Chivis Martinez Borderland Beat
The Peña administration makes changes in policy of reporting on the narco war, making it difficult to know what is fact and what is fiction. M4 is a case in point......
On January 14th rumors were inundating social networks on the pages of Mexican drug war reporting, that Hector Delgado aka “M4” was dead. On the 15th I posted the story with a disclaimer that concrete facts and confirmation were nonexistent regarding the reports of Delgado’s death.
The reports from citizens were blurred by another firefight that occurred coinciding with the rumors of M4 death.
In the second incident, also involving CDG, a narco of rank was injured and taken to the hospital for lifesaving measures that failed. It was rumored to be M4.
It was not. M4 was killed on January 14, and his body is said to have been retrieved on the 15th and quickly buried. It was reported to me that it was a Metro on Metro hit.
Aside from the newsworthy fact that a powerful leader of one faction of the ongoing infighting cartel, the fact that his death went without notice in mainstream media was newsworthy in of its self.
One could feel a huge shift in the government’s approach to high profile narco deaths, and it was perplexing and frustrating while attempting to search for information and confirmation.
Then on January 20th came the announcement by Edward Sanchez, the undersecretary to Peña. He gave a news conference to announce the change in federal reporting of narco event, citing that to not instill the new practices “hurts society”, and is “unacceptable”.
No longer will there be:
v Perp walks and presentations
v Most Wanted Lists
v Media will not be allowed to cover events such as raids
v Will refrain from using monikers when referring to narcos
The undersecretary explained that by using monikers, such as Chapo, glorifies organized crime to impressionable children they may look upon drug trafficking as desirable goal .
I say monikers make little or no difference in the glorification of cartels. My sense is Peña's administration is using excuses for actions that harm society, and in doing so they are betting on people welcoming and accepting rather than recognizing it is, as a matter of fact, censorship and lack of transparency.
If the Peña administration wishes to make a sincere impact on the lives of children affected by the glorification of 'narcoism', they would better serve its society by providing impoverished and marginalized children an education and opportunities whereby they have life choices other rather than joining cartels.
In a nation with the majority of its people live in poverty, Mexico will not heal until its leaders come in with innovative thinking instead of back to the future of PRI corruption, secrecy, and looking upon impoverished children as just so much acceptable attrition.
The new policy is not applicable to states which initiate policy for their individual state. Evidence of ignoring the new federal policy by states has been evident by their continuing "perp" presentations and use of monikers. The problem arises from the control cartels have over some states and all municipalities that are big players in the war of organized crime groups.
Below is an excellent article posted in The Monitor written by Ildefonso Ortiz. It is republished here in its complete text.
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Few Details Known in The Quiet Fall of a Feared Gulf Cartel Kingpin
In a world of betrayals and violence, where the fall of a kingpin is typically lauded by Mexican media, the death of a feared drug lord flew under the radar much like his legendary operations.
The name Hector Delgado sounds unremarkable; the nickname Metro-4 or M4 inspired fear on both sides of the border.
Described as tall, slim, dark and coldblooded, Delgado was known in Mexico as a ruthless enforcer, while law enforcement officials in the U.S. side were well aware of the man’s reputation and his disregard for borders when scores needed to be settled.
The body of Delgado was found Jan. 15, just days after he had disappeared, said a Tamaulipas law enforcement official who asked not to be identified, citing security concerns. He was believed to have reached his late 30s upon his death.
“There was some confusion because on that day there had been a firefight and another member of rank in that criminal organization was wounded and died at the hospital,” the official said in Spanish.
A U.S. intelligence official unauthorized to speak to the media confirmed the death of Delgado, adding that he has since been buried beside his brother in Matamoros.
Mexican authorities have not released any information relating to the death of Delgado.
The nickname for Delgado stemmed from his origins in the Gulf Cartel, where at the beginning he was part of the Matamoros enforcement wing known as the Metros — a radio signal which was assigned based on the city they worked in, the Tamaulipas official said.
“In the beginning, that’s how you knew where they were from, Metros were from Matamoros, Rojos were from Reynosa, Lobos were from Laredo and so forth,” the official said. “As things changed, the names stayed but they were all over the place.”
Delgado was born and raised in Matamoros and as time went by his position in the organization grew.
But unlike some of his fellow Metros, like Metro-2 (Gregorio Sauceda) or Metro -3 (Samuel Flores Borrego), who became famous plaza bosses,
Delgado always remained in the shadows working the enforcement side while staying below the radar of authorities.
