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

Monday, April 30, 2012

Videos of Zetas Interrogating and Decapitating a CDG Halcon

by Chivis Martinez for Borderland Beat
Three videos:
The following two videos are of the same Golfo halcon, captured by Zetas, he is interrogated in the first video.  In the second he is dismembered.  Halcones are hired by cartels as look outs.  I have translated the dialog of the interrogation video.  In the video the halcone makes a feeble attempt to distanced himself from CDG....

 Z: What’s your name?
CDG: Martin Artemio Arteaga (the audio is not very good when the Halcon speaks. That is the name I understood)
Z: Where do you live?
CDG: In Gonzalez, Tamaulipas, in the colony Cesar Lopez de Lara, street Venustiano Carranza.
Z: What do you do for a living?
CDG: Tire repair (puncture/flats)  and I also was a halcon for about three weeks.
Z: You were what?
CDG: Halcon
Z: Halcon for who?
CDG: Gulf Cartel
Z: Who did you work for?
CDG: For Chivo Olorio
Z: Who’s that?
CDG: That man is in charge of Gonzalez territory
Z: How long have you worked for him?
CDG: About three weeks but he didn’t pay me so I stopped working for him.
In this video he is decapitated and dismembered.  I will post a translation at a later time, the essence of what is said in foul language is that the same will happen to all that work for CDG (Golfo), sicarios, halcones...all that work for them will receive the same fate.


Third video is of a man being kidnapped by sicarios in Reynosa Tamaulipas.  In broad daylight, and heavy traffic.  The man ran across the highway in a failed attempt to escape.

Thanks to Milo and Chivo for posting the videos on BB forum


Update on the Choix, Sinaloa gunfights: 20 dead

Updating Saturday's story on the Choix, Sinaloa firefights,  which can be found here

By Chris Covert

A total of 20 individuals were killed in two separate gunfights in the far northeastern Sinaloa state municipality of Choix Saturday and Sunday, according to Mexican news accounts.

Earlier reports of as many as 50 dead armed suspects have been officially discounted, however, the latest news is that Mexican security forces including Mexican Army,  and Sinaloa state police forces are still in the area.

The first encounter took place early Saturday morning at around 0200 hrs in near the village of Yecorato, where soldiers fought armed suspects killing six.  A Mexican Army news release from a command element with the 9th Military Zone said the unit was on patrol in Rancho El Carrizo when the battle commenced. The location was reportedly between the village of San Simon and Yecorato.

One unidentified Mexican Air Force non-commissioned officer, presumably serving as an observer aboard a Mexican Air Force helicopter was hit by gunfire, but later died in a local hospital.

In the encounter one army officer and one enlisted rifleman was wounded and evacuated from the area by military helicopter.  Unofficial reports at the time were that a Mexican Air Force helicopter had been shot down by ground fire, but later news reports said the Mexican Air force bird had been hit but was operable. At least two reports say as many as three Mexican Air Force helicopters, probably Bell 206s, were involved in the operation including as observation platforms.  The helicopter which had been hit was one of the birds that had been called in by one detail commander to provide air support.

According to several accounts, the Mexican Army unit on Saturday had been fired on by one of two armed groups which were fighting one another in the area.  Although none of the groups have yet to be officially identified, one of the criminal groups is said to be a ground element of the Beltra-Leyva drug cartel.  The area is considered to be Beltran-Leyva cartel territory, and is also a location where drugs are cultivated.

Saturday ended with a total of 11 dead, including nine unidentified armed suspects, one unidentified Mexican Air Force NCO and a Choix municipal police agent identified as Hector Ruiz Villar, 43.

By 1930 hrs Sunday, nine more dead were reportedly evacuated from the battle area which had extended to a village named Los Carricitos.  Including in the death toll was one Mexican army soldier who died from his wounds after being evacuated by air.  Reports say that several more dead had  been recovered by criminal groups in the area so the death toll is likely much higher than the official death toll.

Some Mexican armed criminal groups, most notably Los Zetas, make it a practice of recovering their dead in the aftermath of battle to prevent security forces and rival armed groups from gaining intelligence on their group.

Materiel seized in the aftermath of the first encounter included five AK-47 rifles, one .50 caliber Barrett rifle, 36 weapons magazines for AK-47, four disc magazines for AK-47, one Barrett weapons magazine, four rifles, 1,500 rounds of AK-47 ammunition, 28 rounds of .22 caliber ammunition, five .45 caliber rounds of ammunition, one fragmentary hand grenade (pineapple style) and six weapons magazines.

In Sunday's encounter, materiel recovered included 12 rifles, four handguns, 2,158 rounds of ammunition and 67 weapons magazines.

Reports also say that an armed group had dug in in the mountains and have shifted forces to relieve fighters presumably exhausted from fighting Saturday and Sunday.

Last reports say the Mexican Army and Sinaloa state police forces were still in the area to prevent criminal groups from coming down from the mountains and demanding tribute from local residents.  Sinaloa, Chihuahua and Durango states are all in the throes of a severe drought which has affected subsistence crops as well as drug crops.  The drought is expected to adversely affect indigent farmers' health as the spring and summer months wear on.

A report published in an online edition of El Diario, Mexican naval infantry units have also been dispatched to the area as well.  The report also said that a military unit has moved into the village of Casas Viejas in Choix, and that security operations are into their third day

Drug cartels treat indigent farmers in the Mexican Sierras as medieval serfs using threats of arson and murder to force them to grow drug cash crops.

The area where the fighting took place has the only "break" to the eastern part of Choix municipality which borders Chihuahua state to the east.  The area is occupied by armed cartel groups.

In another late report published in an online edition of El Diario, western zone Fiscalia General del Estado  or district attorney general of the state, Jesus Chavez Saenz and commander of the Chihuahua state Policia Ministerial Investigadora Leonardo Calzada, announced that their offices have been placed on high alert owing to what is described as the "cockroach effect" presumably where armed groups will scatter into Chihuahua state following an adverse encounter with security forces.

