Blog dedicated to reporting on Mexican drug cartels
on the border line between the US and Mexico

Sunday, January 31, 2010

Commando Executes 13 in Juarez

The victims, mostly teenagers, were at a party when an armed commando interrupted with gunfire.

"No tienen perdon de Dios"
Citizen of El Campanario

Ciudad Juarez, Chih - A preliminary toll of 13 dead and 8 wounded was the result of an armed attack caused by a group of gunmen who arrived in seven vehicles in the subdivision of Salvárcar Villas.

Informants said that the attackers arrived on seven vehicles, which they used to block the street. While others stood guard and others carried out the attack with assault weapons.

In the gruesome crime scene can be seen is a pool of blood and human remains of the murdered boys, who were gunned down inside the house.

According to the version from one of the survivors, who hid inside the house, the gunmen arrived at the house where the party was taking place, they took the women out of the house and began firing at the men inside. Some of the victims attempted to desperately flee but were practically hunted like animals.

200 Killed in January of 2010

The toll after January 29, 2010 was at 192 homicides in Juaritos.

Ciudad Juarez, Chih - But it looks like by the end of the weekend the toll surpassed 200 easily. If the wave of violence is consistent every month this year, it will be another bloody year for poor Juarez.

Last year in 2009 Juarez had 2601 homicides. This year it seems as if violence is spreading south to states such as Sinaloa, Michoacan and Guerrero.

Lt Coronel Leyzaola Perez in HIs Own Words

They have attempted to assassinate the LT Coronel Julian Leyzaola Perez with bazookas, he has been ambushed, even with trucks cloned to look like military vehicles, they have tried to take him out with car bombs, and just recently a sicario infiltrated his close circle of security detail. But when he talks about all this, he talks so calm despite the violent wave engulfing the city of Tijuana.

He is waging a war against the cartel, or as he prefers to call them "mugrosos," in the city of Tijuana.

He talks, in his own way, pulling no punches, about the image of narco drug pins that are portrayed in narco corridos. Last year he kept the Tucanes de Tijuana from performing in the city.

Six Men Decapitated in Michoacan

Beheaded in Apatzingan marked with the letter Z

Acahuato, Apatzigán, Michoacan .- Authorities found the decapitated bodies of six men Friday in the western Mexico state of Michoacan, a hotspot of drug violence where armed men later ambushed a federal police patrol, killing five officers and wounding seven.

Ministry officials confirmed that six dead people were found killed, all were beheaded and dumped on side of the main road of this town. The bodies, all men had not been identified.

According to official reports, at 0520 hours on Friday morning, neighbors from the township of Acahuato reported to authorities that they had found several headless bodies on the main street to the entrance of the town.

An hour later police and state officials removed the six decapitated torsos along with six heads that belonged to the bodies found. They were all lying on the ground next to each other.

Two of the bodies had the letter "Z" carved on the chest while the heads had the same letter carved on the forehead.

Saturday, January 30, 2010

Five Federal Police are Ambushed and Killed

Five federal policemen were Ambushed and killed.

Five federal police officers were killed when they were attacked by an armed commando in the highway Occidente.

Maravatio, Michoacan - Once again elements of the federal police were ambushed in Michoacan, this time at West Highway. The actual death toll in this incident is five dead and seven others seriously injured.

The incident occurred at approximately 1430 hours, when a heavily armed group of sicarios opened fire on two police cars that were heading for the town of Maravatio after passing the second bridge next to a toll booth of Zinapecuaro.

Apparently, the police did not have time to respond to the aggression. Based on the spent casings that were found at the scene, the alleged gunmen opened fire from different locations on the federal police officers.

In an operation to try to find those responsible there were two federal police helicopters involved, in addition to seven patrols of the same agency, and approximately 40 elements of the Mexican Army assisted by the State Preventive Police.

Police Executed in Mazatlan

State police chief is executed in the the community known as the Golden Zone.

Mazatlan, Sinaloa- At 1515 hours today a state police chief was killed in a shootout.

The police chief, Cecilio Elias Tinoco, was killed while traveling on board a blue and gold SUV Explorer with plates, VLF-2541, on Rafel Buelna Avenue around 1515 hours.

The incident occurred on Rafael Buelna Avenuein in front of the hotel San Diego. A group of sicarios that were travelling in another vehicle shot miltiple times at the driver's side of the vehicle. The sicarios then got out of their vehicle and shot up the SUV killing the officer.

Suspect Extradited to U.S.

Mexico ships suspect in slaying of U.S. Border Patrol agent from El Paso.

El Paso Times

El Paso -- Two years of waiting in agony for Mexico to turn over a murder suspect in the slaying of a U.S. Border Patrol agent from El Paso ended Thursday for the victim's family.

The man thought to be responsible for the death of Senior Border Patrol Agent Luis Aguilar Jr. near Yuma, Ariz., was extradited to the United States, where he faces murder and drug charges.

Officials said Jesús Navarro Montes arrived in Houston Thursday and would be transported to Southern California to face the charges.

Navarro is charged with running over and killing Aguilar, 32, during a drug-smuggling attempt. Navarro had been arrested, released and then rearrested by Mexican authorities.

The agent's father, Luis "Louie" Aguilar Sr., an El Paso County constable, said that the loss of a son is tragic but that with Navarro now in U.S. custody, the case can move forward into the federal court system.

Friday, January 29, 2010

Severed Head Found and Police Chief Killed

Police chief killed, severed head found in Mexican town.

