Saturday, November 30, 2013

Drugs, Guns and Bling

Borderland Beat

Note: A couple of months ago, I viewed this Ioan Grillo's video of the narco museum (at bottom of this post)  and this post from Small Wars Journal provides some  interesting information, the SWJ article below is by;
 David Kuhn, Anikh Wadhawan and Robert Bunker..
Mexican Cartel Tactical Note #20: RPG-29 Anti-Armor Munitions
Note—Up until recently, weapons that provide for armor and bunker defeat capability at the levels that the RPG-29 is capable of, have not been seen in the hands of the Mexican cartels.  The fact that they have successfully obtained them—and the origin and mechanism by which they were obtained should be of extreme concern to everyone.
Key Information: See the RPG-29 images in the 2:26 minute video Drugs, Guns and; Bling: Inside the Mexican Army's Narco War Museum hosted by the author/journalist Ioan Grillo (El Narco: Inside Mexico’s Criminal Insurgency) and filmed by Ross McDonnell via BuzzFeed Central (Original video posting 10 September 2013).

Who: The Mexican cartels; the specific cartel which had the RPG-29VR round in its possession is not identified.

What: The RPG-29VR is an advanced Russian anti-armor round capable of defeating all types of modern main-battle tanks including the American M1A1/2 Abrams. See Photo 1 where it is being held by Ioan Grillo.

When: The date the RPG-29VR was placed in the museum’s collection is unknown.

Where: The Mexican Army museum where the RPG-29VR round resides is found in Mexico City and is not open to the public.  It is meant to provide training for the Mexican Army concerning narco culture (narco cultura).

Why: The Mexican cartels have been increasingly obtaining military grade weaponry in their conflicts with each other and with Mexican federal police and military and naval units.

Note: The RPG-29 launcher and PG-29VR round combination is in service in a number of countries. There are indications that Mexico may also be fielding the weapon on a limited basis. 
This weaponry has been used by Hezbollah forces against Israeli armor in Lebanon in 2006. The reader will also note that the round in the frame extracted from the video has a blue band midway along its length.  This marking is common and should not be confused with content color-code markings on standard munitions. 

Light blue color-codes are often used by the U.S. and several other countries to identify inert or drill rounds, however, the RFAS is not among them.  They have historically used orange (and occasionally silver with markings) over the majority of the WH or WH and rocket body.  They also use all yellow on “inert” mock-ups (such as MANPADS) and a particular shade of gray on certain training launchers.  As can be seen, the round found in the Hezbollah cache, [Photo 2] also has this distinctive blue stripe.

Photo 1. PG-29 Round Held by Ioan Grillo


Photo 2. Similar PG-29 Round in Hezbollah Cache

Photo 3. RPG-29 Launcher and Round

Key Information and Analysis:  RPG-29 Tandem Warhead Round
The unusual looking rocket munition picked up for viewing by the narrator during the video documentary of the Mexican Army’s private narco-war museum, the “Museo de Enervantes,” is a PG-29VR Tandem-Warhead Round that is designed to be fired from the RPG-29 “Vampir”(Vampire) Portable Anti-tank Rocket Launcher [Photo 3]. 
This round is produced almost exclusively by GNNP Bazalt in Russia, and previously, in the CIS (Common Wealth of Independent States).  Contradictory reports exist as to the possible production of this round via SEDENA in Mexico, however, there are questions concerning this.  Distribution via RFAS state factories, including export sales, is rather limited in comparison to the standard HE (High Explosive) based PG (RPG based rocket) rounds normally encountered.
Of great interest, regarding this particular PG-29VR round, is a further inquiry that was made by the reporter and author of the video, Ioan Grillo, to one of the Mexican officials at the Museo de Enervantes.  Mr. Grillo inquired as to exactly where this round was encountered.  The Mexican official indicated to Mr. Grillo that the rocket he was describing was not real, but simply a mock-up that they (the Mexican officials) had produced.  According to the official, they wanted to show an example of the type of military weaponry that the cartels were acquiring.  

At what moment did our country become what it is today?

Borderland Beat 

 La Jornada: By Simón Vargas Aguilar

At what moment did our country become what it is today? Why has organized crime acquired such power and influence, factors that have permitted it to become the law and the authority in some regions? Why has violence increased exponentially over the last years, reaching levels of sadism and cruelty never before seen?

Why has this savagery succeeded in robbing us of public places, changing our lives, and taking our loved ones from us? When exactly did the youth decide to follow the path of organized crime to live the fast life and die early? Why is our society eroding so rapidly?

Siddharta Guatama said: “If you want to know the past, look to the present, which is its result. If you want to know the future, look to the present, which is its cause.”

Our present country is the summation of a great number of errors and poor decisions made over the course of our history. This history has almost always been—and likely, will continue to be—determined by the interests of certain developed countries, international organizations, and those who unlawfully hold extensive resources. 

And although between the aforementioned forces some exceptions exist, promoting alternative agendas, the hegemony and the power of the majority is such that the development and well-being of our society has rarely been their priority.

