Tuesday, April 28, 2015

Forgotten victims of Mexico drug war's stray bullets

Borderland Beat posted by DD republished from Yahoo News
On March 20, BB reported on a ambush of federal police in the town of Ocotlan, Jalisco.  Eleven people (originally reported 10)  died in that shootout, including 5 police officers, 3 cartel members and that story said 2 innocent  bystanders were killed.  It turns out there were 3 bystanders killed, but the story didn't have any detail about their deaths.  This article tells their story.

Ocotlan (Mexico) (AFP) - The mechanic was working under a car when he turned his head and saw a dozen pick-up trucks creeping down the street in Mexico's western state of Jalisco.

"The devil is on the loose," Jorge Gerardo Herrera said ominously to his colleagues as he turned back to the car he was fixing in the town of Ocotlan.

Suddenly, a gunfight erupted and a stray bullet landed in the mechanic's heart, turning him into the latest innocent and forgotten victim of Mexico's cruel drug violence.

His death was recounted by the garage's owner, Felipe de Jesus Ramirez, who was there when members of the powerful Jalisco New Generation drug cartel ambushed a federal gendarmerie convoy on March 19.

Monday, April 27, 2015

Tijuana: 4 sicarios of 'Aquiles' captured

4 Assassins of 'Aquiles' detained

Authorities with a strategic safety task force in Tijuana, were conducting patrols and survelliance of side streets in colonias, and arrested four men, belonging to a cell under the command of Aquiles, Alfredo Azarte Arteaga.  Aquiles is considered the most prominent trafficker in Tijuana, under Ismael Zamabda.

 Rumors abound, as always, that he and his brother Rene Azarte Garcia, 'La Rana', have 'switched' from Zambada, and are currently operating independently.  La Rana and Aquiles are said to be fighting for control of Zona Norte, allegedly responsible for the murder of Luis Manuel Toscano, 'El Mono', gunned down at a taco stand in La Mesa, earlier this month. 

The task force observed four men fighting in the street, amongst each other.  After their arrest they explained they were fighting over drug sales and their drug operation, and also admitted to several murders, recently.  They were arrested in possession of weapons in various calibers, and drugs, in quantities and packaging that indicated they were being sold at a retail level. 

Arrested were, Gilberto Garcia Hernandez, 42, 'El Clown', Carlos Alberto Espino Servin, 33 'El Chiuqlin', Duarte Juan Carlos Verdugo, 20 'The Assassain', Jose Luis Castillo, 'El Pepe' age 23.  These men will be detained for awhile, or maybe post bail immediately, and be back on the street.  What I find more interesting, is the backgrounds on each of these men.  Like a 20 year old, nicknamed 'The Assassin'. Do they have families? Many do.  How do they spend their time?  These are the faces of the violence and crime at a street level.

As you move up the ladder, the clothes are designer, the shoes expensive, the local more exotic.  That will never happen for most of these faces, that cycle in and out of the news stories.  These are the fourth tier positions, the bottom/entry level.  You want in?  Move some crystal.  Settle some scores.  Control some tientidas.  You get paid in product, you probably use the product.  Spend most days and night involved in the politics of the retail drug trade, which fuels the violence in the city.  Life is as cheap as the crystal you smoke.   

Sources: AFN Tijuana

Court Updates on Chino Antrax and Sera Zambada

Lucio R. Borderland Beat
Aréchiga 2nd on left

José Rodrigo Aréchiga Gamboa aka Chino Antrax’ was scheduled for a court appearance last Friday, however that hearing was postponed, until May 22nd.   

The extension was requested by his attorney, Frank Ragen, who stated the mountain of evidence in the case against his client had not been fully processed.  He was granted additional time to review the data and be prepared for the status hearing.

Aréchiga last speared before Judge Dana M. Sabraw in November 21, 2014, when the defense asserted that the evidence was an extraordinary amount to assess and his office would need ample time to peruse the reports.  He was granted 5 months at that time, on Friday that was extended to May.

As for Serafin Zambada,(above) the son of Ismael El Mayo Zambada, he plead guilty last September and is scheduled to be sentenced on August 22nd.

Serafin Zamabda is a United States citizen.

Zeta Operator arrested in Culiacán Sinaloa

Lucio R. Borderland Beat, Material from MVS, Reforma, Borderland Beat

Hugo César Román Chavarría,  a Zetas operator was arrested in Culiacán.

