Reporting on the Mexican Cartel Drug War

Joaquin "Chapo" Guzman

Sunday, August 23, 2009 |

Joaquin "Shorty" Guzman

Alias: El Chapo (Shorty)
Cartel: Sinaloa
Born: La Tuna, Sinaloa, 1957
Rewards: $5 million (FBI), $2 million (Mexican PGR)

Bio: Hunted from city mansions to mountain caves but always disappearing in a puff of smoke, the 5-foot-6-inch king of kingpins is indisputably the most high-profile drug trafficker in Mexico today.

Growing up in a ramshackle village in the wild Sierra Madre mountains, Guzman is said to have apprenticed in the drug world under the legendary smuggler Miguel Angel Felix Gallardo, alias “The Godfather.”


Following Felix’s 1989 imprisonment for ordering the murder of a Drug Enforcement Administration agent, Guzman emerged as one of the top trafficking powers, waging a bloody war against the Tijuana Cartel for control of smuggling routes into California and Arizona.

In 1993, Tijuana Cartel gunmen shot dead Catholic Cardinal Juan Jesus Posadas Ocampo in Guadalajara airport. Prosecutors then said the killers had been after Guzman but got the wrong man.

Share it:

House of Death Pictures

Tuesday, August 18, 2009 |

A dozen men were tortured, killed and buried in a small house in Juarez. Three years later, the U.S. government is still trying to cover up what happened.


The AFI, Mexico's federal police, descended upon the House of Death on January 23, 2004.

Share it:

Blowing the whistle on the house of death: DEA dissenter Sandy Gonzalez reveals the drug war's complicity in torture and murder south of the border.

|

El Paso TX - DEA dissenter Sandy Gonzalez reveals the drug war's complicity in torture and murder south of the border.

Sandalio “Sandy” Gonzalez spent 27 of his 32 years in law enforcement with the Drug Enforcement Administration, working in Los Angeles, Mexico City, and Washington, D.C., and eventually taking charge of the agency’s operations for all of South America. In 2001, while Gonzalez was working as a high-ranking agent in Miami, there was a raid by a team of DEA and Miami–Dade County narcotics agents on a suspected major drug distributor.

Several kilograms of cocaine were mysteriously missing by the time the evidence made its way back to DEA offices. Gonzalez called for an internal investigation, and was shortly thereafter transferred to El Paso, a move he describes as a demotion in retaliation for speaking out.

After a few years in El Paso, Gonzalez became the central whistle-blower in the horrifying “House of Death” case, in which agents from Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) were accused of looking the other way while one of their drug informants helped torture and murder at least a dozen people in the violent border city of Ciudad Juarez, Mexico.

Share it:

House of Death, Complete Story

Monday, August 17, 2009 |

Dozen men were tortured, killed and buried in a small house in Juarez. Three years later, the U.S. government is still trying to cover up what happened.

By Jesse Hyde


Ramirez-Peyro, "Lalo."

There is one chair in the room, and they sit him in it. He pulls out his wallet. He's looking for a number. A phone number, an address. That is why he is here. Fernando the lawyer. Fernando the drug trafficker. He's got a load of marijuana, and they want it.

The story of what happened at the House of Death, dubbed as such by the online publication Narco News, has been told in bits and pieces since The Dallas Morning News first broke it three years ago, but the complete story has never been told, at least not by the mainstream press.


Fernando thinks he's in the company of friends. He thinks this man standing in front of him, this Lalo, is going to deliver the marijuana for him to New York. That's what the numbers are for. They are contacts. They are the people Lalo will call, the people who are waiting for the load. But this little room with the blinds drawn and the light streaming in from the kitchen window, this is a trap.

Fernando doesn't know that two members of the Chihuahua State Police are here in this house, hiding. He doesn't know that they are here to kill him.

Share it:

The House of Death

Sunday, August 16, 2009 |

U.S. Prosecutors Protect an Informant Who Killed Mexican Citizens, as Two DEA Agents Barely Escaped Alive

By Bill Conroy
Special to The Narco News Bulletin


Mexican state police Commander Miguel Loya Gallegos disappeared in January.

Several of his associates disappeared, too, vexing law enforcement agents who say their mysterious disappearance – and consequent unavailability as potential witnesses to multiple murders – could prove very convenient to U.S. prosecutors and a confidential informant under their protection.

U.S. law enforcement agents, coming forward on the condition of anonymity, believe that the comandante – the U.S. Attorney indicted him in Texas as part of an alleged drug-smuggling organization – was witness to up to nine murders committed by a confidential informant while that informant was on the payroll of the federal Bureau of Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE).

Share it:

Mexican Drug Cartel Spill Over to Duke City

Saturday, August 15, 2009 |

Violence from the Mexican drug cartel is moving north into New Mexico and it's only expected to get worse.

 Deputies made an arrest in a brutal Albuquerque murder, but now have their sights set on other suspects who are linked to a dangerous Mexican drug cartel. One of the cartels with ties to Ciudad Juarez was “sending a message” with the death of Danny Baca, 53, who was found shot 22 times with an assault rifle, burned and left in the middle of a far West Pajarito Mesa roadway in January 2008.

Baca was supposed to bring a load of drugs across the border for a smuggling cartel, meet a connection in El Paso and go from there, according to authorities.

Bernalillo County Sheriff Darren White said Baca “signed his own death warrant” when he and another man decided to bypass El Paso and bring the drugs to Albuquerque.

Share it:

Mexico Tries to End Grip of Bribery

|

As soon as English teacher Hugo Ceron saw the police lights flashing in his rearview mirror, he knew what was about to happen. It was the "bite."