Today, our outlook is dominated by poverty, inequality, social exclusion, lack of opportunity, corruption, impunity, weak institutions, and meager economic growth. Thanks to these variables, the violence associated with organized crime and drug trafficking found favorable footholds to flourish and obtain million-dollar earnings at the cost of the destruction of forward-looking perspectives and the development of the entire country.

The family ceased to be the cornerstone of society, social ties became increasingly fragile, and our values—which once distinguished us in the world—were replaced by anti-values such as hatred, intolerance, and individualism.

Friday, November 29, 2013

Update or "re-Wake up Call" on Mexican Cartels and Mining in Mexico

Borderland Beat

MEXICO CITY -- Mexican drug cartels looking to diversify their businesses long ago moved into oil theft, pirated goods, extortion and kidnapping, consuming an ever larger swath of the country's economy. 

Mexican drug cartels have muscled in to the country's lucrative mining industry during a mafia-style takeover of great swathes of the economy, officials warned. 

This month, federal officials confirmed the cartels have even entered the country's lucrative mining industry, exporting iron ore to Chinese mills.

Los Zetas enter Coal Business

Such large-scale illegal mining operations were long thought to be mostly wild rumor, but federal officials confirmed they had known about the cartels' involvement in mining since 2010, and that the Nov. 4 military takeover of Lazaro Cardenas, Mexico's second-largest port, was aimed at cutting off the cartels' export trade.

That news served as a wake-up call to Mexicans that drug traffickers have penetrated the country's economy at unheard-of levels, becoming true Mafia-style organizations, ready to defend their mines at gun point.

Three Michoacan state detectives were wounded in an ambush earlier this week when they were traveling to investigate a mine taken over by criminals. 

When reinforcements arrived, those officers were also ambushed, part of a string of attacks on police in Michoacan on Wednesday and Thursday that left two officers dead and about a dozen wounded.

The Knights Templar cartel and its predecessor, the La Familia Michoacan, have been stealing or extorting shipments of iron ore, or illegally extracting the mineral themselves and selling it through Pacific coast ports, said Michoacan residents, mining companies and current and former federal officials. The cartel had already imposed demands for "protection payments" on many in the state, including shopkeepers, ranchers and farmers.

But so deeply entrenched was the cartel connection to mines, mills, ports, export firms and land holders that it took authorities three years to confront the phenomenon head-on. Federal officials said they are looking to crack down on other ports where drug gangs are operating.

"This is the terrible thing about this process of (the cartel's) taking control of and reconfiguring the state," said Guillermo Valdes Castellanos, the former head of the country's top domestic intelligence agency. "They managed to impose a Mafia-style control of organized crime, and the different social groups like port authorities, transnational companies and local landowners, had to get in line."

Valdez Castellanos said that even back in 2010, the La Familia cartel would take ore from areas that were under concession to private mining companies, sometimes with the aid or complicity of local farmers and land owners, then sell the ore to processors, distributors and even, apparently, foreign firms.

Mexico's Economy Department said the problem was so severe that it prompted the government to quietly toughen rules on exporters in 2011 and 2012 and make them prove they received their ore from established, recognized sources.

Many exporters couldn't. In 2012, the department denied export applications from 13 companies, because they didn't meet the new rules. And the problem wasn't just limited to Michoacan, or the Knights Templar cartel.

"Since 2010, evidence surfaced of irregular mining of iron in the states of Jalisco, Michoacan and Colima," the department said in a statement to The Associated Press.

"That illegal activity was encouraged by the great demand for iron by countries such as China, to develop their industries," according to the department. "Many trading companies began to build up big stockpiles of legally and illegally obtained iron (ore), that was later shipped out for export."

Sicarios Play with their Victim

Borderland Beat
From the archives

In this video, making its rounds on Youtube, shows several unidentified gunmen with a man that is blindfolded and his hands tied behind his back. They make fun of him and tell him they are going to execute him with the an AK-47 they are holding for being a criminal.

The date on which the recording was made is unknown, but it is believed that the incident occurred in Tepalcatepec, Michoacan.

In the video the group of sicarios say that the man held captive is a rat and that is why he is going to pay for everything he has done. For several minutes they play a psychological game with him, pretending they are spraying him with bullets and telling him he is going to be beat/tortured while they pretend to hit him with a branch from a tree.

In the video the men seem to be armed, some are seen with handguns on their waist and are in three luxurious SUV's. Their faces are revealed and their nicknames are given, but it is not certain if they are real nicknames or they are just joking around. They main guy and the one who appears to be filming the video calls himself "El 90."

In the recording one of the gunmen "El 90" is seen armed with an AK-47 (Cuerno de Chivo), while they accuse the man of being a criminal and they threaten to take his life.

The video does not show him being executed or if he ever was murdered.

Anyone that may have further information on this video post it up.

La Tuta Implicates La Cocoa

Borderland Beat

Servando Gomez "La Tuta" leader and founder of the La Familia Micoacana and now the Knights Templar released a video on November 27 in which he states that in November of 2006 in Michoacan he abducted Reyes Alfonso Hinojosa who is supposedly the cousin of then President-elect Felipe Calderon Hinojosa. The leader of the criminal group claims that the abduction was a response to a debt of 30 million pesos ($2,291,388 dollars).

