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

Monday, January 31, 2011

Valle Hermoso Battle Pictures, Video Released Online

By Sergio Chapa
Valley Central

Outsiders are getting their first glimpses into the damage following an early Sunday morning battle south of the border in Valle Hermoso.

Pictures and videos of the damage started circulating on narco blogs, YouTube and social media networks on Sunday night.

Mexican authorities have not released any information about what happened.

Valle Hermoso residents are reporting that rival drug trafficking organizations battled in the streets for hours early Sunday morning.

Several businesses and homes were burned in the downtown area while several burned out and bullet-riddled cars were left along roadways.

Residents also reported Mexican Navy helicopters and marines were deployed to the area but it’s not clear if arrests or seizures were made.

balazera VALLE HERMOSO 29/01/2011 dia jr13pk06

Balacera valle hermoso 1/29/11 by mrvato44

Balacera los Guerra 30 Ene 2011_parte1.wmv by anonimalooc1

Photo: Blog del Narco

Security Plan in Mexican Ciudad Juarez Is a “Failure”

By Luis Chaparro
Crime scene investigators stand next to the body of a young man that was killed by unknown gunmen at a soccer field in the northern border city of Ciudad Juarez, Mexico, late Sunday Jan. 23, 2011. Gunmen spraying automatic weapons fire killed seven people. The message above the entry to the field reads, "Live Better." The field was built as an anti-violence measure in the besieged border city.

A year after the massacre of 15 young people in the Villas de Salvarcar neighborhood of Ciudad Juarez, grassroots groups on Sunday labeled the government’s plan for ending drug-related violence and promoting development in the northern border city “a failure.”

The federal government should overhaul its strategy because it does not address the extreme violence in Ciudad Juarez, located across the border from El Paso, Texas, Citizens Council for Social Development spokesman Laurencio Barraza told Efe.

The government’s “Todos Somos Juarez” program, which was implemented last February, called for carrying out 160 projects dealing with business, jobs, health, education and social development within 100 days.

The projects were designed to rebuild the border city’s society and promote co-existence among residents.

The federal government has spent 3.38 billion pesos (about $277 million) in Ciudad Juarez, with the funds mostly going toward security, education, sports, health, social development and jobs, official figures show.

As the program approaches its one-year anniversary, community groups and residents say they have not seen much progress and that most projects are only half-completed.

“The strategy has some shortcomings that require immediate repair. The programs are being prepared in Mexico City and deal with other problems, not going far enough to eradicate the violence,” Barraza said.

Ciudad Juarez needs not just infrastructure but also dialogue and an end to the control of the streets by organized crime groups, Barraza said.

“For example, what good is it to build a park when you are afraid to go outside for fear of being murdered, as has happened,” Barraza said.

Since Jan. 31, 2010, when the birthday-party massacre occurred in Villas de Salvarcar, Juarez has been the scene of several other attacks targeting young people.

Gunmen killed 15 other teenagers on Oct. 23 at a house in the border city’s Horizontes del Sur neighborhood.

Seven young men were gunned down on Jan. 23 while playing soccer at a recently inaugurated park built as part of the Todos Somos Juarez program.

The federal initiative should not be viewed as a security model “that comes to solve all of the city’s problems,” Todos Somos Juarez program coordinator Humberto Uranga said.

The commitment from the local, state and federal governments was “honest and true,” but greater public participation was needed, especially from the media, Uranga said.

Even though most of the community groups in Ciudad Juarez labeled the federal program a failure, Chihuahua state Human Rights Commissioner Gustavo De la Rosa Hickerson said doing so was tantamount to admitting defeat.

“Acknowledging that it is a failure is very difficult because it means acknowledging that we have been defeated as a society,” the commissioner said.

“The Todos Somos Juarez strategy has been a process, it is a process that is still going on,” De la Rosa said, adding that “unfortunately, it was Ciudad Juarez’s turn to be a field for experimentation and this has been very painful for the city.”

Members of more than 50 community organizations gathered Saturday on both sides of the U.S.-Mexico border to mark the massacre anniversary.

The demonstrators called for peace and demanded an end to the drug-related violence that has already claimed the lives of more than 140 people in the border city this year.

The community groups are staging a series of events this weekend, including two days of fasting, presentations by relatives of the massacre victims and the binational gathering at the border fence, during their “Road to Justice” campaign.

Five Gunmen Die in Shootout with Army Soldiers in Monterrey

The Associated Press
Five suspected drug cartel hit men were killed in a shootout with army soldiers in Greater Monterrey, Mexico’s business capital, officials said Saturday.

The Defense Secretariat said in a statement that a group of “organized crime” gunmen carried out a gunfire and grenade attack at around midnight Friday on a military convoy that was patrolling the city of Santa Catarina – about 15 kilometers (9 miles) southwest of downtown Monterrey – as part of a crackdown on cartel violence.

The soldiers “acted in self-defense” and repelled the aggression, killing five of the assailants and seizing five automatic rifles, a handgun, two vehicles, several rounds of ammunition and ammunition clips, the secretariat said.

It added that two innocent bystanders were wounded by the grenades and taken to a hospital for treatment.

A turf war between the Gulf cartel and former allies Los Zetas in the northern state of Nuevo Leon, whose capital is Monterrey, left more than 670 people, including a record 75 police officers, dead last year.

Monterrey, home to more than 50,000 corporations, including some of the largest multinational businesses in Mexico, fears for its future if the violence is not stopped.

This is a very difficult time, perhaps the most difficult in the recent history of Nuevo Leon” state, Gov. Rodrigo Medina said earlier this week.

Monterrey Mayor Fernando Larrazabal, for his part, said the cities in the metro area have been overwhelmed by organized crime groups and lack the “capacity and armament” to deal with them.

The surge in violence is hurting the hospitality industry, which saw average hotel occupancy rates fall as low as 41 percent in 2010, while the average occupancy rate for the year was 60 percent

The Monterrey metropolitan area, which is made up of nine cities with a total population of 4 million, has experienced about 50 attacks involving grenades and bombs, including a car bombing, against police stations.

The city is also being plagued by so-called “narco-blockades” in which members of youth gangs recruited by drug cartels use trucks, automobiles and buses to block some of the main thoroughfares and slow army deployments.

Cemex, the world’s third-largest cement company, is among the industrial corporations that call Monterrey home.