The report also added that Mexican Army units also routinely patrol the approaches to the border area.

Far western Chihuahua state has its own problems dealing with what has been termed in Mexican leftist press as a structural famine and the accompanying drought, as well as criminal groups operating in the area.

Chris Covert writes Mexican Drug War and national political news for

Sunday, April 29, 2012

Proceso Journalist Murdered: Third Veracruz Reporter Killed in 1 Year

Associated Press
VERACRUZ, Mexico—The body of a correspondent for leading Mexican newsmagazine Proceso was found inside her home in Veracruz state Saturday, and authorities think the journalist, who often wrote about drug trafficking, was murdered.
Regina Martinez's body was found by police inside the bathroom of her home in the state capital, Xalapa, and there were signs of heavy "blows to her face and body," the state's Attorney General's Office said in a statement. Authorities said initial evidence suggested she died of asphyxiation.
Ms. Martinez was the Xalapa correspondent for Proceso, one of Mexico's oldest and most respected investigative newsmagazines, and she often wrote about drug cartels in the area.
Authorities provided no possible motive for her killing. But recently Veracruz has been plagued by cartel violence, some of it between the powerful Zetas and the so-called Jalisco Cartel New Generation, which is believed to be linked to the Sinaloa cartel. The coastal state is also on a human trafficking route north to the United States.
Veracruz Gov. Javier Duarte has ordered an exhaustive investigation into her death, the statement said.
Police found Ms. Martinez's body after receiving a tip from a neighbor that her house had been left open since early in the day.
In the past year, at least three journalists have been found dead in Veracruz, including Ms. Martinez.
In July 2011, a reporter on police matters with the newspaper Notiver, Yolando Ordaz de la Cruz, was found with her throat cut.
A month earlier, gunmen killed Miguel Angel Lopez Velasco, a columnist and deputy editor with Notiver. He was shot together with his wife and one of his children.
Media watchdogs considered Mexico one of the most dangerous countries in which to be a journalist.
 There is disagreement on the number of journalist killings. Mexico's national human rights commission says 74 were slain from 2000 to 2011. The New York-based Committee to Protect Journalists says 51 were killed in that time.
Photo Credit: Of Ms. Martinez-LaJornada,  Of Crime scene Proceso

Note: The following are the last articles written by Ms. Martinez and published yesterday.   Possible motive?  Proseco reported that Ms. Martinez was a victim of a recent burglary:

Last published by Regina Martinez Apro agency 'Proceso' 
"Attorney investigates the death of the coordinator of the Fas in Veracruz" (article #1)
Regina Martinez Xalapa, Veracruz, April 27 (approved). - The Attorney General of the State (PGJE) investigates the cause of death of the regional coordinator of the Social FA (FAS), Rogelio Martinez Cruz, which occurred last Thursday 26. The  Former leader of PRD in Veracruz  was found dead in his home, located on the Colonia Puente Roto at the port of Veracruz,   where agents of the Ministerio Publico came to testify to the facts. Following the ministerial diligence,  the body was taken to the Forensic Medical Service, for submission to an autopsy.
Without even knowing the autopsy result, authorities ventured to give a first report in the sense that Martinez Cruz "died of natural causes." This first assessment is at odds with the current version of federal deputy candidate by the coalition "Progressive Movement", Uriel Flores Aguayo, who said family members and witnesses revealed that the house of the leader of FAS "was in disarray" and that personal belongings were missing from the victim.  While lamenting the death of his partner, Flores Aguayo  called on the authorities to make a thorough investigation of the facts……Link to full article
"Nine policemen linked with drug traffickers in Veracruz”  (Article #2)
Regina Martinez Xalapa, Veracruz, April 27 (approved). - Elements of the Secretaría de Marina Armada de Mexico (Semar) arrested nine policemen of the municipality of Tres Valles, for alleged links to organized crime, pursuant to a warrant drawn by the Attorney General of the state (PGJ). In a coordinated effort among law enforcement agencies participating in the program Veracruz Seguro, in the early hours today was carried out the arrest of the officers of the municipality of Tres Valles, whose president (mayor)  is Carlos Alberto Córdova Morales PAN.
This gave effect to a warrant-ministerial investigation 76/2012- against members of the local police unit, who were made available to appropriate authorities, according to the PGJ. The preventive arrest of the Tres Valles, a town located in the Papaloapan, came a day after troops of the Marina and the Mexican Army arrested Maria Teresa Gonzalez Sanchez, identified as the “Comandante  Tere”, who along with a group of sicarios attacked elements of the Municipal Police of Tierra Blanca, which included a  shootout.
In the attack last Wednesday near a mall in Tierra Blanca, the command led by Gonzalez Sanchez, attempted to kidnap the head of the municipal police….. Link to full article

Source: La Pais Intl 

Saturday, April 28, 2012

Former police chief daughter among those killed in Zacatecas

By Chris Covert

The daughter of a top police commander of Jimenez de Teul municipality in extreme western Zacatecas state was among those identified as killed in a shootout with Mexican security forces ten days ago, according to Mexican news accounts.

Maraa Consuelo Argumedo Recendiz, 23, was killed April 17th when a joint patrol of Mexican Army troops and Zacatecas state police agents exchanged gunfire with armed suspects, killing five. Argumedo Recendiz was the daughter of Jimenez de Teul Policia Preventitiva director Rosalio Argumedo Montes, who resigned along with three others when four of his charges were kidnapped by an organized crime group April 4th.

Earlier Mexican press reports referred to a total of ten kidnapped from the municipality, which would track with totals of the April 4th abductions and the disappearance of the first four municipal police agents.
You can read the Borderland Beat story on the April 17th encounter between the Mexican Army unit and an armed group by clicking here
Since that time Jimenez de Teul has been without a police presence.  Mexican Army and Zacatecas state police have been patrolling the municipality.  No word has been received from the state Fiscalia General de Estado or from other state officials about when a police presence will return to the municipality.  The absence has been described in Mexican press as a crisis since a number of competing criminal groups operate in the border area with Durango state.  Other Zacatecas municipalities currently with no police presence include Florencia de Benito Juarez, El Plateado de Joaquin Amaro and Tepetongo municipalities.

