Reporting on the Mexican Cartel Drug War

Fear of criminals is not an option

Sunday, October 14, 2012 |

El Universal

Sunday, October 14, 2012

Ulises Zamarroni

Translated by un vato for Borderland Beat

Techaluta de Montenegro.--Three weeks ago, a businessman -- the owner of a factory in the southern part of Jalisco-- began to receive threatening and extortion phone calls. He reported these threats to the local, state and federal authorities, but they all downplayed his case.  Today, he is recovering from a bullet wound in one leg and rebuilding assets that were burned down by an armed group in the early hours last Thursday.

Roberto's business manufactures children's furniture, a business located on the Guadalajara-Colima highway that is a source of employment for 150 people. He assures us that he is aware of his social responsibility.

"These days, allowing fear to defeat you is not an option, and to leave everything and abandon those who depend on the jobs one provides is not correct",  he tells EL UNIVERSAL, this  man who has known about organized crime for years, after they tried to kidnap his children. Those incidents have caused him to be separated from his family, which now resides in the United States.

"I believe one must learn from experience. At that time, I learned that we need to protect ourselves and take care of the family, that's why I installed bullet-proof glass on the windows of the house we have here at the factory."


The businessman was operating his factory in apparent tranquility, although he was aware that violent events related to organized crime had increased  in the area. Towards the end of September, a phone call changed everything. 

"They knew all my movements"


"They began calling, asking for money, threatening me. They knew everything about me, about the factory, they knew details about my family, personal matters, they had details of all my activities, everything", he recalls, still nervous.

Days went by and the harassment got worse. A week after the first phone call, he went to the local law enforcement  authorities (MP; Ministerio Publico) in Sayula, a municipality near Techaluta.

"I get there and I'm told that the MP agent is busy, and, yes, I can see he's in his office with the door open, eating his steamed tacos (tacos al vapor). He sees me only after he's finished eating, only to give me a three-page handout, one of those, 'What to do in the case of extortion by phone?' handouts.  Feeling helpless, I said that was not the case with me, that it was a serious matter, but he didn't care." 

"I told him about the phone calls, that they could be traced and that those people had a lot of information about me, and the man tells me that the matter was difficult, that the local Prosecutor does not have the technology to trace calls or to investigate the case. So that's what I got, a hand-out to defend myself with, " he states.

After he visited the visited an official with the State of Jalisco Department of Justice  (PGJEJ), his telephone caller added new warnings.

"The guy that called me said I didn't have to ask for protection, that they were there to protect me and they gave me a phone number that only the MP had. They told me, didn't I know there were officials who were (working) with them?".

Disappointed, he turned to the local and the Federal Police for help, while one of his friends sought help from the 9th Infantry Battalion stationed in Sayula; both got zero response.

"There at the Battalion, they simply told me that the commanding officers were in the northern part of Mexico, in Coahuila, and that they could do nothing. Then I went to the Federal Police, and it was the same thing, that they didn't have the staff and for me to file a complaint. The same with the Municipal Police, they didn't have the staff and were not equipped. They left me by myself," he complains.

All alone against the world


"I've got two registered pistols, a shotgun and I bought a bulletproof vest, the best investment I ever made. On Wednesday, the 10th, we arranged for the delivery of the (extortion) money and they drove me up and down the highway, until 5:00 in the afternoon, when they told me it was all fucked up."

He continues with his narrative of what happened during the next few hours until dawn on Thursday: "I drove the night watchman to his house, then I shut myself inside the property we have here at the factory and I waited. At four in the morning I see lights outside the house and I could hear somebody was trying to come in and we got into a firefight. I don't know how long the shooting lasted, but they only managed to hit me on the chest, which the vest covered, and one on the leg."

After the confrontation, the attackers set fire to two buildings, offices, a warehouse and five cars, then ran off.

"This time, the police--state, municipal and MP-- all showed up. There were 20 officers, all very polite, but what for?" he says. 

For this businessman, fear is not a possibility: "I'm alive to talk about it. I don't think we can surrender. It's clear that in this country you have to be a former governor to be given any attention. Truthfully, I'm not asking for help, only for them not to interfere and to let us defend ourselves if they're not going to help, but no, allowing fear to control you is not an option," he concludes.

The Jalisco Justice Department (Procuraduria de Justicia de Jalisco) reported on Friday that it is investigating the incidents that took place before and during the time the furniture factory was set on fire. In addition, investigators from the Jalisco Institute of Forensic Science  are already making inquiries.

The agency pointed out that the actions of the Sayula MP agent are also being investigated to determine whether his actions with respect to the complainant were deficient in any way.

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29 Borderland Beat Comments:

Anonymous said...

Isn't that nice? Now everybody is conducting an investigation. No doubt to keep an eye on this gentleman to be sure he does not continue to resist. The next thing will be for the police to arrest him for having guns and a bullet proof vest.

Mexican authorities are on their own side, not the public's.

Anonymous said...

agree with businesssman self protection is best defense or offense if possible attack first ask questions later ohh sorry the local police corrupt hmmm big mucho grande dilemma i forgot mexico is the subject

Anonymous said...

esto que pasa es siempre lo mismo. dice la victima que cuando paso el incidente llegaron la policia y demas complices municipales a investigar. ja ja , ja . estos policias y demas ineptos encubridores estaban esperando que terminaran de hacer sus fechurias dos cuadras atras en la calle mas obscura y despues vienen que disque a intervenir y hacer los reportes. todos estan bajo salario de estas gangas tal ves sean los mismos policias que trabajan el primer turno.

Anonymous said...

This is how you do it,well done senor...now he needs armed security 24/7,he could deduct percentage from employees too help guard his/there factory.
Then unite with other company's around in the same area,too protect each other's including employees legit firms.
This story puts a smile on my dial...FIGHT BACK MEXICO!!!!
Love this story BB,well done.

Anonymous said...

Thats what im talking about good job you fought back and won a one man amry much respect to you and god bless

Anonymous said...

This guy has nuts and is using Mexican pride in the right area if people were more like him Mexico wouldn't have a problem with the cartels best relive that he is a inspiration I hope people hear his story and do what he does he's a true hero in my eyes

Anonymous said...

The moral of the story is you're on your own. He needs to get together with other business owners and form a paramilitary force and fight fire with fire. This is what the ranchers and landowners did in Colombia to form the AUC - they kicked the FARC and ELN ass hard and massacred anyone who sympathized with them.

Anonymous said...

For every Mexican who wrought evil in the country, there are many more who are heroes and heroines.
They are the heart and soul of the country.

Anonymous said...

With Mexico in such dire straits, the government must pull out all stops to wipe out the cartels.
Anything but anything can do.
Even extra-judicial methods.

Anonymous said...

I would high tail it to the states to be with your family...no job is worth going thru all this shit..next time they will just jump you and take u to a dimly lit room with a cell phone and a butter knife..consider that wounded leg your "get outta jail free card" man!

Anonymous said...

Right... He needs to get together with other business owners and(SECRETLY) form a paramilitary force and fight fire with fire. If this was recent, it was Z or CJNG?????

Anonymous said...

This is probably the only inspiring story I've read here. Way to go Bro...May God be with you.

Anonymous said...

just call Blackwater they like to shoot guns even if they are shitty at it.

Anonymous said...

God bless this man

Anonymous said...

Good for him but I think unless he gets more back he's gonna up dead just being realistic

Anonymous said...

Mexican citizens have no choice but to arm themselves to protect their families snd communities.

Anonymous said...

Fucking police are all corrupt, lazy, chickenshits. I am an honest citizen in Coahuila and carry a concealed weapon all the time for the very same reason. We are left to defend our families ourselves! Everyday more and more civilians are doing what I am and we WILL defend our families and our homes. All these corrupt fucks can go to hell.

Anonymous said...

I am sure they are filthy rich now. Lazca must have made billions the last few years from all the murder and mayhem he unleashed upon his country. I'm sure his family has access to it.

I hear that Mexico is trying to find family members of Lazca for DNA testing, but they are having a really hard time hunting them down. I bet he has them out of the country, probably in Europe. I can only imagine they would be sweet targets for any of the other cartels fighting against the zetas.

Anonymous said...

A very strange article to be sure. It sort of went full circle in contradicting itself. Of course there is fear. He moved his family. Maybe because real journalists tend to get killed in Mexico "news articles" appear that almost make sense concerning the authorities until its one remembers the authorities behave like gangsters. They steal houses, murder people, extort, deal drugs, and oh, they investigate to find out why they haven't received payment for said crimes.

Anonymous said...

@11:32pm dude be careful....dont wanna get picked up by cartel members thinking your opposition,you know just as well as i do what trouble it means too be carrying a concealed handgun in public.

Anonymous said...

Learn from your mistakes my friend...I like your clint eastwood tactics in dealing with these scumbags.and I think your wife owes you one!!! (if you know what I mean) but next time you decide to go to the local police, bring a bottle of 'hot sauce" with you and maybe they will take you serious!!!

Anonymous said...

steamed tacos??? ...they sound delish!

Anonymous said...

This sounds more like the police was directly involved in this extortion.

Anonymous said...

that man has gutts thats how every mexican should be que se armen d wuebos n fight fire with fire because those motherfuckers only act hard when there with a crew and hav gunns but when they see there getting shoot at they runn lik lil pussies que todos los mexicanos se armen d wuebos y acabar con todos los mal nacidos wuebones arriba mexico ya ven la marina e partio la madrecal lazca que no pueden con otros muertos d hambre

Anonymous said...

God forbid the honest Mexican citizen own a gun to protect himself...NEWS FLASH CRIMINALS ALREADY HAVE WEAPONS.

Anonymous said...

Tacos al vapor????????? Hahahahahahahahaha

Anonymous said...

We cannot speculate ,and just assume the police were in on it. But what we do know is that you "cannot" leave (tacos al vapor) sitting around too long.they will start to dry out.....I wasn't like the guy was bleeding out in the waiting room. Have a seat an relax.

Anonymous said...

"I am sure they are filthy rich now. Lazca must have made billions the last few years from all the murder and mayhem he unleashed upon his country"
Get a grip,made billions,people actually believe that?

Anonymous said...

My deepest respect Señoron! See politicians when you level the ground field its not the same huh, scumbags? Legalize firearms so civilians have a chance to defend themeselves if authorities are'nt going to help get the fuck of the way! GREAT STORY.

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