Friday, April 29, 2016

Southlake Trial 1st Week roundup; Hatfield & McCoy feud; Chapa's sister orders beheading.

Posted by DD republished from Dallas Morning News
DD: We reported earlier in the week on the opening statements in the federal trial of two of the men on trial in Ft Worth, Texas accused of Interstate Stalking with intent to kill and conspiracy to commit murder of a Mexican cartel lawyer who was slain in a murder-for-hire plot in Southlake, a suburb of Ft. Worth.

The trial has proceeded pretty much as expected but with some surprises in the testimony   Murders and violence have been going on across Mexico and also some in the U.S. for decades that involve family members of 2 cartel leaders that are not drug or cartel related but a result of a family feud. 

Below are excerpts from the Dallas Morning News covering testimony on Wed., Thursday, and today. Excerpts from Dallas Morning News Wed. testimony:

FORT WORTH — The men on trial in the hunting down of a Mexican drug cartel lawyer as part of a murder-for-hire plot left behind valuable clues in a Southlake shopping center, investigators testified on Wednesday.

A magnetic GPS tracker stuck to the frame underneath Guerrero Chapa’s Range Rover helped Ledezma Cepeda and his son locate and follow the victim to Southlake Town Square, where he was gunned down by a two-man cartel hit squad.

That same tracker also led federal agents to Cepeda Cortes, who prosecutors say set up an account for that device and five other trackers using a fake name but a real email address.

Jeff Lloyd, a DEA analyst, testified that the devices were purchased from a spy shop in McAllen.
Cepeda Cortes lived in nearby Edinburg.

The FBI and DEA use the same Blackline GPS trackers to follow suspects accused of crimes as part of their routine investigations, Lloyd said. Agents identified Ledezema Cepeda in part through email he exchanged with his cousin, investigators said during the trial. They said they then matched a palm print left on Guerrero Chapa’s Range Rover to Ledezma Cepeda’s prints taken after his arrest.

San Diego Tunnel - Sinaloa to Barrio Logan

The characteristics of the tunnel used by "El Chapo" to escaped in Los Mochis, Sinaloa, before being captured, have been repeated in the most recent narcotúnel found in the US-Mexico border. The ton of cocaine seized on the US side shows that the tunnel had been in operation for several months and the confidence of the cartel to operate in the border.

Baja California have not had a tunnel built as good as this one.

Of the more than 80 tunnels found since 2011, the one with the expensive freight elevator hidden behind a closet door with a security gate, that ends with a hole in the ground, a few meters from the Otay Mesa border crossing, is the one that caught the attention of US authorities.

"There is no resemblance to others that we have seen before in which architects and engineers work to hide the tunnel exit, either within a warehouse or a residence," said Southern California Attorney General, Laura Duffy.

The underground tunnel was found on April 16 and displayed on April 20 on the US side. It has a length of over 750 meters and was carved in the form of shimmy.

Abraham Perez, special agent of the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA), said the exit door "is something that we have not seen in the cartel tunnels that we have investigated".

Veracruz Brigade in Search of Disappeared Find 500 Skeletal Remains, 15 "Kitchens"

The civilian brigade found 500 skeletal remains in clandestine graves in Veracruz

The result of the stay of the Brigada Nacional en Busca de Personas Desaparecidas en Veracruz (National Brigade in Search of Disappeared Persons in Veracruz) was the location of at least 500 human remains, all of which were torn apart by cutting machinery, stained with soot by the temperatures to which they were subjected to; 72 cases of disappearances; with the majority not even having a report and 60 samples of DNA from the relatives of the missing were taken, along with genetic profiles that will be compared to with the human remains that the group is protecting.

Written & all photos taken by: Miguel Ángel León Carmona | Translated by Valor for Borderland Beat

Amatlán de Los Reyes, Veracruz, April 25, 2016— In 15 days, the National Brigade in Search of Disappeared Persons not only aired the smells of death in the central area of the state of Veracruz; they also exhibited to the Attorney General of Luis Ángel Bravo Contreras, the department that called the skeletal remains found in 15 clandestine “kitchens” pieces of wood.

Later, he recanted the absurdity published in the press release.  He apologized to the families affected.

The result of the stay in Veracruz lands was the location of at least 500 skeletal remains, all of them torn apart by cutting machinery and were stained with soot due to the high temperature at which they were subjected to. 