He also claims that Mexican PAN Senator Luisa María "Cocoa" Calderon, sister of former Mexican President Felipe Calderon, intervened to secure the release. "An agreement was reached and Reyes did not have to pay his debt," said Tuta in the video. "But after this incident the problems with Calderón started with us, we used to be La Familia Michoacana and now we are the Knights Templar" Tuta went on to say.

Servando Gomez "La Tuta", leader of the Knights Templar (CT or Templarios), said in the video that the Luisa Maria Calderón had a pact and made indirect contact with the Templarios in 2006 and 2011.

In the video posted on YouTube "La Tuta" rejects the previous accusations made by Calderon Hinojosa that state government officials led by PRI Fausto Vallejo met with the Knights Templar.

"I deny it. I's Not true. The only person who approached us during the campaign in 2011, in November 2011 during the campaign for governorship in Michoacan was Mrs. Luisa María Calderón who sent a man by the name of Francisco Javier Girón del Toro who is a local politician in the council in the district of Apatzingan.

Luisa María Calderón was quick to hold a press conference and deny the allegation made in the Tuta video that she considered a threat made against her and demanded a federal investigation to the comments made by Tuta where he admitted to some of his criminal activities. She said that the video is an affront to the institutions of the state, which was made in response to statements made by her about the presence of Templars in the Senate and forcing an investigation.

Without taking questions from the media, Luisa María Calderón said that the video is a public threat to herself and said that the local government recongnizes the intent of this criminal "this is the best evidence of their link, at least effective, with the local authority.

"He attacks me and tells me "to keep down my bullshit" shows that there has been no dialogue between me, it bothers him for me to say what happens, and it is also clear he is not happy with the current government."

Politicians and friends standing next to Luisa María Calderón in support during the press conference reminded the media of who they were dealing with, a criminal.

La Tuta is credited with the killing of 12 officers of the Federal Police, which occurred on July 13, 2009 in the town of La Huacana, Michoacán. It is also known that he ordered the execution of federal agents, one of whom was a woman who was abused and whose images were posted on the internet showing this act of violence.

He also has five outstanding arrest warrants that includes 13 preliminary investigations. The law enforcement community of the Mexican government considers him one of the most violent drug traffickers in the country.

Luisa María Calderón said she is maintaining constant communication with federal authorities on the issue of insecurity in Michoacan and took advantage of this to ask the government to "take note of the confessions that Tuta makes of his criminal activities in the video and proceed with an investigation. The price I pay for speaking the truth is a threat from a confessed criminal through a video."

Source: open media sources, too many to mention.

Will the people of Michoacan find a solution to the violence through their Auto Defensas or comunitarios? Will the political corruption in Michoacan someday come to an end to stop protecting organized crime? Here is a video for incase we forgot how it has been and how it is now; Michoacan in 2009:

Thursday, November 28, 2013

CDG Hangs two Young Girls with Message to Z

Borderland Beat
From the Archives
On November 25, 2013 a horrific scene unfolded early in the morning in Fresnillo Zacatecas when two bodies were seen ganging on a pedestrian bridge. A narco message was left in a banner hanging on the bridge next to the bodies and was signed by the Gulf Cartel (CDG).
The victims were both young females that are not named here at BB as requested by the family for fear of retaliation.  Both young girls were ages 15 and 16 and had been reported missing since November 20, 2013. They were held by members fo the CDG in order to gather information of Los Zetas. Both of the victims were students and were known to associate with members of organize crime.

The general public and vehicles that were travelling under the bridge were witness to the scene as the two bodies were dangling from the bridge. The authorities quickly arrived and they attempted to secure the scene.

The bodies were hanging from what appeared to be yellow plastic chords.
One of the massages on the narco banner (manta) read: "Fucking Z Juan Bandido don't be a faggot, confront us whore, come and pick up your trash, so you know whore here is the CDG, under the command of M3. Respond for your people, don't be a coward."

The other banner on the other side of the bridge had a similar message but the exact words were not available.

Los Zetas are fighting to regain control of Fresnillo, they have sent messages in the past declaring that Fresnillo will never be territory of CDG. In the last few weeks CDG has been abducting people in Fresnillo, and warning that they are going after Los Zetas. This has open full wage war in Zacatecas, especially in the region of Fresnillo. Young girls have been the hardest hit, where at least 25 girls have been abducted in the last month alone.

The bodies and banners were hanged before sunrise and there were no witnesses that came forward.

Sources: Noticiero El Circo, Testigo Noticias TV and social media.

Border Patrol Interview: how a logical question can stump BP spokesman

Chivis Martínez for Borderland Beat

On BB forum, I posted a number of clips from the just released movie "Narco Cultura",   Buggs also posted about the movie and a couple of trailers. 
Photojournalist Shaul Schwarz documents Mexico’s drug war culture, through the music scene and the narcocorrido.  These narcocorridos, are gaining huge popularity with the under 30 generation, as they embrace the scene even faster than the “war” is spreading. 
This clip takes place at the border fence that separates El Paso Texas from Ciudad Juárez, it begins with a self assured Border Patrol spokesman,  explaining how well the fence and technology is working in the fight against trafficking and unlawful migrant crossings, and the numbers being down considerably.   Schwarz is heard off camera asking a question…see what happens next.