The five unidentified individuals who were kidnapped by an armed group included a Jimenez de Teul Polica Preventativa who reportedly attempted to intercept the group.  Reports at the time said that the five victims had been taken to Durango state.

Chris Covert writes Mexican Drug War and national political news for

The Violent Confrontation in the Remote Mountains of Choix

It is being reported a toll of up to 40 killed in a violent confrontation between the Mexican Army and an armed commando in events that allegedly occurred during the early hours of Saturday in the rugged terrain of Choix, specifically in the community of El Pichol.

At this point the version of the number of dead fluctuate among media sources but it appears that a confrontation did occur and possibly some sicario plaza bosses were captured, some military and police killed, and possibly even a helicopter was taken down. Some sources however have said that unknown government official have denied any aircraft down in the area during the confrontation.

Let it be noted that the report has not been confirmed and therefore not official, as some reputable sources have reported that only two were killed, one of which was fully identified as a municipal police officer Hector Ruiz Villar 43 years and the other one a potential suspects.

The Attorney General's Office confirmed that an element of the Ministry of Defence and a member of the municipal police were killed in the clash. The AG also reported that five gunmen were killed.

In another front Eleazar Rubio, Mayor of El Fuerte, said that in this conflict there was a report of at least 30 people killed, and that figure could increase to 50 victims. He also hinted to the report of a SEDENA helicopter that was shot down by gunmen.

The confusion gets worst because of the remoteness of the scene and authorities have not released an official report. There is also an unofficially reported of the downing of a helicopter without specifying to which agency the aircraft belongs to.

It has also been suggested that the report of the 40 killed was a ruse used by the same criminals to trick the military forces to enter the region where the commando has their influence of control, and when the military arrived to the point, they were ambushed by heavily armed sicarios.

A report indicated that the Mexican marines and military from Mochis participated in the confrontation.

It was reported that auhtorities seizes 3 trucks, one armored Hummer cloned to look like a military unit. Along with two Chevrolet trucks, type Cheyenne, also cloned, one with logos of the State Preventive Police and the other insigina of the Federal Preventive Police.

SEDENA personnel reported the seizure of five AK-47 assault rifles, a Barret 50 caliber rifle, four handguns, a fragmentation grenade, numerous AK-47 magazines, four high capacity disks AK-47s, 1,500 rounds of ammunition for AK-47s, and three shirts with the letters "PGR," seven caps with the logos of "PME" and "PFM," radio equipment, three police cloned vehicles, among other things.

There is talk about 40 killed in confrontation and ambush

The story says that a Mexican army pilot and a police officer were killed from the ambush staged by sicarioss against military and police authorities, which occurred between the towns of El Fuerte and Choix, in the most inhospitable mountains of Sinaloa.

Some sources have reported that the attack that presumably came after a shootout between criminal groups left at least 40 casualties during the first few minutes of Saturday.

An anonymous report via telephone by funeral homes in the municipalities in Choix and El Fuerte talked about the existence of at least thirty victims of members of two rival gangs and federal forces, but so far that information has not been confirmed by authorities at any level of government.

After learning of the shootout, military troops from Sinaloa and Chihuahua, as well as federal police moved into the area nestled in the mountains of Sinaloa, where they were ambushed by the criminals who managed to kill a municipal policeman. The soldiers were attacked by gunmen in the town of Choix, Sinaloa, in the early hours of Saturday. The gunmen were waiting for the soldiers between the towns of San Simon and Potrero de Los Fierros.

It is said that a military helicopter went down in support of the wounded officer and a pilot was shot by the sicarios, who died in a hospital while receiving medical attention.

At present the area of remote mountains in this part of Sinaloa where the confrontations and the ambush occurred are being combed by hundreds of troops and police, who due to an unsafe situation have not allowed media sources to enter the area and who remain outside the perimeter of the police line for their own safety.

El Chapo Isidro Falls?

There is talk of the possible capture of Fausto Isidro Meza Flores "El Chapo Isidro" who is plaza boss of Guasave, Sinaloa, according to sources in Sinaloa.

He mainly operates in Guasave and surrounding villages and is said to be a member of the cartel of Beltran-Leyva.

His group is one that was behind the shootout in "El Burrion" where they confronted a group of Chapo Guzman and El Mayo.

The group also participated in a shootout in Tubutama, Sonora, where they eliminated a group of the Sinaloa Cartel "Anthrax."

This group also was responsible for the murder of "Rey Castro" one of the leaders of the Sinaloa cartel, the same one that had killed the singer Sergio Vega.

His sicarios also ambushed a group of judicial police where they managed to kill 7 of them.

This group is also responsible for the ambush of the escort for the Secretary of Public Safety Sinaloa, where 11 elements of the PEP and one civilian were killed.

This group also placed narco banners (mantas) around Sinaloa against the governor "Malova."

Sources: Debate, Noroeste

Mexican Set to Compensate Victims of Drug Violence

Written by  Hannah Stone

Mexico's Senate has approved a bill to compensate victims of organized crime, one of the major demands of the peace movement led by poet Javier Sicilia. 

The law would oblige the state to help and protect victims of violence and human rights abuses connected to organized crime, reports El Universal.

Under the law, the state will provide compensation of up to 934,000 pesos ($70,000) to victims.
The legislation would create a National System for Attention to Victims, which will provide support to those hurt by crime and oversee compensation payments. The body would include representatives of victims' groups and of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights.

