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

Sunday, May 31, 2015

Benito Portillo Torres, killed in Culiacán

Lucio R Borderland Beat From El Debate,  Linea Direct and BB Archives

Police sources report that Benito Portillo Torres, the alleged leader of a criminal cell operating in the mountains of Choix, Sinaloa, was killed Thursday morning in the streets of the colonia Las Vegas.

Benito Torres Portillo, is accused by authorities of Sinaloa and Chihuahua of being responsible for many violent events in recent years in the mountains of Choix,  during the leaders management of the drug trade.

The attack occurred in the early  hours of Thursday, which generated strong police mobilization.

The report confirmed that shortly before 8:00 am on Xicohténcatl street of the colonia Las Vegas two people were killed by gunfire.

Officials say the two men who were gunned down were aboard a dark gray Cruiser with California plates 6EUL244.  Two people were dead inside the vehicle. Authorities report that one of those killed in an element of the judicial police, which was identified as Manuel de Jesus Barraza Armenta 52 years old.

Portillo's brother Bernardino Portillo Torres, 24, was killed on March 4th,  in the Sierra de Urique, Chihuahua.

Benito Portillo had appointed  Bernardino in charge of Urique, Chihuahua, where he was killed when confronted by the militia.

In the same convoy Bernardino was travelling with Benito, who managed evade bullets and flee the area.

Since that event nothing has been reported about Benito until the news of Thursday that he was killed along with a former agent of the State Police, Jesus Barraza Armenta, after being attacked by an armed group as they drove through the streets of Culiacan

Benito Torres Portillo and his brother Vincent have both been identified as lieutenants of the gavilleros group in Chihuahua, that clash for possession of the land in the mountains of Choix.

Choix is a prime region in the cultivation of marijuana and opium gum.   Portillo Torres is accused of having ordered large convoys of gunmen, disguised as federal agents in different highland communities of Choix.

The first major conflict in the region now known for massive convoys and deadly conflicts, began on Friday April 27, 2012, in the community of El Pichol, which resulted in the brother of Adelmo “Lemo” Núñez, being shot and killed. 

Adelmo was the principal rival of Benito Portillo. 

Mexican spending spree, purchasing military equipment from the U.S.

Lucio R. Borderland Beat- Republished from NCLA...

Mexico has purchased at least $1.15 billion in military equipment from the United States over the past 12 months.  Despite his campaign rhetoric condemning  former President Felipe Calderón’s military model used against organized crime, President Enrique Peña Nieto’s promises of a drastic military departure in his plan in Mexico's drug war is but a distant memory.  Not only  has his administration remained highly militarized,  but to a greater degree than President Felipe Calderón. It should be noted that Mexico asked for greater number of military equipment than was approved. [Lucio]

Mexico has been on a buying spree for U.S. military equipment, especially helicopters and armored vehicles, with purchases amounting to more than a billion dollars in the last 12 months. U.S. Northern Command chief Admiral William Gortney said the combined deals represent "a 100-fold increase from prior years." For a military supposedly proud of its independence from the United States, it is a dependent client.

On Tuesday, March 17, the State Department approved the sale of three Blackhawk helicopters to the Mexican military for $110 million, to support Mexican troops engaged in counter-drug operations. The deal comes on the heels of a larger agreement last April for Mexico to buy 18 Blackhawks for $680 million. The helicopters are produced by Sikorsky, based in Connecticut (also supplier to Colombia and other countries), and General Electric, in Lynn, MA. The deals include training and the construction of a facility. The United States will also reportedly supply six M134 7.62mm machine guns for the helicopters, which fire up to 6,000 rounds a minute.

Last May, Washington approved a sale of more than 3,000 Humvees for the Mexican military, at a cost of $556 million, in order to expand "existing army architecture to combat drug trafficking organizations" and enhance "interoperability between Mexico and the U.S." The Humvees will be built by AM General in Mishawaka, Indiana. A later report said that in December the Pentagon approved sale of 2,200 of the Humvee vehicles, for just $245 million.

Mexico City police purchased five helicopters from Texas-based Bell last month, for another $26.4 million. The helicopters will be assigned to the Condores, a group of special police. Two weeks later, the Mexican Air Force sealed a deal for 15 Bell helicopters, valued for at least $37 million, to be based at an airbase in Jalisco state.