Alfa, the world’s No. 1 producer of aluminum engine heads and blocks; Femsa, Coca-Cola’s second-largest bottler; and Vitro, North America’s biggest glass producer, are among the other industrial powerhouses that have headquarters in the city.

Elsewhere, four people were killed Friday in a gangland shootout near a preschool in the western Mexican state of Nayarit, local officials said.

In a preliminary report, the state Attorney General’s Office said the deaths were the result of a gun battle between gunmen from rival criminal organizations active in that area of western Mexico.

The clash took place “at a house behind a preschool” in the town of Pantanal, near the state capital of Tepic, a spokesman for the state AG’s office said.

Local media said the preschool was empty at the time of the shootout and that traces of blood were found in several of its classrooms.

These latest clashes come amid spiraling organized crime-related violence in Mexico, including 15,273 drug-linked homicides nationwide last year.

A total of 34,612 people were killed between December 1, 2006, when President Felipe Calderon took office and began deploying tens of thousands of army soldiers and federal police to drug war hotspots, and Jan. 12 of this year, the president’s office says.

The strategy has led to the elimination of several crime bosses and record drug seizures over the past four years, including the confiscation of 23 tons of cocaine in a single operation in November 2007.

Yet the amount of seized drugs represents a small percentage of the estimated total that originates in or is smuggled through Mexico.

New Police Force to Operate in Violent City of Juarez

A new municipal police force made up of 422 certified officers will begin patrolling the northern border city of Ciudad Juarez, Mexico’s murder capital, officials said.

The announcement came after a meeting in Mexico City Friday between the governor of Chihuahua state, where Ciudad Juarez is located, Cesar Duarte; Ciudad Juarez Mayor Hector Murguia; and Mexican Government Minister Jose Francisco Blake, as well as other federal security officials.

The new police force is one of a series of measures being implemented to stem the violence in Juarez.

Mexico’s poorly paid and ill-equipped municipal police officers are frequently bought off by drug cartels or other organized-crime elements, according to federal authorities, who have proposed streamlining city police forces into 32 state police departments.

Ciudad Juarez, where more than 7,000 people have been murdered since 2008, has been plagued by drug-related violence for years and the number of homicides topped 3,100 in 2010.

The violence is blamed on a war for control of the border city being waged by the Juarez and Sinaloa cartels.

Juarez first gained notoriety in the early 1990s when young women began to disappear in the area. More than 500 women and girls have been killed here since 1993, with the majority of the cases going unsolved.

More than 34,000 people have died in drug-related violence since President Felipe Calderon militarized the struggle against Mexico’s cartels shortly after taking office in December 2006.

As part of that strategy, federal police officers and army soldiers have been deployed to Ciudad Juarez.

Saturday, January 29, 2011

Terror in Pantanal, Nayarit

Four more deaths in Mexico’s drug war were counted Friday morning after a clash between rival criminal gangs occurred between 6:30 and 8:00 AM this Friday in the town of Pantanal, located in the municipality of Xalisco, Nayarit.

After the battle had ended and authorities had arrived, the bodies of the four gunmen were located inside a heavily damaged kindergarden compound. Due to the early hour of the fighting the school was empty and there were no innocent victims.

A nearby estate was being used as a safehouse by one group of gunmen and was the apparent target of the early morning attack by a rival gang. During the hour long firefight before police authorities and the army arrived the fighting had spread to the kindergarden.

A cache of 8 rifles, 11 grenades, a grenade launcher and 87 magazines, in addition to 7 vehicles that had previously been reported stolen from the nearby city of Tepic, were recovered from the safehouse and the kindergarden.

A confrontation between gunmen and army troops was also reported when a military unit reached the scene of the fighting. According to a statement from Sedena (Mexico’s defence department) the four gunmen were killed by the military.

Terrified residents of this community close to the state capitol of Tepic closed shops, suspended classes and those who could fled to the capitol.

Source articles:
Deja tiroteo en kinder de Nayarit…..

Terror en Pantanal

"El Lobo" extradited to the U.S.

“El Lobo” Oscar Orlando Nava Valencia (seated) and other members of the Cartel del Milenio during their presentation at the Attorney General’s office in Mexico City after their capture on October, 2009.

Mexico has extradited “El Lobo” Oscar Orlando Nava Valencia, former kingpin of the “cartel de los Valencia” or Milenio cartel, to the U.S. to face charges of conspiracy and drug trafficking before the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Texas.

The transfer of custody from AFI (Federal Investrigative Agency) officials to representatives from the U.S. Marshals Service for Nava Valencia was held January 27 at the airport in Toluca, Mexico.

Nava Valencia was captured after a gun battle with Mexican Army troops on October 28, 2009 in the municipality of Tlajomulco de Zuniga, Jalisco.

“El Lobo” and his brother Juan "El Tigre" Nava Valencia were responsible for the planning and movement of cocaine shipments from South and Central America to the port of Manzanillo, Colima from where it was smuggled into the United States.

After the arrest of “El Lobo”, Juan Nava Valencia took over the leadership of the Milenio cartel until May 6, 2010 when he also was arrested during an army operation in Guadalajara.

According to Mexican law enforcement investigators, “El Lobo” was a collaborator in trafficking operations with Ignacio “Nacho” Coronel and had close links with the Sinaloa Cartel and Joaquin “el Chapo” Guzman.

The Nava Valencia brothers and Nacho Coronel had as their center of operations the states of Jalisco, Colima and Nayarit, and also had a presence in Michoacan. Investigators believe the void left after the death of Coronel and the arrests of the Valencias are the main reason for the violent dispute for control of drug trafficking in Jalisco and Nayarit.

The criminal origin of the "Valencia" or "Milenio” cartel dates from the early 1990's, when they were in control of the planting and harvesting of Marijuana and Opium in the area along the border between the states of Jalisco and Michoacan, and formed a wide drug distribution network on U.S. soil.

Source articles:
Extraditan a EU al lider de los Valencia
Capturan al lider del cartel de los Valencias

Milenio Cartel asks Governor of Jalisco to mediate conflict


The Milenio Cártel hung several narcomantas in Jalisco, during the day on Friday.

The message was directed at Emilio González Márquez, governor of that state, and repudiates recent actions against the cartel by the SSP.

It also claims that the authorities are taking money from rival criminal organizations in exchange for political and police protection. It asks the governor to mediate the issue or he "risks" bringing chaos to Jalisco.

The messages were laminated and hung near roads and bridges of busy intersections. One of them was place next to the remains of several dead animals.

A few pictures were taken before the police were able to remove them after some effort. The perpetrators had secured them with great care, so the messages were difficult to remove.

The Text.

Al señor GOBERNADOR: Si quiere que termine la violencia en Jalisco solo tiene que poner orden en la S.S.P. al mando de LUIS CARLOS NAJERA Y ALEJANDRO SOLORIO Y CARLOS ALEJANDRO CARDENAS EL CHARLY enlace de NEMECIO OCEGUERA alias el MENCHO y evite que Jalisco se convierta en otro Tamaulipas o Guerrero no arriesguen la vida de sus elementos por unos cuantos pesos que reciben directores a cambio de brindar protección a los torcidos que se hacen llamar NCJ mientras la S.S.P. nos levanta a nuestra gente para entregársela al NCJ nosotros no fomentaremos la violencia de lo contrario prepárense para que Jalisco arda en llamas al ustedes piensan que esto ya termino se equivocan apenas va a comenzar Michoacán tiene su guerra con la PFP evite que Jalisco la tenga la suya con la S.S.P. De los Traidores y de los torcidos y secuestradores nosotros nos encargamos como lo hacíamos antes hasta que los dejaron operar a estas basuras y lacras que dicen llamar Jalisco NUEVA GENERACION y que ni de Jalisco son. Usted tiene la solución en sus manos. Atte. Cártel del Milenio MFG

Mr. Governor: if you want the violence to end in Jalisco, all you have to do is tell the SSP led by LUIS CARLOS NAJERA and ALEJANDRO SOLORIO and CARLOS ALEJANDRO CARDENAS EL CHARLY envoy of NEMECIO OCEGUERA alias el MENCHO, to stop kidnapping our people and handing them over to the group who call themselves the NCJ (Nuevo Cartel de Jalisco). If you want to avoid bringing chaos to Jalisco you must end this, or you risk turning the state into another Tamaulipas or Guerrero, you are putting the lives of your officers on the line in exchange for letting your directors take bribes from the NCJ.

We are not the proponents of this violence, but prepare yourselves for Jalisco to burn in flames. You think this is over? You're wrong. Michoacan has barely started its war with the PFP, and you must avoid Jalisco having its own war with the SSP.

In regards to the traitors, the murderers, the kidnappers: we will take responsibility of wiping them out, like we did before you guys let this trash who call themselves Next Generation of Jalisco start operating in our state: They're not even from Jalisco!

The solution is in your hands.

- Atte. Cártel del Milenio MFG


Mutilated Body Left in Front of Acapulco Church

Acapulco, Guerrero - At 07:00 hrs., a mutilated body was found in front of a church in colonia las Cruces, which sits near a bridge that overlooks the busy Acapulco-México federal highway. Authorities at the scene described the victim as male, about 35 years old, thin build and kept a short hairstyle. His cranium and extremities had severe lacerations, indicating torture and he most likely died of head trauma. The killers had dismembered the body and left it laying in the street.

Police have no suspects in custody at this time.

Source for both text and pictures:

PGR Release Suspected Killers of Prosecuter's Brother

Marco Quezada, said that they are free to go, and the officers may return to their former posts within the police department.

Milenio/El Universal

The mayor of a municipality of Chihuahua, Marco Quezada, confirmed the police officers who were arrested last November in connection with the disappearance and subsequent torture and death of Mario González Rodríguez, brother of former state prosecutor, Patricia González have been released.

The mayor said that at the moment, there was not enough evidence to hold these officers on the charges of kidnapping and murder. Since the 60 days of arraignment are up, their rights must be respected and they are allowed to continue working in the department if they choose to do so.

PGR officers and Federal Police agents found the body of Mario González Rodríguez, in November of 2010, he was kidnapped on October 21rst.

The PGR admitted the weren't able to prove a connection between the municipal officers and the death of Mario González Rodríguez, who was beaten and murdered before his body was dumped in colonia Granjas del Valle, a neighborhood just north of Ciudad Chihuahua.

The officers were detained late November of 2010, Federal Police set up roadblocks through the North and South command posts and quickly arrested Gil Noé Estrada Martínez, Antonio Gerardo Ortega Legarreta, Jonathan Manjarrez Manjarrez and Víctor Javier Hernández Leyva. Federal Police later arrested alleged cell leader Héctor Daniel de Luna Chávez.

Mario González Rodríguez, brother of Patricia González, abducted October 21rst 2010.

Related Links in chronological order on BB:

Thursday, January 27, 2011

Nancy Davis Told Friends She 'Might Not Come Back Alive' From Mexico


Nancy Davis, the American missionary killed in Mexico by what police suspect were drug thugs, told friends when she last saw them over dinner this fall that she "might not come back alive" from her next visit to Mexico.

Nancy and her husband Sam Davis, both Christian missionaries, were aware of the escalating drug violence in Mexico and had been chased by gunmen on previous occasions. But they kept going back.

"Every day that passed they had personal friends, people in Mexico that they were acquainted with who were dying. It was all around them. They were constantly getting threats. Many, many times they had been chased and managed to elude danger," Jennifer Christner, a friend of the couple, said.

Christner and her husband, the pastor of the Christian Chapel Church that Nancy Davis grew up in and the couple visited each year, said that the couple discussed the dangers of living in Mexico over dinner in November of last year.

"They knew that when they left, we might not see them alive again," Christner said. "They said, 'We know when we go back in, we might not come back alive and if that's the case, know that we died doing what we were supposed to do.'"

Nancy Davis told Christner, "If I don't see you here, I'll see you in heaven."

Nancy and Sam Davis were riding along a highway 70 miles south of the border town of Reynosa, Mexico, on Wednesday when they approached an illegal roadblock. Rather than stop, they continued driving and were chased by several gunmen in a black pick-up truck, according Pharr Police Chief Ruben Villescas.

Rather than stop, Sam Davis gunned the engine of their blue 2008 Chevrolet pick-up, a vehicle popular with the dangerous Zetas drug cartel that controls the area. The pursuing gunmen fired at Davis' truck, and a bullet hit Nancy Davis in the head.

Her husband raced the 70 miles to the Pharr International Bridge, speeding the last part of the way against on-coming traffic to avoid the long lines of northbound cars at the border checkpoint, arriving at 12:25 p.m., according to police reports.

