Monday, February 12, 2018

The Mexican towns where even the police fear to tread

LeChef for Borderland Beat from El Pais  written by Zorayda Gallegos 

With officers gunned down, abducted or run out of town, Chihuahua precincts are close to defeat

Patrolling the streets of Práxedis, in el Valle de Juárez.

Jorge lives in an improvised campsite in Práxedis, a silent town in the north of Mexico where few cars or people venture out on the streets. He is a member of the state police force, sent in by the Chihuahua state governor to combat the terrifying rate of violent crime. It is the state police that now handle a substantial portion of law enforcement in the area.

The Valley of Juárez, a region of Chihuahua bordering the US, has been a war zone riddled with organized crime for the past 10 years, due to its location at the crossroads of the routes used by drug traffickers and people smugglers. “We’ve been here since 2015 – there were no local police left because they had either been killed or abducted,” says Jorge at the precinct. When he first arrived here, he felt as though he were driving through a ghost town. “People didn’t come out on the streets, but bit by bit things have gone back to normal,” he says.

Práxedis and Guadalupe belong to the Valley of Juárez, a region surrounded by desert that was previously a prosperous cotton-growing area. But since the drug traffickers moved in more than 10 years ago, the territory has been a battleground for the Sinaloa and La Línea cartels smuggling drugs and people across the inhospitable gulf dividing this part of Mexico from the US.

 
Panoramic view of  Ciudad Juárez,  Chihuahua.

The violence was largely responsible for the high number of murders in the state of Chihuahua in 2010, when it racked up a historic 3,903. The murder rate dropped dramatically in 2013, and though it began to climb again after 2016, the death toll in 2017 was still less that half of that at 1,566. In the volatile years between 2007 and 2015, any local police officer who had escaped death or abduction simply fled.

Lourdes López explains how her son was “carried off” along with four other policemen in Práxedis in 2009. “That was nine years ago and there’s been no justice,” she says. Her son had never used a gun and was never trained to do so. “He wanted to be a policeman ever since he was a boy and he was a good person who didn’t deserve what he got,” says the 62-year- old mother, who left town several days after her son was seized.

Martín Hueramo, a former mayor of Guadalupe, says that the municipal police were not prepared for the situation they found themselves in. “Towns had to confront organized crime with unarmed police officers whose only experience was with minor offenses. Nine policemen were killed in Guadalupe in various shoot-outs, and three human heads were left in an icebox. It was a terrifying era,” says Hueramo, who was granted political asylum in Texas. In that period, the population of Guadalupe fell from 13,000 to 2,000, he adds, although it has since bounced back to 5,000.

The last municipal policeman to work in Guadalupe, Joaquín Hernández, was killed in July 2015 after being lured to a phony crime scene. The municipal police department there was among the most frequently attacked. Between 2007 and 2010, it often closed down completely. In December 2010, it was shut down definitively when its head, Erika Gándara was “carried off” by a criminal group who sought her out in her own home. She was the last police officer left in the precinct following the death, disappearance or resignation of her colleagues. In 2014, the police station reopened with Máximo Carrillo at the helm, but he was killed in June 2015. He was then replaced by Joaquín Hernández, who was killed only three weeks later.
 
A policeman walks in the barracks  in the locality of Práxedis, in Chihuahua.
The situation wasn’t much different in Práxedis. The last police officer in town was Marisol, a young 20-year-old criminology student who made international headlines as “The Bravest Woman in Mexico.” She lasted less than four months before death threats forced her to flee across the border into the US. After she’d gone, no one else offered to step up to the plate and the state police moved in on surveillance shifts.

To date, Guadalupe’s police precinct has no plans to reopen, according to the town council secretary, Fausto González Pérez. “It exposes people to danger,” he says. “If we issue a job notice, some courageous soul might come forward, but it’s a delicate matter.” The prison cells of the precinct are currently being used to store wine, and the money that once went towards the town’s security has been otherwise spent on sport and cultural activities. “These are difficult times,” says González Pérez. “Right now we are in a wilderness, but we are rebuilding the town.”

Beleaguered by crime

Chihuahua’s municipal police force is not equipped to deal with serious crime. A recent report in a Juárez newspaper reveals that there are towns such as Guachochi with 53 police officers but only 15 bulletproof vests. Meanwhile, in Rosales, there are 42 police officers without vests working on an average salary of $200 a month. The state government has had to intervene in as many as nine towns, either because the police are ill equipped or because the police department has become corrupt. Last year, in Ahumada, the director of Public Security, Carlos Alberto Duarte, and six of his men were arrested on criminal charges. Several months later, however, Duarte was back in his job.

37 comments:

  1. They need chief Leyzola once again

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    1. 10:01 lt col Julian Leyzaola Perez is a renowned criminal accused of kidnappings, extortion and disappearances on human rights courts, police officers are no strangers to leyzaola''s tender mercies and enhanced interrogations...