Some publications are referring to this as a "Zetas leader" being captured, and that he "controls both the state of Coahuila and Nuevo Leon".

More accurately stated, is he is an independent operator, who works in collaboration with Los Zetas and operates in Nuevo Leon.

According to the newsletter issued by the naval command, the arrest of Román Chavarria took place when elements of the Navy of Mexico conducted a ground patrol near the city of Culiacan, Sinaloa.

They inspected the vehicle he was traveling in, he was accompanied by three other people who were identified as being; Erick Mauricio Rodríguez Mena, Rita Aidé Imperial Trevino and Veronica Jasmine Reyes Rivero.

In the vehicle soldiers found  a handgun, a magazine for the firearm and seven rounds of ammunition, as well as about 1.4 kilograms of suspected drug known as meth.

As the result of investigations conducted to date by staff of the Attorney General's Office (PGR), it was determined that Hugo Cesar Román Chavarria served as independent operator and maintained a close relationship with Daniel Menera Sierra , who was secured in March by Federal Forces in the municipality of San Pedro Garza Garcia, Nuevo Leon.

At a press conference, authorities explained it was during the monitoring of Omar Treviño alias Z42, that led to the arrest Menera Sierra and 3 others.

Menera Sierra was considered regional head for Los Zetas and operated out Piedras Coahuila. 

Detention of El Commandante 22 sets off gun battles and road blocks in Reynosa

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

[Article Subject: Cartel del Golfo, Commandante 22, Reynosa
Recommendation: Some prior knowledge of CDG useful]

Proceso Redaction and Reynosfera

Elements of the Marines and Federal Police detained today a presumed criminal leader in Reynosa, Tamaulipas nicknamed El Commandante 22 together with two other presumed criminals.

The capture of El Commandante set off various narco blockades and confrontations between armed civilians and elements of the Marina and Federal Police.

The Authorities report also that three gunmen of a criminal group were killed.

After the detention of the Boss of Plaza, members of his group tried to rescue him which led to a confrontation between State Forces and Federals against armed civilians in which three people died.

Saturday, April 25, 2015

Full Video Translation: Apatzingan Massacre: "It was the Federales."

Translation by "Un Vato" for Borderland Beat

Apatzingán massacre: “It was the Federal Police”
Joint production by Proceso and Aristegui News Service
Reporter: Laura Castellanos

Methodology: To facilitate comprehension of the video by non-Spanish viewers, I kept track of the elapsed time and tried to note the points where significant segments begin. I also translated those portions of the report that appear as print on the screen and the voices that closely track the printed messages. To identify the speakers, I used “R” for “Reporter” and “W” for “witness”. If there is no attribution noted, the speaker is the Reporter. The only speakers who are identified in the video are Dr. Carlos Torres Vega, Director of the Ramon Ponce General Hospital, and, of course, Alfredo Castillo, former Federal Security Commissioner in Michoacán who was recently appointed Director of the Conade (the national sports commission).—un vato   

00:15  Screen: Apatzingán Massacre: “It was the Federal Police.

00:19  Voice and screen: “With shouts of, ‘Kill those dogs!’, they began to shoot. To kill us.”

00:27  Voice and screen: “They’re still shooting over here, over here! One of the comrades can’t get out. The Federales are shooting!”

00:34  W: “It’s like an execution, that is, at very close range and this causes powder marks on the skin…”

00:44  R: At dawn on January 6, federal police fired on members of the Rural Police in Michoacán and their supporters who, unarmed, were conducting a sit-in demonstration at the Apatzingán municipal palace.

00:56  In the ensuing moments, members of self-defense forces and day laborers were murdered by gunfire and their bodies were left strewn on that city’s streets.

01:05  The preliminary toll is 16 persons dead and tens wounded.

01:10   Everything indicates that what happened in Apatzingán was a crime against humanity.

01:15   R’s voice and screen: The official version states that in the two attacks, there were:             
8 dead,  1 person run over by a vehicle, and 44  arrested on charges of; criminal association,     possession of illegal firearms
01:15  R: …and that Federal Police arrested 44 persons on charges of criminal    association and possession of illegal firearms, and that the persons killed in the second attack were hit by “friendly fire” between civilians.

