|Despite the presence of federal forces, Iguala is taken by halcones|
Translated by Valor for Borderland Beat
In Iguala, halcones (hawks) are everywhere; they persecute journalists, they take pictures of them, they follow them in motorcycles, they even follow them on foot.
Several reporters from different national and international press are prisoners at this very moment, from the monitoring in Iguala and in Chilpancingo, Guerrero, despite the heavy policing presence from the National Gendarmerie and the Mexican Army.
Yesterday a reporter from an independent national television station left Iguala when he noticed that a taxi driver took a picture of him.
“I was with him, the taxi stops and boom from the front he takes a photo of me." A reporter who was with me told me that he was leaving.
A journalist said that he was at a restaurant yesterday with other photographers, and a group of men were watching them, taking photos of them.
There are reporters who say that they are followed by motorcycles during their journey through the city of Iguala.
“It is very obvious, we would stop to ask for directions and the bikes would stop right away”, he said.
The Disguise of Halcones
Halcones are people used by organized crime to warn their superiors about what is happening in the city and to alert them in case of the movement of police forces or military forces are detected.
Halcones are usually hidden in other productive activities.
In 2012, SinEmbargo published that cartels had realized that taxi drivers turn out to be good halcones, as their work allows them to be placed at key points where they can see the entry or exiting of vehicles in areas dominated by drug traffickers. His work is fundamental in the movement of drugs, drug dealing, kidnappings, robberies, and assassinations.
To a chosen taxi driver, they will receive communication equipment and around 3,000-5,000 ($223-$371) pesos a week.
Between April 2011 and April 2012, in Nuevo León, 25 taxi drivers had been murdered; five taxi drivers were also found decapitated in Acapulco, Guerrero.
Halcones use long range vision equipment, cell phones, and encrypted digital radios to communicate with the heads of gangs.
This year, federal authorities and authorities from Arizona and Ohio, detected in two raids (without any apparent link to Mexican cartels) that Mexican criminals, possibly related to major cartels, have replicated the tactics that have been successful in Mexico.
Both operations were conducted in rural areas. One of them, Ohio, revealed a change in the profiling of drug traffickers: they have now mixed into residential areas of high socioeconomic status, as in Nuevo León, Sinaloa, Jalisco and Chihuahua, for example.
But the surprise was greater in Arizona. An operation revealed the use of so-called “hawks” or guards who inform their bosses about police operations, to ensure the trafficking of drugs or migrants.