Poet and activist Javier Sicila was a major force campaigning to get the law passed. He became deeply involved with the peace movement after his son was killed, along with six friends, by a drug gang in 2011.
The bill must now be approved by the House of Representatives before it becomes law. Leading lawmakers have committed to passing the bill by Monday at the latest.
InSight Crime Analysis
It is not clear how the Mexican state will judge who qualifies as a victim, as many crimes are never brought to trial. It could also prove extremely costly to provide compensation to all those who have been victimized, with at least 50,000 people estimated to have died in organized crime-related killings since 2006.
There are high hopes for the law, with Senators Fernando Baeza and Tomas Torres saying that it "lays the foundations to reconstruct the social fabric which has been so gravely affected by violence." The drug violence in Mexico has not ended, though there are signs that killings have peaked – it may be impossible to begin the healing process while violence continues.
The law invites comparison to Colombia's Victims Law, passed last year, which sets out reparations for people hurt by the five-decade-old civil conflict. A key difference between the two is that Colombia's law is aimed at victims of the state, paramilitary groups, and guerrillas, all of whom are combatants in the conflict. In Mexico, on the other hand, there is no civil conflict between insurgent groups.

 Hannah Stone is a writer for Insight Crime Link to her post HERE

Friday, April 27, 2012

UPDATED INFO) Boxing Match at University Texas El Paso Canceled by Fear it Would Draw Rival Cartels


Concern derived from a federal risk assessment report caused the fight cancellation, however they reconsidered and now the fight will go on.  Also reported was part of the reason for concern could be the identity of Chavez's girlfriend, Frida Munoz Roman. She was the common law wife of the late son of drug lord Joaquin "Chapo" Guzman. But Joseph Arabit, the special agent in charge of El Paso for the Drug Enforcement Agency, said he wasn't aware of the Chavez-Roman relationship and didn't see it as an issue. …..Paz Chivis

Posted by Havana on Borderland Beat Forum

Chavez on left
From Associated Press
EL PASO, Texas — A federal risk assessment of a now-canceled West Texas boxing match predicted it would draw leaders from two rival drug cartels, but noted the cartels had declared the event a "neutral zone," a law enforcement official told The Associated Press on Friday.
The official, who is familiar with the contents of the report, spoke on condition of anonymity because the official isn't authorized to release the information. The official said the report was done by Immigration and Customs Enforcement Homeland Security Investigations and given to University of Texas at El Paso police.
University of Texas System Chancellor Francisco Cigarroa said Tuesday that the planned June 16 fight between Julio Cesar Chavez Jr. and Andy Lee couldn't be held at the university's Sun Bowl in El Paso because of security risks. Cigarroa had released no details of the risk assessment report other than to say it contained a "higher than normal" security risk.

(Frida Munoz Roman Below)
 The report said leadership of both the Sinaloa and Juarez cartels would be present at the fight, but specified there were no specific threats to the security of the city, the event or those attending it, according to the law enforcement official. The cartels have waged a bloody war in Ciudad Juarez across the Rio Grande from El Paso for control of drug smuggling routes and other criminal enterprises in the city.

University of Texas at El Paso confirmed Friday that university police had received a federal report earlier this month, but declined to discuss its contents.

Homeland Security Investigations "sent a security assessment to UT System who sent it to us and it wasn't for another two weeks they (UT System) decided to cancel", said Veronique Masterson, a public information officer at UTEP.

El Paso city spokeswoman Julie Lozano declined comment and a University of Texas System spokesman did not immediately return telephone and e-mail messages.

Cigarroa's decision to cancel the fight without releasing any details angered El Paso officials and state lawmakers, who accused him of fostering a culture of fear that the city has been overrun by cartel-related violence. Despite the drug war raging in Mexico, the city ranks among the safest in the nation in terms of violent crime.

A day after the announcement, local state and federal law enforcement officials in El Paso, including a representative of ICE, said they had picked up no intelligence of a credible threat or security risk associated with having the fight in El Paso.
    (Lee and Chavez Boxing Promo Video Below 8 Minutes Fight is June 16)
Joseph Arabit, the Special Agent in Charge of the Drug Enforcement Administration's El Paso division, said his agency had not received any information of specific threats surrounding the boxing match.

Pressure has been mounting on Cigarroa to reverse his decision. State Sen. Jose Rodriguez, an El Paso Democrat, urged the university board of regents to overrule the chancellor when they meet in Austin next week.

Fight promoter Bob Arum has called El Paso a natural place to host a fight with a popular Mexican boxer like Chavez, Jr. The 51,500-seat Sun Bowl drew more than 40,000 fans to watch Oscar de la Hoya fight in 1998.
Link to Havana's post HERE

Who is Frida Munoz Lopez?

1.Frida Munoz Lopez is currently the girlfriend of Julio Cesar Chavez Jr. , middleweight champion of the World Boxing Council ( WBC ).

 2.Had a daughter by Edgar Guzman , son of drug lord Joaquin "Chapo" Guzman , who was gunned down in 2008.

 3.On Tuesday, Frida joined the boxer in the press conference in which the promoter of the fight would take place in the Sun Bowl in Texas on June 16, Bob Arum , expressed his dissatisfaction with the decision of having canceled.

 4.As the mother of the granddaughter of "Chapo" Guzman , the Texas authorities presume a link to the leader of the Sinaloa Cartel , also known as the Pacific Cartel .
 5.Frida Munoz was the one who identified Edgar Guzman when he was shot during an attack in the parking lot of a shopping center in Culiacan, Sinaloa

Source: LPP
Reversing the cancellation LINK HERE

'El Chapito Leal' Detained in Tijuana

"J" for Bordrland Beat; TY to "Milo"

In the second high profile arrest of the week, elements of the Army in Tijuana, arrested Octavio Leal Hernandez, known as 'El Chapito Leal'. Hernandez, rose to a position of prominence, after the arrest of Juan Francisco Sillas Rocha, last November in Tijuana.

Sillas Rocha was considered a lieutenant of considerable importance to the CAF, under Fernando Sanchez Arellano, though Sillas had a turbulent and troubled relationship with his superiors.  Subsequent to his arrest, 'Chapito Leal' was appointed to lead the men under Sillas command, engaging in drug trafficking, and the carrying out of kidnapping and murder, at the behest of upper management.