Searchers from six Mexican states: Guerrero, Coahuila, Sinaloa, Chihuahua, Morelos y Baja California, tracked down around 20 points, in eight municipalities in central Veracruz, all of which have been identified as potential sowing fields for corpses: Acutlzingo, Nogales, Huiloapan, Ixtaczoquitlán, Córdoba, Amatlán, Omealca and Paso del Macho.

The versions given by anonymous people coincide with the statement of Manuel Antonio Mirón Rebolledo, Representative of Forensic Services in the region of Córdoba-Veracruz, who said that municipalities identified as red flags are Orizaba, Mendoza and Córdoba, where they have 400 folders of investigation of missing persons, from 2015 to date.

In addition, the group Córdoba – Orizaba, represented by Araceli Salcedo Jiménez, mother of Rubí Salcedo, a kidnapped youth allegedly by Los Zetas, documented 72 cases of disappearances; the majority don’t even have a denouncement.

Dr. Iván Martínez Duncker, head of the scientific group of the Autonomous University of the State of Morelos (UAEM), says that 60 samples of DNA were taken from relatives of the missing, and that genetic profiles will be compared with the human remains that the brigade adequately guard.

The movement launched by citizens disgusted by the operation of Veracruz authorities, sheltered by the Diocese of Córdoba and the pastor of Amatlán de los Reyes, Julian Veronica, shares that “no one is exempt from the insecurity in the region.  Not even a priest feels safe.”

Thursday, April 28, 2016

Mexican general gets 52 years for torturing, killing man

Posted by DD Republished from AP


A judge has sentenced a general in the Mexican army to 52 1/2 years in prison for ordering the torture of a suspect, then having his body burned, Mexico's federal judiciary council said Thursday.

The sentence was among the longest ever against a senior army officer.

  The council said the conviction came in a 2008 case in the northern state of Chihuahua. The judge also ordered the army to publicly apologize, clear the victim's name and pay his family damages.

The judge in the case did not release the general's name in the public case record. But the case number on the docket was the same as one linked in local media reports to Gen. Manuel Moreno Avina, who formerly commanded an army unit in the town of Ojinaga, across the border from Presidio, Texas.
1000 people protested in Ojinanga in 2008 against abuse  by soldiers. 

Troops under the general's command detained a suspect in a soldier's death and tortured him for hours with electric shocks until he died. They then took the man's body to a ranch and burned it.

El Kommander cancels concert at the last moment and provokes a disturbance

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

Subject Matter: El Kommander
Recommendation: No prior subject matter knowledge required

El Kommander
Reporter: Trinidad Ramirez Toriz
(Otis: our favourite concert canceller is back at it!)

After listening to a person on stage tell them the that narco-corrido singer El Kommander would not be appearing tonight, April 24th, at the concert in Santa Ana Ahuehuepan, Tula Hidalgo, the hundreds of angry followers attending, caused a disturbance.

The burning of tents, vehicles and looting of beer outlets among other things.

In various videos circulating on networks, where people are moving from one side to the other, looting beer and setting fire to the place.

"Macho Prieto's" brother extradited to the U.S.A

Gonzalo Inzunza Inzunza, "El Macho Prieto," was one of the operators of Ismael "El Mayo" Zambada, and at the same time a Sinaloa Cartel hit man.

"El Macho Prieto" was killed in a special operation by the Mexican Navy, in Bella Sirena condominium in Las Palomas in Puerto Penasco, Sonora.

The same day, the brother of "Macho Prieto," Abraham Inzunza Inzunza, was arrested and imprisoned in the maximum security prison of Altiplano.

Today the PGR extradited him to the United States because he is wanted by the Federal District Court of New York, on charges of conspiracy and drug distribution.

Wednesday, April 27, 2016

Five arrested in fatal ambush of a drug cartel member in Webster County

Court documents say five people set a man up to be ambushed and killed early Monday morning in rural Webster County.

The suspects allegedly armed themselves, settled into hiding places, waited for their target to arrive and then pounced.

So much planning went into the scheme, according to the sheriff, that the group scouted locations and even met up the day before to practice.

It was probably right to be cautious.

The victim, according to authorities, was a player in a drug cartel that was bringing meth from New Mexico up to the Springfield area for distribution.

Four southwest Missouri residents were charged with murder Tuesday morning after they allegedly orchestrated the killing of 24-year-old Oscar Martinez outside of a home south of Fordland. Martinez was allegedly coming to collect a $40,000 debt owed to a drug cartel.

