Reporting on the Mexican Cartel Drug War

Acapulco update

Monday, August 29, 2011 |

Extortion of teachers causes the closure of 140 elementary and middle schools in Acapulco

Below is a copy of a letter sent to an administrator in the Acapulco public education system.

Greetings Professor (name redacted), we know you are the paymaster for the teachers in area (redacted)

Pay careful attention.

You have 15 days to give us a list of the following teachers:

1. Whoever earns more than $8,000.00 (8 thousand pesos) biweekly.
(underline in black whoever earns between 20 and 50 thousand pesos monthly)

2. Those who live from La Cima to KM 30 and Cayaco.

3. Names, addresses and telephone numbers (not cell phone numbers)

4. Legible copies of voter registration cards (on the reverse the names and addresses of schools where they work)

5. A copy of the payroll (of all area 32)

Note the name and school where they work of any person who refuses to divulge any information. Show them this warning.

Advise them that after October 1 they must pay a “tax” of 50 percent of their salary and annual bonus. Whoever refuses has the opportunity to leave, if not you all know we are not fucking around.

You and your supervisor are exempt from this tax as long as you continue cooperating with us.

The teacher who lives close to the jail named Cermeno or Cerdeno is also exempt because he has already cooperated.

If you have problematic teachers underline them in red and advise the principals that we are aware of the high cost to the heads of families and that they will receive a special visit.

We will be in contact

More than 600 teachers have closed their classrooms this week in 140 Acapulco elementary and middle schools in the face of extortion threats delivered through pamphlets by members of organized crime that are charging a “derecho de piso”, or tax, of 50 percent of salaries and bonuses.

This was confirmed by the Assistant Coordinator of Basic Education with the Guerrero Department of Education for the Acapulco-Coyuca de Benitez region, Julio Cesar Bernal Resendiz, who has met with SNTE (teacher’s union) officials discuss the threats.

"There is talk of some threats in some areas, especially the 4th sector, including the colonias (neighborhoods) of Ciudad Renacimiento, Emiliano Zapata, Vacacional, Arroyo Seco and other colonias in the outskirts of the city.”

Bernal Resendiz admitted "there are cases of teachers who have been extorted and kidnapped and have filed complaints, but they're scared, do not want people to know and are afraid."

Two elementary school teachers in the 32nd zone spoke of what has happened since last Thursday.

"I am a professor in Acapulco, we are afraid about what is going on, we have received written messages that say they will take 50 percent of our wages and we are afraid." said one of the teachers.

“We agreed to stop classes since Wednesday until the authorities can resolve this."

“Several teachers have been kidnapped, or extorted and most do not want to talk, but we're tired of so much violence. I have fear there may be retaliation.”

A middle school teacher in Ciudad Renaciminto added, "It's very difficult to explain this, but the reasons why many coworkers are failing to go to their classrooms is because we are living this firsthand. We therefore call on the authorities to help us. Because we are being harassed, threatened, kidnapped.”

According to people with knowledge of Acapulco's underground both La Barredora and CIDA extort the working population. It is believed that the attempt to extort teachers is the work of the infamous Comando del Diablo, led by Jose Francisco Sosa Vasquez "El Capi Sosa" and Los Calentanos, led by Cleotilde Toribio "El Tilde". Both of these groups operate for La Barredora.

(A teacher and SNTE union official from the state of San Luis Potosi who had commented previously about a similar situation in Ciudad Juarez had stated that mass extortion attempts against teachers are fairly common but are normally ignored without any further problems. He stated, however, that in areas of extreme insecurity [like Acapulco and Juarez] these threats are much more credible, and the danger of retaliation may be real.

He added, “Extortion attempts are an everyday occurrence now, a feature of everyday life. Nobody answers the telephone if the number on caller ID is not recognized. You no longer give your name to strangers you meet. No phone numbers or addresses to casual acquaintances or even distant relatives. Never respond to street surveys or polls. Even bank employees can’t be trusted.”

“You only trust close relatives and very close friends. The ‘amistad’ that was a way of live here in Mexico is becoming extinct.”

Predictably it is not only the teachers who are living in fear but also the parents of Acapulco schoolchildren.