In March of this year, Chapito Leal was profiled in an edition of Zeta Tijuana, raising his profile in the eyes of the general public, and law enforcement.  His name was also in the news, after an incident last month in Tijuana, where a kidnapping victim, freed himself from his captors, killing them, and two others, in a bloody escape attempt.  The victim was gunned down by police, after carjacking an SUV, while handcuffed, holding an assault rifle.  The victim was later found to be a Sinaloa Cartel member, of some stature, who was being held in a safehouse in La Mesa, which investigations revealed to be operated by members of Leal Hernandez's crew.

Chapito Leal also participated heavily in the battle against Teodoro Garcia Simental, 'El Teo', or 'Tres Letras', from 2008-2010, while he was serving as confidante to El Sillas.  It is said Leal Hernandez was behind the kidnapping of Diane Lopez Uriarte, sister of Raydel Lopez Uriarte, 'El Muletas', Diane was kidnapped, with her boyfriend, several weeks after the apprehension of "El Teo', in an attempt by the Sanchez Arellano faction to push out those still loyal to Teo.  She as released, unharmed, her boyfriend was found murdered on the street, and 'El Muletas' was taken into custody roughly two weeks later.

Leal Hernandez was also involved in the kidnapping of the nieces of Ismael Zambada, 'El Mayo', acting on orders from El Sillas', the trio were lifted from a fast food restaurant in Tijuana, shortly after arriving at the airport.  The kidnapping, apparently unauthorized by El Ingeniero, estranged Sillas from his boss, and Sillas was 'left on his own', put to the side, and eventually fled Tijuana.  When he returned, in the fall of 2011, he was arrested, after an attempted murder, of a former associate, 'El Marquitos', and Leal Hernandez was given his former superior's position.

Last night, in the Agua Caliente Hills subdivision, Leal Hernandez, and an associate, tried to flee from the Army, and were stopped.  In their possession was about 180 kilos of marijuana, 30,000 in cash, 200 rounds of ammunition, and four guns.  Three vehicles were also seized.  Chapito Leal was said to engage in retail drug sales in Tijuana, as well as transferring wholesale shipments across the border.   He is originally from the state of Puebla, and is known to spend time there, and in Ensenada, when Tijuana became uncomfortable, due to the authorities, or rivals.  It is unknown how this will impact the group of Sanchez Arellano, Chapito Leal was one of roughly 15 cells, detailed in a December 2011 issue of Zeta Magazine, which profiled the lieutenants and crew loyal to CAF, from information obtained by El Sillas.

Note: Link to another story about Octavio Leal Hernandez, please visit this link

: AFN Tijuana, Zeta Tijuana; Borderland Beat archives

Thursday, April 26, 2012

RIO DOCE: The Lone Mexican Source of Uncut Narco News

by Chivis Martinez for Borderland Beat

Ismael Bojórquez heard Chapo Guzman’s son was dead in a Lamborghini.  When he reached the scene there was no body, and no Lamborghini.  Those at the scene denied an event had occurred, yet the investigative reporter looked around and saw fresh blood, shards of broken glass and a bumper which had broken off.  He  photographed what he saw, and visited the municipal police who denied anything happened…ditto the police commander, he  said he could not speak about it. The state Attorney’s office was called, they said “Officially, nothing occurred,” Bojórquez recalls. “Officially, he wasn’t even dead.”
So it goes in Mexico, where what is permitted to be reported is determined by one cartel or the other.  The reality is cartels do not like much narco news printed.  Period.  Even without writing an opinion, strictly reporting basic facts, they will say when, how or if it is reported. 
Rio Doce a Culiacan newspaper, in the hometown of Mexico’s most powerful cartel, that insists on writing about the drug violence. There are other places, online and in print, where Mexican readers can go to find body counts or pictures of blood-spattered crime scenes, but Riodoce prides itself on its investigative work, on trying to ferret out the stories that neither the cartels nor the government want told.
They are targeted.  Even on the web, where their former California Web company pulled the Welcome mat after being hacked into.
An example how selective reporting is in Mexico, is something that happened in my city in Mexico.  Our comandante  was killed.  He was a regional comandante in charge of several cities, much like the sheriff of Los Angeles County being in charge of multiple cities.   We suffered  a week of great violence.  A war between cartels.  I heard the comandante was dead.  Killed by narcos and left a few blocks from my office with a narco message pinned to his chest with ice picks.  I sourced the news and nothing.  Not for 4 days.  And  when it finally appeared, it was not on the front page, it was minimal reporting at best.  We were lucky; often there is no reporting that violence has occurred.
This sets Rio Doce apart from all others.  Rio Doce reports the facts of Mexico’s Narco violence, uncut, unedited from outside influences.
Mexico is now deemed by the International Press Institute as being the most dangerous nation to be a reporter in.    
This is an extremely long article, but so worth the time reading.  It is filled with intriguing stories and information.  You will see Borderland Beat is mentioned in the Bloomberg article.  I will comment in respect to the mention; I do worry about placing my staff in danger, I am constantly rethinking my actions and words and wonder if I inadvertently compromised their safety. 
We reporters are here for the same reason Buggs created BB to begin with.  We are strong in the belief that change is brought by the informed.  We hope in our small way we can provide information to the English speaking world of what exists, hopefully that will transcend into creating a life with greater security in the Mexico we love….   Paz, Chivis  
Ismael Bojórquez, Director, Riodoce “Up to this point, despite the risks, I believe that there are conditions under which we can do this work, and with the small hope that things will get better,” he says. “It’s really a hope in that hope, because the truth is I don’t see a way out for the country in the short term. But you have to bet on something."