01:40   Screen: Alfredo Castillo, Commissioner of Security in Michoacán.

01:40: Castillo: Practically all the persons killed could have been killed by their own comrades, that is, a matter of cross fire.

01:50   But there are statements that demolish this version of the facts. Victims and witnesses say that it was the Federal Police that executed unarmed civilians.

02:00  That none of the demonstrators had long weapons (rifles).

02:03  Also, the medical staff at the Ramon Ponce General Hospital asserted that the persons they treated had been shot at close range, with (powder) marks that point to an execution.

02:20  Screen:  The facts presented in this investigation were reconstructed from the testimony of 12 of the 44 persons arrested and subsequently released after the first gunfire attack (among them a businessman).

02:20  R:  The facts presented in this investigation are reconstructed from recorded statements from 39 persons:

02:24 12 of the 44 persons detained and later released as a result of the first attack;

                        7 survivors from the second attack;
                        (3 were hospitalized)
                        1 legal representative;
                        8 civilian witnesses (neighbors, businessmen, passersby);
                        6 relatives (of victims) who witnessed the events

Armed group kills 4 and wounds 5 in Morelia

Translated by O. B. F-W for Borderland Beat from a Michoacán 3.0 article

[ Article Subject: Michoacán, Sicario multiple assassination
Recommendation: No prior knowledge of subject matter required]

Javier Chavez
Morelia, Michoacán, four deaths and five injured is the balance of the attack against a group of people who were drinking in the Jardines de Rincon Colonia, in the city of Morelia

According to preliminary Police investigations, an armed group arrived and attacked a group of people celebrating at a house at 246 Calle Sauce, with large calibre firearms.

Until now the area is cordoned off while waiting for the Forensic Medical Services to remove the corpses. The victims killed were one senior citizen and three young people.

Manta threats of Vengance for the 4 zetas killed in Veracruz

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

[ Article Subject: Narco Manta threats, Los Zetas
Recommendation: No prior subject matter knowledge required]

In a narco manta around which were three heads of pigs with death crowns, the Los Zetas Cartel pronounced that it would take vengeance for the death of 4 presumed sicarios killed this past Tuesday the 21st in the Town of Angel R Cabada, and the hands of elements of the Civil Forces

"What you did is not to be applauded, if you want a real meet, you can have it, but you have to leave your cave", said the mantas that were collocated at visible points of Lerdo de Tejada and Boca del Rio.

The warning of Los Zetas against elements of the Secretary of Public Security, the Civil Forces and Police Delegate in the region, Paulino Cortes, occurs a day after he concluded the first meeting of attorneys and prosecutors from the South, South-East zone of the country, for acts of protocol where state and federal forces shielded various Municipalities in the region.

Official takes weapons to Los Zetas

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

[Article subject: Weapon Smuggling, Los Zetas
Recommendation: No prior subject matter knowledge required]

Abel Barajas

The criminal organisation of Los Zetas had a Municipal Functionary of Coahuila as one of their best sources of night vision goggles, magazines for assault rifles, scopes and ammunition.

Oliver Bres Carranza, who was Boss of special programmes, Directorate of Planning, Zoning and Public Works of the Municipality of Piedras Negras is currently serving a prison sentence in Texas for smuggling weapons to the criminal group.

An investigation by the Department of Internal Security, and Immigrations and Customs Enforcement  (ICE), of the United States located Bres as an intermediary of Celso Martinez Perez "El Celso", operator of Omar Trevino Morales "El Z-42", to acquire weapons on the frontier of Coahuila.

The investigation indicates that the former official was mainly an accomplice of Erik Alan Garza, a Texan of 28 years old, who used the home of his mother in an Eagle Pass Mall to collect weapons and send them to Mexico.

Friday, April 24, 2015

Mexican Brothers lose last appeal to be executed in Malaysia...

Lucio R Borderland Beat

My cousin lived in Kuala Lumpur Malaysia for 6 years.  She has convinced me to the probable innocence of these men,  that they were forced into working for the drug ring (cleaning the factory).  How it was explained to me is,  recruiters in places like Mexico, Philippines  and other places of poverty, that head hunters recruit men and women, lured by promises of high paying employment and training.  Once overseas,  they are sold into servitude, working in the sex and drug trade or even domestic work.  Their passports are taken away, and they are held hostage.  In this case the brothers had no criminal record.  The recruiter was also arrested but hired an attorney firm that was able to get him out of the charges and allowed to quickly return to Mexico.  Leaving the brothers to take the fall.  Read background of the story link here 

From the Malaysian Insider

The government of Mexico plans to rally support from death penalty opponents to dissuade Malaysia from executing three Mexican brothers convicted on drug charges.