“We fear what could happen to our children,” mentions a mother of an 8 and 10 year old attending an elementary school in the Vicente Guerrero housing district.

“No one is safe now, they kidnap rich and poor kids” says the mother, a housewife, who walks her children to school and back home even though she lives two blocks away.

After a summer with dozens of executions and gun battles parents now wait outside of the schools until the children enter their classrooms and crowd the school before classes end for the day.

“If anything happens or if you are let out early, call me,” says a mother to her 9 year old daughter attending a private school on the Avenida Farallon, a thoroughfare that has seen its share of decapitated and dismembered bodies. She explains that she bought her daughter a cellphone to keep in communication, “A cellphone is no longer a luxury, its a necessity to stay aware.”

The mother stated that 3 weeks earlier armed men had forcibly entered the school and abducted a 16 year old student who was later found murdered in the community of La Sabana.

“A line has been crossed,” she said.

(Guerrero is one of the states with the highest levels of poverty in Mexico. Cellphones are unaffordable for most children.

A mother from Monterrey was interviewed last year in San Antonio, Texas, where a large community of wealthy expatriate Mexicans with the means to obtain the correct residence visas live in the upscale Stone Oak section of the city.

When asked to describe the greatest difference between life in Monterrey and Texas, she answered that she simply could not comprehend that her children could walk home from the private school they were attending in safety. In Mexico her children needed bodyguards to ensure their survival.


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43 Borderland Beat Comments:

Anonymous said...

How about just shutting down the schools and let the the whole country become a narco state.
Really extorting the only ones that can save the children,yes a line has been crossed, apocalyptic move end of days...... Caldreron needs help now.

Anonymous said...

Thugs really are working for fucking Mexico up from roots to top.

J said...

I couldn't have more contempt or think less of these criminal groups of Acapulco. Extortion and teinditas this is what it has come to. La Barbie was shipping 2 tons of coke a month into Acapulco and up to the US, I bet these guys are hardly scraping a few kilograms, for local sales.

And that is only one aspect, how devastating for a community, for a group of people, I don't even know to respond anymore. What can be done? I wish everyone affected could just move to the US, or somewhere it's safe. People shouldn't have to live like this.

Anonymous said...

How sad...almost makes me want to cry reading how fucked up life is over there now. Horrible to see that children are being victimized like this. Calderon and every politician with whack need to step up and clean this up. Bring in mercenaries, whatever it takes to bring life back to normal.

Anonymous said...


Anonymous said...

This is not just happening in Acapulco, but all over the country. For a country that already struggles with education this is going to be the final nail in the coffin of trying to improve things. Everyone that has any kind of power is on the take or being killed because they aren't on the take. This is all because of US demand for drugs. Stop the demand!

Anonymous said...

50%? Fuck, that's greedy. This could well backfire (although by the sounds of it, they're all pretty desperate in Acapulco already)

"L"B said...

yeap ..shows how more education and better jobs will end crime in Mexico...along with a truce ...should take care of the problem

Anonymous said...

Thats messed up.Time to step it up and get all these sorry pieces of crap.Pisses me off bigtime.

Anonymous said...

I can't wait for some left wing intellectual to blame EXTORTION on the US. This is insane , school teachers robbed?? I have heard of the Catholic churches paying protection, we all saw what happened to the Casinos last week. The utter lack of law and order in Mexico still gets my attention,when you think you have seen it all these CRIMINAL GANGS come up with a new way to steal,kidnapp,rob etc NOTHING IN MEXICO IS SAFE,not elected officials,judges,police,PEMEX,Silver Mines,hunters,tourists,farmers,ranchers?? WILL THERE EVER BE A FUNCTIONING,TRUSTWORTHY govt. in Mexico??

Anonymous said...

See. Even if the US stops using drugs over night, Mexico is still screwed. Fox is an idiot to think this problem is anyone else's fault than every president and corrupt official Mexico has ever had. You reap what you sew. Mexico has a mentality of the quick dollar, and no plan for the future. This cancer could be gotten rid of, but everyone would have to give up the names of everyone they knew who was involved, and arm the people. Mexico has no future.