Now 72 Bodies in Clandestine Graves of Michoacán and Jalisco

Borderland Beat  December 4th-five additional bodies found raising the number to 72.  These were found along the banks of the Lerma River

Additional bodies were unearthed today rising the total corpses discovered to 66.  Bodies were found in the municipalities of Vista Hermosa Michoacán and La Barca
The discovery was made inadvertently,  as an investigation was being conducted after the disappearance of two federal agents on November 3rd.  The first bodies were found on November 7th and the number of bodies continue to rise.

The federal PGR agency, made it clear that none of the 58 corpses were that of the missing agents  René Rojas Marquez and Gabriel Santiago Quijados suspected of being kidnapped by municipal police Michoacán.
So far, the bodies found have not been identified and it is not known whether they belonged to any organized crime group.  However, in the area between La Barca and the Michoacán towns of Briseñas and Vista Hermosa, there is a fierce conflict between CJNG and Templarios for over 18 months and it is suggested  that at least some of the dead belonged to one of the cartels.


FP Killed in Apatzingan

Borderland Beat
Last night there was blood shed in the communities of Paracuaro and Apatzingan resulting in at least two federal police killed and ten injured. They have sent reinforcements and there are at least 100 police providing security in addition to hundreds of military personnel attempting to regain control of the region.
There still no casualty reports of the gunmen, but there are unconfirmed reports of potentially several killed.

There were reports throughout the day and into the night of clashes between armed men pretending to be part of the “citizen defense groups” (auto defensas) and police forces. The bloodiest confrontation occurred in Cuatro Caminos and Uspero, communities in Paracuaro and Apatzingan.

The fire fights were intense on the outskirts of the town but never reached the heart of the towns. The social media forums warned the "civilian defense groups" to remain inside their home through the night, to ensure they did not get caught in the cross fire between the police and the heavily armed gunmen.

The silent night was broken at around 10pm by the sounds of helicopters as they landed to pick up the injured to transport them to the militarized zone 43 in Tapalcatepec.

This comes after the advances of the "citizen defense group" were denied to prevent further advancements into Acahuato and the southern part of Apatzingan. The military had set up a perimeter and prevented the mobilization of the citizen groups to prevent confusion and potential for friendly fire from stray bullets.

Earlier in the day a ministerial police and a forensic investigator were ambushed and seriously injured, resulting in the pending violent confrontation.

If you have further information post up.

Source: Reports form social media and Agencia Esquema

It is believed that the gunmen that ambushed the FP and the ministerial police were Templarios (CT).

The video below is from the incursion of the Auto Defensas into Tancitaro that resulted in clashes between the Defense Groups and gunmen last week.

The Rise of Michoacan
Pictures by Proceso

Wednesday, November 27, 2013

"El Ponchis" Child Sicario Returns to the US-San Antonio, Texas

Borderland Beat
"I'm already picturing myself as a good man,said "El Ponchis" in an interview with Proceso 
"El Ponchis" shortly after his arrest Dec. 2010

Early this morning under heavy security of elements from state, federal and State Attorney General's Office, Edgar Jimenez Lugo, alias "El Ponchis" or "El Niño Sicario" left the Court of Justice for Adolescents in Morelos.

According to data from the Morelos government secretary, Jorge Vicente Guillén Messeguer, who said 
in an interview with Mexico’s Milenio news channel that the youth, had served all but about a week of his three-year sentence, had family in San Antonio. Once in the United States, Jimenez would be sent to what he referred to as a “support center” where he would be treated as a “boarder,” not as an inmate. 'El Ponchis', 17, left the detention center at 2:30 am Tuesday to be transferred to the International Airport in Mexico City .

The official explained that Edgar departed from Mexico City en route to San Antonio, Texas, USA, where his family is waiting for him to be admitted to a rehabilitation support center.

A spokesman for the U.S. Embassy in Mexico City released a statement Tuesday morning that shed little light on the fate of the youth, who was born in San Diego.

“We are aware of Edgar Lugo’s upcoming release by the Mexican authorities following completion of his sentence,” the statement said. “We are closely coordinating with our Mexican counterparts and appropriate authorities in the United States regarding Edgar Lugo’s release. Due to privacy considerations, we do not publicly discuss details of matters involving U.S. citizens.”

In a separate TV interview, Morelos Gov. Graco Ramirez said that Edgar's rehabilitation had been "notable," and that he would continue it in the United States.

Ramirez confirmed that the youth was not being extradited to the U.S. Rather, he was being sent there because his life was at risk if he remained in Morelos.
It may be recalled that on 20 November, it first was reported that the teenager would not leave prison until December 3, after spending three years in captivity.

the child assassin better known as "El Ponchis", is looking for alternatives to continue his social rehabilitation process and one that is being considered is his return to the United States, where he was born.

"He's scared, he knows that the situation will not be easy for him and there is a history of young people who have kidnapped once they graduate from the social rehab center of. He knows that and has asked, somehow, to be protected , "said Ana Virinia Perez Gomez, president of the Court of Justice for Adolescents in Morelos.

