Monday, March 2, 2015

Zeta's Comandante Varo Arrested

Lucio for Borderland Beat material from face book, meny times and reforma
Confirmed today is the arrest of Enrique Puga Cortéz

The zeta leader was arrested by military forces yesterday morning in the town of El Mante.
"Staff of the Secretariat of National Defense and Ministry of the Navy detained two criminals, including one identified as one of the main Tamaulipas leaders of the Zetas  criminal group operating in various municipalities in the central part of the state," said an official statement .
Puga Cortéz, known by the monikers  El  Puga, and  Comandante  Varo, was captured yesterday at 6:31 hours in the town of El Mante in an operation during which there were no shots fired.
Puga Cortéz was armed with a .45 pistol.  He was responsible for directing  the criminal activities of Los Zetas in the municipalities of El Mante, Xicoténcatl, Antiguo Morelos, Nuevo Morelos, Ocampo, Gómez Farías and Tula.
In another incident, members of the Secretariat of National Defense on Saturday arrested Apolinar Cuevas, known as El Camarón and identified as a suspected kidnapper, and extortionist, is  a member of the same Zetas group headed Puga Cortez
The arrest was made after an operation implemented in the municipality of El Mante by military personnel, also without firing a shot.
Puga Cortez and Cuevas are responsible for the disappearance of hundreds of people in the central region.

Peña Nieto's Government Thrashed by the World

Lucio republished from Sinembargo: Translated by Leila English Mexico Voices

 EPN's Catching the capos' makes a nice diversion, like a  Hollywood movie set,
impressive to see, but nothing real or of substance
A friend in Europe called me over the weekend after hearing about the arrest of La Tuta.  "I read that the 'most wanted drug trafficker' in Mexico has been apprehended.  Knowing what you have shared with me, I respectfully ask if this is a big deal, and is the press here correct in celebrating Peña Nieto’s successes in fighting organized crime and his taking hold of corruption in general?".......You can use your imagination as to my answer, but my point being; how in the world can much of the world press be so lazy as to fly the EPN PR banner and not dig in and present the truth?  The truth surrounds us all, it is not difficult to see.  Exemplified in this article from Sinembargo.

 The United Nations rebuked Peña Nieto’s government when it declared that:
“forced disappearances are widespread throughout much of the Mexican territory.”
Pope Francis warned his fellow countrymen about violence in Argentina by saying
“hopefully, we’re in time to avoid the fate of Mexico.”
(referring  to his concern over the increase of drug trafficking in his native country, as well as rampant corruption. “I hope we are in time to avoid Mexicanization,” he said)

Members of the European Parliament warned, upon visiting the country, that Mexican justice is slow, selective, and fails to protect victims’ families.
And, in case that wasn’t enough, Birdman director Alejandro González Iñárritu delivered a message, from Hollywood and with an Oscar in his hand, that the entire world saw and heard:
“I pray that we may discover and build the government that we deserve…”
And official voices and writers must not skirt the issue: the message was directly targeted at Peña Nieto and his government. Iñárritu’s dart. was aimed at them, and nobody else.

[Later he added: "My frustration peaked, like with all Mexicans due to the level of impunity and corruption that prevails now as a generalized system ... the things that happen every day; every day there is news that is outrageous, right? 
“Because a government must serve a society, and not use that society, for personal gain" said the filmmaker. González Iñárritu said that the political class in general is backed by corrupt businessmen who weave alliances.
"Impunity is the lifeblood of corruption, because if there were  justice,  the first who would go to jail, are those who commit such crimes, and it’s those at the top "]

Mexico in the spotlight. Mexico beaten. Mexico admonished.
The filmmaker is right: we don’t have, today, the government that we deserve.

[interesting that mainstream Mexican media laundered the story, at first, Proceso reported "The best director dedicated the win to all Mexican's", completely side stepping the real story, until the following day and when the news was widespread]

Sunday, March 1, 2015

Dozens of Catholic Priests murdered by Organized Crime during Calderon-Peña Administrations

Written by Lucio for Borderland Beat
Catholic Priests, are among the bravest drug war heroes of Mexico, and they are being killed at an escalating and appalling rate. Few are reporting the full story, or are reporting the numbers inaccurately, including the Catholic Church.

