Thursday, October 1, 2009
The Juarez Police Executions
The victim was identified as Irma Cabrales, who was assigned to the Domestic Violence Unit "Programa de Atención a Violencia Intrafamiliar" (PAVI).
According to witness accounts the off duty officer had just boarded the bus when two armed style commandos boarded the bus and fired at least seven rounds at the victim before fleeing avoiding capture in daylight hours.
Some 1,400 people have been murdered so far this year in Juarez as gunmen working for rival drug cartels battle to gain control of the routes used for smuggling drugs into the United States. Gangland violence has been sweeping Mexico as powerful narcotics smuggling gangs battle one another for dominance.
The Mexican government is in an outright war against the entrenched drug cartels and the "settling of accounts" between two main drug cartels. So far this year a high record number of 50 police officers have been executed in the state of Chihuahua from various different police agencies. So far this year Chihuahua ranks first in executions nationwide and is second in the state in police officers killed, only second to the state of Sinaloa which has a record number of 74 officer related executions.
“It is not just happening in Ciudad Juárez,” Mayor José Reyes Ferriz, said at the funeral for the deputy commander, Juan Antonio Roman García. “It’s happening in Nuevo Laredo, in Tijuana, in this entire region. They are attacking top commanders to destabilize the police.”
This wave of violence against police forces has served as a message from the cartels that life and death in Mexican society is determined by them. An example of this was the execution of the deputy commander Roman Garcia. Roman, the No. 2 policeman in the gritty border city of Ciudad Juarez, was riddled with bullets outside his home as he stepped from his pickup truck in the early hours of the morning. Standing in the street in front of his house, with his wife and three children inside, Roman managed to shoot back at his killers but was cut down in a volley of more than 60 bullets.
He was one of many senior policeman killed throughout the country in a blow to President Felipe Calderon's fight against well-armed cartels that smuggle cocaine, marijuana and amphetamines to the United States.
The conditions in which the body of municipal police agent Adrian Ramos Morales stationed in Zaragoza, alerted authorities after finding him decapitated and placed inside a plastic bag. Among other casualties from narco executions by drug cartels are PGJE commanders Chacon Ricardo Ruiz de la Pena and Luis Mario Dominguez Garcia.
The "settling of accounts" or retaliation from organized crime weakened the resolve of the Mexican society when even the family of several lawmen were not spared. This was the case of local commanders of Ciudad Juárez and Parral, Alejandro Martínez Casas and Carlos Gómez Sáez respectively, were shot while in company of their children, in which the eldest son of Martinez Casas, a child of eight years was slain along side his father.
Another loss to law enforcement occurred on the south of the capital when municipal agent Omar Flores Martinez was shot dead when he was conducting a traffic stop. The responsible killer was captured and turned over to the Attorney General's Office, who declared in his defense that had did not intent to kill Flores Martinez. The month of May registered the biggest number of losses of police officers with fourteen, while the month of June had eleven and March had ten.
President Calderón has sought to revamp and professionalize the federal police force, using it, with the army, to mount huge interventions in Juarez still controlled by drug traffickers.
But no one can deny that the result has been total mayhem: a street war in which no target has been too big, no attack too brazen and no resistance to the cartel without mercy.