Saturday, May 30, 2015

Tijuana drug rivalries turn violent

J for Borderland Beat, republished from San Diego UT

Drug Rivalries Turn Violent in Tijuana

Note:  This is republished from the San Diego Union Tribune, about a week old.  Tijuana is covered sparingly, but this reporter has consistently published quality stories, since the Teo/Inge days.  The Tribune's coverage during that time, along with La Times, Richard Mariosi was worthy of praise.  It's basically a summary of the last several weeks of violence in Tijuana, with a few points I thought were interested, and not reported elsewhere, I list those at the bottom. 

 — Severed heads inside an icebox. Banners with cryptic, threatening messages. The shooting of a state agent at a busy intersection on a weekday afternoon. Grisly, visible crimes have come back to haunt Tijuana in recent weeks, shattering the calm of this city struggling to shed its violent image.
Since April 1, Tijuana has seen more than 100 murders, with the great majority of crimes attributed by authorities to the city’s street drug trade. What has especially raised concern has been the brazen and public nature of some of the killings. Some question the timing of the violence, with Mexico’s federal midterm elections scheduled for June 7.

“There’s much lack of control in the world of small-scale drug traffickers,” said José María González, Baja California’s deputy attorney general for organized crime. “From the information that we have ... the problems are at the lowest levels, among those fighting for street corners in the colonias, not among the midlevel and high-level commanders.”
The battle for control over the lucrative Tijuana drug corridor goes back decades, but in more recent years much of the violence in the city has been attributed to the flourishing domestic market.

Video: Family caught in an Intense Matamoros shootout

Lucio R for Borderland Beat

In the land of shootouts (balaceras) although comparatively swift, this gunfight of May 29th it is impressive.  But the real story,  is that of the man whose voice can be heard in the audio portion of the video,  presumably with his wife and child, as they unpredictably find themselves in immediate proximity to gunfire.

In the video, apparently he, a female, and at least one child are aboard a vehicle when they  encounter a startling impasse. The man instructs the woman to continue driving and quickly leave the area.

The woman is driving and panic sets in, she does nothing, probably in fear of making a mistake.  The man then tells her to put the car in reverse and get out, but she is frozen in fear. The man pleads with her to calm down and be quiet; everyone in the vehicle is now  crouched down as much as possible. 

After the shooting subsides, anger replaces fear  He is heard scolding the woman, “I told you to go, and you did nothing!”  “I told you to hit the accelerator and you fucking did nothing!” She defends herself, yelling back that she was too scared. 

The man turns to the child, “it’s ok, its calm, and nothing happened. The woman chimes in and tells the child he can get up now, the man says it’s ok, it is calm now, “no pasa nada, no pasa nothing.”  (nothing happened, its ok)

You can hear the man melting into emotion; his anger is replaced by fear at the realization of what just happened.

He begins to cry, saying that today a catastrophic event occurred, one that they could have been killed in, but they all came out unscathed, he is grateful they were protected, he says between his sobs, to no one in particular, or maybe God,  to acknowledge what happened aloud.  

Friday, May 29, 2015

In Michoacán, We Are Still At War

Semeí Verdía
By: Angel Méndez | Translated by Valor for Borderland Beat

“In the hills, there is no government.  In Michoacán, we are still at war for a free Michoacán,” said Semeí Verdía, the Commander of the Community Police of Santa María Ostula and General Coordinator of the Autodefensas on the coast of Michoacán, before giving everyone the order to discharge their weapons in the municipal plaza, among them residents of Tancítaro, Los Reyes, Buenavista, Tepalcatepec, Coalcomán, Chinicuila and Coahuayana, emphasizing the presence of “El Americano” and commanders of other municipalities who in the presence of the violent events from recent days that left two comrades dead, went to tell their aquilense peers that they “weren’t alone,” and to bring them trucks full of groceries, but above all, fraternal solidarity.

Pistols and rifles of different calibers were fired relentlessly for a period that felt like it went forever.  It was in homage to Miguel Sandoval, whose body in a coffin was also present before being taken to the cemetery.