The Associated Press

Morelia, Mexico - Gunmen killed a police chief and two officers Thursday in the same western town where a human head was dumped a day earlier.

Antonio Bravo, police chief of Quiroga, and two officers were attacked while they drove in a patrol car, Michoacan state prosecutors said in a statement.

Quiroga authorities found the severed head Wednesday in the town's tree-lined plaza near city hall. It was accompanied by a threatening message referring to a drug cartel.

Also Thursday, police in the Michoacan town of Zitacuaro found several plastic bags containing body parts near the city government offices, prosecutors said.

U.S. Troops at Mexican Border?

The U.S. military should be used to defend our border with Mexico.

Immigration Reform Examiner
Dave Gibson

In 2005, the Bush administration used U.S. combat troops to patrol the borders which define Iraq. In fact, at the time, he announced that there would be a complete lockdown on Iraq's borders during that nation's elections. Obama is now using our troops in that same capacity, as well as in providing border security for Afghanistan.

While protecting the borders of foreign lands has been a priority for both Presidents Bush and Obama, neither has ever shown a portion of that commitment to their own country.

Rather than sending a few hundred National Guardsmen to the nearly 2,000 mile-long border, functioning under orders to step aside when confronted with those who cross our border illegally (Even when they are armed drug smugglers.), the way Bush did, we should send 30,000 troops to the U.S./Mexican border immediately.

If that number of troops, along with their tanks, helicopters, and U.S. Air Force over-flights were utilized along the border, illegal entries would come to a sudden, screeching halt.

Firearms Instructor Abuses Cadet

Leon, Guanajuato - The instructor of Guanajuato Police Training Center, Roberto Ramirez Govea, insults and strikes a cadet during target practice in a video. In the video, that was aired on the internet, shows the violence in which police cadets are subjected to during trainning in Leon, Guanajuato.

The video was shot in December 2007 or January 2008. It shows police trainer Roberto Ramírez Govea, who at the time was employed with the Leon Public Security Department, hitting a female cadet in the head during target practice. El Correo de Guanajuato reported that Ramirez was fired for this offense, but less than 15 days later was hired for the same position in the San Francisco del Rincon Public Security Department. San Fransisco del Rincon is also located in Guanajuato.

Meanwhile, the video which shows Ramirez Govea hitting a cadet is in the hands of the National Human Rights Commission (NHRC). (Read more to view video)

Thursday, January 28, 2010

Mexico's Increasingly Violent Drug War

War in Juarez: anthropologist Howard Campbell on Mexico's increasingly violent drug war.

Ciudad Juarez, Chih -  just over the border from El Paso, has suffered through wild spasms of drug-related violence during the last few years. While the federal government in Mexico City announces stronger crackdowns on the drug trade, dueling cartels are murdering each other--and unconnected bystanders--with increasing impunity.

These crimes are often preceded by hideous torture and followed by public displays meant to inspire terror, such as tossing a rival gangster's head into a crowded club.

Howard Campbell, a sociologist and anthropologist at the University of Texas at El Paso, describes that frightening world in Drug War Zone: Frontline Dispatches from the Streets of El Paso and Juarez.

While Campbell's introduction exudes academic chops, with talk of how the "drug war zone" is "a theoretical concept that refers not only to a historically contingent, constructed geographical location ... but also to a mental place and a symbolic domain--similar in Foucauldian terms to the dialectic between 'real society' and 'heterotopia,'" the heart of the book is human stories, compellingly told.

Drug War Zone is composed of more than a dozen personal testimonials of people whose lives touch the drug trade in different ways. The book's dealers run the spectrum from tough Mexican women to idealistic American anarchists; its drug warriors range from a Juarez cop trying to stay on the up and up to an undercover American narc.

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Gulf Cartel Kidnappings of U.S. Citizens

Gulf drug cartel member convicted of violent kidnapping of U.S. citizens and killing in Mexico.

San Antonio Headlines Examiner

A violent kidnapping scheme involving what could be North America’s largest crime syndicate and Texas drug dealers resulted in a conviction in a federal jury trial on January 22, 2010.

The Texas Department of Public Safety (DPS) in September 2008 learned the powerful Gulf Cartel syndicate was violently kidnapping known drug dealers to demand they join the syndicate to sell their narcotics.

“After a two-day trial and one and a half hours of deliberation, a federal jury has convicted a Gulf Cartel associate of kidnapping a Weslaco, Texas, resident and having him transported into Mexico,” announced U.S. Attorney Tim Johnson today. "The guilty verdicts, returned in federal court in McAllen, convicted Luis Alberto Avila-Hernandez Avila, also known as Cua Cua, 28, an illegal alien residing in Weslaco, of conspiracy to kidnap and kidnapping.”

DPS and FBI initiated investigations that revealed at least four people were “kidnapped, threatened, assaulted, drugged and transported into Mexico to meet with Cartel members.”

Doing the Math on Mexican Drug Wars

The New York Times
By Viridiana Rios

Cambridge, Massachusetts — I am at the toll. Mexico is in front of me: the neighborhoods where the walls go unpainted; the fence, the patrollers, the river. I want to cross it to eat pulparindos, horchata and frijoles; to call my mother using a payphone that takes my pesos and has a Spanish-speaking operator; to buy the local gossip magazine. Home is 10 meters away.

But I am scared to cross the border.