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    2. THEY'LL WACK HIM THIS TIME AROUND 🔫🔫🔫🔫....THEY 🔫🔫🔫🔫 HIS ASS LAST TIME HE WAS N CHIWUAS

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    3. Leyzaola! What a joke. Maybe he did it ib Tijuana but not in Juarez. Its quite obvious the other comment was made by someone late on the news. Leyzaola is paralized from the waist down.Well,he had been in therapy a has made some progress.Anyways,he was shot by Azteca members...

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    4. 1:45 the bad news is Mexican army captain Julian leyzaola Perez, (retired) is back in tijuas, after making his points in cd Juarez he returned for a second serving of getitup the ass.
      Call him the Mexican Ironsides, now he says he can't walk but he is all the same, "El Rambo de Tijuana" his nemesis went to replace leyzaola in morels as designated #1 murderer for governor graco ramirez, like singing chairs yo know?

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  2. Help Wanted Police Officers make 200 dollars a month. Drive a stinky old Ford Falcon. Or work for de Cartel and make $1,000 a month+ benefits (kidnapping, extortion, free drugs, rape women, Target practice on innocent people, gold plated Baretta) apply soon.

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    1. This reminds me of Los Angeles in the 1970s when the police was afraid to go into certain neighborhoods and wouldn't dare go into unless it was with a convoy of back up.

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    2. Geez Alexander...lol..

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    3. Police in the U.S. are very well paid for the most part but still shake down drug dealers, extort civilians and kidnap people with no probable cause. So the idea that paying the police departments better is not going to make a difference in the crime rate but rather just how it's handled.

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    4. The police are very well paid on the US, but it goes on the credit card, now at 20 trillion dollars says the US government, but more likely at 30, a result of the Great Train of Robberies on the US treasury perpetrated by the likes of Halliburton and Blackwater and the creators of the newest 'niukiuliar' crisis that want another 2 or 3 trillion dollars to have a new 'niukiuliar' arms race with everybody...
      Somebody needs to wake up and smell his horse's ass on the US

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  3. Decent law abiding Mexicans who want to live in peace and tranquility might want to consider the benefits that could come from "The Wall" (barrier to drugs and people smuggling).

    What if drugs and people smuggling were no longer possible in the regions in question?

    Think about it.
    Mexico-Watcher


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    1. 8.36
      Guess you don't think ?

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    2. Ill admit i am not a fan of the wall..but ill play the devils advocate and ask those of you that live in Mexico. Has there been any thought about the wall and how it "may" be beneficial to you as well? Mostly, in regards to guns that is. Drugs flow North of the border and an insane amount of guns go south of the border.

      Phelps

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  4. Many police, politicos and other professions have noble intentions as a professional but unfortunately become victims of the pressure from the bosses and the organize criminal bands. Most police and militar who are low in the profession will receive no compensation to cooperate with criminales and are motivated by pressure their superior jefes give them and fear from violent reprisal.

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    1. 3:45: Good point CDM. My American bubble mind categorizes everyone you mentioned right there with cartel; but your point makes sense. Like journalist are often innocent victims there have to be thousands of Mexicans that have to capitulate to criminals to protect themselves and their families.

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    2. Exactly,many may want to genuinely help their communities,stop robbery,rape,gunplay,but in some of these places im surprised they even even get volunteers.Look at the direct effect on these communities and towns this kind of cartel criminality has,its helping to kill towns and villages

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  5. How much is enough for the people, cant believe this crap can go on being so close to the greatest nation in the world. If columbia can make headway, so can mexico

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    1. 4:10pm; Same shit went on in all minor cities and podunk counties across the US less than two generations ago.

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    2. No it didn't... US cops know how to use their guns... the US is armed.... killing a cop in the US is a death sentence....people in the US do not have the same problems the folks in Mexico have...

      Generation X

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    3. The creators of the R15 going bankrupt (Remington)
      Now that Obama is not there to kick around anymore "for trying to take the people's guns", people do not see the urgency to stock up, I am sure Chinese knockoffs will take up their share of the forgotten business all over mexico...bankruptcy will stop the lawsuits from the Las Vegas shooter's victims.

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    4. Las vegas is probably gun free.... at least in the casinos it is.... hookers ok guns not so much...unless you are a fckn criminal.... las vegas will never go bankrupt....hookers, coke, and no guns....

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    5. 5:49 Las facking Vegas suck since "honest businessmen" went for the gangsters illegal gamblong empires and turned it into legal crime on steroids, start with Howard Hughes and end wit Steve Wynn paying millions of dollars for imposing his ugly mug on honest beauticians...fack vegas and its expensive prostitute money laundering crime families, gamble on the corner...