Anonymous said...

this is what happens when you take out the bosses, who are the ones that know how to make drug money, and some low level thug takes control of the org. These guys are too stupid to deal drugs so now they get involve in riskier but easier behavior. The Mexican Army should take a "no surrender" policy and shoot these roaches on sight.

Anonymous said...

If the government can not protect it's citizens, let the citizens protect themselves by allowing them to buy semi automatic weapons and form vigilante groups.

Anonymous said...

This is all because of the US demand for drugs???? ARe you serious??? This has NOTHING to do with drugs...This has everything to do with lack of security and total break down in social morals and ethics. IN fact, if not for the US consumption of drugs, there would be even more criminals doing this......Stop blaming the USA and take responsibility for the mess Mexico is in. The US can not be blamed for low live gang members threatening and kidnapping and brutally torturing people.

Anonymous said...

In response to the comment, "I wish everyone affected could just move to the US, or somewhere it's safe. People shouldn't have to live like this."

The problem is that when large groups of people migrate and have no intention of assimilating, as we see in many ethic groups coming to the US and Europe, the problems follow them. The culture of corruption, crime, and failure will follow. I love Mexico and its people, but unless they come here to become Americans, the violence and crime is going to come with them eventually.

Anonymous said...

I love this line:

“We agreed to stop classes since Wednesday until the authorities can resolve this."

I would expect North Americans to have a skewed and delusional view of what's going down in Mexico right now, but not from the Mexican citizens on the ground.

This individual has the same expectations sickness as all other Mexicans. They believe that the government leaders and "authorities" are going to resolve this issue and on top of that, resolve it in their favor.

Sure. No problem. They've had the will and ability for decades to eradicate the organized crime, corruption of elected and appointed officials, bribery and extortion with a flick of the switch. Mexico has been waiting for teachers to be extorted before they exercised it.

What a pathetic state of affairs! And Mexican children once again are forced to pay the price for the lack of cajones of the overgrown children running the country.

Anonymous said...

I say Mexico needs a TEXAS style Death Row Death Penalty enacted immediately, to hell with the Catholic Church. There's no other solution... they've gone too far

Anonymous said... up professors or else your going to get picked up and we will leave your lifeless body somewhere down the road for the dogs to eat...

Anonymous said...

Look on the brigh side, people are starting to report these abuses, something unheard of just 2 years ago. Quit with the good Conservative, Bad Liberal crap, This is bigger than your stupid politics. Mexico is taking on the cartels with its own Mexican Red Blood, all i hear from the U.S. Side are ignorant couch commando comments. you are very much free to voice your oppinions but they really are as ignorant as ever. Fact is you offer no solutions other than the Usual Nuke them, Invade them etc.
this shows the outmost ignorance on your part.

A Mexican from Saltillo.

ajulio said...

Teachers are some of the nicest people on the planet. Then these narcos have the balls to mess with the elementary schools. What kind of pieces of shit do this? How are these teachers gonna support their families? What is Calderon gonna do about this? Now some of these kids are gonna roam around the streets looking for trouble and could join the cartels.

I feared that something like this would happen.

Anonymous said...


You guys realize that if guns where legal in Mexico people could organize armed groups that resist extortionist and all the other cartel activities that affect the population. United we stand divided we fall. A motherfuker would think twice about extorting someone who is capable of retaliating.

It is sickening that Mexico outlaws weapons. How the fuc does the population protect them selves when the people who swore to serve and protect(police, government, military) are corrupt as possible? Felipe Calderon and who ever he takes orders from do not care about the onnocent people in Mexico and their safety. If they did then all of THIS would not be happening. You guys need to wake the fuc up and realize that all the problems we face as a society are purposely created to bring us down and divide us.

Anonymous said...

The thugs doing this aren't narcos. These are criminal cells who live off extortion, kidnappings and robbery. They might dabble in local petty drug sales of coke and weed but they are not true narcos by any means. They will be eradicated and wait for a actual Narco front to take credit for the extermination. It should never come down to extorting schools and teachers. That has to be the lowest of the low for any criminal fraction in Mexico. But the way things have gone way sour for 4 plus years nothing surprises anyone anymore in Mexico. The plaza in Acapulco seems to be in no ones real hands and everyone is grasping for it. Another shameful act in the crime wave in Mexico right now.