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Delgado had been the plaza boss of Reynosa and one of the closest allies of de-facto Gulf Cartel boss Mario ”Pelon or X-20” Ramirez, who has been trying to exert control of the organization which has been involved in an internal struggle since 2011, the Tamaulipas official said.
On one side, the forces loyal to the family of legendary kingpin Osiel Cardenas Guillen continue to face off against the men who had been loyal to Jorge Eduardo “El Coss” Costilla. Cardenas is serving a 25-year sentence in a U.S. prison, while Costilla awaits trial in a Mexico.
The struggle between the two factions has upset the Gulf Cartel’s allies in Sinaloa, who have been helping them since 2010 to fight the Zetas — once working as the Gulf Cartel’s elite ex-paramilitary enforcers.
While gunmen and traffickers with the Sinaloa Cartel continue to work in Tamaulipas, they have lost trust in their Tamaulipas counterparts and have been more and more reluctant to help them, the law enforcement official said.
Many citizens of Reynosa have grown tired of drug dealers and their regular shootouts with authorities, but for a brief time in September and October 2012 they were thankful to Delgado for his role in keeping the famously corrupt Reynosa transit police at bay.
Not tasked with any public safety role, but merely acting as traffic enforcers, the transit police in Reynosa and Matamoros — better known as transitos — are notoriously corrupt, working as lookouts for the Gulf Cartel, a source outside law enforcement with direct knowledge of criminal activity said.
“They are totally useless and corrupt,” Joel Hernandez said in Spanish.
The Reynosa businessman has no ties to criminal activity and recalled the brief respite he had during the time.
“They will pull you over for any excuse they can think of and extort you by scaring you with having your vehicle impounded or arrested,” Hernandez said. “It was a good break that we had. Later on I heard the rumor of why they had been punished and it felt good to know that someone put them in their place.”
For about six weeks, Delgado ordered the transit police to do all of their patrolling on foot as a way to punish them for pulling him over, the source outside law enforcement said. The cartel boss had been riding in a beaten up car to avoid detection from Mexican military personnel.
“He had been driving a small, beat-up car to not raise suspicion of the military and as he was heading toward Rio Bravo, he was stopped by the transitos who tried to extort him,” the source said. “At first they didn’t believe who he was so he called his people who showed up and disciplined the transitos. Feeling offended, he punished them all.”
FEARED IN THE U.S.
In mid 2011, the Texas Department of Public Safety issued a memo to its troopers and other law enforcement agencies, warning them about orders given by M-4 to fire upon U.S. law enforcement if they tried to stop certain shipments key to the Gulf Cartel.
In other DPS memos, the agency warned of various attacks on U.S. soil that were in one way or another attributed to a figure identified only as M-4.
At the time the memos were issued, DPS director Steve McCraw wouldn’t discuss details of the memos leaked to The Monitor, saying that the contents were for law enforcement eyes only.
When the Gulf Cartel went through an internal split in September 2011 that continues to languish today, Delgado was identified by U.S. law enforcement officials as the man who had ordered the recovery of various drug loads stolen from the organization.
In October 2011, then-Hidalgo Police Captain Robert Vela confirmed that Delgado, who was one of the bosses in Reynosa behind the kidnapping of a man who was rescued by his department at the Hidalgo-Reynosa International Bridge.
The man, who was never identified by authorities, was rescued from the trunk of a car driven by an underage teen. Investigators were able to track two men who were charged with aggravated kidnapping.
Delgado was also identified by Hidalgo County Sheriff Lupe Trevino as the man who had ordered the Partido Revolucionario Mexicano prison gang to carry out a simultaneous operation similar to the one in Hidalgo to recover a substantial drug load.
The kidnapping turned deadly when Deputy Hugo Rodriguez and his partner Manuel Morales pulled over a sand-colored pickup where two kidnappers had stuffed their victims in the back of the truck.
Rodriguez was shot multiple times, but along with Morales, the deputies were able to kill one of the gunmen and seriously wound the other.
The shooting was the first incident that Trevino called spillover violence — a term he had long before challenged compared to other local and state law enforcement officials.
“It doesn’t necessarily kill the snake,” the sheriff said Saturday of the cartel boss’ death. “It’s almost like they are Medusa. As long as we demand, somebody is going to supply.”