The fact that Mexico is one of the most dangerous places on earth for reporters is well known, what is far less written about is the violence perpetrated against  Catholic Priests.

Mexico is officially now the most dangerous place on earth for Catholic Priests.  While long in the top group of most dangerous places for priests, Mexico is now its leader.  For the sixth consecutive year, Mexico tops the list in murders and disappearances of Catholic priests in Latin America.

What must be established, murders and kidnappings of priests receive little attention outside regional reporting hubs.  It is a perplexing, how a story of dozens of  priests being murdered by cartels during  2 administrations goes unrecognized, or for example, a story  about 5 priests being killed in November–December of 2013 in Tamaulipas and Veracruz,  is but a tiny blip on the media radar. 

Inaccuracy of numbers

It must be pointed out, that priests are kidnapped, often from churches or rectories, but  the "disappearance" never budges  from  being labeled as such,  to being counted as “killed” or "dead", unless there is a body. Those  kidnapped and not found, are  not recorded on a drug war casualty list. 

In fairness, neither is any other group of people, which renders summations weak and without merit. 

 Nonetheless, the point being, as the title of this post says;  ' "dozens" of priests killed during the Calderon-Peña Administrations', astonishing in of itself, still is an accurate tally.

Then there is misreporting, much like municipalities are known to ascribe to, in attempting to lower the rate of violence.

For example, with four days remaining in 2012, in the state of Michoacán, padre Santiago Álvarez Figueroa, vanished. Although he had received dozens of death threats leading up to his disappearance, Authorities were quick to discount he had fallen prey to organized crime, instead this story was offered, “we think he was in an automobile accident”, this was reported by Jesus Reyes Garcia of the governor’s office, who later revised the version when the vehicle of the priest was not found and parishioners rejected the account.

What is known, Father Santiago, 27, had just finished celebrating Mass in the tiny town of Jacona, he entered his car and headed home to his hometown of Paredones. He called one of the nuns, advising  he was on his way back home.  

He never arrived.

Reyes is now incarcerated for collusion with organized crime, he was temporary governor while Governor Fausto Vallejo Figueroa was in the U.S. getting a new liver. Vallejo Figueroa resigned on the heels of the controversy of his son’s arrest.  His son known as ‘El Gerber’, was arrested after a Tutateca video of him with the Caballeros Templarios leader surfaced.

Santiago’s  body was never found.  He is not listed as murdered, he is with the other priests in perpetual limbo on the “disappeared” list. His Bakersfield, California, family, has no doubt he was murdered by organized crime, most likely the culprits are Caballeros Templarios.

Torture, including rape prior to murder

Organized crime killings of priests are particularly brutal.

The recovered bodies of priests depict odious, barbaric torture and killing.  Decapitation, dismemberment, incineration, strangulation, drowning, torture and rape are the methods used against priests in additional to the “conventional” killing methods of gunshot, or stabbings.

Take the case of  Padre John Ssenyondo of Chilapa, Guerrero.  The Ugandan priest loved his adopted country of Mexico, and wanted better for its people. He had lived in Guerrero for 5 years, preaching to the most impoverished if Mexican populous.  And by all accounts his parishioners loved the outgoing priest with the quick wide smile.

But they also worried about his safety.  For his sermons had become strong and firm against organized crime.  Many think that was his downfall.  

In April of 2014, Padre John disappeared while traveling back from conducting mass (service) in the mountains of Guerrero.  His disappearance went almost without notice, if not for the discovery of a mass grave.

The Catholic Church was quiet about the case, the regional rector of the cathedral, Javier Casarrubias Carballido,  never commented on the missing Priest.

Parishioners spoke among themselves, a persistent rumor was that a cartel leader asked the priest to baptize his child, and the request was denied.  That scenario seems unlikely, since in the Catholic religion, the sins of the father would be deemed irrelevant to the child.
The other scenario is the more likely of the two, the priest would not heed to warnings to  halt sermons against organized crime. He had begun drawing the link of local officials and organized crime.

A mass grave was discovered in the outskirts of Chilapa, Chilapa is about 30 miles east of Chilpancingo, the state capital.
The remains of Padre John were among the 13 bodies buried in a mass narco fosa. The bodies were decapitated and dismembered, and incomplete. Padre John’s skull and various other bones were discovered, he was identified by dental records.

Why are priest targeted?

Long held rumors of priests ingratiating themselves towards organized crime groups for financial gain, benefiting their parishes, is persistent, but inaccurate.  That would be the exception not the norm.  Organized crime regards priests as the enemy. The following lists a few of the reasons why.

Sermons: outspoken priests, who preaching against organized crime, and the collusion of government officials and police.  Organized crime groups prefer to remain under the radar, and feel threatened by those who may encourage an organized backlash against their activities.  Same can be said about municipal governments and police. 

Assisting Economic Migrants:   Migrants, mostly from Central America, are highly exploited by cartels, and are at the core of narco occupational diversification.  For example the sex trade, kidnapping, extortion, human trafficking, and forcible recruitment into cartel work including becoming sicarios (hitmen).  Those who shelter migrants and advocate for migrant issues, interrupt business, resulting in bottom line impact.  Catholic clergy are the operators of 95% of migrant shelters.  They are also their greatest advocacy group, in and out of Mexico.

Who can ever forget the images of 72 migrants slaughtered in Tamaulipas in 2010?  72 human beings, executed for the crime of refusing recruitment into the Los Zetas cartel.

Throughout Mexico Catholic Priests create a safe haven for migrants.  Priests provide migrants shelter, assistance, medical care and other forms of care.  Cartels consider this an intrusion into their source of revenue.  Priests who run the migrant shelters such as Casa Migrante’s are constantly being threatened.  
Catholic based Rehab Centers: Alcohol and drug rehab centers have become fewer in number than two years ago.  There were a string of attacks by cartels, resulting in the destruction of centers or mass killings of inhabitants.  19 killed in a Chihuahua rehab in photo at left.

Cartels exploit the centers, extorting and forcibly recruit sicarios and drug traffickers, often death threats are realized when a rehab group resists. Others are killed for failing to pay for drugs or betraying a dealer

Supporting Autodefensa Movements:  Autodefensa groups are organized as a union consisting of 13 states.  Some priests are  targeted because of their support of these groups, or direct involvement.

Refusing requests:  In the narco world,  it is notable that there are large groups of Santería followers. Although the religious based cult is syncretized with Catholicism and Mesoamerican, it is strictly condemned by the religion.  Small “Santeria Chapels” are erected that seem to pop up overnight, that “honor” the Santeria offshoot Nuestra Señora de la Santa Muerte.

While there are millions of good people, often the marginalized people of society, which practice the “religion”, with no intention to harm others.  It is organized crime that have taken it to a sinister level, thinking that Santa Muerte will protect them from harm or imprisonment while they conduct criminality, including murder.
                                          This Santa Muerte chapel was bulldozed in Allende
                                                 This Acuña chapel was  destroyed in 2013

In 2013, Tamaulipas and Veracruz priests began receiving demands that Catholic altars in churches feature statues of Santa Muerte. Going further that masses be said in honor of Santa Muerte.  Parishioners say It is because of the refusals that some priests disappeared.

Saturday, February 28, 2015

Singer Alfredito Olivas gunned down mid concert in Parral, one dead, three injured

Lucio for Borderland Beat
Update: Olivas is "out of danger", the state attorney says there have no arrests in the shooting and motive remains uncertain and under investigation.  The singer was transferred to an undisclosed U.S. hospital and sustained 8 gunshot wounds.

Earlier:   Alfredito Olivas, the regional music singer, was shot last night during a performance in the city of Parral, Chihuahua. As of one hour ago, his condition is listed as “critical”, sustaining   2 bullet impacts two others missed the singer. A few blog reports are stating he has died.

El Diario and social media is reporting that that the shooting was the result of a jealous rage from a gunman who was inebriated. Supposedly, Olivas was flirting with the man's girlfriend. Olivas had gone down into the audience, (conversely, he brought her up on stage), then dedicated the song to the girl. Police have suspects in custody and have recovered a gun used in the attack. The shooter is reported as being Rafael Mendoza age 38.

However, last June, a manta was hung in Obregon Sonora threatening Olivas, after the murder of popular singer Tito Torbellino:
Well we are here and we are not leaving,
  Chapito Trinis watch out... because we’ve come
with everything,  pure federal force salazar and the same that
was done  to Tito is going to happen to
Alfredito Olivas, fucking Chapo Trini Olivas

The arrest of La Tuta: What happens now to the Caballeros Templarios?

Lucio: translated and republished from 'La Silla Rota' written by Víctor Manuel Sánchez

Note:  'El Tena' was on the original short list of the Autodefensas as a target.  He has a loyal following, and good potential to emerge as a leader.   'EL Gallito' is another strong possibility as he already has been working independently.

But, Viagras and their alliance with CJNG is the biggest threat, they have become strong in the past year, they are from Michoacan, have backing of CJNG and their alliance and entities on "the payroll" and have taken over many of the drug labs.

In his last recording La Tuta said about the Viagras:

"The government has identified them and they are within reach. They can arrest them whenever they feel like it. They are right under their noses.

They (Viagras) made a deal and became allies of Nazrio Moreno Gonzalez and El Gallitoto read the text of that last recording link to post here."

La Silla Rota post:

The government has identified them and they are within reach. They can arrest them whenever they feel like it. They are right under their noses.
They (Viagras) made a deal and became allies of Nazrio Moreno Gonzalez and El Gallitoto read the text of that last recording link to post here.

Capturing Servando Gómez Martínez, alias “La Tuta ", which occurred yesterday in the city of Morelia, Michoacán, is a blow to the Caballeros Templarios, who in less than a one year period have lost virtually all their leaders. 

In fact, the Tuta was the last of the leaders of the Caballeros Templarios, who had the ability to unite different regional cells of the criminal group. Because of this, it is not unreasonable to ask the following question, which will be the theme of this article: 

Subsequent to the capture of Servando Gómez Martínez, what structural changes might the Caballeros Templarios experience?

Friday, February 27, 2015

video footage: Tuta being transferred via helicopter

Lucio: material from changoonga

This is a much longer video than necessary, Tuta appears beginning at the 4:40 mark

Federal police seized:  3 grenades 40mm, 4 rifles, seven handguns, cocaine, 3 vehicles, tactical clothing , communication devices and propaganda material on the group calling itself Caballeros Templarios.

At  4:22 hours Friday, federal forces made the arrest at  la calle Findencio Juárez número 49 in the  Tenencia Morelos.  The drug trafficker has orders of arrest against him for, kidnapping, extortion, homicide, trafficking arms, trafficking drug, manufacturing of crystal meth.  There are 17 other federal investigations for various offenses.

Detainees who were detained with Servando Gómez were identified as Eduardo Esteban Avilés 43-year-old from Tijuana, Marie Antoinette Moon Avalos 27 years of Lazaro Cardenas, Juan Manuel Ayala Maldonado, Edgar Augusto Ramírez Haro, Fabricio Magaña Jurado, Jesus Fernando Uruapan Magaña, Cristian Emanuel Arias Sánchez 30 years of Guadalajara, and Marcelo Sánchez Reyes 46 of Tumbiscatío. His brother Flavio, at , was arrested today in Merida.

Drug Trafficking for Dummies

U.S. and Mexican authorities hailed the capture of Joaquin “El Chapo” Guzman in the Pacific coast town of Mazatlan as a major victory in their war on drugs. A year later the power vacuum caused by his absence is fueling chaos on the streets of Chicago and Ciudad Juárez, across the border from El Paso.

As head of the Sinaloa cartel, Mexico’s largest, Guzman was a ruthless enforcer of discipline. He employed violence to protect his distribution routes and intimidate rivals. The kingpin of kingpins, Guzman had the sway to settle disputes with other drug traffickers. In Chicago, his distribution center for the U.S., he cast a long shadow: Few dared cheat the Sinaloa cartel.

The order Guzman imposed is starting to dissolve. At least two of Guzman’s lieutenants are in a struggle to control the Sinaloa organization. The resurgent Juárez cartel is trying to retake the narcotics supply routes that Sinaloa wrested from the Juárez group in a drug war five years ago that cost more than 10,000 lives. 

“The Juárez cartel is taking back Juárez. We’ve seen a recent spike in violence in the last couple of weeks,” says Oscar Hagelsieb, an assistant special agent in charge with the U.S. Homeland Security Investigations office. He says Guzman’s capture “demoralized people that were fighting for Chapo outside of the conventional strongholds and rallied rival cartels.”

Guzman secured his near-mythic status by escaping from prison in a laundry cart in 2001 and later unleashing an assassination spree of rival drug lords. Afterward he controlled much of the narcotics entering the U.S. 

Mexican Attorney General Jesus Murillo Karam is "transferred"

Proceso ( February 27, 2015 Translated by un vato

Former head of PGR Jesus Murillo Karam

Senator Arely Gomez Gonzalez

 MEXICO, D.F. (apro).- In the context of the 90th March for Ayotzinapa, Jesus Murillo Karam leaves the Attorney General's Office of the Republic (PGR) to head the Secretariat of Agrarian, Territorial and Urban Development (Sedatu: Secretaria de Desarrollo Agrario, Territorial y Urbano).

At the head of the PGR, President Enrique Pena Nieto will propose the appointment of Arely Gomez Gonzalez*, who today requested leave to resign from her Senate seat.

Murillo Karam incited rejection by the Ayotzinapa families, and from investigators and social organizations, when he promoted the so-called "historical truth" that the 43 students were massacred by gunmen with the Guerreros Unidos and their remains incinerated in an immense pyre then scattered in a river.  

In Joaquin Lopez Doriga's nightly news report, the reporter also predicted that Jorge Carlos Ramirez Marin, still the head of the Sedatu, will seek a "plurinominal" (proportional vote) candidacy to the Chamber of Deputies (Camara de Diputados, analogous to the U.S. House of Representatives).

* Senator Arely Gomez Gonzalez is the former head of the Special Office for the Prosecution of Electoral Crimes (Fepade: Fiscalia Especializada Para la Atencion de Delitos Electorales). She is also the sister of Leopoldo Gomez, Vice President of News with the Televisa network.-- un vato

Tuta was captured while eating 3 am hotdogs

Lucio for Borderland Beat

La Tuta's brother  Flavio Gómex Martínez also captured in Merida, in a simultaneous operation

Reforma and others are reporting the hotdog story, it appears the four homes that the FP busted into, thinking Tuta was there, came had come up empty.  This is what several Mexican mainstream outlets are reporting.  Until PGR gives their conference we will not know for certain, but I thought I would
put out this version of the capture from  Reforma, El Norte and others.
At the stroke of 3:00 am on Friday, Servando Gómez, "La Tuta," one of the most important targets in the  Caballeros Templarios of the federal government, was arrested while eating.
The alerts came into the Center Police Intelligence Federal (PF) when "La Tuta" apparently was eating hot dogs in downtown Morelia, said federal sources. "He did nothing to resist or prevent  his capture.  Supposedly, 6 others were taken into custody along with the organized crime leader, including his girlfriend.
The location of Gómez was surprising because, according to investigations in late January, the Army
and federal police determined that the Templarios leader was traveling in Michoacán territory, but on the border with Colima and Jalisco. 
 Sources of the Department of Defense claimed that even his lieutenants or hit men were detected in Lazaro Cardenas, Aquila, Coahuayana and Los Reyes with the capo.
The federal government will detail at a press conference the arrest of Gomez, who a few days ago released, an audio in which he denied having an agreement for his protection by authorities.
At the end of the recording, the Templario leader said that it would be his last message,  "not out of fear, (but) because I have to take measures to move and protect myself, he said.

The PGR agency reports that after Tuta gives his statement, he will be transferred to Supermax prison No. 1 "Altiplano" in the state of Mexico.
(To read the narrative of his last message, link to post here)  

United States weighs in on the capture

DEA Administrator Michele M. Leonhart today issued the following statement in response to the capture of  Servando Gomez-Martinez, a.k.a. "La Tuta" by the Mexican Federal Police:
(videos and photos on next page)

La Tuta captured in a house in Morelia Michoacan

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

Servando Gomez Martinez alias " La Tuta" presumed leader of the Knights Templar Cartel, and one of the criminals who's capture was deemed a primary objective of the Federal Government, was captured by elements of the Federal Police, confirmed authorities of the corporation.

According to preliminary information, "La Tuta", was detained in a house in Morelia, Michoacan without any shots being fired. ( otis: so much for the I won't be taken alive).

The PGR offered a reward of 30 million pesos for information leading to his detention.

This Wednesday past they reported a series of operations  in the Limitrofe zone of the Municipality of
Arteaga, from where he originated, and Tumbiscatio, Michoacan, where colleagues of La Tuta were captured as a result of the capos arrest.

In the next few hours, there will be a press conference on the details of his detention.

The columnist of Milenio, Joaquin Lopez Doriga, informed on his twitter account, the detention of Gomez Martinez


El Chapo and La Barbie return to head up another prison protest at Altiplano

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

They want better treatment at the Altiplano Super-max in State of Mexico, they started a hunger strike, organised by Joaquin "El Chapo" Guzman and Edgar Valdez Villarreal, "La Barbie", in this past June, it was raised by inmates in a complaint submitted to National Commission for Human Rights (CNDH).

In a hand written letter made from 11 pages stripped from a notebook, the 138 prisoners accuse the Prison Authorities of violating their human rights.

The document, broadcast in the portal, describes the irregular conditions in which conjugal and family visits are carried out. It also describes the overcrowded and unsanitary cells, in addition to unstable power supplies to the prison and problems with telephone calls.

The prisoners, according to the text, only have one hour a day to leave their cells, there are no social re-insertion activities, the medical service is inefficient and the prison shop is insufficient and badly operated.

The group of criminals, among them "El Chapo" and "La Barbie", Hector Beltran Leyva "El H" and Miguel Angel Felix Gallado, denounce Librado Carmona Garcia, Technical Director of the prison located in the State of Mexico, and who they accuse of corruption and repression. ( Otis: cry me a river, the boot is on the other foot now).

Thursday, February 26, 2015

Capos Captured in 2014

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

The detentions of El Chapo Guzman and Vincente Carrillo Fuentes were big hits against the Sinaloa and Juarez Cartels

City of Mexico:
The maximum security prisons of Altiplano in the state of Mexico, and Puente Grande in Jalisco had new organised crime tenants in 2014

Among the most important captures of the year are Joaquin Archivaldo Guzman Loera, El Chapo, leader of the Sinaloa cartel, and Vincente Carrillo Fuentes, El Viceroy, head of the Juarez cartel.

Other cartels also suffered big hits to their structures, Beltran Leyva, Arellano Felix, Knights Templars, Jalisco Nueva Generacion, Los Rojos, La Familia Michoacana, Los Zetas, CDG, and Guerreros Unidos.

What if "Jimmy Hoffa in a Skirt" (Esther Gordilla) has no home?

Borderland Beat by DD
Gordillo before a few plastic surgeries
 DD; Quick summary;  Elba Esther Gordillo, the ex President ("for life") of the 1 1/2 million member teachers union, SNTE,  has been in jail since her arrest in Feb. 2013 for tax fraud, money laundering and organized crime.  She is accused of embezzling about $200 million dollars from the teachers union. 

Though she has been charged, she has not been tried nor convicted of a crime.  She is just being detained in prison without bond while awaiting trial. 

Last month a federal judge ruled that Gordillo qualifies under the "Law on The Rights of Older Persons" under which she could be released from prison and held under "house arrest" while she awaits her trial.

There have been no announcements or news reports of her being released prison and placed under house arrest since the January ruling by the federal judge.  Now the question may be which house will she call her home.   Due to the wealth she accumulated during her tenure as head of the teachers union (she claims it is from inheritance and her $6,000 a month salary from the SNTE) she probably has several choices, but her favorite is probably the $10,000,000 dollars mansions in San Diego.

Forbes magazine recently reported on the status of those properties.

Detention of "El Papacho" of CDS in Valle de Juarez, a media circus and half justice

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

El Papacho and his criminal group


The detention of Mauricio Luna Aguilar "El Papacho" in the Valle de Juarez, is a media circus and half justice.

"El Papacho" is a member of the Sinaloa Cartel, and has spread terror in this region and that caused around 90% of the people in the Valle de Juarez to leave the area.

With the title of "Authorized Crime", members of 10 families were exiled from the Valle de Juarez, today offered a press conference, of them five had to leave the region because of threats by Luna Aguilar, and agents Federal, State, and Military.

In the press conference, the families required of the Mexican Authorities to arrest the officers who have facilitated crimes against the citizens of that region, who have been stripped of their heritage.