Previously Semeí, with a microphone in his hand, gave a public commission to the only reporter there, Angel Méndez, asking to get his message to Miguel Angel Osorio Chong.  “Let him see that in Michoacán, we are still at war, we are at war, and hopefully he still stands by his convictions, because they still puppet the governor.  Hopefully Osorio Chong and Enrique Peña Nieto still stand by their convictions, especially those two, and that they come and meet all of the leaders of the movement of Michoacán, we don’t need any more personages, because in quotes they say that they are the ones that run the entire Mexican Republic…”

“I’d want to be with Osorio Chong and Enrique Peña Nieto, and with the 35 municipalities that are raised up in arms in this movement were to follow me, I’d tell them to their face what they’ve done to Michoacán and to our country.”

“The government pretends to be your friend, but behind your back, it’s your enemy.  The worst enemy of the people is the government.”

“The main thing that is hurting us, at first it was Alfredo Castillo, after that, he left a puppet of the Caballeros Templarios.  His name is…well the truth is, from the special operations, I know him as “El Yanki”.  “El Yanki” is the one gathering the Caballeros Templarios together to retake control of Michoacán, but the 35 municipalities that have rose up in arms, today, we give them some time to say what we are going to do with Michoacán.”

Gun Battle in La Paz; El Grande arrested

Translated by Otis B Fly-Wheel for Borderland Beat from a Zetatijuana article

[ Subject Matter: Baja California Sur, El Grande, Sinaloa Cartel
Recommendation: See link to article on El Grande]

Updated 30/05/2015 with arrest details
Updated with video 02/06/2015

Reporter: Zeta Redaction
Any text in red contains a link to another related article

The afternoon of this Thursday the 28th of May, registered a gun battle in La Paz, Baja California Sur that left two sicarios dead, a Policeman injured and the presumed detention of the narco trafficker Abel Nahum Quintero Manjarrez or Cruz Alonso Lozoya Uriate "El Grande".

According to preliminary data in the fire fight with Police Forces, "El Grande" was injured and apparently has been hospitalized.

Quintero Manjarrez is considered, in the last Federal and Military criminal map, as the ring leader of the second para military group responsible for the wave of violence that has lashed the Capital of BCS since 31st of July.

After the recent capture of Victor Barraza Martinez "El Vidal" (Otis: see link), the objective of Federal Forces focused on Abel Nahum Quintero Manjarrez or Cruz Alonson Lozoya Uriate.


The boss of Sicarios, Cruz Alonso Lozoya Uriate or Abel Nahum Quintero Manjarrez "El Grande" was transferred the night of Friday 29th of May to the Sub Prosecutor Specializing in Investigation of Organized Crime (SEIDO), after having been captured in the middle of a gun battle in the Villas del Encanto Colonia of La Paz, Baja California Sur.

"El Indio Mario" alleged Jefe of CDS in Guachochi arrested

Translated by Otis B Fly-Wheel for Borderland Beat from a Proceso article

[ Subject Matter: CDS, El Indo Mario, Guachochi, Chihuahua
Recommendation: No prior subject matter knowledge required]
Mario Estrobellin Loya "El Indio Mario" 

Reporter: Patricia Mayorga

The Attorney General of the State of Chihuahua apprehended the raramuri Mario Estrobellin Loya "El Indio Mario"  alleged leader of the Sinaloa Cartel in the Town of Guachochi, accused of no less than three massacres, the most recent happened last week.

Jorge Enrique Gonzalez Nicolas, Attorney General of the State, informed that "El Indio Mario" is accused of recruiting Sicarios, drug trafficking, and the assassinations of 16 people.

According to the Attorney, Estrobellin Loya participated in the massacre registered in October passed in the community of Tonachi, of the Town of Guachochi, where Aurelio Urtuzuastegui Chavez was killed, who faced a trial in the State of Chihuahua and with whom he disputed the plaza.

Thursday, May 28, 2015

In the Villa Purificacion confrontation there were 43 dead civilians not 8

Translated by Otis B Fly-Wheel for Borderland Beat from a Proceso Special Report

[ Subject Matter: Civilian deaths at Villa Purificacion during Government on CJNG fighting.
Recommendation: Read Lucio R post on the operation see link]

Family members of the disappeared from Operation Jalisco send a delegation to the PGR in Guadalajara
Reporters: Alberto Osorio M and Felipe Cobian R

Villa Purificacion, Ecuanduero, Apatzingan.... catalogued by the Federal Government and State as " confrontations" with organized criminals, massacres like those recently perpetrated in the locations of Jalisco and Michoacan, have similarities: dark and distorted information on the part of the Forces or implicated authorities, more grave use of excessive force every time, typified by crimes against humanity, and systematic impunity. In that respect to Villa Purificacion, Jalisco, a Proceso investigation into the unofficial civilian death toll at 43, double those reported by Government Officials. In all cases the question is the same: were they combatants or executed?

Today, Military troops fly over the area and patrol the streets, roads and breaches, also planting road blocks. The uniformed officers of the Fuerza Unica Rural (FUR) replaced the Municipal Police who were detained for alleged links with narco traffickers, who were then liberated on masse, one week later.

Angered by the arrogance of the soldiers and officers of the FUR, traders closed the doors of businesses and homes. A Helicopter from the PGR manoeuvres in the air, sets down to pick up a suspect who has been arrested, wounded or deceased, then rise again into the air.

Wednesday, May 27, 2015

Shootouts in Aquila Leave 6 Dead, 4 Wounded

By: Záyin Dáleth Villavicencio | Translated by Valor for Borderland Beat

Shootouts between the autodefensas of the Michoacán coast and armed gunmen, suspected of being members of the Caballeros Templarios, have left a total of six dead and four wounded, including two in serious condition.

It was announced to Michoacán 3.0 that four of the dead belonged to members of organized crime while the other two were members of the autodefensas, as well as the four wounded.

The shootouts occurred on Monday after the ambush that the autodefensas received along the coastal road known as “200”, where the attack was aimed at the autodefensa leader, Semeí Verdía Zepeda.

Members of the autodefensa movement have been carrying out various operations on the mountains to find the whereabouts of those responsible.

This led to a series of confrontations that occurred in the mountain area in the community of Ostula, municipality of Aquila.

Imprisoned autodefensa leader, Dr. Mireles confined to wheel chair, denied visitors

Lucio R. Borderland Beat

Through a video uploaded to the social network Facebook, Axel Dames, a spokesman for self-defense groups in Michoacán, reported that physicians say the founder of Michoacán autodefensa Dr. José Manuel Mireles Valverde, deteriorates rapidly because of the systematic denial of medical attention from the "authorities" of the Hermosillo, Sonora, prison he is incarcerated in.  He has been held in prison since June 27, 2014.

In the video, Axel Dames complains the courts should legally proceed for the immediate release of Dr. Mireles,  because required urgent medical attention has not been provided, and is the being obligation of the State to guarantee the safety of their prisoners.

Court rulings have been favorable to Mireles, but have acted dilatory in proceeding with other court procedures needed for his release.

Aside from being denied proper medical care, in a letter cited by the website ‘’Sin Embargo”, Mireles
says he has asked the magistrate in charge of his case, to file a claim against the “authorities” who he says are denying his right to receive visitors, for 10 months visitors have been denied access to him.

“Magistrate of the first Unitary Tribunal of the 10th Circuit”. Hereby I ask you for assistance to assure I am allowed visits and that my rights are respected, rights that every prisoner has.  For  10 ½ months they have completely denied visits by  anyone attempting  to see me, including those who are assisting in the  issues of my captivity (…).”

Only his attorney has been allowed access to Dr. Mireles, no one on his list of visitors have been granted a visit.  Including his advocates such as general José Francisco Gallardo or el padre Alejandro Solalinde,

Dr. Mireles did not complete his rehabilitation for injuries he suffered in a plane crash.  He left Mexico City to return to Michoacán because of the takeover of the autodefensa union by Estanislao Beltrán, who unilaterally, without benefit of a vote, ousted Dr. Mireles and took over as the AD spokesman.  Beltran began working closely with Alfredo Castillo to oust Dr Mireles.

Dr. Mireles had given candid interview with the publication El Pais of Spain.  The El País interview incensed Alfredo Castillo, the federal appointed security chief in Michoacán, who seized the opportunity while Dr. Mireles was recuperating, to intensify his mission of disbandment of the autodefensa movement and rendering the popular and loved Dr. Mireles powerless.  

Castillo said in a recent interview that “Manuel Mireles not only wanted to control Mexico, but wanted to control all of Latin America”. 

Tijuana: Brother of 'El Melvin' Gutierrez executed

Benjamen Gutierrez Quiroz murdered in Tijuana

In a continuation of the violence that is washing the streets of Tijuana with blood and narco mantas, a frenzied war of attrition and blood for blood, the brother of 'El Melvin' was murdered Saturday night in Tijuana.  