Nancy Davis was rushed to a hospital in the border city of McAllen, Texas, but she was declared dead at 1:54 p.m.

Christner said that the couple spent 90 percent of their time in Mexico.

"They lived, breathed, ate, slept Mexico," Christner said. "That was their life...they would come out long enough to get mail and take care of any business that they needed to."

The couple raised two sons in Mexico.

Their son Joseph Davis told the Associated Press that the couple knew the risks of Mexico's escalating violence and said "it would be easier" to count the number of times that they had not been targeted during trips to Mexico in recent years.

The couple's family is in shock, Christner said, and she worries about how Sam Davis will handle his wife's death.

"They came as a package together and I cannot imagine one living without the other. They're very, very in love," Christner said.

Nancy Davis, an Ohio native, married Sam Davis at Christian Chapel Church in 1972. It was a church that her father helped found. The two left shortly after being married and became missionaries in Mexico.

The two loved to sing. Nancy Davis has released several songbooks, Christner said. A YouTube video shows the couple performing at Christian Chapel Church in October of last year for the 60th anniversary of the church's founding.

Nancy Davis can be seen playing the accordion while her husband plays the guitar. As she sings, she lifts her arms in the air.

"Praise God, he's marching on he...he can still guide the darkest night," the couple sings in the video.

Police said anyone with information about the killing should call 956-787-8477

The shooting was similar to the attack on an American couple earlier this year while riding jet skis on Falcon Lake which straddles the U.S. and Mexican border.

Shooting Death Similar to Killing of David Hartley
David and Tiffany Hartley had driven their jet skis to the Mexico side of the lake on Sept. 30, 2010, but were ambushed on their way back to the American side. David Hartley was shot and fell off his jet ski and Tiffany, unable to pull him from the water, said she raced away under gunfire to save her life.

Hartley's body was never found and no one has been charged with his murder.

The area is infested with Zeta cartel members. The lead investigator on the Hartley case was later decapitated and his head was delivered to a military post near the U.S. border.

Pink bikers fight Mexican drug war by helping poor

Photo: Christian Torres / El Diario

Julian Cardona

A group of middle-class Mexican women on pink motorcycles is handing out food and medicine to the poor in one of the world's deadliest cities to both protest and allay the widespread deprivation it says is fueling the violence.

Braving drug gang turf wars in Ciudad Juarez that have killed some 6,700 people since 2008, including hundreds of women, the club that calls itself "Las Guerreras" (The Female Warriors) rides out on custom-made choppers every Sunday to dangerous neighborhoods that ring the factory city bordering El Paso, Texas.

In cramped, metal-roofed homes on unpaved streets, the 10-member group comprising teachers, off-duty police officers and businesswomen volunteer their time to help single mothers, addicts, the elderly and the jobless, many of whom have no access to welfare and feel completely abandoned.

They hand out cash, medicines, food, clothing and even birthday cakes, paid for out of their own pockets. Sometimes they just provide a sympathetic ear.

"There are people who have nothing, or almost nothing," said Lorenia Granados, a co-founder of the group set up two years ago, just after gunmen killed seven young men on a soccer field not far from the place she was volunteering on Sunday.

The women say their pink bikes aim to project a less threatening, feminine image that sets them apart from drug hitmen sometimes known to kill targets from motorcycles.

Despite playing host to 340 factories exporting to the United States and handling billions of dollars in cross-border trade every year, Ciudad Juarez has become one of Mexico's most desperate cities.

In a forlorn desert region with few schools or opportunities, poorly paid or unemployed youngsters are enticed into joining gangs to kill rivals for as little as $100 a hit.

Many social workers and drug trade experts blame years of political corruption and mismanagement for the lack of support for the poor. President Felipe Calderon, who assigned the military to fight drug gangs from December 2006, launched a major social program aimed at rebuilding Ciudad Juarez last year, but locals say progress is slow.

"No one does anything," said 60-year-old Sanjuana Flores, whose daughter, a drug addict, was shot dead in 2008, leaving behind four children that Flores now looks after. Flores, receiving a handout of meat and vegetables from the pink bikers, said she was frustrated. "I've asked for help from the town hall and from town councilors. They promise things, but they are all lies," she said.

The Warriors say so far they've not been threatened or attacked on their weekly rounds. "We're just trying to make a difference in the hope that someday peace will return," Granados said before pulling on her helmet, revving her engine and riding away.

A group of Mexican women arrive on their pink motorbikes in a low-income neighborhood in Ciudad Juarez January 23, 2011.
REUTERS/Gael Gonzalez

Mexican woman ride their pink motorbikes in Ciudad Juarez January 23, 2011.

A woman applies lipstick while riding her pink motorbike along with other women in Ciudad Juarez January 23, 2011

A group of Mexican women arrive with their pink motorbikes at a low-income neighborhood in Ciudad Juarez January 23, 2011

A group of Mexican woman who ride pink motorbikes stand around a resident of a low-income neighborhood in Ciudad Juarez January 23, 2011

Photos: Reuters Gael Gonzlaez

Is the Drug War creeping into Mexico City?

Photo: Marines on the streets this week in the Napoles district of Mexico City. Credit: El Universal

Daniel Hernandez/Mexico City

On a street corner waking up for the day Thursday in downtown Mexico City, La Plaza observed a military unit on patrol.

A green Humvee was stationed in front of a convenience store, with several armed soldiers inside. One stood behind a mounted automatic firearm. Two troops in green fatigues and combat vests and carrying long assault rifles were strolling down a street, patrolling in the way police officers normally do in this congested capital.

We don't see this often in Mexico City.

Soldiers are generally only visible when they are being transported in cargo vehicles from government buildings in the city center to large bases in the west and south. None of the large-scale operations -- or wild shootouts -- that have become common elsewhere in Mexico have occurred here, making Mexico City somewhat of a haven from the drug war that has left more than 34,000 dead.

But this week the Mexican military pursued drug-trafficking suspects in operations smack in the middle of the sprawling capital.

Marines raided a hotel and a home in the middle-class districts of Napoles and Del Valle, arresting one suspected member of the Zetas cartel. On Wednesday, army units searched homes in the Iztacalco borough (links in Spanish). Is something changing?

Two cartels are reportedly fighting over control of several tough suburban municipalities in the state of Mexico, which rings the Federal District, or D.F., on three sides. An August 2010 report by the Interior Ministry details various cartel conflicts, including that which is occurring on the fringes of the city. Local news articles here and here offer other details on the "dispute" between La Familia and the Zetas in the region (links in Spanish).

La Familia has been crippled by recent government assaults in Michoacan state, and announced it would be disbanding in a fresh "narco-message" that began circulating over the weekend. But reports from Mexico state indicate that the cartel remains active on the outskirts of the capital. The Zetas are said to operate throughout Mexico's southeast and coast on the Gulf of Mexico, but according to the government report, the group is also challenging for control in other states, including in Mexico state.

Last week, 10 people were killed in an attack in the suburb of Ciudad Nezahualcoyotl. Authorities said the killings were tied to La Familia (link in Spanish).

So far, although capos and their girlfriends or families often live in local mansions, the Mexico City metropolitan region has seen almost none of the brutal drug-related crimes that fill the headlines from other points in the country. No ambushes at house parties or nightclubs, no bodies hanging from bridges, no decapitated heads rolled into public places.

Yet the federal military operations in the city this week seem to be rattling nerves and raising eyebrows. The city's attorney general told reporters that residents should know federal and local authorities work in coordination in making "preventive plans" against crime in the capital, and should not worry (link in Spanish).

In an online forum this week, El Universal asked readers: "Federal operations in the D.F., calming or worrying?"

One reader responded: "Of course constant operations are calming, in all of the D.F. or in the state of Mexico. As long as this continues things could get better."

Another reader thought differently: "When the state kills, it teaches killing. Military operations and state violence have destabilized Mexico. It is not the manner to solve the problem of drug-trafficking, which is global and not only in our country."

Researcher Predicts 5000 will die in Juarez in 2011

Photo: A funeral procession for some of the victims of a January 2010 attack that left 15 young people dead in Ciudad Juarez. Credit: Jesus Alcazar / European Pressphoto Agency

Daniel Hernandez, Mexico City
LA Times Blogs

An artificial-intelligence model generated by a university researcher in Ciudad Juarez, Mexico, projects that 5,000 people will be killed in the violent border city this year. The same model projected at the start of 2010 that 3,000 would be killed in the greater Juarez area, a figure that eventually reached 3,111 -- about a 94% accuracy rate.

It may seem far-fetched to make such long-term projections on a fluid criminal conflict such as the drug war in Juarez. Researcher Alberto Ochoa, in an interview with La Plaza on Monday, said his model is based on methods that mimic biology-based, or "bioinspired," patterns. Barring a "radical change" in Ciudad Juarez -- where the Juarez and Sinaloa cartels are battling over the drug-trafficking route across the U.S. border into El Paso, Texas -- his projection foresees a figure of roughly 5,000 dead.

"This technique is nothing new," Ochoa said from the Autonomous University of Ciudad Juarez, where he is a researcher at the Center for Social Investigations. "It's not the most accurate model but it is based heavily on reality."

"It's not Excel," the researcher added, referring to the commonly used software program. "The model has to be fed, values have to be adjusted. It's complicated."

By differing measures, Juarez ranks as the most violent city in Mexico, most violent in the Western Hemisphere, or even the most violent in the world, the local newspaper El Diario reported earlier this month (link in Spanish). Juarez, with a current population of 1.3 million, has lost more than 230,000 residents in an "exodus" from the daily barrage of drug-related killings, kidnappings and extortion operations.

"And no one does nothing," Ochoa said. "It's going to get worse."

The 3,111 figure of deaths in Juarez in 2010 is used among local news outlets, citing figures from the Juarez morgue, and includes homicides in the greater Juarez area. Within Juarez city limits, the federal government's recently released homicide database says 2,738 people died there in 2010.

On Sunday in Juarez, gunmen opened fire on a group of young people playing soccer at a new government-built field, killing seven, authorities said (links in Spanish).

Another child 'Sicario' arrested in Morelos

Two suspected associates of the “boy hit man” captured last month as he was preparing to leave the country were arrested Thursday in the central state of Morelos, Mexican official sources told Efe.

Giovanni Molina Ortiz, 18, and 15-year-old Erick Gomez are accused of working for the South Pacific drug cartel.

Molina and Gomez were apprehended in Jiutepec, Morelos, by army troops and agents from the federal Attorney General’s Office, one source said.

According to Gomez's statement he was forced into killing by José de Jesús Radilla, "El Negro", leader of the CPS hitmen in Moreles, who kidnapped his sister and threatened to kill her if he did not join them.

On the other hand, Geovanni Molina, 18 years old and resident of Jiutepec, stated he worked as a halcon, or lookout, and was paid to alert the cartel of military operations.

"They paid me $1000 pesos a week, but I got out about a month ago, because we didn't have anymore people, I was working for El Negro and after they picked up all of his crew, I left, there wasn't anyone left, we didn't have anymore people", said Molina Ortiz in a statement to the press.

“Boy hit man” Edgar Jimenez Lugo, 14, is said to have carried out executions on behalf of the same criminal outfit.

Jimenez Lugo, alias “El Ponchis”, was arrested early last month with two of his sisters at the airport in Xochitepec, Morelos.

The three were planning to travel to the northern city of Tijuana and from there to neighboring San Diego, California, where they have family.

The search for El Ponchis began in October after soldiers arrested six suspected members of the South Pacific cartel. One of the suspects told authorities that the most brutal assassin in the group was Jimenez Lugo, released earlier by the troops because he was a minor.

After his arrest, Jimenez Lugo reportedly confessed to beheading four victims, but insisted the cartel forced him to carry out the murders.

Morelos, which is close to Mexico City, has been caught up in a turf war between rival drug cartels and the state capital, Cuernavaca, was the scene of a dramatic December 2010 battle that ended with the death of kingpin Arturo Beltran Leyva.

More than 34,000 people have died in drug-related violence since President Felipe Calderon militarized the struggle against Mexico’s cartels shortly after taking office in December 2006.

Many victims of the gangland violence have been found decapitated and hung from bridges, as the drug mobs seek more and more grisly ways to intimidate their rivals.


2 Police Officers Dismembered in NL

Milenio / El Norte

This is the same area that the video of the dead Zetas was filmed by CDG member, Metro32 only a few days ago, which appeared yesterday online.


Montemorelos, NL.- The bodies of 3 people were found this morning in the citrícola zone of Nuevo León.The victims had visible signs of torture and were dismembered.

Authorities began receiving calls around 5:00 a.m. from concerned citizens in the community of El Llano. There had been murder victims dumped by kilometer marker 12 on a local highway that stretches between the municipalities of Montemorelos and General Terán.

Federal and Ministerial Police, along with members of the Mexican Army joined the Municipal Police from General Terán, who were the first to arrive on the scene.

At least two of the dead men are thought to be police officers from General Terán, they had been missing and were presumed to have been kidnapped since this past Monday. One of the men was wearing a shirt with the emblem of that towns local police. The name on the badge read "Cabo José Ramón Rodríguez".

The body parts were put into plastic bags and left in front of a car alarm business.

The narco emssage left on the ground and was held in place by the head of one of the murder victims.

According to witnesses the letter was bloodstained and read: "Esto les va a pasar a todos los que se metan".

"This will happen to all those who to start shit with us."

Authorities have not revealed whether the note was signed by a particular criminal group.

Police Officers Kidnapped.

On January 24th two municipal police officers from General Terán were abducted by an armed group of men from the Transit Police Station. The officers were drawn to the scene of a automobile "accident" that occurred in front of their office building when they were quickly surrounded by assailants who wasted no time hustling the pair into the back of a waiting truck. Witnesses say the group was last seen headed in the direction of the China municipality.

The testimony also reveals that the same group of armed men returned that same day, at 1:30 in the afternoon and robbed a gasoline station on Plutarco Elías blvd, only block away from where the police station they had just assaulted.

The names of the missing officers were Bernardino Rodríguez Franco and David Serna Navarro, the third man has yet to be identified.


Wednesday, January 26, 2011

La Familia Michoacana: Mexico says cartel 'in retreat'


The Mexican government will continue to pursue La Familia drug gang which has been weakened since its leader was killed last month, a top official says.

Security spokesman Alejandro Poire said there would be no truce with the cartel, which he said was "in retreat".

His comments came as mysterious banners appeared in several cities, announcing that the gang was disbanding.

La Familia has a reputation for extreme violence but also claims to be defending family and religious values.

Banners purportedly signed by La Familia Michoacana were hung from bridges on 25 January, announcing that the gang was dissolving itself.

The signs appeared mainly in Michoacan, La Familia's stronghold, but a few were reported to have been seen in Guerrero, security consulting firm Stratfor said.

It was unclear who was behind the banners nor what the motive was. Local legislators said it could be a ploy to divert the focus of the security forces, the Associated Press news agency reported.

Mr Poire did not comment on the signs at a news conference in Mexico City, but he said La Familia had been weakened over the past two years, especially since its leader, Nazario Moreno, was killed in a gun battle with police in December.

La Familia has seen several of its key leaders arrested or killed recently.

As well as facing an offensive by the federal police in Michoacan, La Familia has also seen another drug-trafficking organisation - known as the South Pacific Cartel - move onto its turf in southern parts of the state, according to Stratfor.

La Familia is involved in cocaine smuggling to the US along Mexico's Pacific coast as well as the production of the synthetic drug methamphetamine.

The gang, which is also involved in extortion and kidnapping, often tries to present a populist view of itself as the defender of Michoacan society from attacks by rival gangs and government forces.

In 2006, La Familia came to prominence when suspected members threw five severed heads into a disco. A letter accompanying the heads declared: "Only those who deserve to die will die."

In December that year, President Felipe Calderon, who is from Michoacan, deployed troops to the state to take on the gang, later extending his drug fight to other parts of Mexico.

Since then, more than 34,000 people have been killed in drug-related violence.

600 kilos of Cocaine found in Sonora

MÉXICO DF January 25 2011 (AFN Tijuana).

* 48 kilos of crystal meth also found
* One person detained

The Mexican Army delivered an important blow to narcotraffickers when they found a large shipment of cocaine in Sonora, about half a ton in all. Estimated street value is 126,285,000 million pesos.

According to SEDENA, the arrest was made by members of the 45/a. Zona Militar, a contingent of soldiers that control the “Cucapáh” area locate near kilómetro 176.5 on federal highway NO. 2, in the town of Sonoyta- San Luís Río Colorado, Sonora.

The latest details released gave the official weight of the 580 packages at 621 kilograms .

When the arrest was made on January 24th, the army also found 77 packages of crystal meth that weighed 48 kilos 350 grams.

The drugs were found in possession of an individual who has not been identified. The large shipment of drugs was found in the back of a tractor-trailer and was packed to the brim.

Smugglers catapult pot over border fence

YouTube: Anglosearch


In a brazen attempt reminiscent of a medieval siege, Mexican smugglers tried to use a hefty catapult to hurl drugs north over the U.S. Border, authorities said on Wednesday.

The Mexican military seized 45 pounds of marijuana, a sports utility vehicle and a metal-framed catapult just south of the Arizona border near the small town of Naco last Friday, following a tip-off from the U.S. Border Patrol.

Surveillance video taken by National Guard troops deployed to support the Border Patrol caught a group of men apparently attempting to pull down a metal beam and load or test the catapult, which was powered by powerful elastic and mounted on a trailer close to the metal border fence.

"It looks like a medieval catapult that was used back in the day," Tucson sector Border Patrol spokesman David Jimarez told Reuters.

Arizona straddles a furiously trafficked corridor for human and drug smugglers from Mexico.

The U.S. Border Patrol seize hundreds of tons of marijuana and other drugs each year, smuggled over or under the line using a variety of means, including trucks, clandestine tunnels, horseback and even micro-light aircraft -- although the catapult was new, Jimarez said.

"I have not seen anything like that in my time before as a Border Patrol agent ... although we are trained to handle any kind of a threat that comes over that border," he added.

The Bodyguard of the Mayor of Juarez is Killed By Feds

Ciudad Juarez Mayor Hector Murguia Lardizabal categorized the murder of one of his bodyguards by elements of the Federal Police as undeniably intentional. This was in response to an incident that happened a few yards from a police barracks of the federal police.

At a press conference the mayor provided details of how federal police agents killed one of his bodyguards while providing security outside the house of the friend, father Hesiquio Trevizo.