Anonymous said...

Acapulco is in a horrible situation. This is news, big news. Yet I hear nothing about it on US news outlets. Why is that? We hear about the Middle East, the killings in Norway etc.,but very little about Mexico. These "thugs" are terrorist, taking money from teachers, burning up people in Casinos, cutting up bodies etc. And they live right next door to us. Am I missing all this on the news? Anybody know what is going on?

Anonymous said...

Not for nothing, but my own US government extorts close to 50% from my earnings :-)

I agree with the poster who said it's progress that it's even being reported and as someone who follows the news in Acapulco, the police have been taking down a lot of bad guys. I don't know how they can fix this, but IMO, the cartels/gangsters/theives are digging their own grave....The public is piss'd
I even saw a on another blog where citizens in Monterrey were cheering on Federal Police convoys rolling into their city......that's a HUGE step forward. Calderon is trying...and has balls...I'll give him that....I hope they make Mexico a better place.

Anonymous said...

Hire Blackwater, now Xe, have some pose as teachers, get kidnapped, have the rest of Xe show up and wipe out the gang. Stop screwing around with these terrorists and assassinate them.

Anonymous said...

Infuriating! Mexico hasn't got the solutions any more than "American couch commandos" but at least we're upset at the injustice. You can be sure if these were our teachers something would be happening!

"L"B said...

go door to door house to house ..get out of the trucks...walk the streets 24 7 365..barrio by barrio..take and hold ..check id's rewards.. seek information..take it to the criminals ...become a larger presence than the criminals ...become more respected than the criminals are feared ...get to know the people you are there to is your is your people ...act like it..


.be sneaky ...set traps and ambushes...checkpoints ...roving surprise raids ..


if it is war act like it and don't hold back...

or cut a truce and forget it

Anonymous said...

death sentence does not work to much corruption for it to work, we need automatic weapons legalized. you got drug addics running armies. we're under attack from the crackhead gay zombies with ak,s

Anonymous said...

800 pesos 2 times a month. That is $1200 US a month and they want half of it. This has been going on in Juarez for several years now. No one cares if it happens in Juarez though and that really pisses me off. But now that it is happening in beautiful Acapulco, it is such a crime.

Lets keep turning a blind eye to El Chapo and putting the heat on the other cartels forcing them to do crime they normally do not do.

They have done everything they can to help him in Juarez and the people there have been dealing with this crap for 5 years. Now it is affecting all parts of Mexico.

I can't wait for Felipe to go. Please leave Calderon. Mexico needs peace. Go, hurry, take your 500 million and get back to Europe where you feel like you belong. Go!!!!!!!!

Anonymous said...


Anonymous said...

Oh yeah, like Fuentes said, an international effort is needed. Brilliant. And what makes you think anybody but the US is going to even think about Mexico? Where in the world do you see any international effort to abate crime? Egypt? Lybia? Tunisia? Sudan? Somalia? Ecuador? Bolivia? Venezuela?

The US is done being the world's fixer. We're out of Iraq and Afghanistan, into Mexico a tiny bit and that's it compadre we're out of money.

Anonymous said...

@August 29, 2011 5:51 PM

800 Mexican pesos = 64.1672 U.S. dollars

Anonymous said...

My guess is this is barbies leftover faction trying to make money to survive,it also could be the Beltran leyvas but im assumming there is no way there running out of money,because they still hold plazas throughtout mexico and still continue to wage war against their rival chapo guzman.Either way this is sad,Teachers? Come on just go back to dealing drugs!!

Anonymous said...

When the U.S. carried out a sting on corrupt bankers in Mexico ... the Mexican politicians were pissed because they were not informed. Why were they not informed ... because they are part of the corruption. Corruption and extortion is a way of life in Mexico. You cannot even part your car on a public street without someone there saying they will watch your car ... and you'd better give him his measly 5 pesos or he most likely will be the one to scratch your car!!! It's petite but it shows you how low this extortion permeates the society! SAD

Anonymous said...

Mexico is a fascist state. When you understand that, accept that, and intervene appropriately to CHANGE can effect change.