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  6. Back in the day 1970s police wouldn't go into the one ways in norwalk califas

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    1. 4:34 back in the 70s, Miguel Nazar Haro got his ass arrested on the US (LOS ANGELES?) for car theft, trafficking to Mexico and money laundering, he used to be an agent and commander in the DFS, Mexican political persecution specialists and CIA PUPPETS.
      IT IS NOT THAT THERE IS NO MEXICAN POLICE WALKING AROUND THE US, the problem is there are too many american poolice stooggies and puppets in mexico...mister Nazar Haro (of Lebanese descent like his confederate colleague julian slim helu) was not prosecuted on the US, courtesy of the CIA. ACCORDING TO DECLASSIFIED DOCS.

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    2. Watch out loony mills is hatin again

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    3. THANK U VERY MUCH MY FRIEND 👐👐👐👐 N PEOPLE'S R STILL N DENIAL ABOUT ALL THE SKANLESS 💩💩💩💩 THE U.S GOVERMENT HAS DONE 🤣😂🤣😂

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  7. 11:03
    You suggestion of a wall is not in Mexico's self interest, and further more, they are not going to pay for it. What a crock.

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  8. Where I grew up in Oakland, a few blocks away was the Lebanon or something like that. It was like a 3 sq city project the cops wouldn't go there. Only the EMTs, and coroner's who came to pick up the bodies. Lots of times they'd be dragged to the corners and left there. The cops would not step foot near there. Black Panthers had the whole city on lock. Huey Newton had armed guards all around his house. This was in the 1960's.

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    1. There was a lot of auto theft, then playboy started running ads for the Viper anti theft devices, US congressmen Darrell Issa of Lebanese descent made himself a millionaire, after having a few run ins with the law for auto theft himself with his brother, they were caught stealing a Ferrari or some by pushing it on the street...nice job, Darrell

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    2. I remember that....whatta dumbass!

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  9. Lol they ain't gonna rebuild shit. The Cartels could go into the town, exterminate every single person including children and infants, and they'd get away with it easy peasy.

    FUCK MEXICO and FUCK THIS CRUEL UNFAIR WORLD.

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    1. Never mind all the violence and savagery "trump wants to build a wall" LETS PROTEST,in the US

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    2. 2:12 Forgetaboutit, ain't no money left,
      8:04 you get to sing "Goodbye Cruel World" before you kiss your ass goodbye, and don't come back boy...

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  10. DAMN..READING THIS ARTICLE MAKES ME WONDER,HOW MY LIFE WOULD BE IF I STILL LIVED THERE OR WOULD I BE BURIED 6 FEET UNDER LIKE MOST OF MY CHILDHOOD FRIENDS.I AM 27 YEARS OLD BUT LIVED IN PRAXEDIS OR SAN NACHO AS WE LOCALS CALL IT FOR MOST OF MY LIFE.IT USED TO BE A BEAUTIFUL SMALL TOWN WHERE PEOPLE KNEW EACH OTHER BY NAME AND CRIME DID NOT EXIST. MY FATHER WAS A PASTOR THERE FOR 15+YEARS AT PRIMERA IGLESIA BAUTISTA. I GREW UP THERE. WE MOVED TO KANSAS LONG TIME AGO AND NEVER WENT BACK. MY PARENTS LEFT THEIR HOME ALONG WITH ALL THE FURNITURE AND APPLIANCES AS IF THEY HAD LEFT DURING AN EMERGENCY EVACUATION. I HAVE A BROTHER THAT USED TO LIVE AND STAY AT MY PARENTS HOUSE FOR A FEW YEARS AFTER HE GOT DEPORTED.NOT THAT LONG AGO HE HAD TO LEAVE PRAXEDIS AND EVERYTHING HE OWNED. A COMMANDO OF SICARIOS FORCED THEIR WAY IN THE HOUSE IN THE MIDDLE OF THE NIGHT AND TOLD HIM TO LEAVE BEFORE MORNING OR HE WOULD END UP TORTURED AND CHOPPED TO PIECES. HE WAS SPARED OF HIS LIFE BUT HIS ROOMMATE WAS NOT. THEY POINTED A AK47 TO HIS FACE AND SHOT HIM IN FRONT OF MY BROTHER. MY BROTHER NOW SUFFERS PSYCHOSIS AND IS PERMANENTLY TRAUMATIZED BECAUSE OF WHAT HE WITNESSED. I HAVEN'T SEEN HIM IN 18 YEARS. I TALK TO HIM OFTEN BUT HE IS NOT THE SAME. I WAS GLAD TO COME ACROSS THIS ARTICLE. THANK YOU BB FOR ALL YOU DO.

    "E"

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  11. Wow "E"...sad story. Go see your brother or invite him to come to you. It sounds like he could use your help. God bless, Dr. R

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