Brooke Beckley, 19, Anthony Donovan, 19, Nathaniel Lee, 18, and Joshua Applegate, 17, were charged with first-degree murder after authorities say they killed Martinez and fled the scene before being tracked down by law enforcement hours later.

Sisters of Zetas leader Z37 killed

Lucio R. for Borderland Beat material from  Borderland Beat & Consulta Veracruz

According to official sources of the Government of Veracruz, two of the seven bodies found inside an incinerated vehicle in the municipality of Venustiano Carranza, Puebla, are Bertha González Pérez and Amada Gonzalez Perez, sisters of Zetas leader, Cirilo González Pérez, alias "El Puchini" or “Z-37”.

The vehicle was found on the border of the Mexican states of Veracruz and Puebla.
Z-37, was arrested on October 30, 2015.

The vehicle, a black Explorer, was registered to Ricardo Curiel Castillo, who had been reported missing since last Saturday.  He, the sisters and four others were travelling in the vehicle when witnesses say the vehicle was stopped by members of the Civil Force on Lazaro Cardenas Blvd. That was the last time any of the seven were seen or heard from.

That same day in Veracruz, authorities discounted the participation of the Civil Force in apprehending the people.  Further noting that they were active in, "collaborating in  an investigation to determine the whereabouts of the missing persons ".

In  2015, Pachuca, Hidalgo, members of the Federal Police arrested Cirilo González Pérez, alias "El Puchini" who is considered the head of assassins of Los Zetas  in the states of Guanajuato, San Luis Potosi and Veracruz, where he was responsible for abductions, extortion and drug distribution.

Cirilo Pérez González 41 years old who within the criminal organization is known by the code name  "Zeta 37" and "El Puchini". He left the army in 1994 and subsequently worked directly with Zetas leaders, Heriberto Lazcano Lazcano and Miguel Angel Trevino Morales.

Confrontation between Marines and armed men leaves 8 dead in Reynosa

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

Subject Matter: Reynosa, Cartel del Golfo
Recommendation: No prior subject matter knowledge required

Various chases and shootouts between elements of the Marines and a group of armed men ended in a confrontation which left eight people dead.

The events took place in the Villa Florida Colonia, Vallas del Roble, Paseo Residencial and Los Granjas.

Click to enlarge, location of incident

Tuesday, April 26, 2016

Guerrero Journalist Assassinated

By: Ezequiel Flores Contreras | Translated by Valor for Borderland Beat

Journalist Francisco Pacheco Beltrán was assassinated Monday morning in the city of Taxco, in the northern part of the state of Guerrero.

The violent incident occurred around 06:30 hours on Monday, when Pacheco Beltrán left his home, located on Tlalchichilpa Street in the neighborhood 20 de Noviembre, and was attacked by gunmen, according to an official report.

The 55 year old journalist and brother of Eric Pacheco, a correspondent for Proceso in Querétaro, died by the severity of his injuries while being treated by emergency workers in the place where the attack occurred.

Francisco Pacheco was a longtime journalist and had a legacy in the state, he was currently the editor for the newspaper El foro de Taxco and worked as a correspondent for a newspaper that is published in Acapulco as well as a radio station in the capital.

During the early hours of Monday, he was very active in social networks documenting and disseminating the violent events that occurred this weekend in the port of Acapulco, as part of his journalistic work.

The crime of the Taxco journalist registers in a context of extreme violence in the state that has been minimized by the authorities, among them PRI governor Héctor Astudillo Flores, who recently asked reporters to take a pact of silence and not spread news about the reality that Guerrero is suffering through.

The Southlake Murder Conspiracy Trial Begins; Day One

Posted by DD Republished from Dallas Morning News and material from NBC News

FORT WORTH — The two men on trial in the contract killing of a Mexican drug cartel lawyer in Southlake didn’t pull the trigger, but prosecutors say they were the big game “hunting guides” who told the assassins when to take their shots.
That was how Assistant U.S. Attorney Joshua T. Burgess described the role of two cousins who are on trial in the May 2013 slaying of Juan Jesús Guerrero Chapa.

Jesús Gerardo Ledezma-Cepeda, a private investigator and ex-police officer from Mexico, planned the sophisticated tracking of Guerrero, Burgess said during opening statements Tuesday in a federal courtroom.

His son, Jesús Gerardo Ledezma-Campano Jr., has pleaded guilty to helping his father and will testify for the government.

The father's cousin, José Luis Cepeda-Cortes, is accused of helping them by performing public records searches to find the victim at his house in Southlake. He also helped with the spy cameras, authorities said.