My friend and fellow investigator receives a text message. It’s from a member of the drug cartel we have arranged to meet. “Let’s meet on the Mexican side,” the message says. “If Harvard has decided to come to hell, the city will remain calm.” We sit silently, wondering. Should we cross?

I was born in Mexico City, in a world that seems less and less familiar to me. I live now in the opposite corner of the continent. I am training to be a political scientist at Harvard. My passion has remained the afflictions of my homeland, but at Harvard I have found new ways to address them, to use mathematical models — matrices, vectors, equations, regressions — to understand the Mexican drug crisis.

So here I was last summer with my friend Alfredo Corchado, a reporter for the Dallas Morning News, on a trip home to gather information firsthand on the war among the Mexican drug cartels.

Municipal Police Killed and Woman Abducted

Los Mochis, Sinaloa - A group of armed men with high powered rifles and handguns executed a police officer this evening on Saturday January 23 and allegedly abducted "levantaron" a woman who was in company of the officer.

The deceased was identified as Alvaro Alvarado Alvarez, 31 years old, with an address in the community of Nuevo Horizonte.

The identity of women is unknown.

The attack occurred at about 2125 hours in the streets of Nicanor Villarreal and Salvador Alvarado, a few blocks from the house of the dead policeman.

Information collected at the scene indicates that the police officer and the woman arrived to the scene on a red Bora that had a temporary permit with the name of Mirna Encinas Moreno. Both of them were standing by the vehicle talking when they were approached by two vehicles occupied by several gunmen. The officer apparently saw them and fled on foot, but the gunmen fired a burst of fire from an AK-47 or "cuerno de chivo." The officer fell about 25 meters and while lying in the street, the sicarios finished him off with handguns.

The New Face of Border Violence

The Sand Diego Union Tribune

Tijuana Border - A violent chapter in the storied battle against international drug trafficking is now being written along the U.S.-Mexican border. In December 2006, upon taking office, Mexican President Felix Calderón launched an all-out assault on Mexico’s drug cartels.

Unlike past initiatives, designed as showpieces for the U.S. government, Calderón’s effort has been waged in earnest, including the dispatch of 45,000 troops and 5,000 federal police officers to 18 Mexican states.

In response, drug cartels went on a rampage, escalating attacks on law enforcement and competing traffickers. Since 2007, news reports put the death toll somewhere between 11,000 and 13,500.

The Los Angeles Times Web site shows the bloody tally like an old fashioned Wall Street ticker-tape, the numbers ascending ominously. But the Times graphic trails its own news tally, demonstrating that symbols of the carnage can’t keep pace with its reality.

On one recent day alone, police in the southern state of Guerrero found the mutilated bodies of nine people in the back of a pickup truck. Beheaded and hacked into pieces, the victims were stuffed into black plastic bags.

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Dismembered Body of Federal Judiciary Found

They found the mutilated body on the street with a narco message in Veracruz-Boca del Rio.

Veracruz-Boca del Río - The Federal Judiciary, Nayeli Reyes Santos, 32 years of age, who was abducted last Thursday when she was walking to work, was found at 7 this morning dead and dismembered in the streets of Invernadero and Marte in the community of Joyas de Mocambo.

With signs of torture, mutilated and a narco-banner nailed to the back with a knife, is how the remains of Reyes Santos were found. The narco-poster had a warning against those who tried to betray the cartel members "Z" or Zetas. Unofficially it is believed that the message said, "This is what is going to happen to all those who show no respect or finger the company. Atte Z."

Later authorities were able to confirm that the body found belonged to Nayeli Reyes Santos, who was intercepted by a van with unidentified men, when she was walking on the street Habaneras near the corner of Paseo Jardines de Virginia.

After being missing for 72 hours, the body of Reyes Santos was finally found. She is the counsel of the official Second Judicial Court of the Federation, who was abducted last Thursday morning a few blocks from her home when she was walking to work.

South Texan May be the Next Drug King


Edgar Valdez Villarreal: Went to Laredo United.

Laredo, Texas — In Mexico, they call him “El Tigrillo,” a kind of wildcat, and sing his praises, ranking him among those of the country's top drug lords.

In Texas, he played high school football, and a coach nicknamed him “Barbie” because of his light hair and eyes.

Over the past 20 years, Edgar Valdez Villarreal, a 36-year-old U.S. citizen born in South Texas, has gone from high school jock to potential Mexican drug cartel boss — perhaps the only U.S. citizen to do so.

Valdez Villarreal was a “Siamese twin” of cartel boss Arturo Beltrán Leyva, who was killed in December, said Wendell Campbell, a spokesman for the Drug Enforcement Administration in Houston.

Beltrán Leyva ran his own cartel with his brother as second in command, but Valdez Villarreal was his right-hand man, a chief enforcer who traveled everywhere with the cartel boss.

Beltrán Leyva “trusted him like a brother,” Campbell said.

Unclaimed Buried Unceremoniously

Hundreds of victims unclaimed, buried unceremoniously in Juarez.

El Paso Times

Victims who have died violent deaths in Juarez and remain unidentified will be buried in pre-dug graves during a mass burial at the city's municipal cemetery.

Ciudad Juarez, Chih -- Hundreds of murder victims in this ravaged city are all but forgotten.

Nobody in officialdom knows who they are. Nobody in the outside world cared enough to claim their bodies.

They are shipped to San Rafael Municipal Cemetery. There each is awaited by a simple wood box, a 6-foot hole in the Chihuahuan Desert and maybe a plain metal plate with an engraved number. No cross adorns these final resting spots, for this is where unidentified victims of the city's drug wars are unceremoniously buried.

About 200 people who died violently last year ended up in paupers' graves at San Rafael. They were among more than 2,600 murder victims in Juárez in 2009.

The cemetery is hidden in the sand dunes south of the city. A massive white sign with the Juárez government's emblem and the words Panteón Municipal San Rafael are the only distinguishable markings leading to the graveyard.

Narco Police and the Dead Women of Juarez

An analysis of Mexico's organised crime.

By: Wael Hikal

The current situation in Mexico has put the international community on alert due to the increase in crime rates; besides common criminality, peculiar behaviours have developed and are concerning Mexican citizens, their government and foreigners.

This situation is out of the country’s control: in the past, attacks, massive kidnappings and homicides, as well as drug trafficking, were seen as isolated cases, but nowadays they have become recurrent and interconnected issues.

Criminologist Rafael Garófalo recognizes that criminality is an evolutionary phenomenon and that robbery and murder are deeply entrenched in human nature (Hikal, 2009).

Nowadays, homicides have become a “normal” event, in the sense that it is no longer surprising to see portrayed in the media dead militaries, police officers, heads of government, or even their opposing parties (the so-called “narco-police” or “narco-militaries”).

Juarez Femicides Lawyer Murdered

All lawyers involved in the defense of two Juarez bus drivers falsely accused of femicide have been executed; state police shot one in the head.

Two unidentified gunmen executed Mario Escobedo Salazar and his son Edgar Escobedo Anaya, also a lawyer, in their Juarez office on Tuesday, January 6.

The double homicide comes nearly seven years after Chihuahua State Judicial Police killed Escobedo Salazar's other son, Mario Escobedo Anaya, during a chase. The police originally stated that Mario Escobedo Anaya died when his vehicle crashed during the chase. It was later revealed that he died of a gunshot wound to the head fired by state police.

Prior to Mario Escobedo Anaya's 2002 execution, he, his father, and a third lawyer, the late Sergio Dante Almaraz Mora, represented the two Juarez public transportation bus drivers accused of murdering eight women whose bodies were found dumped in an area of Juarez known as "the Cotton Field." Escobedo Salazar's recent execution means that the entire defense team is now dead; all were executed. One of the bus drivers also died under suspicious circumstances while in police custody.

Monday, January 25, 2010

Tijuana Chief Revisited

Tijuana, BC - A chief of police, especially the one in Tijuana, Baja California, must follow the policies of the agency. And in these policies it says that a commander has to implement active and passive measures every day to protect his life.

Passive measures are, among others; not going to bars, not walking alone on the streets, it means having a private life and it means very private, and constantly having to change his routine.

The active, however, include a good weapon to have on hand and with his bodyguards, ready to fire it 24 hours a day.

Lt. Col. Julián Leyzaola Pérez,, grandson of a general and son of another ranking soldier, is working toward a full compliance in a disciplined manner for each of these rules since he became Secretary of Public Security of Tijuana.

His day started on December 10, 2008 amidst a dispute of "blood and lead" between the Sinaloa cartel and the Arellano Felix clan to control drug trafficking in California, USA.

Seven Young Men "Levantados"

A group of gunmen kidnapped several young men in Chihuahua

Aldama, Chih - A group of gunmen abducted a number of young people between the ages of 17 and 20 years, seven of which were identified by the authorities in the Mexican city of Aldama in the northern state of Chihuahua, an official source said.

According to the local press it was eleven young people that were "levantados" (abducted), but the prosecution has identified only seven, one of which was released yesterday along with another that had not been reported as missing.

Generally the "levantados"" are taken to a "safe house" of organized crime to torture them in order to obtain a confession or to avenge a betrayal. Almost always the "levantados" are executed.

The youths were kidnapped by 15 armed men and some of them wore military clothing and were hooded. The action took place at a car wash service in Aldama, 25 miles from Chihuahua in state capital.

The hijackers were aboard three SUV's and a car.

Of the seven that have been identified two have 17 years, one 18 years (who was located just yesterday), two 19 years and two 20 years, according to a statement by the Prosecutor of Chihuahua.

The prosecution requested the collaboration of the Mexican Army and Federal Police to assist in the search and arrest of the persons responsible, as well as the location and rescue of victims.

The Culiacan Mayor seen with Drugpin

The confirmed the accuracy of the photograph where Ismael "Mayo" Zambada appears with Culiacan mayor Jesus Vizcarra Calderon

According to an article posted on Friday, Vizcarra Calderon admitted being one of the people in the photographs published by Reforma that also included family members of drug kingpins such as Ines Calderon and Baltasar Diaz.

During an interview at Valle de Amapas, the mayor of Culiacan reiterated that his attendance at the event was because he was buying cattle, activity that he was involved with at the time, and that at which he now has 80,000 suppliers.

"I never denied anything, we have never denied anything, we have always made things transparent and fair," he said to questions on anything to do with illegal activities.

Helicopter Attacked

The Mountains of Chihuahua - Among the canyons and mountains of Uruachi, Chihuahua, agents from the Attorney General's Office (PGR) on board a helicopter were pursuing a four-seater Cessna aircraft that was manned by a group of drug traffickers.