Do you really think a Lebanese immigrant to Mexico gives a shi*t about mexico and it's heritage? No, he just runs ALL of mexicos telecommunications and has become the richest man in the world. He wins keeping Mexico a shithole.

Ignorance is Mexicos biggest threat, not the Cartels. This is just another means to keep the populus IGNORANT. Change will come when the PEOPLE say enough and arm themselves illegally and take their country back. Until then...more of the same. Fascism.

Anonymous said...

The super rich in Mexico believe in "Fascism" as long as it does not apply to their tiny group. They use it as a means of control and have been very successful at it. The PRI political party made it an art!

And now the hate America theme is starting to run thin since the realization is that the problem is within! A hard pill to swallow.

Anonymous said...

Next is the kid's lunch money

Ardent said...

What comedy! A gaggle of US Right Wingers babbling out to themselves that Mexico is supposedly a fascist state???? BB is always good for a laugh when reading the overwhelmingly ignorant comments that get posted here. It never fails!

Our two 'professors', Anony 8:02 and Anony 6:37 are not just satisfied with the usual Right Wing USA crap about Mexico being a supposed 'failed state', but instead need even stronger epithets to piss their hate out on Mexico and Mexicans with. BB seems to be site that attracts these types like bed sores attract maggots to a feast.

Anonymous said...

@ 6:37
Carlos Slim is not a lebanese immigrant. His gradparents were.

Anonymous said...

Texcoco Mex said.

@ September 1, 2011 6:37 AM Ignorance is Mexico's biggest threat. Anon you are right about that, just like @ September 1, 2011 8:21 PM said Carlos Slim is not a Lebanese immigrant. His father was Julian Slim Haddad was a Christian whose family left Lebanon when he was 14 to escape persecution by the Ottoman regime. Julian Slim opened a general store, called the Star of the Orient, in Mexico City just as the violent Mexican Revolution was beginning to sweep the country in 1911.

Slim also adopted his father's penchant for profiting during crisis. During the 1980s, when Mexico's economy buckled under a debt crisis and other businessmen scrambled to get their money out of the country, Slim snapped up stock at fire-sale prices. He bought controlling stakes in the Sanborn's chain of restaurants and department stores, a tire company, hotels, paper mills and more.

Soon after, in 1990, Slim made one of his most controversial purchases.

The Mexican government was auctioning off several state-owned enterprises, including Teléfonos de México, the state-run telephone company, also known as Telmex. Slim and his partners, France Telecom and Southwestern Bell, beat two other groups of bidders. The consortium paid $1.76 billion for a 20 percent controlling stake.

Since then, the market value of Telmex stock has rocketed from $7.39 billion to $41.2 billion. The company owns about 90 percent of Mexico's phone lines.

Members of the opposition Democratic Revolutionary Party alleged that Slim underpaid for Telmex and demanded that then-President Carlos Salinas de Gortari be impeached for negligently selling Telmex at less than market value. A congressional committee, controlled by Salinas' party, later found no evidence of wrongdoing, but suspicions linger in Mexico that Slim curried favor with Salinas to win the auction.

Slim says he won Telmex because his offer was better - about 8 cents more per share than the next bidder, according to the government.

Anonymous said...

Texcoco Mex said.

The Slim empire

Carlos Slim Helú has a controlling interest in at least 222 companies, and smaller investments in many more. Some of his better-known companies:

• Teléfonos de México (Telmex) - Mexico's main telephone company.

• Prodigy Infinitum - Mexico's main Internet provider.

• América Móvil - World's fifth-largest cellphone company, owns Tracfone in U.S.

• Sears of Mexico - 51 department stores.

• Philip Morris Mexico - Seller of Marlboro cigarettes, among other brands.

• Sanborn's - Chain of 168 restaurants and department stores.

• Dorian's - 54 department stores.

• Music stores - 71 stores under the Tower Records, Mixup, Discolandia and No Problem names.

• CompUSA - Chain of computer stores in U.S.

• Inbursa Financial - Includes Inbursa Bank, insurance companies and a brokerage firm.

Anonymous said...

Ardent ...

concerning the "overwhelmingly ignorant comments that get posted here" ... you seem to have won the award ...

Texcoco said...

New narcomantas appear in Acapulco today here is the text.



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