Ismael Bojorquez Perea was born in Sinaloa, Mexico on August 18, 1956. He obtained a Social Communication degree at the Autonomous University of Sinaloa. He began his professional carreer as a TV reporter in 1990, in Mazatlán, Sinaloa, and then, in 1992, he joined the Daily Noroeste in Culiacán where he was part of the research team and beacame head of information. During that time, he worked as correspondant for the national magazine Proceso. In the fall of 2002, along with a group of colleagues, he founded the weekly newspaper RIODOCE, which firstly suffered the harassment of local governments, too sensitive to criticism and now struggles to survive the neverending violence in Sinaloa, due to the hostility of organised crime. He is currently Managing Editor of RIODOCE, which has become national and international reference by receiving the 2011 Maria Cabot Prize awarded by the Columbia University. He believes that journalism in Mexico is going through the worst time of its history, due to the daily and deadly threats of the Narco. (WAN)

by Drake Bennett for Bloomberg Business Week
Early on Aug. 29, 2010, Ismael Bojórquez, editor of the newsweekly Riodoce, in the Mexican city of Culiacán, learned that a man in his 20s had been found dead of bullet wounds in a white Lamborghini. Murders of young men are common in Culiacán, the capital of the state of Sinaloa and the seat of power of the cartel of the same name, but this one was different. The victim, Bojórquez heard, was the son of Joaquin “El Chapo” Guzmán, the head of the Sinaloa cartel and the most powerful drug kingpin in Mexico. Two and a half years earlier, when another of El Chapo’s sons was gunned down by the rival Beltrán Leyva cartel, it ignited a bloody war—387 people were killed in Culiacán in three months. In a way, El Chapo (Spanish for “Shorty”; Guzmán is 5’6”) and his empire are the main subjects of Riodoce, one of the only periodicals in Mexico that seriously investigates drug violence.
Bojórquez, a compact man with a thin moustache and a broad, angular face, immediately drove to the crime scene. It was on a street called Presa Azúcar, in a residential part of town. To his surprise, there was no body, and no car—only some blood on the asphalt, scattered shards of broken glass, and pieces of a car bumper. He took a few pictures and went to a police post about 200 meters down the street, but the officers there said they didn’t know anything and referred him to the district police commander. When Bojórquez called on him, the commander said he couldn’t talk about it. The state’s attorney’s office, too, said nothing. “Officially, nothing occurred,” Bojórquez recalls. “Officially, he wasn’t even dead.”
Riodoce’s staff started calling around; they have sources in law enforcement, in the state and local government, and others who are linked in various ways to the cartels. Bojórquez’s original source, it turned out, had been wrong. The car was not a Lamborghini, it was a Ferrari. And the victim wasn’t El Chapo’s son but a different narco scion, Marcial Fernández. His father, Manuel, was an ally of El Chapo’s, and a brutal man known alternately as “El Animal” and “La Puerca” (“the sow”).
Riodoce’s reporters also learned about a strange altercation that had taken place at the crime scene: As the police and a few onlookers were standing around Fernández’s bullet-riddled sports car waiting for the coroner to arrive, several heavily armed men drove up. They leveled their weapons at the police, took Fernández’s body, and drove off. When two news photographers showed up, the police told them nothing had happened, then left. Later that night, the armed strangers returned and towed the Ferrari away, leaving only the broken glass and blood that Bojórquez found after sunrise.
None of this made the news at first. Fernández had been killed at 2:30 a.m. on Sunday, but a day and then a week went by with no coverage of the shooting. Like many of the killings in Culiacán, Fernández’s death had been declared off limits. “The police kept quiet, the government kept quiet, but the press kept quiet as well,” says Bojórquez. One of the photographers who had been on the scene left town, fearing for his life.
According to Reporters Without Borders, 80 Mexican journalists have been killed and 14 others have disappeared since 2000. In Juárez, on the country’s northern border, the city’s biggest newspaper, El Diario, has had both a police reporter and a photographer murdered in the past three and a half years. The editor of El Mañana, in Nuevo Laredo, was stabbed to death in 2004, and two years later assailants sprayed gunfire and tossed a grenade into the newspaper’s offices, badly wounding a veteran reporter. Riodoce had its own grenade attack in 2009, although no one was hurt. Mexico last year beat out Iraq as the most dangerous country in the world for journalists in the rankings of the International Press Institute, and the first death of 2012 took place on Jan. 6, when a reporter from La Ultima Palabra, in a suburb of Monterrey, was chased down in his car and shot to death.
“Crimes against journalists occur with impunity at the local level,” says Jorge Zepeda Patterson, the former editor of El Universal in Mexico City. “We are losing our capacity to say what’s happening to our country.”
The attacks are meant to cow Mexico’s media, and they have succeeded: Today the vast majority of the nation’s newspapers, magazines, and radio and TV stations do not cover the bloodshed. Especially at the local level, news outlets will, at most, reprint official press releases about arrests and killings. In the worst areas, the narcos even have press handlers—unidentified voices on the other end of the phone warning a reporter not to cover a shooting, or giving the order to write about the “message killing” of a rival.

Nephews of El Mayo Zambada detained in Tijuana

Nephews of El Mayo detained in Tijuana

PGR officials in Tijuana confirmed today, that two nephews of Ismael 'El Mayo' Zambada were arrested in Tijuana, on Wednesday night.  Omar Ismael Zamabada, 23, is the son of Jesus Reynaldo Zambada, 'El Rey', who was arrested in Mexico in September 2008, and was recently extradited to the United States, to face charges of conspiracy, amidst other charges, relating to his instrumental position in the Sinaloa Cartel's hierarchy.  First reports stated that it was a son of El Mayo, known as 'Gordito', but this proved to be untrue.

 The other arrested was apparently, Omar Zambada's cousin, Rodolfo Sergio Cazarez Zamabada, 28. He is said to be the child of Agueda Zambada Garcia, one of the three female relatives of El Mayo, kidnapped in Tijuana, in September 2010, by men acting upon orders from Juan Francisco Sillas Rocha, 'El Sillas', a disruptive and erratic associate of Fernando Sanchez Arellano.  Reports, later indicated that the kidnapping was not sanctioned by Sanchez Arellano, and Sillas Rocha was banished from Tijuana, as a result.

 The two men were arrested with two others, presumed to be in the service of the Sinaloa Cartel, possibly as bodyguards to the two narco juniors.  The operation, of which details are scarce, was conducted by members of the Tijuana municipal police, and the Army.  The four were under heavy guard in Tijuana, and were transferred this afternoon to Mexico City, to be transferred into the custody of the Office of Special Investigations into Organized Crime.   The four men were allegedly traveling in a vehicle with 20 kilograms of cocaine, when they were detained on Wednesday night. 

That the family and associates of El Mayo move freely in the city, is indicative, if not evidence, of an agreement with the organization of Sanchez Arellano, to pursue trafficking in the city, undisturbed by the rivalries of the past.   

Sources, Rio Doce, Chivis Martinez, AFN Tijuana

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Sicario Extradited Back to Mexico After Living in Ohio for 10 Years

Mexicali, Baja California, Mexico - The Baja California State Attorney General's Office (PGRE) confirmed that Edgar Campos Barraza, aka, "El Cholo" was extradited to Mexico from the U.S. on April 12. He was living in the country illegally. The U.S. Border Patrol turned Barraza over to Mexican authorities at the San Diego-Tijuana border crossing.
Barraza had lived in Sandusky, Ohio for ten years until he was taken into custody on January 5, by the U.S. Border Patrol agents from Sandusky and San Diego stations, including the Ohio State Highway Patrol, after Mexican authorities provided information to the U.S. where Barraza was residing.
Barraza is accused of kidnapping Raúl Bejarano Escalante in 2000 and was later released after a $900 thousand dollar ransom was paid, according to the PGRE.
Barraza worked as a hitman for the Garibay criminal organization and the Sinaloa Cartel. He participated in multiple homicides, kidnappings, drug trafficking and other crimes against the public health.
Source: Hispanic News Network

CNN's Article HERE

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Was Chapo Sending a Message by the N. Laredo Car Bomb?

by Chivis Martinez for Borderland Beat

At news conference Monday authorities denied the presence of an armed group representing El Chapo in Nuevo Laredo, Tamaulipas.
The local prosecutor said no evidence to suggest that in Nuevo Laredo there is a waging of a "War of Cartels”  as officials said there is no evidence of the presence of an armed group representing the Sinaloa cartel.
The press conference was attended by the mayor, Benjamin Galvan Gomez DEM Colonel Carlos Seanez Lemon, head of the Safety Program Tamaulipas, in charge of the Office of the Public Security Secretariat, Alfonso Olvera Ledezma, the Director of the Municipal Police Roberto Garza Balmori, the Agents of the State Public Ministry, Victor Hernandez and Ricardo Almanza Mancillas Castillo.
It was the slaughter of 14 persons attributed to the Sinaloa Cartel with a Narco Manta signed by El Chapo, that prompted the news conference.
In related news 7 of the 14 have now been identified and of those 7 there has not been a link found to organized crime or an arrest history of any of the victims.  This finding gives credence to the theory that more commonly cartels are using innocent persons as props in mass displays of violence.
Subsequently, this morning at 8:00 AM . A car bomb exploded outside the headquarters of the attorney general of Tamaulipas.  Also housed in the building are the offices of the State Police Agencies and other police agencies.  
“At the facilities of the Municipal Public Safety Building in the city of Nuevo Laredo, detonated an explosive device  that was inside a van," the state attorney general's office said in a statement.
Some Mexican news reports are attributing the car bomb as the work of Chapo in response to the news conference of yesterday. 
The attack caused minor injuries to civilians and damage to the facilities of that unit and another vehicle in addition to the van used in the attack, which was burned, stated the attorney general. 
The outbreak, which resulted in police and military mobilization, occurred during the morning after several confrontations and blockades of various parts of the city by criminals, which led to the municipal authorities to warn people using social media to move about the city with caution.
Sources used to write this post:
Mexico Rojo
Tamaulipas Noticias

Santa Muerte - The Saint of Death - Has Following Among Criminals

Video Story By Beth Parker
 FOX 5
There are 10,000 saints in the Catholic Church. But there is one that’s not even real that many people are praying to.

They say she delivers on prayers and does so quickly. She is even being worshiped by some of Mexico's most notorious criminals.

Sicaria Slain in Guerrero is Identified, She was a Teenager

A young lady killed in a shootout with the Mexican Army in the vicinity of Acapetlahuaya was identified before the body was released to her family.

The confrontation took place sometime last Saturday night on April 14 at the intersection of Acapetlahuaya when military had set up a checkpoint at around midnight.

The suspects were traveling aboard three trucks all bearing plates from Mexico City.

According to unofficial accounts, as the vehicles were passing through the checkpoint the suspects opened fire at the military personnel who immediately who returned fire killing the young woman with trauma to the head. The woman was found along a side road and was found to have numerous magazines with rounds for an AR-15.

This woman was identified as Adriana Romero Jaimes, 17 years of age, resident of El Naranjito, near the town of Tlatlaya in the state of Mexico. The details of the shootout are sketchy and no formal statement was released by the military.
Source: Mexico News

Mexican Mayoral Candidate Survives Assassination Attempt

The National Action Party, or PAN, mayoral candidate in the northern Mexican city of Anahuac, Eduardo Campos Espinoza, survived an assassination attempt last week, the city’s current mayor said.

The attack occurred just after 2:00 p.m. Friday, but information about the incident was not released to the public until party officials were told this week, Anahuac Mayor Santos Javier Garza, who also belongs to the PAN, said.

“Yes, there was something like that. I don’t have much in the way of details because everything has been handled with much discretion by the (Nuevo Leon) State Investigations Agency. They are the ones handling the investigation. All I can say is that he is safe and sound,” said Garza.

The attack on the mayoral candidate’s house has been blamed on the Los Zetas drug cartel and was aimed at intimidating him for refusing to meet with them, a Nuevo Leon Attorney General’s Office source said.

“What we’ve been told is that the criminals had been looking for the candidate to have a meeting and since he refused they opened fire on the front of his house, and they later poured fuel and started a fire, but it did not spread. The house was empty at the time of the attack,” said the AG’s office.

The PAN has not provided any information about the attack, but media reports said Campos Espinoza pulled out of the race.

Anahuac is a city of 23,000 in a rural section of Nuevo Leon, which borders the United States.