‘Big game hunting’

Ledezma-Cepeda and Cepeda-Cortes are both on trial.

“In the world of big game hunting, hunters need a guide,” Burgess said. “It’s the role of the guide to lead the hunter … these two defendants played the role of hunting guides.”

But their prey was human, he said.

The hit on Guerrero was ordered by Rodolfo Villarreal Hernandez, a leader of the Beltran Leyva drug cartel who went by “El Gato,” Burgess said.

The motive was revenge for the murder of his father about a decade earlier, for which he held Guerrero responsible, Burgess said.

The two cousins watched Guerrero Chapa from across a small pond at Southlake Town Square as a white SUV pulled up behind his Range Rover.

The gunman, a hood and scarf covering his face, got out and shot the victim as he sat in the passenger seat.

The shooter and getaway driver are fugitives.

Burgess told the jury that the defense will argue that Guerrero Chapa, a Gulf cartel lawyer, was involved in illegal activity.

“No one deserves to be murdered,” he said.

One victim in Ohio family murders was shot 9 times; police probe possible Mexican drug cartel connection

All but one of the eight family members slain on isolated Ohio farms last week died from multiple gunshot wounds, and one victim was shot nine times, according to autopsy results released Tuesday.

The gruesome findings emerged as investigators reportedly examined a potential Mexican drug cartel connection for the executions on properties used for marijuana growing operations.

Local station 10TV, citing anonymous law enforcement sources, said authorities are examining whether a cartel turf war or family feud sparked the slaughter of eight members of the Rhoden family.

The victims — seven adults and a 16-year-old — had gunshot wounds to their heads, torsos and other parts of their bodies, according to autopsy results. With one exception, each victim suffered at least two gunshot wounds, and one was shot nine times. Some bodies also were bruised from apparent beatings.

The autopsy results did not identify any of the victims.

Monday, April 25, 2016

Panic in Acapulco: Two Hours of Shootouts

Mexican soldiers secure a tourist area after gunmen attacked a hotel where federal police stay in Acapulco on April 24, 2016
(Pedro Pardo / AFP/Getty Images)

By: Ezequiel Flores Contreras | Translated by Valor for Borderland Beat

At least two armed attacks were reported on Sunday night in a similar manner against a hotel where federal agents stay and towards the offices of the federal police (PF).  They unleashed a wave of shootouts in different parts of the port of Acapulco that caused panic and terror amongst citizens.

The shootouts lasted for more than two hours along the main tourist route, along Avenida Costera Miguel Alemán (Coastal Avenue Miguel Alemán), where dozens of people were trapped in shopping centers, stores, and restaurants.

However, the federal police, through its official Twitter account, downplayed the events when they informed at 23:10 hours: “In #Acapulco an incident left an alleged suspect dead.  Situation under control and without danger to citizens”.

Nevertheless, official reports indicate that around 21:53 hours, an armed attack occurred against Hotel Alba Suites, located in the division Las Playas in the traditional area of the port where the federal police is staying.

Then, the uniformed repelled the attack, taking down an alleged suspect and beginning a chase that lasted throughout several streets.

In a similar manner, another armed group attacked the offices of the federal police base located in a building marked with the numbers 125 along the coastal avenue in the golden area of Acapulco.

In both attacks, only one agent was reported with minor injuries and one alleged suspect dead, official reports indicate.

 The shootouts generated by the persecution against the gunmen were reported along the coast which closed traffic at various points, in neighborhoods such as Bocamar, La Laja and Progreso, all located in the heart of the urban area of Acapulco.

The attacks against the federal police and the shootouts registered last night, occur after the arrest of the alleged leader of a faction of the Cártel Independiente de Acapulco (CIDA) (Independent Cartel of Acapulco), Fredy Del Valle Berdel, aka “El Burro”, who was captured Saturday in Los Cabos, Baja California Sur.

Extortions in Veracruz: Sell Drugs or Lose Your Life

By: Evelia, Animal Político Reader | Translated by Valor for Borderland Beat

My name is Evelia, a native of Cuautla, Morelos, a journalist and a mother of a 7 year old.

The story that I have that is linked to violence and organized crime is death, or rather the assassination of my husband in the city of Xalapa, Veracruz.

My husband was from that city and in 2008, he had an internet business in Unidad Habitacional Pomona (Pomona Housing Unit).  There, he was visited by some guys who had proposed to him to lend him his place to distribute drugs and in exchange, he would receive around 30,000 pesos ($1,716 USD) a month.  I remember the presence and domination of Los Zetas then.

My husband refused.

The months passed by until on a December 22, 2008, he left the house and that was the last time I saw him alive.  His lifeless body was found in a spot along the Xalapa-Veracruz highway, in the village of Rancho Nuevo.  From the way they found his body, it was concluded that he was tortured and beaten.

Tijuana: Another CAF member murdered

CAF member murdered

Rarely does a a few months go by without a CAF, or former CAF member getting ambushed, shot, dropped off in the streets, that they formerly walked with ease and strength.  Sometimes they are betrayed  by their own, as in the case of 'El Sailor', found beaten to death in a bag, with a banner suggesting he was killed by Los Aquiles.  Later information suggests he was killed by his own cell of kidnappers for not sharing the profits.

 'El Illames' was gunned down, surviving the attack, outside 'Fusion 40' a Japanese restaurant he owned,  Llames left the hospital, alive, for now.  A brother of Luis Toscano, 'El Mono' himself executed while eating tacos in La Mesa last year, setting off a wave of violence in Zona Norte.  His brother was shot multiple times riding in a free taxi, onlookers took pictures as he bled on the sidewalk.  

'El Quicho', brother of Melvin Gutierez, 'El Melvin', one of Fernando Sanchez Arellano's lieutenants was killed at an OXXO last  year. Carlos Jhared Rodriguez, allegedly targeted by Los Erres, and 'El Allido', was ambushed as he dined with his wife inVerde Y Crema, an upscale restaurant,  in June 2014.  

The latest is Jose Alberto Guerreo Gomez, who led a CAF enforcement cell, similar to Los Pallios. Gomez was with Raydel Lopez Uriarte 'El Muletas', and Jose Alberto Cervantes Nieto, of Expolosion Nortena, at Mariscos Godoy in Tijuana, in November 2007.  Muletas notoriously escaped,  dressed as a municipal police officer, in the company of 'El Gil', a Teo right hand, former municipal, the incident was documented in several corridos.  Gomez was detained, sent to Mexico City, released, then re arrested in Jalisco, then released again, sometime after 2008.  

Those were the end of times in Tijuana, the internal structure of CAF was slipping away, and into the bloody war that would change the landscape of narco politics forever in the city.  In fall 2007 whisphers persisted about the young Arellano Felix nephew, of which there were no pictures, or even a name, as Javier Francisco Arellano Felix signed a plea agreement to avoid the death penalty, and has it turned out, avoid a life sentence as well, with his cooperation.  The first of the Heredia brothers, Arturo Villareal Heredia was sentenced to 30 years in prison, for his role as Javier's right hand. 

Gomez was near a private school in the Los Lagos gated neighborhood, when he was ambushed.  It is unknown how he survived during his years, or what he currently worked in, but he managed to avoid a fate that was perhaps a longtime coming. The circumstances of Gomez death would clearly indicate a targeted killing.  One of many, as killings continually rise in Tijuana, in the throes of conflict between at least three different groups, and dozens of narco retail cells in the city.  

Sources: Zeta Tijuana 

Arturo Beltran Leyva, the life, death of "El Barbas" Part 2

Written for Borderland Beat by Otis B Fly-Wheel, with additional hyperlinks to the BB archive

Subject Matter: Arturo Beltran Leyva, El Barbas, El Fantasma, El Botas Blancas, La Muerte
Recommendation: Read Part 1 of this article here see link

Born in the cradle of narco's, La Palma ,Badiraguato Sinaloa in December of 1954,though some put his birth day as September 1961. Arutro Beltran Leyva also known by the nicknames, "El Barbas", El Botas Blancas, El Fantasma and La Muerte, he worked with small time poppy growers and learnt his trade from Amado Carrillo Fuentes , and later became known as Jefe de Jefes, boss of bosses. His life was characterized by the extreme violence he visited upon anyone who stood in his way. He was eventually cornered and killed by Mexican Marines with the ELINT intelligence help of the US 7th Special Forces group in Cuernavaca, leading to a power vacuum and the "Hydra Effect".  

Warning there are very strong bloody graphic images and video in the subsequent pages of this article and or its hyperlinks. Please carefully consider if you should  read further as these may cause upset and or trauma. You have been warned.

Big thanks go out to Chivis and BB's friend Narcomics, for the images. Follow them on Facebook and Instagram @narcomicscorp

Reporter: Otis B Fly-Wheel

The Colombian Connection, Guerrero, Morelos and Mexico City

In 1995 Arturo found a new opportunity to allow him to transit drugs direct from Colombia, so he moved his operational base to Guerrero. He utilized the coast of Guerrero to receive drug deliveries direct from Colombian ports, or better still loads from Chiapas that came from Colombia.

As Arturo had been handling shipments for some while, he had a connection he trusted in the Norte de Valle Cartel based in Cali, Luis Calle Serna.

Their agreement was that Serna would supply cocaine in fast boats carrying 2.5 tonnes of cocaine, priced at $14,000 a kilo. Larger sea going vessels would carry between six to ten tonnes, and narco subs would carry between seven or eight tonnes.

Details of the Night of Torture suffered by the 43 missing Normalistas (Students)

Lucio R Borderland Beat
"That morning, the authorities also found the body of another student, Julio César Mondragón, who had been at the news conference. He had fled when the shooting began and became separated from the group. His facial skin and muscles had been torn away from his head, his skull was fractured in several places and his internal organs were ruptured. His condition, the investigators wrote," “shows the level of atrocities committed that night.” Note: Below is another contribution of what happened the night of horror in Iguala, when the devil came to town.  As for the “reason” that prompted the massacre, that will most likely always be unclear. But the plausible story offered by those on the ground in Guerrero is that the buses were transporting a huge amount of drugs on the buses that evening.

It is highly suspected that federal forces were involved. The changing official story of the government, and their recent action of kicking foreign scientists investigating the case out of the country, did little to alleviate suspicions.

The IMCI (Group of Independent Experts) were ejected from Mexico, but not before (or more likely because of) their conclusions of; evidence being manipulated and confessions and “information” being attained by methods of torture. The group was denied access to the military who was on patrol the night of the Iguala massacre. There are grave contradictions between the PGR version, and that of 11 of the military soldiers at the scene.

A few of the questions the group wanted to propose:
Why was the military monitoring the students even before their arrival in Iguala?
What was the transmitted information directly before and during the attack?
Who gave the orders?  When?
What instructions were given?
An abandon motorcycle was found at the scene of the second attack.  It was a private vehicle being used by an intelligence officer on duty.  Why was a private vehicle being used?

Why was a doctor in charge of the nearest clinic called to the 27th battalion to conference with military authorities at the time of the attack?  What was discussed? A physician came forward the week after the attack and said they were ordered to stand down and not treat the students, yet he and others defied the order. There is no doubt the military was at the site of the killings and kidnappings, many think it was not the Cocula dump that was the site of the incineration of  3 bodies, but one of the army crematories close by in Cuernavaca that was the site of the incineration.  LR

From New York Times  by Kirk Semple

Municipal police officers encircled the bus, detonated tear gas, punctured the tires and forced the college students who were onboard to get off.

“We’re going to kill all of you,” the officers warned, according to the bus driver. A policeman approached the driver and pointed a pistol at his head. “You, too,” the officer said.

With a military intelligence official looking on, witnesses said, the students were put into police vehicles and taken away. They have not been seen since.

The plan for the outing that evening was to secure several buses to carry students to a march in Mexico City several days later to commemorate a student massacre that had occurred in 1968.

Riding in two buses they had commandeered on earlier occasions, they stationed themselves on a main road on the outskirts of Iguala, planning to intercept a few buses.

“All of us were happy, having a blast, relaxed, happy with the drivers, playing,” a student later testified, according to the panel’s first report. It relied on testimony from survivors, government security officials and other witnesses as well as reports from an interagency government command center.

But the region’s security forces were already onto the students’ plans. The federal police stepped up patrols near the buses, and the command center linking local, state and federal police forces, as well as the military, kept tabs on the students.

Sunday, April 24, 2016

After decades at ‘supermax,’ Mexican cartel capo gets transfer

Serving life in prison just got a little easier for Gulf Cartel godfather Juan Garcia Abrego.

After nearly 20 years in the so-called federal “supermax,” where some of the nation’s most notorious inmates are kept, Garcia Abrego was recently transferred to a high-security penitentiary, according to federal records.

“It is like dying and going to heaven,” said Jack T. Donson, a consultant who retired from U.S. Bureau of Prisons. “It is definitely a positive thing” for an inmate.

Garcia Abrego, 71, who was the first cartel leader to make the FBI’s Ten Most Wanted Fugitives list, was convicted in 1996 by a federal jury in Houston.

U.S. District Judge Ewing Werlein Jr. gave him 11 life sentences in 1997 and fined him $128 million.

The high-security penitentiary is housed on the same sprawling complex in Colorado as the supermax but affords privileges and a new lifestyle that the supermax does not, according to a Bureau of Prisons handbook for inmates.

The former drug boss, who a generation ago took his cartel to the top of Mexico’s underworld, will now be able to interact with other prisoners.

He faces the possibility of a bunk bed and a cell mate, instead of what amounted to solitary confinement.

He will also be able to walk around the prison without wearing shackles and without having a guard escort, to mix with the prison’s general population, and to have access to places such as a chapel and gymnasium.

Deadly deal: Osio Cardenas' Plea Deal Cuased Zeta/CDG Split and Years of Bloodshed Reaching All The Way to Southlake

Posted by DD  Republished from Dallas Morning News

By Alfredo Corchado and Kevin Krause

A plea agreement between a Mexican drug kingpin and the U.S. government helped generate a violent split between two drug cartels that led to the deaths of thousands of people in Mexico and along the Texas border, a Dallas Morning News investigation has found.

The News’ investigation of the deal between Gulf cartel leader Osiel Cárdenas Guillén and the U.S. is based on hundreds of confidential government records, interviews with U.S. and Mexico law enforcement officials, confidential informants and former members of the Gulf cartel and the Zetas, its former enforcement and paramilitary arm.   It provides a rare view of the strategy and tactics used in the drug war on both sides of the border, as well as the operations and shifting dynamics within cartels.
In July 2009, Cárdenas agreed to plead guilty in federal court to drug dealing, money launderingand attempted murder of U.S. agents. As part of the deal, which was sealed at the time, he promised to turn over $50 million. He received a relatively light prison sentence of 25 years in early 2010.

Details of the forfeiture have not been reported until now. The News’ key findings:


Michoacán: 3 Former Autodefensas Executed

By: Julio César Aguirre/Quadratín; Red 113 Michoacán | Translated by Valor for Borderland Beat

Apatzingán, Michoacán, April 23, 2016— Three men traveling onboard a truck and who were about to pull out of a gas station in Cuatro Caminos were massacred by a group of heavily armed men.  The dead were allegedly former autodefensas of the city of Apatzingán, according to reports from the authorities at the scene.  Two of the men died on site while the other one died on the way to the hospital.  The former autodefensas were armed with AK-47’s.

It was learned that around 6:00 hours, a Chevrolet Silverado, with California license plates, was pulling out of the gas station Mafer, located at kilometer 153 in the Siglo XXI Freeway, however only managed to move a few meters before being intercepted by the armed group.  The armed group sprayed them with bullets at close range.

Members of the federal police arrived at the scene and cordoned off the area.  Minutes later, personnel from the Regional Prosecutor’s Office of Apatzingán arrived, who conducted the removal of the bodies and collected dozens of spent shell casings of different calibers.

The Man Who Runs The Sinaloa Cartel... With Or Without ‘El Chapo’

He was born in the countryside of the Mexican state of Sinaloa, entered the drug trade as a teenager and presides over what many believe is the hemisphere’s largest drug trafficking operation. But unlike recently recaptured drug lord Joaquín “El Chapo” Guzmán Loera, he isn’t a household name.

Ismael “El Mayo” Zambada García, the man many believe to have the most control over the Sinaloa cartel, has spent five decades in the drug trade. While El Chapo is widely described as the cartel’s leader, that notion obscures the fact that Sinaloa operates more like a federation with multiple leaders who form something analogous to a board of directors.

Within that group, Zambada, 68, has likely risen to become the most powerful player. Unlike Guzmán, “El Mayo” Zambada hasn’t been sidelined by yearslong stints in prison.

Ismael “El Mayo” Zambada likely plays the strongest leading role in the Sinaloa cartel. 

Watch Colombian Special Forces Capture A Narco Gang Leader

A video posted to the YouTube channel WarLeaks on April 22 shows Colombian special forces conducting a raid in Chocó, Colombia, which led to the capture of the wanted narco gang leader Édgar Gutierrez Arenas.

The footage, shot by helmet cam, shows special forces troops moving through jungle terrain to apprehend Arenas, the leader of the Úsuga Narco gang. The video lasts just over 90 seconds, but in that short time it offers an inside look into the particular, and dangerous, missions that special forces engage in.

The video opens with a firefight, and then cuts to a point-of-view run along dirt paths as the special forces soldiers break contact and move toward their quarry.