The police officer walked up to the car window and coolly informed Ceron that he was getting tickets for illegally talking on a cell phone while driving and for not wearing a seat belt. Ceron would have to go down to the police station, plead guilty and pay a fine. But there was a way out.

"The ticket was 500 pesos ($46), but he offered to let me be on my way for 100 pesos ($9.25)," Ceron said.

Like thousands of Mexicans every day, Ceron paid up.

In Mexico, they call these little bribes mordidas, or "bites," the little payoffs and kickbacks that people give to police officers, teachers and bureaucrats just to get on with their lives.

Share it:

Being a Hero

Thursday, August 13, 2009 |

Today's cop can only dream of being a hero.

The desert sun beats on my dark uniform, its rays reflecting off the shining badge on my chest. My hand remains poised above the gun in my holster. The dusty street is quiet as the showdown nears its climax ....

I can never cross the invisible line from plain citizen to lawman without an acute sense of transition. My personality changes, and my mind detours somewhere deep into the folklore of western America, creating legends of heroic stature.

As I walk the streets of Albuquerque I sometimes picture people saying, "Oh, here comes the town sheriff with his gun." Then all of the sudden -- I can just see it, you know -- some big bad guy wearing a pair of six-shooters on his hips emerges from a bar and says, "OK, sheriff, draw!"

I'm fully conscious that this is a fictional misrepresentation.

Police work very seldom reflects the heroic romanticism so frequently portrayed in television, movies, and books. To find the true nature of a cop's work, one must go beyond the superficial portrayals and the myths.

Only Dirty Harry has his lunch break interrupted by armed robbers. The fact is the average police officer never fires his weapon in self-defense in 20 years of duty.

Share it:

FBI Warns of Drug Cartels Arming for Front

|

The FBI is warning that one of Mexico´s most brutal drug cartels is attempting to violently regain control of drug trafficking routes in the United States and has been ordered to engage law enforcement officers to protect their operations, according to an intelligence report obtained by The Washington Times.

Los Zetas, the enforcer of Mexico´s infamous Gulf Cartel, is reinforcing its ranks and stockpiling weapons in safe houses in the U.S. in response to recent crackdowns in the U.S. and Mexico against drug traffickers, said the FBI San Antonio Field Office's Joint Assessment Bulletin. The bulletin was dated Oct. 17 and was sent to law enforcement officials in the Texas region.

The bulletin said the cartel's regional leader, Jaime Gonzalez, has ordered the reinforcements to a tactical operational territory, or "plaza," in the area around the southern Texas towns of McAllen and Mission, about 235 miles south of San Antonio and less than five miles from the border with Mexico.

Share it:

Informant puts out a hit on another informant

Tuesday, August 11, 2009 |

A man accused of hiring a U.S. Army soldier and another man to kill a Mexican drug cartel lieutenant who was cooperating with U.S. authorities was himself a government informant, police said Tuesday.


In this photo provided by the El Paso police department, Ruben Rodriguez Dorado is shown, Monday, Aug. 10, 2009.

Ruben Rodriguez Dorado hired Pfc. Michael Jackson Apodaca, 18, and Christopher Duran, 17, to help kill Jose Daniel Gonzalez Galeana, El Paso police said Tuesday in charging documents against them. The three men were arrested Monday and charged with capital murder in the May 15 slaying of Gonzalez, who was shot eight times outside his pricey El Paso home.

Rodriguez, like Gonzalez, was an informant working with the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement service, El Paso Police Chief Greg Allen said. He said a warrant has been issued for a fourth man who police say ordered and paid for the killing.

Share it:

The Capture of El Gilillo

Monday, August 10, 2009 |

A fourth leader of the Arellano Félix Organization falls as Mexican and U.S. law enforcement make unprecedented strides together to crush the cartel.

In the pre-dawn darkness of Aug. 22, an elite team of heavily armed Mexican federal agents surrounded a house in a small town east of the Baja California capital of Mexicali. At a pre-arranged signal, the masked agents burst into the home. Inside, they found their quarry – a long-hunted narco-trafficker under indictment in both the United States and Mexico. The U.S. government had posted a $2 million reward for information leading to his capture.

The suspect and an alleged accomplice were arrested, handcuffed and whisked away to the Mexicali airport. The entire operation, carried out with textbook precision and without a shot fired, was over in a mere three minutes.

In San Diego, jubilant agents of the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration stamped "captured" over their wanted-poster photograph of Gilberto "El Gilillo" Higuera Guerrero, formerly a top lieutenant of the Tijuana-based Arellano Félix drug-trafficking cartel.

Share it:

A Brutal Sadistic Death

Saturday, August 8, 2009 |

Tijuana, BC -  Brutal torture suffered by the young aide Adriana Ruiz Muñiz, before being beheaded. This is a preliminary inspection revealed her body, found the evening of Wednesday in a trash the secret cologne Altiplano, La Presa delegation.


The body and head were two black polyethylene bags, in a semi-used to dump garbage and debris.

Her had been feet smashed by blows with a blunt instrument.

The murderers tore off her nails and pinkie fingers.

Expertise in the Attorney General for the State (PGJE) assume that the death occurred Tuesday afternoon, the body was probably dumped there the night of that day or the early hours of Wednesday.


As it is an unoccupied site, the neighbors could not give any information about who made the hole about one meter in depth which was unexpectedly buried at the edge of a crude way open for local people.

Although it is said that inside the bag were several pictures of Adriana, the PGJE refused to confirm until yesterday afternoon that it was indeed her.

Share it: