Sunday, May 24, 2015

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. 



In the image above signs of staging are apparent and noted.  The slide show has photos of some of the dead.  In the photos, the images raise questions of weapons being planted.  In some of the photos there are signs of beatings, including limb fractures, one having multiple fractures on one arm. 


Be mindful that the scene is not preserved.  Soldiers are not to be walking in the areas of evidence, they must wait for investigators from PGR to collect evidence.

Soldiers and police are trained to observe protocol and respect the criminology procedures that will follow the event.  For sound forensics and gathering of evidence to remain uncompromised, the crime scene must remain intact, and uncontaminated.  This is to ensure due process is truthful and for the protection of all involved parties.

If a crime scene is tampered with by placing, or removing objects, or bodies, developing a theory, substantiated by evidence cannot be attained.


Detection of vital signs can be achieved without compromising the scene.  Soldiers and police are trained in how to proceed after an event.

There is a photo on the ranch home interior, which authorities claimed was filled with trash, hence their fire for cleanup.  Yet the home looks relatively clean, and does not appear to have been used to any great degree.  Were the dead men really camped out at the ranch?

Some photos, including the one at top, rigors mortis has set in, but not in a position that is consistent to where it now rests,  indicating a movement of the corpse.  The left arm was resting on something previously.  Other photos indicate the same.  

To stop youtube “autoplay” view video on YT and click off autoplay on upper right corner

Representatives from Michoacán and national human rights commissions have been to the ranch to inspect and investigate.

Mexican lawmakers are casting suspicion on the version of the Federal Government that the shooting occurred yesterday in Tanhuato, Michoacán between government forces and CJNG gunmen was the result of a pursuit that led to a confrontation.

Senator Alejandro Encinas said that,  “based on the facts, there was no pursuit that culminated in  at a large ranch, but rather was a pre-planned operation.”

He said it is extraordinary that there are 42 dead on the side of criminals and only one of the police forces.

"Everything indicates that an operation was designed to annihilate this group and was not a circumstantial event.”

"Regardless of whether it is a criminal element, if you begin with them, because they may be criminals, but then tomorrow what? Maybe it's criminals today but tomorrow it could be anyone.”

But, we have been aware of such killings in Mexico for years, Black squads, and military kill operations. What is new, are the advancements of communication technology.  It is difficult to keep truth away from the public eye and scrutiny. 

"We have Tlatlaya, Iguala, Apatzingán, and now Tanhuato, Michoacán, so the practical operation of the oppressive state is set," said Encinas the member of the Bicameral Commission on National Security.

In reading a few of the BB comments coming through on this story, a few have expressed approval of the killings in Tanhuato.  Good riddance to the scum, right?  It is a knee-jerk reaction to say something like that.  It is understandable to harbor such feelings,  but it is wrong and has no place in a civil democracy.

No one knows who the dead men were what they are, where they are from, what they have done.  Innocents have been used as pawns in this so called drug war.

No authority, government, agency, person can become, judge, jury and executioner.  Each citizen, even suspected criminals, have the right to due process, meaning equal and fair treatment through the judicial system.

Encinas states the oppressive stage is set, criminals today, what about tomorrow?  Citizens? politicians?

We have long passed that threshold; take in account of 43 students, kidnapped in Iguala and killed, or the killings of social activist Arturo Hernández Cardona.  The killing of the 43 was directed by municipal authority, and Hernández Cardona’s murder allegedly directly conducted by authority.

And the director of security and his deputies are now charged in the recent killing of Mayoral candidate Enrique Hernandez Salcedo in Yurécuaro, Michoacán.

When one supports extrajudicial killings to be conducted without legal authority, then you are in affect giving carte blanche for authorities to unilaterally decide whose life should end;   A social activist “nuisance”, or an inconvenient political candidate, a bus load problematic students, autodefensas attempting to attain security.

What happened in Tanhuato, in this reporter’s opinion, was a message sent to Mencho, leader of Cartel Jalisco New Generation. A violent, retaliatory planned response, for the downing of an air force helicopter, and the ambush of federal forces by CJNG.   

Let’s be clear, in recent confrontations, CJNG has greatly embarrassed government forces.  CJNG have appeared being better warriors in recent conflicts,

If it is true that there were 300-500 federal forces with top of the line weaponry, helos in the air, that attacked 50-60 guys in Tanhuato, to send a message.  The message that may be construed,  is federal forces appear weak, having to rely on such lopsided advantage and perhaps extrajudicial slaughter to even the score and send a message.