The three federal officials forced the traffickers to land the plane and when the officers were preparing to descend on the helicopter, they were attacked by gunfire. The pilot was shot twice but continued to maneuver the helicopter to repel the aggression and land the helicopter.

The drug traffickers traveling on the plane continued to open fire from a distance and managed to flee to the mountains, abandoning the aircraft with 200 kilos of marijuana.

Hours later after the incident a group of soldiers arrived at place of incident to rescue the officials. The pilot was flown to Hermosillo for medical care.

Uruachi is located on the border with Sonora, the terrain is very steep and has no lines of communication. The region has become an enclave for the cultivation of marijuana and poppy and the production of other narcotics. The area is highly violent because of the presence of criminal groups.

Prominent Business Family Arrested

Media mogul accused of laundering cash in Valley.

The owner of a Sonora media empire and his son are among eight suspects indicted in a Valley money-laundering and fraud case that investigators say involves millions of dollars funneled from unidentified sources in Mexico.

The defendants, Mario de la Fuente Manríquez and his son, Mario de la Fuente Mix, belong to one of the Arizona border's most prominent families in business, politics and social circles.

The case also involves a tangle of Valley nightclubs and exotic-auto dealerships, as well as mystery financiers south of the border. In a 102-count grand-jury indictment, the elder de la Fuente is accused of 19 acts of fraud, money laundering, participating in a criminal syndicate and conspiracy. His son faces 10 counts.

The de la Fuente family operates a newspaper, TV station and more than a dozen cable-television companies in northern Mexico.

Sunday, January 24, 2010

The Wealth of the Cartel

Mexican authorities are fighting on against the drug cartels that plague their country. After capturing major drug lords recently, police sort through the criminals confiscated luxuries; everything from decadent villas to private zoos.

Third Attempt on Mayor

Mexican mayor seriously wounded in third assassination attempt against her.

The Associated Press

Ciudad Altamarino, Guerrero - A mayor in western Mexico has been seriously wounded after gunmen opened fire on her car in the third assassination attempt against her.

The Guerrero State Public Safety Department says four others were injured, including Mayor Maria Santos Gorrocheta's brother and a reporter for a regional newspaper.

The attack occurred Friday in Ciudad Altamarino, a town in Guerrero. Gorrocheta is the mayor of Tiquicheo in neighboring Michoacan state. The attack occurred on the road to Ciudad Altamirano, municipality of Guerrero near the border of Michoacan. The sicarios used AK-47, according to some of the victims themselves.

I was an Informant for the DEA

‘I was an informant for the DEA’
El Pasoan leaves behind dangerous life as drug runner and snitch for the feds.

El Paso Inc.

El Paso, Texas - On a hot July day, Chris Heifner, a recent graduate of the University of Texas at El Paso, was sailing along I-40 in a rented Buick Century headed to Kansas City, when a state trooper pulled him over.

The lawman said Heifner had been speeding, and that would have been that, had a police dog not alerted the officer to a 200-pound stash of marijuana in the trunk of the car.

That day, July 17, 2000, changed everything in Heifner’s life.

He was thrust into a tiny jail cell in the north Texas town of Amarillo. On the back of the cell door, a previous guest of the county had scribbled a message: “You are here because you have been stupid.”

True enough, thought Heifner

“I had just flushed my whole future down the toilet,” says Heifner. “I felt right then like I was circling the bowl.”

But even as the young man, a self-described Army brat born in El Paso and raised in Alabama, studied his feet in his jail cell, he had no clue to the perilous journey that awaited him.

Saturday, January 23, 2010

85 Killed so Far in TJ

The number of homicides Increased to 85 in this border city so far in January.

Tijuana, BC - In less than 10 hours eight men were executed in five different parts of the city. Statistics of the total murders in Tijuana increased to 85 so far in January.

The Attorney General of the State (PGJE) reported the first death was recorded in the Red Cross and was a man who had been attacked with numerous gunshots to his body outside his home by unknown persons.

Relatives identified the victim as Lauro Bravo Rosas who died instantly at the scene.

Later in the community of Mariano Matamoros, located in the east side of the city, two brothers aged 18 and 22 years and another man of 62 years old were killed by sicarios who shot at them multiple times with a 9 mm caliber weapon.

Mexican Revolution Not as Deadly

100th anniversary: Mexican Revolution not even as deadly as Juárez now.

El Paso Times

El Paso, TX -- Juárez is deadlier now than during the Mexican Revolution, a border history expert said Thursday.

Oscar Martinez, a history professor at the University of Arizona, gave the first in a series of lectures at the El Paso Museum of History marking the 100th anniversary of the Mexican Revolution.

Martinez said he is often asked about casualties in Juárez during the revolution compared with the current violence. The conservative estimate is that about 300 people died in battles in Juárez during the entire Mexican Revolution of 1910, he said.

"The important thing is the total number is only a fraction of the people killed in the last three years in Juárez," Martinez told an audience of more than 70 people at the museum. "It's a catastrophe. And that is no revolution going on. It is a civil war between cartels."

Banning Narco-Corridos

Narcocorridos: Mexican ruling party proposes ban on songs that glorify drug trafficking.

Mexico city - A new proposal from Mexico's ruling party could send musicians to prison for performing songs that glorify drug trafficking.

The law would bring prison sentences of up to three years for people who perform or produce songs or movies glamorizing criminals.

"Society sees drug ballads as nice, pleasant, inconsequential and harmless, but they are the opposite," National Action Party lawmaker Oscar Martin Arce told The Associated Press on Thursday.