The mayor, who is supposed to be the highest ranking governmental authority in Ciudad Juarez, said that Jorge Humberto Muñoz, a municipal police officer assigned as his personal security escort, was outside the priest's house in company of another body guard when two members of the federal police began to yell at them in a loud voice and scream insults at them while demanding for them to identify themselves.

Following this confrontation the two guards lowered their weapons, and told the federal officers that they were the mayor's bodyguards, but one the Federal Police officers discharged his weapon at point blank at the face of Agent Muñoz, who fell mortally wounded.

The second body guard immediately dropped to the ground with his arms to the side, shouting that they were officers with the Municipal Police, and pleases not to fire. After the murder of the body guard the feds fled the scene.

Mayor Héctor Teto Murguía displays to the media one of two spent casing that was allegedly fired by a federal police officer to the face of one of his bodyguards, who was instantly killed at the scene. The shell casing was inside a small plastic bag and the Mayor said it was picked up by one of his bodyguards.

Immediately following the incident the security detail evacuated the mayor from the house of father Trevizo, and took refuge at the headquarters of the Federal Police, located in the downtown area, at the Imperial Hotel. There they requested to talk to the commander on duty, but instead of tending to their request, the federal police officers turned their weapons on the Mayor's escorts, who in turned pointed their weapons at the federal police.

"If I had not intervened and ordered my men to lay down their weapons and demanded of the federal police to respect the municipal authority, we would be talking about a much more serious situation, and in fact, I would not be standing here talking to you all," said Mayor Hector Murguia .

After telling the media the facts of the incident, the mayor categorized the whole incident as extremely arrogant on the part of the federal police. He went on to say that the event was about abuse of power and was a totally a cold blooded murder.

He was Hopeful that the head of the legal judicial in Juárez would move to arrest the murderer and that the federal government turns him over to the Attorney General so he could be held behind bars.

American woman dies after being shot near San Fernando, Tamaulipas

by Katie Lopez
Valley 4 News

Authorities are investigating the death of an American woman who was allegedly shot near San Fernando and came across the Pharr International Bridge seeking help.

Investigators told Action 4 News that 59-year-old Nancy Shuman Davis is dead following an incident that around 11:30 a.m. Wednesday.

U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) officials confirm that a woman came to the United States seeking medical attention.

Pharr Police Chief Ruben Villescas told Action 4 News that his agency is investigating the case.

Villescas told Action 4 News that a woman later identified as Davis was rushed to the McAllen Mediical Center where she passed away.

Davis' husband told investigators that they were traveling on a highway outside San Fernando when they were confronted by a group of armed men.

He told police that he sped off and that the gunmen opened fire wounding his wife in the head.

The man said he sped back to the United States where he asked for help at the bridge.

A tweet posted by the Beavertown God's Missionary Church in Beavertown, Pa., said Davis "has gone to heaven as a martyr."

"Missionary Nancy Davis has gone to Heaven as a martyr," the online post states. "This afternoon, after 38 years of missionary service she paid the ultimate sacrifice."

Statement from Pharr Police Department:

On Wednesday January 26, 2011 at 12:25 p.m. a Pharr Police Officer assigned to the Pharr International Bridge observed a 2008 blue Chevrolet pick-up truck on the international bridge travelling northbound against traffic towards the U.S. Customs primary checkpoint.

Pharr Officers and U.S. Customs Agents approached the vehicle which had stopped due to traffic and contacted the male driver who had already stepped out of his vehicle asking for help. The male driver quickly directed officers to his spouse who was in the front passenger seat suffering from a gunshot wound to the head. An ambulance was immediately summoned and the victim, Nancy Shuman Davis 59 year old of Monte Alto, Texas, was rushed to a hospital in nearby Mcallen, Texas in critical conditions. At 1:54 p.m., the victim was pronounced dead at the hospital and a Justice of the Peace conducted an inquest.

The preliminary investigation indicates that the victim and her spouse were travelling on a Mexican highway about 60-70 miles south of Reynosa, Tamaulipas when confronted by gunmen occupying a black pick-up truck. The gunmen were attempting to stop them and the victims accelerated in efforts of getting away from them. At a certain point the gunmen discharged a weapon at the victim’s vehicle and a bullet struck the victim Nancy Shuman Davis on the head.

The spouse drove at high rate of speed not allowing to be stopped by the gunmen until reaching the Pharr International Bridge and getting the help.

The victim and her spouse are missionaries and travel extensively into Mexico. We will be interviewing the spouse to learn more facts to include the nature of their visit in Mexico.

The Pharr Police Department has been in contact with Mexican authorities who have confirmed that they are investigating the shooting and indicate that it occurred near the outskirts of the City of San Fernando approximately 70 miles south of Reynosa, Tamualipas. We are being assisted in the case by the Texas Department of Public Safety, Immigration and Customs Enforcement (I.C.E.), F.B.I.-Mcallen Office, and U.S. Customs and Border Protection. We will be working with Mexican Authorities in the investigation providing any assistance they might require.

We are asking anyone with information on this Murder to contact Pharr Crimestoppers at 787-8477 or 800-648-8477. Mexican citizens with information can contact Crimestoppers at the same toll free # 800-648-8477 or they may also call collect 24 hours a day at 956-787-8477 .

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

News from Morelos: CPS still active, Los Pelones stealing cars

Cuernavaca, Morelos.- A man was found executed on Sunday, his body was wrapped in a sofacover and left on the side of the road on Paraíso Montessori, in colonia Paraíso de Cuernavaca. the killers signed the message as "El CPS" and "El Cone D Chihuahua".

Late in the evening, neighbors called police to report that bodies had just been dropped off on a corner with notes attached.

"Aquí esta César Flores así van a terminar todos aquellos rateros secuestradores extorsionadores y chivas ya los tenemos ubicados bamos por ustedes. Atte CPS El Cone de Chihuahua"
"Here is Cesar Flores, This will be the fate of all snitches, kidnappers, extortionists. We know who you all are, and we are coming for you."

Six Members of Los Pelones Arrested

El Universal - The Attorney General for the state of Morelos(PGJE) revealed that 6 members of Los Pelones had been arrested on federal charges.

The arrests came after an investigation into drug dealing and stolen vehicles led authorities to the cell that was operating in the Oriente region of Cuernavaca.

A few days ago at the Ixtla bridge, Armando Morales Molina and Marco Antonio Plasencia, El Bola, were the first of the los Pelones members detained around 10:30 one evening. In their possession was a Uzi and a Volkswagen Bora, reported stolen in the state of México.