El Ponchis was born in the United States but has spent much of his time growing up in in Mexico, where sisters and an aunt live.

His mother now lives in San Diego where she has another family.

Upon serving his sentence, the Court of Justice for Adolescents Center in Morelos the adolescent will be released from the facility and whether or not he has been able to overcome his criminal behavior remains uncertain.

Edgar "El Ponchis" Jimenez Lugo was arrested three years ago when he tried to board a flight to San Diego, California, where the flight originated. BB Dec. 3, 2010

The child, admitted to being a member of the South Pacific Cartel and participated in kidnapping, torture and murder of at least four people. 

Édgar Jimenez Lugo, who at the time only14 years old, admitted to being a cartel member and participating in kidnapping and torture.  He was convicted of beheading four men whose bodies were found in August 2010 under a bridge near Tabachines.  He was accused abduction, of torture by beheading, transportation of drugs possession of weapons military use-only weapons,  and military use during his participation in the South Pacific Cartel.

Authorities later linked him with 300 violent deaths which occurred in Morelos where he had the task of beheading and mutilating his victims.

"Edgar fulfills his sentence and will be credited with time served before or on December 3, 2013. Since he faces no U.S. charges, he will be free to move north upon his release should he so choose. The court has been considering several possibilities for his future" said Ana Perez Gomez Virinia. 

Analysis: A Case in Support of the Autodefensa Movement

Borderland Beat

“The self-defense groups of Michoacán, heroic and dignified, represent a fresh and hopeful alternative that should be recognized and supported” -La Jornada
“Mexican peace activist Javier Sicilia considers the use of weapons in self-defense to be both legitimate and "praiseworthy.  "It seems to me most worthy ,that someone might take a weapon in order to say: 'You are not going to diminish my dignity or the dignity of a community"-Sicilia

"We want to destroy organized crime, in our state.   We do not want criminals with a seat and power in the state government. Because of them, all Michoacán is ill-fated. The only ones who benefit are the criminals, but the people, are still fucked "….Dr Manuel Mierles
Should society respect the institutions, or rather is it the institutions that should respect the society? Is there rule of law in a State where they kidnap, extort and murder with impunity? Why devalue the voluntary and respectable work of the community police, instead of providing them with necessary political and military support? Why isn't the State promoting legal frameworks and coordinating with them?

Charged as few other states with a thousand-year old culture [the Purépecha people established a complex society parallel to the Aztecs], a regional history and heroic memories of iconic characters [President Lázaro Cárdenas], Michoacán once again achieves notoriety in the national and global context. The social, cultural and political processes occurring today in this state make it a laboratory for dramatic and innovative social experiments.

The avalanche of facts, research, reports, statements, comments and interviews conducted by the press, their reporters and commentators on radio and television, reveal a scenario characterized by three phenomena:
  • Proliferation and multiplication of criminal organization groups that now extend across a majority of the more than 100 municipalities in the state and that combine movement of drugs and illegal logging with extortion of agricultural producers, traders and families;     
  • The impotence, indifference and even complicity of state and municipal governments with these criminal groups;
  • A legitimate citizen reaction of self-defense, now represented by the community police, that add new towns and municipalities every day.
Meetings between Cartels and Government Leaders
Confirmation of the first phenomenon runs through the family networks and communication channels among neighbors, friends and coworkers. The media have been responsible for confirming the second: from the meeting that took place between the La Familia Michoacana and 14 elected mayors, including several current state government officials (Proceso), to the revelation of a Senate meeting with members of The Knights Templars [Los caballeros templarios] on October 17 (La Jornada Michoacán), most recently to an investigation of two meetings (July and October of 2011) between the Acting Governor and now Secretary of Government and top leaders of The Knights Templar during the state election campaign (Milenio)

Citizen Control

Zapatistas 2013
The third phenomenon, which assumes citizen and social control of territory, reproduces what happened in Chiapas with the Zapatista caracoles [regional self-government structures], and in Guerrero with the self-defense organizations that exist today in some 160 communities in 23 municipalities.
Springing forth under the inspiration and learning gained from the indigenous communities of the Purhépecha Meseta [Highlands] with Cherán in the lead, the self-defense groups of Michoacán now extend through the municipalities of Buenavista, Tepalcátepec, Aguililla, Coalcomán, Chinicuila, Tancítaro, Urapicho and several other communities on the coast.

If the Michoacán movements connect with their equivalents in Chiapas and Guerrero and with the various regional organizations in Oaxaca, it foretells and sketches a new corridor of community, municipal and regional self-management--an extensive area where social and citizen power takes precedence

It is likely that the case of Michoacán, with its nuances and differences, might already be the emblematic example. Some 5,000 years ago, when the first unequal societies appeared, where a minority exploited the majority, the heart of the social model has been the same: an interplay between three powers, the political, economic and social.
The class that governs and administers duties or taxes; the economic sector, which accumulates wealth at different rates and intensities; and the bulk of the citizens. State, capital and civil society are three forces whose dynamics give form and content to each society.

Exploitive 1%

Today, in modern times, characterized by a maximum concentration of mega-monopolies represented by some 500 corporations, the political class, regardless of its color or ideology, now plays at capital's side. Hard data, coming from scientific research, confirm the expression that once seemed outlandish: today 1 percent of the species exploits the other 99 percent.

Everything indicates that as the world becomes more complex, unpredictable, uncertain and fragile, many of the institutions, such as formal democracy, the market, centralized justice, the banks, will become obsolete.

As in Michoacán, the human, urban and rural communities are realizing that existing institutions, overwhelmed by all kinds of problems, are non-functional and that organized citizens must take in their hand the management of resources, key decisions, justice, food production, education, prevention and so on. The State and capital are already overwhelmed.

Today is the hour for citizen self-management. Viewed from that perspective, the self-defense groups of Michoacán, heroic and dignified, represent a fresh and hopeful alternative that should be recognized and supported

Michoacán government spokesman, Julio Hernandez, accused Mireles, without presenting any evidence, that Mireles had been in jail from 1988 to 1992 on charges of planting and harvesting of marijuana, the doctor rejects accusations flatly and there has not been any evidence produced to support this accusation….(Proceso)

The people who want to join the movement are within their rights. The Constitution itself, in Article 10, makes it very clear. Every village that does not have the safety and security of the institutions that were formed to do so, can be armed in self-defense of their rights, their property, their lives.
On tour in Tancitaro he was greeted by the people with respect and admiration, he told them;
"This movement has to grow, but only in states that can do so without involving political parties, only the people can defend because it is a matter of life. We can support them, we can give them everything, but they should get the breed and that have large, not hide, "says encouraging people.
When he leaves, Dr. Mireles receives enthusiastic applause, greetings, blessings and even slaps. "Men like you, we need," they say. He answers: "You can also do the same, we must overcome fear,  we already decided how we want to die ... fighting."

Jornada-EFE-CNN Mexico-MexicoVoices-proceso

Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Self-Defense Movement in Michoacán Takes Four More Municipalities

Photo By: Eduardo Miranda
Although the federal and state governments warned that they wouldn’t allow the self-defense groups to expand, on Tuesday November 26 the community guards took over four other municipalities, which now totals 54 communities under its influence in the state of Michoacán.

Shortly after noon and simultaneously, the community police of Tancítaro, Buena Vista, Aguililla, Tepalcatepec and La Ruana liberated the municipalities of El Zapote, El Corrijo and Rancho Grande, where 18 villages coexist with about 500 inhabitants, just like Acahuato, in the municipality of Apatzingán.

Arrest alledged plaza boss 'zeta' in Acuña Coahuila

Borderland Beat

Jesus Coronado Salvador Rosales, "el Negro"
ACUNA, Mexico, nov. 24, 2013 -   State Police arrested Friday night November 22  an individual identified as Jesus Coronado Salvador Rosales, also known as 'el Negro', age 33.  The suspect allegedly confessed to the charge of 'transfer' of drugs at the border of Coahuila and the United States and distributing narcotics in Acuña.

Salvador Rosales admitted to being part of the criminal group Zetas, that allegedly charged fees for 'protection' to the owners of bars, clubs, restaurants and other businesses where alcoholic beverages are sold.

Inside the SUV he was driving,  were found five black caps that read 'Cartel Z' on the  front, and on the side  the flag of Mexico.   Also in the vehicle were an AK-47 rifle type NORINCO brand, with its own ammunition clip supplied with 24 rounds of ammunition, 3 additional clips with 25 rounds of ammunition each.   Also found was a suitcase with 20 packages wrapped in masking tape with what could be marijuana.

It was made available to the Federal Public Ministry of the Attorney General's Office.

His arrest was generated minutes after 22:30 hours while State Police personnel were on a tour of security and surveillance.  As they patrolled along the highway from Acuña to Santa Eulalia, the authorities saw an Ford Edge SUV, white with plates FGG5321, Coahuila State, parked on the side of the road.

Realizing the presence of the elements of the state, the driver of the truck attempted to flee but was stopped immediately, so they  proceeded to interview him and search his vehicle.

Personnel  secured a Ford Edge vehicle, white with plates FGG5321, registered in the  state of Coahuila.

Monday, November 25, 2013

Social Media Groups Encouarge Citizens to Take Out Criminals

Borderland Beat

Along with the police defense groups (auto defensas) taking matters in their own hands to take the fight to the cartels, I have also noticed something else lately. I call from social media networks to encourage citizens, who may be armed, to take out dangerous sicarios from criminal groups. This is an example post from "Por una Ruana con Libertad" a Facebook forum reporting on criminal activity in the region of Felipe Carrillo Puerto (La Ruana).

"The person in the photograph (below) goes by the name of Enrique Ruiz Hernandez AKA "El Templar chikito"

He is a sicario for the cartel Knight Templar (templarios) who works in the plaza of Apatzingan under the command of a person who goes by the nick name "la Matraca" (if anyone has the name of Matraca send it to me in my inbox)

Enrique Ruiz Hernandez is one who hangs out with the narco municipal police (narcomunicipales) in Apatzingan abducting people to demand a ransom and then murders them.

Be careful with this scourge if you happen to see him and if you are armed, shoot him, as this is the only way to rid of this type of garbage. We are talking about a very dangerous man that has committed numerous murders of innocent people, if not, then report him to 088 so they can arrest him, although it will not take him long to get out because there are many narco-attorneys that will bail him out immediately"

Video Translation:A day in the life of autodefensas Blockade, Shootout, and Death

Vato and Chivis for Borderland Beat translation by Vato

Autodefensas stopped by the military who demanded their weapons

Note: This is the translation of the audio from a video that appeared on Televisa’s Punto de Partida.  Thank you to the reader who brought this to my attention.  The mayor referenced is the same mayor that caused headlines recently when he stated the autodefenzas should stay of the government is not going to provide security.  This video is an excellent portrayal of a day in the life of autodefenzas beginning before day break they encountered an army blockade who once again demands their weapons.  The life and death of an autodefenzas. Chivis and Vato

Nine Months and Moving Forward

(Screen) 9 months and moving forward.

(00:07) Narrator At 6:00 a.m. on November 16, approximately 300 men traveling in 30 pickups left Tepalcatepec. They were headed, they said, to the town of Tancitaro to support a group of townspeople who had asked for their help. Also, they would tour all the Movement's fortifications all the way to the municipality of Los Reyes.

(00:24) (Soldiers greet Dr. Mireles) (Soldier: How are you? Everything OK?)

Dr. Mireles We're in a state of alert because yesterday they kidnapped five more people right here in Los Reyes.
(00:38) Dr. Mireles ...And we know there will be an uprising, and we're going to support them.
(00:40) (Narrator) In Buenavista, Tomatlán, the caravan halted and self-defense forces from that town, from La Ruana and Coalcomán  joined them.
(01:05) (Man loading pistol magazines) We have to be ready, for anything...trying to back up a friend and ... problem with a rifle that won't fire, that's why we are supplied with new ammunition for each operation... These (magazines) hold 9 (rounds) each...they're .38 Super, 70 series....(Shows semi-auto pistol)... you load the bullets here... (other speaker attaching loaded drum magazine to rifle) There it is...fully loaded...
(01:40) (Narrator) At almost 8:3 a.m., about 800 men in 80 pickups resumed the march.
(01:45) (Dr. Mireles) Let's go, gentlemen, the "hard" pickups in front, please, catch up with the Commander.. Let's go...
(Radio:to the rear?)
(Mireles)...all the way to the rear...
(02:05) (Dr. Mireles, speaking to guy standing next to his truck:) We're going all the way to El Limon. That guy said we have to get to El Limon and drop off some people there, and go on through there, all the way to Tancitaro. (Man beside Mireles truck: "Then, all the way to Limon?")
(Mireles) Yes.
(02:15) (Radio #1) All of you with scope-sighted rifles, get your scope-sighted rifles out because those are the ones that will get us out of trouble, if there's any trouble.
(02:22) (Radio #2) If you're able to... Nobody fires, nobody shoots unless you have a target. We have to take care of our ammunition.
(Radio #3) That's the way it has to be. Nobody shoots unless there's a target.
(02:35) (Radio #1) Good luck and may God bless us and protect us, and may God forgive us for what we're going to do.
(02:39) (Radio #4) It was a pleasure to support you with everything, and here we are, moving forward. Good luck to everybody, and I hope nothing happens to us, old man...
(02:40) Dr. Mireles Roger that, old man. It was an honor for this humble servant to have participated with all of you in this movement. Remember, if we fall, don't allow the Movement to come to an end. A warm hug to all of you and may God bless and protect all of you.
(03:00) (Radio #1) All of you, comunitarios, don't be afraid. Take heart and let's go forward. 
(Radio #3) And if something does happen to us, it was a pleasure being with you, and we are all grateful to all of you...
(03:08) (Radio #4) None of that talk, we're all coming back, nothing will happen, let's move forward with everything (we have).
(03:16) Female radio speaker: The Lady of Guadalupe and St. Jude Thaddeus will protect all of us.
()3:17) (Radio #3) Thanks Dona Mari...
(03:19) (Radio #4) No going backwards...
(03:19) Dr. Mireles (Passing under the Limon arch) ...There were women and children, and those they executed were left hanging there... Below photos of the hangings)

Below are the four in life
Killed by CT: Sisters Fanny and Jazmine Guerra, 19 y/o Jazmine was a university student.  Fanny was married to Javier Pulido, also hanged, along with  Didier Sierra a secondary school teacher.  The men were horribly tortured before hanging, they were all hanged alive.  Fanny and Javier had a 3 mo old baby.  Their crime? Helping autodefensas.

Sunday, November 24, 2013

Interview with US Defense Attorney turned Tijuana Narcojunior.