The ballads, known as "narcocorridos," often describe drug trafficking and violence, and are popular among some norteno bands. After some killings, gangs pipe narcocorridos into police radio scanners, along with threatening messages.

Friday, January 22, 2010

A Changing of the Narco Guard in Mexico?

by Sylvia Longmire

New year starting on positive note for Mexican government.

2010 is off to a relatively good start for Mexican President Felipe Calderón’s war against drug trafficking organizations (DTOs).

Shortly before the holidays on Dec. 16, Arturo Beltrán Leyva – the head of the Beltrán Leyva Organization (BLO) – was killed in a shootout with Mexican navy commandos. On Dec. 30, his brother, Carlos, was arrested after showing a fake ID during a traffic stop. Although Hector Beltrán Leyva remains at large and is ostensibly in charge of what remains of the BLO, the organization has been considerably weakened.

The latest New Year’s victory came in the form of Eduardo Teodoro “El Teo” Garcia Simental’s arrest on Jan. 12 by Mexican federal police. Garcia used to be a lieutenant in the Arellano Felix Organization (AFO), the dominant DTO in northern Baja California. In April 2008, he split off from the AFO, and with rival DTO Sinaloa Federation’s backing, began a brutal turf war to wrest control of the Tijuana drug trafficking corridor from the AFO.

6 are Executed in Guerrero with Message

Six People were executed in Guerrero and left with a narcobanner.

Guerrero - Around 11 pm on Tuesday the executed bodies of four youths were found inside a car parked ten yards from the Hotel Parador del Marques, on the side of the boulevard Vicente Guerrero on the entrance to this city.

On the dash of the 1998 Volkswagen Golf they found a sign with the following written message: "This is going to happen to all those who are with Hector Beltran Leyva and the fucking traitor (the Sergio Villarreal Barragan), El Grande, fucking traitor, you gave up Don Arturo Beltran Leyva, and you now looking for culprits. Keep sending these idiots so we can return them like this. ( "666"). Acapulco is waiting for you all. Greetings to the Jew."

Thursday, January 21, 2010

Jail Brawl in Northern Mexico Kills 23

Inmates with links to powerful Sinaloa cartel clash with rivals.

Durango, Mexico - Twenty-three inmates were killed and several others injured during a prison brawl Wednesday morning at a northern Mexico penitentiary, prison officials said.

The fight broke out between inmates at the state prison in the city of Durango that houses 2,025 inmates, said prison spokeswoman Carla Puente.

Puente said she did not know the specific number of injuries nor the reason for the fight, which was quelled by guards.

More than 60 inmates have died during fierce fights at Mexico's often overcrowded and loosely run prisons in the past two years. Officials at the state-run prisons frequently complain that they are not equipped to handle violent drug traffickers who are being held on federal charges.

Seven Bodies Found in Acapulco

7 Bodies Linked to Drug Cartels Found in Mexico.

Acapulco, Mexico — Mexican authorities found seven corpses in two abandoned cars along with written messages referring to drug cartels, state police said Wednesday.

The bullet-riddled bodies of three men were inside a car left beside the highway between the resort communities of Acapulco and Zihuatanejo on Wednesday morning, police in the Pacific coast state of Guerrero said.

Police did not release the message left with the bodies, but said it referred to drug cartels.

Late Tuesday night, state police found the bodies of four young men in an abandoned car near a hotel in Guerrero's capital, Chilpancingo. A police report said the men appeared to have been asphyxiated by plastic tape covering their faces.

The Multiple Executions Return

Violence returns to the streets of Juarez, two are executed in a workshop and two others are killed in the community Emiliano Zapata.

Ciuadad Juarez, Chih - Since the beginning of the week it had been relatively quiet, but violence has again become present with further executions.

Inside a shop in the streets Camargo and Tecnológico in the community Nuevo Hipódromo two bodies were found lying on the ground after being shot by an armed commando.

The two male victims appeared to be between the ages of 25 and 30 years old, while their identities, so well as that of the sicarios have not yet been identified.

Another attack is occurred in the community Emiliano Zapata, when gunmen attacked a tan Cougar driven by male bearing local license plates leaving him without life inside.

Clash Leaves 3 Dead in Michoacan

Uruapan Municipal police staged a fire fight with suspected sicarios, who made used grenades to kill one of the officers and escape capture, while two criminals managed to be killed during the confrontation.

Uruapan, Mich - A confrontation between local police and suspected sicarios that occurred in the few minutes of the day, left dead a uniformed officer and two criminals. This is the account according to the preliminary report of the Municipal Public Security Bureau.

It was reported that around one in the morning, two municipal police officers were travelling around the beltway of the city aboard a patrol vehicle when they noticed a suspicious vehicle, a Grand Cherokee, occupied by several individuals.

The police officers attempted to initiate a traffic stop, but when the suspects failed to stop, a pursuit ensued which lasted for several minutes.

When the uniformed officers caught up with the suspected vehicle they attempted to block their path, but the patrol vehicle collided with a parked tractor trailer. The patrol vehicle came to rest next to the vehicle of the driven by the suspects, who in turn immediately opened fire on the police officers, who in turn attempted to return fire through a hail of bullets.

“El Chapo” Guzmán, in Festive Mode

Yesterday, Joaquin "El Chapo" Guzman Loera was celebrating.

It wasn't for nothing.

He reached nine years of having escaped from the prison in Puente Grande, Jalisco. And nine years later the authorities not only have failed to capture him, but the criminal group that heads the Sinaloa cartel, has hardly been touched and "El Chapo" has the luxury to be listed as one of the magnates in Forbes magazine.

Not too shabby for the country's most powerful drug trafficker, eh?

On 19 January 2001, when Vicente Fox made his debut in Los Pinos, Guzman Loera, walked out the front door of the then considered maximum security prison. The power of "El Chapo" not only managed to corrupt the authorities of the jail facility, but that was enough for the boss to take absolute control of the Sinaloa cartel.

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

5 Hours of Gun Battle

16 Drug Cartel Members and 2 Mexican Soldiers Killed in a 5 Hour Gun Battle in Acapulco.

16 drug cartel gang members and 2 Mexican soldiers were killed in a shootout in the resort city of Acapulco lasting more than 4 hours. The battle began when Army and federal police officers received a tip where police officers were being held hostage.

Gang members assaulted the army and federal police officers with automatic weapons and hand grenades. Five gang members were arrested. 49 assault rifles, 2 grenade launchers, 13 hand grenades, 3,000 rounds of ammunition and 8 vehicles were seized.

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Silence, Exile or the Grave

Mexico: Journalists' Options - Silence, Exile or the Grave

Inter Press Service

Mexico City - Journalists are the target of such violence in Mexico that many have been forced to seek refuge in the United States, or to give up their profession. And the outlook at the start of this year is even grimmer for media workers in this country.

One reporter was murdered and another went missing in early January, feeding expectations that violence against journalists in this Latin American country can only get worse in the immediate future.

Valentín Valdés, a journalist for the newspaper Zócalo in the city of Saltillo, 850 kilometres north of Mexico City, in the state of Coahuila, was found dead Jan. 8, the day after he and a colleague, who was later freed, had been kidnapped by persons unknown.

Before he was murdered, Valdés, who covered the local news in Saltillo, wrote an article about the arrest of several drug traffickers in the city. His killers left a message on his body: "This is what will happen to those who don't understand. This message is for everyone."

Playing with Fire

"Playing with fire."
Sinaloa - After the death of Arturo Beltran Leyva appeared photographs of the lifeless drug cartel leader, with his pants down and covered with currency bills. No one takes responsibility, but the truth is that these photos provoke revenge.
From the archives:
Usually we get a story that gets pushed back do to space and it becomes old news, so we end up not publishing it. But we still do publish some of them anyways, although outdated, they have  historic value.
Report by John L Simental.

Severed Head Left at Capo's Grave Site

Arturo Beltran Leyva: Severed Head Left At Grave Of Mexican Drug Lord

Culiacan, Mexico — A severed human head and a flower were found in front of the tomb of deceased drug lord Arturo Beltran Leyva in northern Mexico.

Prosecutors in Sinaloa state said Sunday the man's headless body was found in a plastic bag atop the tomb of another drug trafficker, Gonzalo El Chalo Araujo, in the Jardines del Humaya cemetery in Culiacan.

The severed head had a flower tucked behind one ear and had been carefully placed in front of the entrance gate to Beltran Leyva's elaborate, multistory crypt, said prosecutors' spokesman Martin Gastelum.

The body was found inside a black plastic bag and so far had not been identified. The description from the forensic investigators at the scene said it was a male of dark complexion, short hair, between 30 and 35 years of age.

Monday, January 18, 2010

Focus on Police Corruption in Tijuana

Mexico’s rug war focuses on police corruption in Tijuana.
From the archives.

The Associated Press

In this Aug. 22, 2009 photo, police officers hold their diplomas after finishing a training course in Tijuana, Mexico. Tijuana's Public Safety Chief Julian Leyzaola is leading the most aggressive police reform to date, a mix of counterterrorism and community policing. If it works, it would be a model for other hotspots and a huge breakthrough in a drug war that has taken more than 14,000 lives in Mexico since it was launched three years ago

Tijuana, Mexico — Behind every crime is a corrupt cop.

That’s Public Safety Secretary Julian Leyzaola’s mantra as he storms Tijuana with its most aggressive police reform to date, a mix of counterterrorism and community policing. If it works, it could be a model for other hotspots and a huge breakthrough in a drug war in Mexico that has taken more than 14,000 lives in the last three years.

But the job is as monumental as turning around Al Capone’s Chicago. Cops in this border city and many others nationwide now serve as the eyes and ears of drug lords. And those who fight the cartels — let alone those who lead that fight — often end up dead.

Journalist Dead Body Found

Los Mochis, Sinaloa - The bloody and broken corpse of a radio journalist known for his broadcasts on drug trafficking was found Saturday on a highway a few miles (kilometers) from the city where he was kidnapped, prosecutors said.

Linea Directa radio station reporter Jose Luis Romero was forced at gunpoint out of a Los Mochis restaurant on Dec. 30. A few hours later, gunmen killed the chief police investigator in the northern Mexican state of Sinaloa who had started investigating the kidnapping.

Sinaloa assistant state prosecutor Rolando Bon Lopez said Romero’s body was found shoved into a black bag with his hands bound and broken, two bullets in his head and another in his shoulder.

House of Death: U.S. Government Cover-up Unveiled

San Diego County Political Buzz Examiner

The ‘House of Death’ case lends itself to a sad part of American history for the government, a low point, but now five years and a new president later the case continues to be swept under the mat.

Over the past nine months the White House has hammered away at the Bush Administration on everything from bungling the war on terrorism to the economy. How many times have we heard “We are a nation of laws?” Or “I don’t mind cleaning up the mess; just don’t tell me how to do it?” Or seen the word “transparency” used.

U.S. law enforcement certainly tweaked the laws concerning the Juarez House of Death case that ultimately cost 12 lives; 11 of which could have been prevented. So why are the recent and current White House Administrations failing to stand by the laws of America? Why look the other way? These are questions this story will attempt to answer without any help from government officials.

It’s no secret that Juarez is presently the most violent city in Mexico and murders take place on a daily basis. But does it mean the U.S. government should be complicit when said murders are known to take place? This is exactly what happened after the first murder at the House of Death in Juarez.

Sunday, January 17, 2010

El Teo is No Hero

Tijuana BC - The lieutenant colonel and current Secretary of Public Safety for the city of Tijuana, Julián Leyzaola Pérez, said that although some people portrait drug lords as heroes such as Teodoro Garcia Simental, "El Teo", but in reality he is only a "rat in prison, a coward and a disgusted fat man.

"They are afraid of dying in in prison, but some songs in "corridos" make them sound like they are super-human heroes."

"El Teo is now a rat in prison and he fell like any other little dirty criminal who only feels brave when they victimize someone innocent, but when it's their turn, they in turn act like cowards and act like women," said Leyzaola in an interview.

"His surgery and his disgusting fatness the he shows could confuse someone, but eventually he was stopped," said the official, who has been the target of four attempted bomb attacks blamed on the sicario Garcia Simental.

Border Patrol Seizes Guns

Border Patrol seizes guns, ammo at El Paso bridge.

The Associated Press

El Paso, Texas - U.S. Customs and Border Protection officers have seized two high-powered rifles and 4,000 round of ammunition from a pickup truck heading across an El Paso bridge to Mexico.

A CBP statement issued Friday says the seizure came about 5;40 p.m. Wednesday at the Bridge of the Americas international crossing between El Paso and Ciudad Juarez, Mexico. Officers chose an older-model pickup truck for a close inspection after the driver declared he had nothing to declare before leaving the country.

A search turned up ammunition boxes concealed in a wall panel of the truck. Agents say a more-intensive search turned up two AK-47 rifles, 4,000 rounds of ammunition and several high-capacity magazines concealed throughout the vehicle.

The driver, 24-year-old Mexican national Daniel Avalos Ruiz of Ciudad Juarez, remains in federal custody in the El Paso County jail without bond.

Mexico Army Hands Control to Police

Ciudad Juarez, Chih - Mexico's army, facing accusations of rights abuses, will give federal police control of security in the country's most violent drug war city even as cartel killings escalate, police said on Friday.

Mexico and U.S. authorities completed the bi-national meeting held for two days in in order to reduce crimes in Ciudad Juárez, the agreement was that the army will withdraw from the streets and in their place 2,000 police will take control along with 100 especial federal police agents trained to investigate kidnappings, car theft and extortion.


Ciudad Juarez, Chih -Mexico is sending 2,000 elite police to try to quell the fresh surge in murders in Ciudad Juarez near the U.S. border, displacing the army that militarized the city early last year but whose presence has failed to curb violence.

"The general coordination of this operation will be via the federal police," Mexico's federal police chief, Facundo Rosas, told a news conference in Ciudad Juarez across from El Paso, Texas, as helicopters hovered overhead.

Some 2,500 federal police, who are armed with semi-automatic weapons and wear body armor and helmets, will now lead security operations in the manufacturing city as reinforcements arrive over the next few days.

U.S., Mexico Hunt Elusive 'El Chapo'

Rival drug kingpin captured.

The Washignton Times

Mexico City - As Mexican authorities make huge strides against some of the nation's most deadly and violent drug cartels, U.S. authorities say there is one senior crime boss they want to put out of business — "El Chapo."

Joaquin "El Chapo" Guzman — nicknamed "Shorty" in Spanish for his stature — is still Mexico's No. 1 problem, despite President Felipe Calderon's aggressive stance against the drug cartels, which has led to the death of a top crime boss this past month, and Tuesday's capture of cartel czar Teodoro Garcia Simental, known as "El Tio" — "the Uncle" — in the beach town of La Paz, Mexico.

Garcia is said to be responsible for the gruesome killings of more than 300 people, many of whom he disposed of in vats of acid.

However, Guzman, a rival of Garcia and head of Mexico's top Sinoloa cartel, has still eluded authorities in both nations.

In the Company of Narcos


Mexico - Top jobs in Mexican cartels -- such as money laundering and setting up smuggling routes -- are mostly reserved for relatives or close friends of bosses, but the gangs are often in the market for professional killers.

In one audacious move, the Gulf cartel openly advertised for army troops to desert and join it in April 2008, stringing banners from bridges over main roads in two towns near the U.S. border offering jobs. "The Zetas want you, soldier or former soldier. We offer a good salary, food and family care," the ads read.

The Zetas group itself began as an army special forces team that deserted to the Gulf gang in the mid-1990s for more pay.

Further down the chain of command, men at street corners with walkie-talkies in Rio Bravo receive about $400 a month as "spotters" to alert the cartel to military convoys in the area.

"What you see in Rio Bravo, you see all along the border. Cartel members are untouchable in the town. They can run operations and travel out to see their units," the source close to the Gulf cartel said.