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

Sunday, November 30, 2014

Signing off

Chivis Martinez for Borderland Beat

Thank you for the many good thoughts, comments, emails, they are appreciated more than you will ever know!

I will be lurking and helping with moderating.  And what happens in the future, that's for us both to discover.

I love 99% of you all, even the Millies and Willies.

The Chapo Snitch Guy, you became classic, I think that must have surprised the hell out you as well, I immensely  enjoyed the comments of  contrite,  written to the Chapo Snitched Guy.

The 1%, well...ain't going miss you at all, and you know who you are.

 My favorite personal Borderland Beat success story

I received an email from a person whose 18 year old family member had vanished crossing into the US.  They had called GEO along the border and every agency they could think of.

Then they emailed me.  It was a long shot.  But border sources I am rich with.  I called Border Patrol contacts, who gave me a GEO contact, and within a couple of hours I found the kid who I will call Julian.  

BUT he was being released in a couple hours.  That meant being  bused to the international bridge and told to march into Mexico.  In this case, the city of Acuña Coahuila.   

Coahuila is the territory of Los Zetas, who would be waiting on the Mexico side for that bus and forcibly "recruiting" the young strong people.  Julian was in danger.

I called on my friend Lacy who lives in Mexico with her husband.  Also sent my assistant to Acuña with one of the backpacks we give to migrants at the Casa Migrante shelters.  New clothing, a little cash, phone card, toiletries  etc.  She took a couple bottles of water and a sack lunch of sandwiches etc for his bus trip.  We bought a bus ticket back to the interior Mexican state he calls home,  all this in case Lacy would spot Julian.  I contacted the priest at the Migrant shelter asking if Julian could stay safely there until his bus left.  He said "absolutely!".

Everything set.  Lacy had less than an hour to get to the bridge with a photo of Julian. (he is in the photo above left  taken at the shelter with his new backpack and ticket)  Incredibly, she and her husband Emiliano see Julian.  My blonde American buddy hurriedly approached Julian, he looking scared out of his mind, and she tells him she is there to help him and to go with her.  Looking back on the situation, if he had time to think, I doubt he would have climbed into the back seat of her car.  

But he did. :)

And off they went to the shelter.  Julian had nothing.  They kept all of his belongings including his cell phone (a story I should have written about) But Lacy called his family and he was within a couple of minutes, speaking to his cousin in Oklahoma.  His father also lives in Oklahoma.  His maternal grandparents raised Julian on a farm in Mexico. 

My assistant arrived at the shelter picked up Julian, and gave him his ticket, some money and the backpack.  It was then time for the bus station.  He was placed on the bus.  I received an email when he was safely home.  It was a long journey.  He said he never intends to try going to the states again and again experience that nightmare.

It turned out perfectly.  Amazingly well.  Everything depended on precision team work.  and lots of luck. 

Appreciation and mad love to my sidekick Lacy and Emiliano .....also to all of you followers.   

and the beat goes on......

Your friend,


Video: Why we say #YaMeCanse

Chivis Martinez for Borderland Beat

I was sent this video and asked to post it.  While I appreciate the effort of filming the video,  and recognize some solid points, I would be remiss not to address glaring omissions, and question why?

Normal Schools:
Bravo for the focus on Normal Rural Schools, the video calls on the government to maintain and open additional schools.  The 43 students taken are referred to as Normalistas because they are students of these schools taking classes for a teaching degree.  The schools are largely ignored by the government leaving the students with the responsibility of attaining their own resources.  The schools are known to produce the best elementary teachers in Mexico.

"Cops are not going to do shit"
Amen to this statement in the video.  When this reporter became a victim of a crime, I was so naive to think I could call on the police for help.  Even my staff looked at me as though I had two heads to think that the police were there to protect and help the public.

The video fails when omitting the fact that Osario Chong has an ongoing effort to close the schools.  

Critics often look to the Calderon administration as the starting point for the violence and killings. 

But facts do not support this conclusion.  Even with a muddy peak into previous administrations the fact is kidnappings, murders, extortion have been a part of the Mexican landscape.  And the first "narco president" was in office some 80 years prior.  

What has changed is the number of cartels in conflict for territory has greatly increased.  The Mexican government says there are over 60 cartels and cells in Mexico.  Another change is the diversification of product.  The Zeta model of organized crime.  Zetas began its business structure as 50/50, 50% drug trafficking and 50% other means of revenue such as oil theft.  

The invisible economic migrant:
Nowhere in this video is the greatest group of targeted people addressed, the economic migrant, mostly from Central America.  It is estimated that upwards of 10k migrants go missing each year.  Yet, Mexico does not include migrants in any government count.  

“The 72”
The video reaches back in history for examples of crimes against people, yet does not mention 72 migrants massacred in San Fernando Tamaulipas.  Nor the 500+ bodies found in Tamaulipas fosas and Durango City in 2011.

Argentina forensic scientists:
This group came on behalf of the parents of the 43.  The video should have showcased the fact that the Enrique Peña administration would not allow them to conduct any DNA testing or  inspection and testing of remains, until after the remains of the so called 43 were “discovered” through confessions of Guerrero Unidos cartel members.   However, the remains they have tested have nothing to do with the 43.

Maybe at least the judges are paying attention; 11 detainees from 11/20 demonstration freed from prison

Borderland Beat by DD
some material from Mexico Voices

I posted a story on 11/26 here on BB entitled
11 Ayotzinapa Protesters Arrested Are Denied Bail that gives more detail of the arrest.

Do the demonstrations and marches by the protestors demanding the return of the missing 43 teachers college students, justice for the kidnapping of the 43, and justice for the  11 detainees arrested in front of the Presidential Palace after the demonstration on Nov. 20 have any effect?.  Will the government listen and respond by taking  action to meet their demands?

Juan Daniel López Ávila (izquierda) Leaving
Villa Valdama Maximum Security Prison in Veracruz
Photo: AP
Maybe some judges are listening and paying attention.  Yesterday the 11 detainees were released from the maximum security prisons where they were incarcerated in Veracruz and Nayarit.

District Court 17 for Criminal Matters based in Xalapa, Veracruz, ruled that the charges brought by members of the Federal Police and the Attorney General's Office (PGR) against 11 people detained as suspects of vandalism committed on November 20 at the Zócalo in Mexico City, are implausible and do not conform to the "rules of basic logic."

An official of the PJF [Federal Judicial Police], who is familiar with the case and requested anonymity, told this newspaper (La Jornado) that the court document gives the impression that the list of charges was drawn up very quickly, without either care or legal precision, and with a clear intention of intimidating the detainees for having taken part in the November 20 march.

The youths were arrested by riot police who violently dispersed the crowd of protesters who remained in the Zócalo the night of Thursday, November 20, after the massive march in support of the Ayotzinapa disappeared students.

Families of the detainees, among whom is Lawrence Maxwell, a Chilean student, say that several of the youths were severely beaten by police.

The youths were charged with rioting, criminal conspiracy and attempted murder. In the court record, it is very clear that the detainees flatly denied having participated in the excesses. Despite that [their denial], the PGR consigned them [to prison] under the assumption that since they were at the rally in the Zócalo (along with tens of thousands of others0, they are considered suspects of having participated in the attacks on police and members of the Presidential Guard.

On the charge of attempted murder of a federal police officer, the judge said there “is no way the defendants  tried to take the life of a federal agent since the punches they allegedly threw mainly hit the police shields and riot gear carried by the police and those throwing the punches injured themselves more than the police.    He ordered the charge reduced to “attempt to injure a police officer”, and reserved that charge for a judge in Mexico City to determine.  But that charge is not considered a “serious crime” in Mexico and did not affect their ordered release.

The judge did note that the police officers statements alleged that the “anarchist” who tried to punch the police officer was wearing a mask, and allegedly carrying rockets, sticks, rocks and Molotov cocktails.  But the then pointed out that the police officers did not collect any of those items from the defendants or from the alleged crime scene.  The only evidence collected was the cell phones of the defendants.

The court also notes that there were "inconsistencies in the statements of the arresting officers, as the initial number of rioters is not the same at all times, because in the first instance it is stated that are 30, then later it says there were sixteen or eighteen, and finally they argue that the people taking part in the commotion and who wanted to flee are the 11 defendants who are at the disposition of this federal court."

"With regard to the crime of criminal conspiracy, this court considers that the information contained in the notice of disposition [document making accused available to the court] and in the respective proceedings of ratification by the agents of the Federal Police who signed it, it is implausible and does not conforms to the rules of basic logic.
"In their statements, the accused declared that neither do they know each other nor do they belong to any criminal group. The reality is that none of them acknowledged having met in the specific place where, according to the informative section, the events occurred (...) especially since no irrefutable proof was offered and nothing is said in the charge sheet with respect to the defendants as a group or as members of various cells of people, who came together with the purpose of committing a crime."
The judge disclosed that the General Department of Prevention of Cyber Crimes of the Federal Police conducted a "tracking" of the emails, Facebook and social networks of the accused without finding any "incriminating data."  As the PGR tells it, there are indications, but not full proof, that the 11 detainees belong to groups of anarchists that the authority has long-identified, including the Núcleo Insurrecto Sole-Baleno, Conspiracy of Cells of the Anarchist Fire-Federation of Mexico, Front for Animal Liberation and Subversive Front for Global Liberation.

The problem is that the SEIDO did not provide decisive evidence to demonstrate that the eleven detainees knew each other. The prosecutors start only from the assumption that they were part of a conspiracy because they called each other "compa" [slang for compañero, partner or comrade]

The judge considered that with respect to the insufficient evidence provided, he proceeded to issue a release order for lack of evidence to prosecute.

With regard to the offense of rioting, he considered that
"there was not sufficient proof to show that the suspects were located in the circumstances of manner, time and place of execution of the crime of rioting."
Within criminal case 45/2014, the court noted that at 9:00 a.m. yesterday, the judge "issued an order of release, for lack of evidence in favor of the 11 detainees, due to insufficient evidence provided by the agent of the Public Ministry [prosecutors, investigative police; branch of PGR] to confirm its entire body of evidence of the crimes of injury, criminal conspiracy and rioting."
Score one for the demonstrators and marchers