Borderland Beat
Arellano Felix family reunion
NOTE: I found this article while doing some online research, I find it very interesting since it gives you an insight of how the drug trade works, or at least, how it worked in the 90´s. The following is an interview conducted by PBS to who they call "Steve", If I´m not mistaken, I had read part of this somewhere else and remember reading "Steve" is now a protected witness, I´m not 100% sure, so if anybody has more info on this, I´ll appreciate they post it on the comments section. Tijuano.
I was born in Tijuana in 1961. I was there for about four years and came back to the US. My brothers were born in the US. On my mom's side, I came from an upper middle-class or upper-class family. My grandfather was an appellate judge in Mexico. My dad's a Texan. So from kindergarten on--actually, from nursery school on--I was in San Diego and lived your normal upper middle-class life that regular American kids do.

On that part of the border, there's kind of a transnational family structure. Do you breach both sides?
When you live in San Diego and Tijuana, especially in San Diego, you go across that border like it's one big city. And you don't realize the privilege you have in doing that. It just seems to be tedious because they put this border there. I had an aunt whose house was on a mountainside in Tijuana. We'd call her and ask, "What's the border look like?" And she would look with her binoculars out her window and go, "Oh, stay wherever you're at," or "Go have dinner," or "Come over to the house.

The line's at least two hours right now. Don't even try. Wait until it dies down." This is before radio. Now there's a radio that every 15 minutes tells you how many cars there are. And this is before the DEA and everybody put up on the American side so the border is long now on both sides. It used to be that the only borderline you would make was coming from Tijuana, Mexico, into San Diego.

And in those days, when Tijuana and San Diego were smaller towns, you guys and your families were really part of an elite?
Well, yes. We all went to the country club in Tijuana. And then, Tijuana was probably half a million, a million people, at the most. And most of those people . . . weren't upper middle-class. Our uncles . . . were somebody in society, so that your name was very well known. . . . Who you married was very important, who you hung out with, who was at the country club. Those families were very special, and it was a very small town when it came to the privileged crowd.
And you all went to the same high school in San Diego?

Well, most of us all went to Augustine. It's an all-boys school. Most of the girls went to Our Lady of Peace. If you went to school in Tijuana, you went to. . . an elite school. There are other ones, but at that time everybody went there. For example, my father went to Augustine, my little brother went to Augustine, I went to Augustine. And almost everybody of the elite from Tijuana went to these schools.
So, if you got pulled over by a cop, they'd either recognize you, or as soon as they saw your license, they'd know who your father was or your uncle was or somebody like that. So, pretty much at that age in those days, you had free license to do whatever you wanted to. Even if you were caught drunk, even if you hit a telephone pole, they'd call your parents or your uncle first.

They wouldn't put you in the same prison cell or the same jail cell in the county jail. They would take you to the office and then call your parents or your uncle and say, "Let's fix this. We have a problem here. Let's take care of this business here," without making a big thing out of it. So you were very, very privileged. That's something that's almost unheard of now.
And eventually you became an attorney?

Right. I got tired of being a stockbroker, went to law school and became an attorney. My intention was to become a securities attorney. As a stockbroker, I'd see them. They were getting paid as much as me, or more, and weren't out doing as much hustling as I was. I was living in planes and hotels at the time. I opened my office right next to an MCC, right across the street from the federal courthouse, so it was just perfect. That's the best location there is in San Diego to have a law office for criminal defense--ninety-eight percent of my cases were drug traffickers, drug trafficking charges.

So you had ninety-eight percent drug trafficking cases, because that's what was in the MCC?
Yes. So then they send me a client. They tell me how much to charge, because they already interviewed this client. They know what he owns, what he has, how much cash is available. And so they tell me by phone, "Steve, just charge him ten grand. It won't be a problem." I charge him ten grand, which to me at that time was just an unbelievable amount of money. And, lo and behold, he comes with a shoebox, puts it on my desk, and he goes "Count it."

And I opened it. I got that aroma of dirt, so that money must have been buried. And in fact, later on, when we tried to use money counters, a lot of times it wouldn't work because the money was either wet or it had dirt on it because of the ways they hide the money and where they hide the money. But anyway, he gave me the $10,000 as my first drug client. And from then, I never looked back. It was big clients. Money. Cash coming in. I had $40,000 almost every day in the bank account, in my trust account, of money that was coming in all the time.

And it was all drug trafficking. I knew when it was the pot season and I was going to get border bust cases, I had to charge less. If I knew it was coke season, it was going to be more coke cases, and I could charge more. Then when crystal meth cases started coming in, they were so penalized I knew I could charge even more. They were usually were white guys, at that time. And the coke guys were either Mexican or Colombians.

 And the pot guys were almost always Mexican. And so we knew how to price. We knew the seasons. We knew the dry seasons. We learned the pot world and the cocaine world and the drug world just by being attorneys, because we could tell after a while, cyclically, what kind of clients we were getting. And that's how I started. That how I started being a defense attorney.

So you're making good money, and a lot of clients coming in?
Very good money. Right.

And you started traveling into Mexico?

Well, first I started with Colombia. A lot of them would say, "Okay. If you need that kind of money, it's not a problem, but you need to fly to Cali or Medellin or Bogota and meet my brother or my father or my wife or my sister and talk to them. Tell them exactly. Take the paperwork. Show them what's going on. Plus, you're going to save my life, so they know I didn't steal this. They'll know how the bust went down." So my job was to go down there and make sure that people understood what's going on.