A day later in Alpuyeca Jojutla, Erwin Sámano Millán and Jorge Manuel Domínguez Guerrero, were arrested as they traveled in a Ford Escape, also stolen. These two suspects had a pair of AK-47 and R15's, and several packages of marijuana.

Later in the afternoon, a third stolen vehicle was found. A Chevy Blazer pick-up truck contained a cache of large caliber weapons, a bulletproof vest, and several rounds of ammunition.

This led investigator to a red Dodge Ram, owned by Jaime Alonso Millán, who was accompanied by his wife Roberta Arteaga Antonio at the time of his arrest. Both of them were found to be in possession of an M1 carbine, nine ammo clips, and several bags of marijuana.

Finally, two more trucks were found abandoned. One Dodge Ram and a Dakota pick-up, both form Morelos, both reported stolen.

The last two vehicles has 77 ammo clips .223, two caches of large caliber weapons, one 9mm handgun and several rounds.

Video of Zetas killed by CDG

This video just surfaces that shows a pile of dismembered bodies, victims of the gulf cartel.

A few days ago, these bodies were found
in Plaza Morelos, a municipality of Montemorelos, Nuevo León.

Among the mutilated victims is a woman. All have signs of torture, some tied with ropes and belts, others with heavy duty chains.

The message contains references that suggest these people were Zetas.

"Sigue mandando Gente como esta pinche Mamito de Mierda Sigues tu Nico Guerra Luna
ATTE: CDG Metro 32"

"Keep sending your people, like this punk bitch. You're next Nico Guerra Luna - CDG Metro 32"

Graphic Video: Discretion advised

Mexican Mayor Vows to Continue Her Work Despite Attacks


The mayor of Tiquicheo, a city in the Mexican state of Michoacan, used the one-year anniversary of the latest of three attacks on her to show the public her wounds and vow to continue doing her job.

Maria Santos Gorrostieta showed photographs of the gunshot wounds she sustained to her torso and back during a press conference on Monday.

“I wanted to show you my wounded, mutilated, humiliated body because I am not ashamed of it, because it is the result of the misfortunes that have marked my life ... it is the living testimony that I am a whole and strong woman, who, despite my physical and mental wounds, continues standing,” Gorrostieta said.

Gorrostieta’s husband, Jose Sanchez, died in the second attack staged against her in Tiquicheo, which has been plagued by drug-related violence blamed on the bloody La Familia Michoacana cartel and other gangs.

Gorrostieta, who has three children, said she would continue to serve as mayor of Tiquicheo because she had a responsibility “to the children, the women, the elderly and the men who break their souls every day without rest to provide a piece of bread for their children.”

“The internal strength that has moved me to get up moribund, has served to show and make obvious the great commitment I have to my ideas,” Gorrostieta wrote in the latest issue of the city’s Contacto Ciudadano magazine.

The magazine published three photographs of the mayor’s scarred body, with her colostomy bag clearly visible.

“Many people have wrongly doubted the severity of my wounds, but today the proof is in your hands, my mutilated body speaks for itself,” the mayor said.

A total of 17 mayors have been killed in Mexico in the past year, and three have been murdered this month.

Earlier this month, a brief statement purporting to be from La Familia Michoacana said the criminal organization was declaring a one-month truce.

The gang said in the statement released Jan. 2 that it “decided to continue with the withdrawal and not have any activities for one more month.”

The goal is to show Mexican officials “and, especially, the people of Michoacan, that La Familia is not to blame for all the crimes that the authorities and the federal government make public in the media,” the one-page statement said.

This is not the first time that La Familia, considered the largest trafficker of synthetic drugs in Mexico, has announced a cease-fire.

The cartel said in a statement released Nov. 11 that it would withdraw and disband if officials and the security forces took control of the western state of Michoacan “firmly and decisively.”

The cartel’s reputed leader, Nazario Moreno Gonzalez, was killed on Dec. 8.

La Familia Michoacana, infamous for decapitating and dismembering enemies, as well as for mounting attacks on the security forces, broke with former allies Los Zetas, considered Mexico’s most violent drug cartel, in 2005 and began operating independently, especially in Michoacan.

La Familia has carried out a number of killings, including those of 12 Federal Police officers in 2009.

Michoacan, considered the cartel’s main base, is one of the states where the federal government has deployed police and army troops to fight criminal organizations.

The federal operation has resulted in the arrests and killings of several La Familia leaders.

YouTube: cuasartv

YouTube: eliteclados

YouTube: Grillonautas

Zeta Leader and 7 Gunmen Die in Shootout with Army in Nuevo Leon


Eight suspected gunmen died in a running shootout with army troops in several cities in the northern Mexican state of Nuevo Leon, a state security official said.

Members of a drug cartel stole vehicles and blocked 11 avenues in Apodaca, Escobedo, San Nicolas and Guadalupe, all cities located in the Monterrey metropolitan area, state security spokesman Jorge Domene said.

The shootout started Monday in the rural city of Garcia and continued through the other three cities, Domene said.

Two gunmen died in Garcia, two in Cadereyta, three in Escobedo and one in the rural city of General Teran, the state security spokesman said.

“The death or arrest of a suspected leader (of a criminal organization) is suspected because of the magnitude of the incident,” Domene said.

A report issued late Monday by the Defense Secretariat said only seven gunmen died in the shootout.

Among those killed was a man identified only as “Comandante Lino,” considered the top Zeta cartel boss in Nuevo Leon and the individual running the war against the rival Gulf cartel in the area, the secretariat said.

The army, marine corps and Federal Police have established checkpoints on the main avenues in the Monterrey metro area, Domene said.

The army will set up at least 15 checkpoints daily in Monterrey, the capital of Nuevo Leon, focusing on enforcing federal laws, Domene said.

The army checkpoints will be permanent and in addition to the 28 already established by state police to prevent auto robberies, Domene said.

Youtube: Ejército abate a "El Comandante Lino" líder de zetas en NL
Source: Grillonautas

The Nuevo Leon leader of the Zetas, El Comandante Lino, was killed was Monday during a confrontation with the Mexican Army near the city limits of El Carmen and Escobedo, Nuevo Leon.

sources: Efe, Twitter, Grupo Reforma, YouTube, Milenio