Throughout it all a Black Hawk helicopter hovers nearby in a support position, presumably spotting for the ground troops as they converge on Arenas before taking him into custody. Arenas emerges from the thick underbrush shirtless and in jeans, and is immediately grabbed by the necklace around his neck and pulled along by the special forces soldiers.

Watch below.

Saturday, April 23, 2016

Personal Vengence Drove Killing of Southlake Cartel lawyer

Posted by DD . Some material republished from Dallas Morning News and BB archives here, here, and here.and here
Bullet holes riddled the passenger side window of Juan Jesús Guerrero Chapa’s Range Rover after the personal lawyer for Gulf cartel boss Osiel Cárdenas Guillén was killed by masked assassins in Southlake Town Square.

With the trial of two of the defendants charged with "interstate stalking" and "conspiracy" in the
José Luis Cepeda Cortes
Jesús Gerardo Ledezma Cepeda
murder of Southlake cartel attorney Jesus Jose Guerrrero Chapa scheduled to start this week on Monday, April 25, we should have the answers to many questions.  The identity of the hit-men has not been released nor have they been apprehended,  though they may be included in 3 other people charged in a sealed indictment.  It remains sealed because the three are considered fugitives and releasing the info in the indictment would hamper the ongoing investigation.

The trial will probably last a month or more if all or most of the witnesses listed on both sides are called to testify (and allowed by the trial judge to testify) and will likely reveal a lot of juicy details we have not seen before.

Thanks to an exhaustive investigation conducted by the Dallas Morning News we can get a look at what to excpect to come out in the trial, plus some material that will likely not be allowed to be presented at the trial.

 The prosecution will have a very solid case against the two defendants based on electronic data in the form of emails and GPS trafficking devices to prove the stalking charge.  To prove their involvement in a conspiracy for murder,  they will probably use the 3rd defendant, the son of one of the defendants on  trial and a nephew of the other to testify on who ordered the hit, and their involvement at the scene of the murder. 

Gerardo Gonzalez Valencia, second in command of Los Cuinis arrested in Uruguay

Gerardo Gonzalez Valencia, second in command in the Mexican cartel Los Cuinis, was arrested in Uruguay with 10 other members of that organization, as it was reported by the local daily news El Pais.

Gerardo Gonzalez Valencia, whose name appears in the PanamaPapers, is brother of the leader of the criminal group, Abigael González Valencia, arrested on February 28 in Puerto Vallarta, Jalisco.

According to the information, González Valencia gave a statement in the South American Organized Crime court yesterday, for money laundering in Uruguay by buying real estate in Punta del Este.

Gerardo Gonzalez Valencia is wanted by the United States for drug trafficking, El País said.

"Sources on this case indicated to El Pais that the detainee was under investigation since 2015 by judge Adriana de los Santos specialized in organized crime, and by the Directorate General for the Repression of Illicit Drug Trafficking after it was found that he had acquired several properties in El Este through various corporations link to the Panamanian firm Mossack Fonseca "he says.

The Uruguayan news say that the publication of the investigation of the Panama Papers, forced De los Santos judge and the Directorate General for the Repression of Illicit Drug Trafficking to advance on the operation to arrest the traffickers to prevent them from leaving the country.

Friday, April 22, 2016

Veracruz: 8 Year Old Killed In Crossfire

Translated by Valor for Borderland Beat

A new infanticide occurred in the southern part of Veracruz after some gunmen shot an 8 year old this morning after witnessing the execution of a person, an alleged drug dealer who was fleeing from his murderers, who in the end, was caught and killed.

Las Choapas, Veracruz— Another child has been killed in the southern part of Veracruz; the child had witnessed an execution due to the settling of scores moments before in the municipality of Las Choapas.

The child, Jozmar Emmanuel Monroy Sánchez, was killed when he was only 8 years old. He wasn’t related to the alleged drug dealer that was executed before his eyes.

This infanticide is the second to occur in less than a month in southern Veracruz; before, a 7 year old boy was killed in the town of Chinameca.

It all happened this Friday morning around 10:15 hours, when some gunmen were pursuing the alleged drug dealer, José Eduardo García Druallet, “El Panucho”, who was fleeing from the gunmen as they ran through Naranjos Street in the municipality of Las Choapas.

The victim went into a private residence, a small store, in order to escape from the gunmen but in the end, he was caught and shot to death.

The child, who was inside the residence in the neighborhood Sabana, was a witness to this execution and was also murdered.

The child’s mother identified the body of her son, who burst into tears when she saw the body of her child.