Mexico “will turn to various local and international groups opposed to the death penalty,” the foreign ministry said in a statement.

Malaysia’s Federal Court on Thursday upheld the death sentences imposed on Luis Alfonso, Simon and Jose Regino Gonzalez Villarreal.

The three men heard the court’s decision accompanied by relatives and Mexico’s ambassador to Malaysia, Carlos Felix.

“We are in the final part of the judicial process. Today was a very serious setback,” Felix told Mexico City’s Radio Formula, adding that the defence team was considering filing a request for reconsideration by the Federal Court.

Once legal remedies are exhausted, the men’s only hope of avoiding the noose would be a royal pardon.
The  father stands in the brick yard where his sons and family work

330 pounds of Meth discovered on a container headed to the Philippines

Lucio R Borderland Beat from PGR website

The Attorney General's Office reported that the  Criminal Investigation Agency  confiscated said more than 151 kilos of methamphetamine in the port of Manzanillo, Colima.

During an inspection of a container of metal parts, they found 145 kilos (330 lbs) of the synthetic drug embedded within the parts.

The shipment was to being  sent to the Philippines.

The fear of 50 extraditables

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

[Article Subject: Extradition, Amparo, Capo's
Recommendation: Some prior knowledge of subject matter useful]

Dozens of Mexicans are in the view of the United States Authorities in order to be extradited: at least 50 have promoted Amparo's to prevent their delivery to American justice. Through trials of Guarantees, the most well known traffickers, some detained and some still fugitive, have expressed their fear of being abused or even sentenced to capital punishment. In many of the cases, the United States has not formalized a request of extradition for the Mexicans. The Supreme Court of National Justice, is entering the study of the order of extradition against Rafael Caro Quintero.

Reporter Luis Carlos Sainz Martinez and cortesia

From common criminals, mainly murderers and sexual abusers, leaders of criminal cells or the best known drug cartels capos, they top the list of extraditable Mexicans to the United States.

The exact amount of those who have been claimed for extradition by the United States is not known, but by each criminal organization they referred to dozens of hitmen, under bosses and capos.

Thursday, April 23, 2015

Dr. Mireles and Bodyguards Will Remain In Jail; PGR Appealed Amparo

Translated by Valor for Borderland Beat

Dr. José Manuel Mireles and three of his bodyguards will remain in jail until an appeal filed by the Federal Public Prosecutor’s Office assigned to the First Unitary Court of Morelia is resolved against the amparo that was granted three weeks ago.

The new legal process could take up to four months, despite the fact that during this week they were going to sentence Mireles and his three bodyguards either to trial or prison.

The appeal was integrated into the original trial record of guarantees and will be forwarded to the presiding judge of the Collegiate Tribunal in Criminal Matters in Michoacán.

It is worth noting that on March 31, the First Unitarian Court of the 11th Circuit granted this verdict to José Manuel Mireles Valverde, Javier Reyes Magaña, Gerardo López Casillas and Salvador Mendoza García for the violation of their fundamental rights at trial.

José Manuel Mireles and three of his bodyguards were arrested last June 27, accused of carrying restricted weapons for the exclusive use of the Mexican Army and for crimes against public health.

Mireles is currently imprisoned in Hermosillo, Sonora and his bodyguards in Tepic, Nayarit.

Source: Michoacán 3.0

Because of threats "El Kommander" cancels concert in Nuevo Laredo

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

A concert with El Kommander in Ixmiquilpan, Hidalgo

After receiving threats through social networking, the narcocorrido singer Alfredo Rios El Kommander has decided to cancel his concert that was due last Saturday the 18th at Palenque Expomex in Nuevo Laredo, Tamaulipas.

The entrepreneurs of the event indicated that on Saturday a Facebook page of Laredo, Texas published that the concert would not be carried out, which proved false.

However, following the publication the interpreter began to receive threats in social networks.
(Otis: some of you may remember during his recent concert in Monterrey a decapitated man was found in a camper van in the parking area see link)