Several violent incidents have occurred in Anahuac, including a shootout between army troops and gunmen that left Zetas boss Francisco Medina Mejia dead on April 4.

Medina Mejia was the suspected intellectual author of the arson attack that killed 52 people at the Casino Royale in Monterrey on Aug. 25, 2011.

A total of 25 Party of the Democratic Revolution, or PRD, mayoral candidates have dropped out of races in Nuevo Leon due to harassment from drug traffickers, State Human Rights Commission representative Eduardo Arguijo said.

The Nuevo Leon State Human Rights Commission and the Federal Electoral Institute, or IFE, consider the state a “difficult” area to organize the electoral process that will culminate with the July 1 presidential election.

Nuevo Leon has been battered by a wave of drug-related violence in recent years blamed on a turf war between Los Zetas and the Gulf cartel for control of smuggling routes into the United States.

The wave of drug-related violence in Nuevo Leon claimed the lives of 2,003 people in 2011, official figures show.

Source: EFE

‘El Chapo’, El Mayo and 22 Members of Sinaloa Cartel Indicted in Texas

EL PASO, Texas — Federal officials unsealed a new federal indictment Tuesday against Mexico’s most-wanted drug boss Joaquin Guzman Loera, known as “El Chapo,” leader of the Sinaloa cartel and one of the world’s richest men.
El Mayo & Chapo

The 14-count indictment was returned April 11, but federal officials announced it Tuesday in El Paso. The 28-page indictment names Guzman and “co-leader of the cartel "El Mayo" aka Ismael Zambada Garcia, along with 22 other men. It alleges they were involved in the operations and management of the cartel, which they say has moved thousands of kilograms of cocaine and marijuana into the U.S. and used the profits to wage war against their rivals and the Mexican government.
The indictment targets the infrastructure of the Sinaloa Cartel, officials said. Although Guzman and Zambada have been indicted elsewhere in the U.S., this indictment focuses on their operations in the El Paso area, Ciudad Juarez and the Mexican state of Chihuahua.
 “There are several assassins and hit-squad leaders, this is a blow to their infrastructure” said Joseph Arabit, special agent in charge of the El Paso division of DEA.

The indictment details the cell structure of the Sinaloa Cartel in Chihuahua and names their top lieutenants and several of their alleged assassins. Authorities said a number of those indicted are in Mexican custody and that they will seek their extradition but could not specify which members are currently detained. One of those indicted is cartel lieutenant Jose Antonio Torres Marrufo, arrested in Mexico last February.
Top photo is Torres Marrufo bottom photo is Juarez weapon room belonging to Torres

 “This indictment has been years in the making, the focus is to dismantle the cartel by focusing on their upper echelon,” said FBI Special Agent in Charge of the El Paso Division Mark Morgan.

Morgan said federal agents started working on the indictment back in 2000, at the time when Guzman escaped from a Mexican prison.

Authorities say the Sinaloa cartel’s efforts in recent years to control lucrative smuggling routes through Ciudad Juarez, Mexico, across the border from El Paso, have unleashed waves of violence.
The U.S. has previously offered a $5 million reward leading to Guzman’s capture.
This was not Guzman’s first U.S. indictment. He was previously indicted in, Arizona, San Diego and he and Zambada Garcia aka “Mayo,” both named in the El Paso indictment, were also indicted previously in Chicago and Brooklyn. This latest indictment includes two incidents in which U.S. residents were killed on cartel orders of Torres Marrufo.

*Torres Marrufo allegedly coordinated cocaine and marijuana shipments through Juarez to the U.S., according to the indictment. In September 2009, he ordered a team to kidnap someone in Horizon City, Texas, who had lost a 670-pound load of marijuana to law enforcement in Sierra Blanca. The person was taken to Juarez, tortured and killed. His mutilated body was found later in Juarez.
In May 2010, Torres Marrufo had a groom kidnapped from his wedding in Juarez along with his brother and uncle, according to the indictment. The three were tortured and killed. Police found their bodies days later in the bed of a pickup in Juarez. A fourth person was killed in the kidnapping.

If convicted, the defendants face sentences of up to life in a federal prison. Both Guzman and Zambada Garcia are charged with at least one count of murder that could result in the death penalty.

Associated Press writer Christopher Sherman in McAllen, Texas contributed to this report.

Copy of Indictment-(Thanks Mano) link here
Other defendants named in the indictment:
German (Last Name Unknown) aka "Paisa," "German Olivares";
Mario Nunez-Meza aka "Mayito," "M-10"
Amado Nunez-Meza aka "Flaco," "M-11," "El Flais"
Jose Antonio Torres Marrufo aka "Jaguar," "Tonin," Catorce," "14," "Tono," "El Uno";
Gabino Salas-Valenciano aka "El Ingeniero"
Sergio Garduno-Escobedo aka "Coma";
David Sanchez-Hernandez aka "Christian";
Ivan Sanchez-Hernandez
Jesus Rodrigo Fierro-Ramirez aka "Huichi," "Pena";
Arturo Lozano-Mendez aka "Garza";
Mario De La O Lopez aka "Flaco";
Arturo Shows Urquidi aka "Chous"
Salvador Valdez aka "Robles"
Daniel Franco Lopez aka "Micha," "Neon," "Fer";
Luis Arellano-Romero aka "Bichi," Bichy," "Helio";
Fernando Arellano-Romero aka "Rayo," "24," "Gamma," "Blue Demon";
Mario Alberto Iglesias-Villegas aka "Dos," "El 2," "Delta," "Parka," "Grim Reaper," "Daniel Cuellar Anchondo," "Delfin";
Adrian Avila-Ramirez aka "Bam Bam," "Tacuba," "El 19";
Valentin Saenz De La Cruz aka "El Valle," "Lic";
Emigdio Martinez, Jr. aka "Millo";
Carlos Flores aka "Buffalo," "Charly"; and,
Jose (Last Name Unknown) aka "Toca," "Tocayo," "Pachi".
*Additional information about the kidnappings/torture read Buggs previous post HERE
*El Paso Times Article HERE