacán, Tamaulipas and some others that are about to enter this facet of co-government or of the capture of the State by drug traffickers

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“What Follows Is a Civil War”

Sunday, August 17, 2014 |

By: Claudia Guerrero and Claudia Salazar; Ana Fuentes|Translated by Valor for Borderland Beat

From the Senate of the Republic, representatives of civil organizations demanded the implementation of an amnesty law for 380 autodefensa members who are currently incarcerated, the liberation of José Manuel Mireles, and the resignation of Federal Commissioner for Michoacán, Alfredo Castillo.

During the meeting “Conference on Security and Justice Autodefensas: From Impulse to Persecution”, the activist Javier Sicilia acknowledged that the increase in violence, impunity, and the government’s complicity with crime have led citizens to rise up in arms and defend themselves against organized crime.

The meeting was brought together by senators Layda Sansores (PT), Manuel Bartlett (PT), Javier Corral (PAN), Alejandro Encinas (PRD) y Ernesto Ruffo (PAN).  Those in attendance also included journalists and activists.  The meeting was divided into five subjects which include:

  1. Statistics on Violent Mexico, which was presented by journalist Sanjuana Martínez, Father Alejandro Solalinde and journalist José Reveles.
  2. The Violation of Due Process, with the presentation of Dr. Jaime Cárdenas García, Dr. Salvador Molina Navarro, the activist and autodefensa Julián Le Barón, Dr. John Ackerman, and Senator Ernesto Ruffo.
  3. Amnesty Law, presented by author Luis Hernández Navarro, actor Daniel Giménez Cacho, activist and poet Javier Sicilia, and Senator Javier Corral.
  4. The National Guard: Proposed Solution to the Insecurity, in which General Francisco Gallardo, activist José Jacques and Senator Layda Sansores, proposed an action plan to curb organized crime.
  5. The Federal Pact and the Case of Michoacán, where Father Gregorio López, independent representative Selene Vázquez, and Senator Manuel Bartlett exposed the insecurity prevailing in Michoacán.
“We want to see Dr. Mireles liberated, but we also want to see his autodefensas liberated, as well as all of the political prisoners who have risen up in arms to defend themselves”, he said.

“We appeal so that the Amnesty Law can be applied to the autodefensas who are imprisoned and who are victims.  We ask the State to disarm not the autodefensas, but the immediate disarmament of the narcos and those state apparatuses that are in collusion with them”.

In front of PAN and PT legislators, actor Daniel Jiménez Cacho, from the organization "El Grito más Fuerte" (The Strongest Cry), demanded the immediate resignation of Castillo.

“We are here to demand the release of Dr. José Manuel Mireles, the dismissal of Commissioner Alfredo Castillo, and the disarmament of criminal gangs”, he said.

“We condemn the arrest of Dr. Mireles; it was made up that he was exhibiting a head, it was said that he had bags of cocaine and marijuana, but it is one example among thousands where due process is not satisfied”.

General Francisco Gallardo, advisor to the Commission on Human Rights of the Senate, acknowledged Mireles and even put on his hat.

In his speech, he warned that there is weariness in the society, in the face of impunity.

“What follows is a civil war, it seems that the government is betting on that”, he said.

In front of Virginia Mireles, Mireles’s sister, PAN Senator Javier Corral offered to take the case to the Senate’s platform.

“The most brutal message of this story is that in Michoacán we apprehend all, even a former Secretary of the Governor or an Acting Governor, the autodefensas, but the only one that isn’t detained is ‘La Tuta’”, he said.

The PT Senator Layda Sansores noted that Mireles isn’t just a name but a struggle.

“San Martin once said that when a government turns away from justice, it becomes a government of criminals, and we are governed by a bunch of criminals”, she added. 

Sources: Revolución 3.0, AM

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What is happening in Valle de Bravo?

Saturday, August 16, 2014 |

El (August 12, 2014)

By Raymundo Riva Palacio; Translated for Borderland Beat by un vato

I found this article interesting because is shows that the lawlessness in Mexico is beginning to affect the social and economic elite. As the article shows, Valle de Bravo is a favorite retreat for Mexico City's financial and social elite.--un vato.  

Distrito Federal.-- Valle de Bravo is one of the magical cities in the State of Mexico. It possesses a lake where Mexico City's elites show off their sailboats and water ski, race in motocross events and with their $4,000.00 bikes, or ride horses in the mountains. This city has for years been the preferred weekend destination for the capital city's high society.  The town, with winding, cobblestone streets and colonial architecture, has an alpine temperature, which causes chimneys to be lit in the residences. If you have never been to Valle de Bravo, and are thinking about it, don't even think about it. Don't do it.

In Valle de Bravo, they are carrying out kidnappings with a speed that amazes as much as the surrender by the authorities or the inexplicable passivity in attacking this phenomenon , which is spiraling. "We have three active cases," admits the Secretary of Governance for the State of Mexico, Jose Manzur. Those who know what is happening suggest there more.  Activist Isabel Miranda de Wallace said on Tuesday that many people don't report kidnappings in Valle de Bravo, which is why the crime statistics do not coincide with reality in that city.  Recent events support the alarm that has been triggered.

This weekend, several persons who were hiking along its mountain trails were kidnapped.  Last week, a foreign couple who was going to spend the weekend in that town ran into a road block at the entrance to Valle. The men were dressed like Federal Police, but apparently were drug traffickers from Michoacan, and have kept them in captivity since then. The weekend before that, only the payment of millions in ransom money prevented the death of the victim.  "We don't have the capacity to control this", admitted a high level Mexico State government official.  So then, one may add, each person needs to assume responsibility for his own safety.

"The law here can't do anything", a kidnapper told a rescue negotiator. Either the family pays or they (the victims) pay.  The ransom payments are in the seven figures and local authorities have advised those that still waste their time filing criminal complaints -- because they don't have any support from the authorities-- to pay up and prevent the loss of a life. Kidnappers don't worry about local or state authorities. But if the Army or the Federal Police get close to the areas where they are keeping their victims, they will kill them, they warn.

Valle de Bravo today is an archetype of the law of the jungle, but the problems have been incubating since 2010, when the problem of violence tied to organized crime first put an end to the naivete of the people that still went there on weekends. Neither state or federal police did anything to attack the criminals and put a stop to the violence.  Drug cartels are tied to illegal loggers, and they work in uncontrolled criminal tandem. In 2012, employees of Probosque, a decentralized agency attached to the Mexico State government, went there to investigate a report of illegal logging. They ran into a meth lab. The drug traffickers dismembered them. Even then, nothing was done.

The current insecurity in Valle de Bravo got worse at the beginning of Spring, when criminals began to flee from Michoacan. That municipality -- which border Atlacomulco -- President Enrique Pena Nieto's hometown--, is located 74 kilometers from Zitacuaro, where Michoacan's Tierra Caliente region begins, and 15 minutes from Temascaltepec, port of entry for travelers from Arcelia, located in the Tierra Caliente region of the State of Guerrero, 135 kilometers away. Luvianos, the center of drug trafficking in the Mexico State area, is located 165 kilometers from Valle de Bravo.

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Mexico questions travel alert issued by U.S.-cites EPN's "impressive results"


You be the Michoacan alone there has been an increase of 2 to 3 times in violent crimes..while it is true the overwelming majority of Mexico is safe, it is imperative to know, not only the crime climate of a destination, but the history.  Historical conflict and crime is a good indicator.  Most places in Mexico are as safe or safer than the U.S.

Mexico's government,  questioned the travel alert issued by the United States in which it cites warnings  of the risk of violence prevailing in 19 states.  Mexico's position is that  the information must be contextualized and detailed to be useful to US countrymen.

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs (SRE) pointed out that the security strategy of President Enrique Peña Nieto has achieved "impressive results", as reflected in the reduction of 22 percent in the number of incidents of kidnapping, compared to last year .

On Friday, the State Department of the United States revised  its warning to American citizens traveling to Aguascalientes, Baja California, Chihuahua, Coahuila, Colima, Durango, Mexico State, Guerrero, Jalisco, Michoacan, Morelos, Nayarit, Nuevo Leon, San Luis Potosi, Sinaloa, Sonora, Tamaulipas, Veracruz and Zacatecas. 

However, the Mexican Foreign Ministry insists that the results of the security strategy have already had a positive impact both on trust and the welfare of foreigners visiting the country.

He stressed that the warning itself recognizes that Mexico is the most visited international destination for American citizens, and even pointed out that the figure of 20 million tourists in 2013 was exceeded.
The State Department explained that replaced the travel warning to Mexico issued on 9 January last, because American citizens have been the target of crimes including murder, kidnapping, carjacking and assault with a deadly weapon on several entities.

He said there were 71 Americans killed in Mexico in 2012 and in 2013 the number increased to 81.

However, he acknowledged the work of President Enrique Peña "has engaged in a broad effort to counter the organized criminal groups engaged in drug trafficking and other illegal activities."

Although  last Tuesday, Interior Minister, Miguel Angel Osorio Chong, headed the Regional Centre Zone Safety Meeting. He reported that this area was intentional homicides fell 32 percent during the first half of the year compared to the same period in 2013. Chong is the only source citing a decrease.

However, the State Department of the United States reported in  its warning that the number of kidnappings in Mexico "appears to be increasing," citing published by the Ministry of the Interior statistics, in which he noted that in 2013 the kidnappings throughout the country increased 20 percent.

"The states with the highest number of kidnappings were Tamaulipas, Guerrero, Michoacán, State of Mexico and Morelos. In addition, a study widely reported by the agency responsible for national statistics (INEGI), Mexico suffered an estimated 105 thousand 682 kidnappings in 2012; only 317 thousand were reported to the police and even that has been implicated in some chaos. "

Below is,  in part,  the warning from the state department:

The number of kidnappings throughout Mexico is of particular concern and appears to be on the rise.  According to statistics published by the Mexican Secretaria de Gobernacion (SEGOB), in 2013 kidnappings nationwide increased 20 percent over the previous year.  While kidnappings can occur anywhere, according to SEGOB, during this timeframe, the states with the highest numbers of kidnappings were Tamaulipas, Guerrero, Michoacán, Estado de Mexico, and Morelos.
continues next page

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