Melvin Gutierrez was captured just over 2 years ago, in Tijuana, by elements of the Army.  He was found in a barren safe-house, with an AR-15, sent immediately to Mexico City, on firearm charges, he has been imprisoned ever since.  Melvin is from Barrio Logan, San Diego, which carries a legacy with Tijuana, and the Arellano Felix family.  

Barrio Logan is headed towards revitalization, the latest word which describes the gentrification of an area, mostly by wealthy white investors, but one hopes some local community business owners too. New restaurants, condo developments are repainting the area that for so long has been symbolic of gang violence, and desperate poverty.  

Ostula Attacked: Autodefensa Leader Ambushed

Photo by: Heriberto Paredes

By: Heriberto Paredes | Translated by Valor for Borderland Beat

On the morning of May 25, 2015, the leader of the Community Police of Aquila, Michoacán, Semeí Verdía, along with Juan Manuel Satién Cándido, his bodyguard, were ambushed.  The incident occurred on the road from the municipal capital of Santa María Ostula to the federal highway 200, in the area known as Los Otates, next to La Cobanera.  At the site, various heavy caliber cartridges were found but no vehicle tracks were able to be found; this confirmed that it was a previously planned ambush and not a spontaneous confrontation.

The bodyguard was the only one reported as being injured but not life threatening and is currently out of danger.

The community members of Ostula, and the authorities are concerned about the safety of their commander and his bodyguard.  They strongly denounce what has happened, especially the current setting that is lived along the coastal region and throughout the state, that is, the elections for the office of governor, the mayor and the renewal of the state congress.

It is worth mentioning that the attacks against the Nahua community have not ceased since they’ve reclaimed their land on June 2009.  So far, there have been 32 murders and six forced disappearances at the hands of organized crime, which is linked with the Caballeros Templarios and the local PRI power.  This attack marks two assassination attempts against the autodefensa leader, Semeí Verdía, since the recovery of the territory at the hands of the new community police in February 2014.

Photo by: Heriberto Paredes

Fuerzas Especiales de Damaso: "El Loco" Caputured

Translated by Otis B Fly-Wheel for Borderland Beat from a Zetatijuana article with additional images from Borderland Beat archive.

[ Subject Matter: "El Loco", Fuerzas Especiales de Damaso, Baja California Sur
Recommendation: Some prior knowledge of Sinaloa Cartel in BCS would be useful]

Reporter: Zeta Investigations, Photos by Cortesia
The Sicario of Fuerza Especiales de Damaso, Jovanny Nunez Espino, was detained after committing a car jacking of a Ford Raptor. The criminal is linked to 5 homicides, among them, that of Audencio Yobany Lopez Beltran "El Hector" or "El H".
When the Sicario of Los Fuerzas Especiales de Damaso in La Paz, Baja California Sur, Jovanny Nunez Espino "El Loco" was captured by Agents of the Municipal Police, State Preventative Police and State Ministerial Police, he was on board a pick up that he had just robbed with violence on the crossroads of Calles Colima, between Aquiles Serdan and Guillermo Prieto in the Pueblo Nuevo Colonia of the South California Capital.

Tuesday, May 26, 2015

el Rancho del Sol; 42 dead "had no chance"; police fired from a helicopter: witnesses

 Borderland Beat posted and translated by DD republished from el Diario and AP story on Yahoo News.
photo shows how easy it would be to encircle the ranch
The showdown at el Rancho del Sol where on Friday May 22, 42 alleged members of the CNJG and one Federal Police were killed has raised many questions as to what really happened.  The stories posted by Lucio give the governments version of what happened as well as the doubts raised by many security experts, the families of some of those killed and alleged to be CNJG, and many in the media.  The government has not always been truthful in their reports of what happened in previous clashes with cartels.

It turns out there were at least 2 witnesses to the "clash".  They were not onsite at the ranch, but close by on the highway that runs in front of the ranch and on the back perimeter of the ranch..  While they cannot give all of the details of what happened, they can give  valuable clues  to what happened.

One of the witnesses is a resident of the very small village of Puerto de Vargas consisting of about 100 inhabitants and is only about a kilometer from the ranch gate.  There is just pasture land between Puerto de Vargas and the ranch and the witness had cattle pastured there. 

To enter Puerta de Vargas one must take a very small deviation, which you can barely catch sight of, from Highway 37 that runs from Ecuandureo to Zamora, in the state of Michoacan, which has a partially paved road.

"I was looking around and I saw  the helicopter that brought police, and from that it all ended ", as he relates to the commissioner.(DD presumeablly he was referring to a Human Rights Commissoner)   The ranch "had no opportunity to defend a lot."  

VIDA, the group that searches for the " disappeared" in Coahuila

Translated by Otis B Fly-Wheel for Borderland Beat from a Milenio article and photos from Vanguardia

[ Subject Matter: Forced disappearances
Recommendation: No prior subject matter knowledge required]

Parents of the victims that make up the VIDA organization travel in a borrowed van, run through the desert wearing tennis shoes and dig with machetes, knives, rakes or poles.

Oscar Sanchez and his wife 

Reporter: Erica Flores

Torreon, Coahuila.
After the disappearance of Silvia Stephanie Sanchez Viesca, "Fanny", her parents as well as other families, who like them, are searching the surroundings for family members "disappeared". They formed the group VIDA, consisting of 35 fathers and mothers who hope to find their children "lifted" in this State between 2004 and 2013.

"Our group is very enthusiastic despite the fact that they are elderly people, Silvia and I are the "minors" at 53 years of age, while others in the group are aged between 60 and 70".

"We cross the desert in temperatures of 40 degrees, under direct sunlight", explains Oscar Sanchez, father of "Fanny".

Members of VIDA discover more human remain, skull in centre of photo

Monday, May 25, 2015

Recovering Paradise: The Struggle of Mexicans Against Drug Trafficking

What would happen if a community rebelled against organized crime?

Translated by Valor for Borderland Beat

In January 2014, in the state of Michoacán, Mexico, a conflict known as the rising up of the autodefensas breaks out.  Citizens, farmers, and civil professionals tired of the abuses from drug traffickers and the obvious complicity of government structures, decide to take up arms and form a community police in order to address the problem directly.  A group of them decided to move towards the coast, but they are not alone, they are accompanied by two independent journalists, Rafael Prime (México) and Nicolás Tapia (Chile).  Everything that happened during those turbulent days were recorded on their cameras and now they take form in “Recuperando el Paraíso”, a documentary that seeks independent support through crowd funding in order to finalize their project.

El Ciudadano spoke with Rafael and Nicolás, who gave them more details about this incredible story.

Where did the idea of making this documentary come from?

Nicolás: It actually all happened a bit by chance.  We met covering the protests of the teachers in the Federal District (Capital of Mexico) in 2013, trying to prevent a photographer colleague from being taken away by the police, we didn’t manage to avoid his arrest, but that event led us to know each other and establish a relationship of mutual trust.  From there, I started to participate more actively in the movement of the free media in Mexico, that’s what they call the community press here, and when the armed uprising of the autodefensas in Michoacán broke out, Rafael and I didn’t think much of it and we headed towards the conflict zone in order to cover the conflict from a community perspective.

Rafael: Yeah, truth is, we had no idea what we were getting ourselves into, I already knew of similar experiences of armed uprisings against the narcos and the political parties, I am referring to Cherán, but not on the scale of what was happening at that time in Michoacán.  In order to tell this story, we have to start from a premise, Mexico is tough and the media is silent, or they are silenced by lead.  Drug trafficking has long since ceased to devote itself exclusively to the drug trade.  Over the years, the economic and firepower that the drug cartels have accumulated is alarming, a power that not only puts the people at its feet, but also the political class throughout the country.  In Chile, it’s the ruthless businesspeople that finance the political parties, but in Mexico, it’s the narco; this translates into the constant slaughter of the people that goes completely unpunished.

Nicolás: That’s why we headed towards Michoacán, because we knew that something was up but the press didn’t make clear about what was going on.  As free media we said: well, it’s a chance to break the information blockade, we can’t just let the primary media cover what is happening there.  We were joined by two comrades, we borrowed a car, a phone number of another colleague to receive us over there and we left.
"These lands used to be untouchable"

Cartel del Golfo narco - espionage network dismantled in Reynosa

Translated by Otis B Fly-Wheel for Borderland Beat from a Proceso article

[ Subject Matter: Narco Surveillance Network used to spy on the Army
Recommendation: No prior subject matter knowledge required]

Reporter: Proceso Redaction and Benjamin Flores
State Police of the Tamaulipas Force, dismantled in Reynosa, a system of narco espionage, of organized criminals that consisted of a circuit of cameras installed in this Town.

The Tamaulipas Group for Coordination informed in a communication that the network was installed at 52 points of high impact to carry the data from 39 cameras operating via the internet, with which they carried out surveillance of the actions of the State and Federal Forces of security, as well as the civilian population.

The dismantling took place Monday and Tuesday past by elements of the Tamaulipas Force, with support of the Military who provided security at the places where State Police retired the apparatus.

During the operation to retire the devices, members of a criminal group that operate in this frontier Town, on realizing the network was being dismantled, retreated and switched off 18 cameras on the network.

Sunday, May 24, 2015

Part Two: "The Miracle of Juárez", Sinaloa vs Juarez Cartel

Lucio R. Borderland Beat-Posted by Texan24 republished from Animal Politico
Part One link here
Washing the bloody aftermath of the Villa Salvárcar massacre
The tragedy of Salvárcar

On Friday January 30, 2010, El Diego answered his phone. Los Artistas Asesinos (The Assassin Artists), or AA, a street gang with members in El Paso and Juarez, were among his enemies, and an informant told him of a party that night in the working class neighborhood of Villas de Salvárcar, in southeast Ciudad Juarez .

The AA worked with Sinaloa  selling drugsin the street.

Barrio Azteca did the same for the Juarez cartel. In 2010, four gangs working for the two cartels worked as assassins or murderers, to eliminate the small drug dealers.

"None of the shootings and killings in that period occurred among senior members of the cartel. The gunmen  concentrated on killing retail drug dealers.

Preserving the territory for their cartel, " said a police source in Juarez.
El Diego gave orders to his group of assassins to go to the party and kill everyone. 

Luz Maria Davila, a small woman with a warm smile, was busy in her small house on  Villa del Portal Street, adjacent to a narrow alley. 

A few meters away, her teenage children Marcos and Jose Luis were partying at a friend's birthday with other young neighbors, soccer players in the American football league.

Davila's husband was surfing the Internet on his children’s computer, waiting for his night shift at the “maquila” (US company) located in Juarez, where he worked as a guard. A few minutes before 10 pm, a convoy of vehicles entered the alley, with  dozens of men, members of  La Linea and Barrio Azteca.

Doubts surround Government version of Tanhuato "clash" that ended with 43 deaths

by Lucio R. Borderland Beat
In photo 2 tactical gear belt appears, body appears to have been placed
after death Click on any image to enlarge-
Raul Benitez Manaut, a security expert at the National Autonomous University of Mexico says:

 “Apparently the gang offered no resistance; it was a very uneven fight. A battle where 42 die on one side and only one on the other is not a battle."

Alejandro Hope: "Many details are missing. We don't know how many people participated in the police and military operation. We don't know if the helicopter was armed," said the former intelligence agency official.

“Authorities have to demonstrate that this was not another Tlatlaya," he said.

"Those denying Tanhuato is another Tlatlaya are the same people who denied that Tlatlaya was a case of extrajudicial killings."

As multiple BB readers have commented, the number of weapons seized doesn't match the number of dead and detained.

As people take to social networks to cast doubts, photos are appearing and given great scrutiny.

In several of the photos smoke can be seen escaping the main ranch house.  State police contend they were simply "cleaning up", "We are burning trash. It was very dirty. There were clothes and rotten food." Yet photos of the interior challenge that claim. 

Photos of the dead are concerning.  Two photos side by side of the same scene, where weapons magically appear in one.  Weapons in photos appear staged.  Injuries are suspect, such as limbs with obvious fractures, one appears to be a compound fracture.

Missing in most the photos are pooling of blood, and hordes of bullet casings that should be present in a 3 hour shootout.

A federal investigator did say there were three areas of large pools of blood along the perimeter fence. 

Tijuana cops torture and charge innocent man, murdered cop case update.

Borderland Beat

(Tijuano´s note: This is an update on the case of the Tijuana Municipal Agent executed a few days ago, the same day the Agent was executed, the Tijuana Police "caught the killer", what happened next with the alleged "killer" is explained in the following article)

Hugo Alfonso Hernandez Flores, accused of the execution of Tijuana Municipal Agent Juan Gualberto Jauregui Ruvalcaba was set free this Saturday´s night, after the Seventh Penal Judge, Rodolfo Lara Pedrin ruled his innocence was proven.

According to Tijuana´s Municipal Safety Agency statements, in the evening of Wednesday May 23rd, Alvarez Flores was walking down the street when Municipal Agents noticed he dropped a bag containing 15 envelopes with of crystal meth. 

"In the preventive interview with the suspect he recognized by himself he had killed someone earlier that day and took the officers to the crime scene and later to the place where he had hidden the weapon used in the crime", this is what was issued as a public statement by the Municipal Agency.

Brothers of El Mono from CAF arrested...Again.

Borderland Beat

Two brothers and a employee of the late Luis Manuel Toscano Rodriguez aka El Mono were arrested in the early hours of this past Friday in Zona Norte, Tijuana while in possession of weapons and drugs. The arrest was done by members of the Mexican Army and agents of the State Preventive Police.

The brothers were identified as Manuel Rafael and Roberto Carlos Toscano Rodriguez known as "Los Cuates"(The twins), they were arrested along Daniel Eduardo Tapia Lopez who according to available information is currently in the most wanted list; they were in possession of guns, assault rifles, ammo and drugs.

"Los Cuates", members of the Arellano Felix Cartel (CAF), were in charge of retail drug sales in Zona Norte, and apparently they are involved in the recent violence hitting the city.

Saturday, May 23, 2015

Part one: "The Miracle of Juárez", Sinaloa vs Juárez Cartel

Lucio R. Borderland Beat-Posted by Texan24 republished from Animal Politico
Part two link here

A red jeep dodged the heavy morning traffic, speeding as much as possible down Technological Avenue, the major thoroughfare in the golden zone of Ciudad Juarez, where  the US consulate is located, as well as shopping centers and the city's most exclusive residences.

A Chevrolet Cavalier sedan was in pursuit of  the Jeep.  On board were two gunmen with powerful automatic weapons. After half a kilometer, the jeep crashed into a metal fence near a federal court in Ciudad Juarez. 

Dead in the front seats were Gilberto López Mendoza and Omar Antonio Ochoa, 39 and 37, respectively, both drug traffickers.

 Venezuelan stripper 23, Gabriela Figueroa, lay dead on the rear floor of the car, where she apparently tried to hide. The murderers were sharpshooters. Only 11 bullets were necessary to kill the three victims from a moving car.

It was the morning of October 23, 2014, and Juarez was horrified.

Just two weeks later, not far from the crime scene, the Governor of Chihuahua, Cesar Duarte, gave his approval for a meeting of officials and civic leaders from 15 Mexican cities. These officials, like others before, visited the border city to learn how peace was achieved, in a place that at one time was the world's capital of crime, where drug-related violence killed 11 thousand people in just four years. 

Governor Duarte said he was proud that other cities would replicate the experience of Juarez, whose focus was to clean up corruption in the police force. 

Duarte insisted that all the police forces of their city are now  free of corruption.

"We face the challenge," he told the audience. "There must be a few who think they can get away with it, but with good intelligence work, we will stop them."

The miracle of Juarez?

Between 2008 and 2012, a war between the Juarez and Sinaloa cartels, resulted in massive bloodshed in the streets of the city.

The recruitment of members of the police forces as combatants in the criminal battle,  aggravated the situation. 

In 2010, the homicide rate reached 300 per month. At that time, a rare coalition was created to save the city:

Leaders of civil organizations and businessmen, a senior police chief to be hired from the city of Tijuana, five billion dollars that the Federal Government invested and protected witnesses working for the US Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA, its acronym in English), together they quashed criminal violence in Juarez and cleaned the municipal police and state police.

Mexico claimed victory

But the enticement of the billion dollar drug trade is back and presents a new reality that could truncate the optimism expressed by the Governor Duarte and others have declared that peace has come to this city.

Tijuana Cartel threatens newspaper owner for ties with El Aquiles.

Borderland Beat

Eligio Valencia Sr. with President Peña Nieto.
Yesterday, at about 8:00 PM, local authorities received a call alerting them about gun shots being heard in the Maestros neighborhood, in the southern part of the city. The officers who attended the report found a 31 year old man named Omar Miramontes Gonzalez.

Miramontes Gonzalez received two gun shots in the shoulder and was left there by his attackers. A large banner was also found in which alleged members of the organized crime wrote the following message: