Friday, August 30, 2019

Mexico missing: Guadalajara, the city where 'you can feel the fear'

Chivis Martinez Borderland Beat TY Gus from BBC


The only hint that anything is wrong in La Estancia, a leafy suburb of the Mexican city of Guadalajara, are the dozens of "for sale" signs posted outside the houses.

People started leaving in May, when police found a decomposed body in a home on a quiet side street.

Last month, a kidnap victim escaped and directed police to another address on the same road. Inside, they found a corpse and three severed heads.

So far this year, more than 15 murder and burial sites - some holding dozens of dead bodies - have been found within homes in Guadalajara, the capital of Jalisco state.

'You can feel the fear'

This is a frightening development in a country where more than 40,000 people have been reported missing since 2006.

When criminals bury victims in private properties, they create legal barriers to accessing their bodies. Search parties in Guadalajara can no longer rely on shovels. Instead, they now need diggers and drills to bore through concrete.

The silence of neighbours fuels impunity. Although some locals later reported hearing screams or smelling decaying flesh, few have dared to call the police.

"No one is reporting on what they know," said one La Estancia resident who asked not to be named due to safety concerns. "You can feel the fear…it's palpable."

Since Mexico's government deployed troops to fight drug cartels in 2006, mass graves have been uncovered with shocking frequency.

A study led by journalists Alejandra Guillén, Mago Torres and Marcela Turati found at least 1,978 clandestine burial sites were unearthed between 2006 and 2016.

Authorities have made little effort to locate these graves. Instead, politicians have routinely painted the disappeared as criminals, despite overwhelming evidence that there are many law-abiding civilians among them.

Digging for the dead

Across Mexico, desperate parents have taken up the task of digging for the remains of the missing. These informal investigations have led to shocking discoveries.
  • The Searchers: Mexican women who look for the dead
  • The Mexican doctor rehydrating the dead

In 2016, an anonymous tip-off led one collective to a wooded area in the eastern state of Veracruz. At least 298 bodies and thousands of bone fragments were eventually recovered from the site.

But the obstacles to finding missing people in Guadalajara have multiplied in recent years, says Guadalupe Aguilar.

A founding member of Families United by Disappearances in Jalisco, Ms Aguilar has been searching for her son, José Luis Arana, since he disappeared in a Guadalajara suburb in 2011.

"In [other regions] criminals are closer to the countryside," Ms Aguilar explains.

"Here in the city, it's much riskier to transport a dead body… But it is always more difficult to search a private property because you need a warrant to enter."

A city at war

A police official who spoke to the BBC under the condition of anonymity says two gangs are behind the burials in Guadalajara homes.

The first is the Jalisco New Generation cartel (CJNG), which the government considers the country's most powerful criminal organisation.

The second is Nueva Plaza, a rival group which split from the CJNG in 2017, sparking violence across the city.

"[These gangs] rent from landlords who have no idea what the property is being used for," the official said.

"We have also documented cases in which they simply invade. They find uninhabited properties and turn them into torture houses or burial sites."

This strategy has not been seen on this scale in Mexico since 2011 - after a series of mass killings in the northern state of Durango.

But the police official warned the burial tactic could soon spread to other cities, as criminals from Jalisco, particularly the CJNG, strengthen their grip across the country.

Poor and underpopulated areas are particularly vulnerable to cartel invasions. The problem is so severe in Chulavista, a housing complex on the fringes of Guadalajara, that locals brick up the doors of abandoned homes to prevent criminals from seizing them.

'No one is looking'

Jalisco's security crisis made international news in September last year, when authorities parked a refrigerated trailer filled with 273 unidentified bodies in suburban Guadalajara.

The state government had rented the container after a surge in violence overburdened forensic facilities.

Politicians blamed the scandal on Jalisco's forensic chief, Octavio Cotero. But Mr Cotero accused the state of ignoring his appeals for funding.

He also revealed there was a second trailer containing more unidentified bodies.

Both the Jalisco state government and the federal government changed following elections in July 2018.

But Mr Cotero says that the new leadership, which was sworn in in December, is not addressing the disappearance crisis.

According to Mr Cotero, the number of bodies found in burial pits in Guadalajara homes exceeds the official capacity to identify them. "We need to invest in [forensic] training," he argues.

For the former forensic chief, Mexico's security crisis is also a personal tragedy.

In July last year, his daughter, Indira Cotero, vanished without a trace. That month, police announced they were searching a Guadalajara property as part of the investigation. But Mr Cotero says nothing has been done since.

"The worst thing is not knowing where she is," he said. "And the fact that nobody is looking."

45 comments:

  1. While the two cartels vmake people disappear the government keeps looking the other way. Just like the article says, citizens fear calling the police, they know police works together with the cartels.

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    1. Yet they don't let the citizens carry arms to protect themselves. It's no wonder the criminals get away with murder.

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    2. Very true. This has been for a long time. Now just no pretending it is not so. In mid 80's local police enter a movie theater in a town outside G. Walk up to one patron, shoot him in the head, tell all others you get this if you talk. Now, they just shoot, no need for warning....

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    3. 8:53. Mexican citizens carrying guns wouldn't be any safer. Tey protecting yourself from a paramiliatary squad pulling up 7 deep in a pickup truck all carrying fully automatic Ak47s with a .50 cal mounted in the bed

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    4. U can have a gun your home now in Mexico,no bigger then a 380 I think,better then nothing right?

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    5. Criminals could stick their weapons up their arses, including their .50 caps, what definitely helps them is the impunity state government grants the criminals, one crime is local, state wide. Crime is the whole state's business, and the federal government should take over, declaring the People in charge and throwing away the corrupt who would not pass a lie detector before sticking them in special CEREZOS...
      OBLATOS NEEDS TO BE REERECTED AND RESURRECTED SPECIAL ORDER FOR CORRUPT JALISCO GOVERNMENT OFFICERS, BUT THEY WOULD FIT NICE IN THE ESTADIO JALISCO IN AN EMERGENCY LIKE THIS.

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    6. 7:49 in Chile, Mexican generals like Mario Ballesteros Prieto graduated from the School of the Americas helped the Chileans, the CIA, and the US Navy incarcerate innocent Chileans in the futbol stadium for Pinochet to dispose off as soon as the Final Solution got decided upon, with prisoners to get murdered (after proper torture proceedings) by DINA Generals el Mamo Contreras, or Sergio Arellano Stark or at least they got sent to "la mujer de los Perros..."
      --Henry kissinger was a full blown operator back then already...

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    7. @10:51 AM

      When an entire population is armed, it certainly makes a difference.

      El Cabrón de Tamaulipas

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  2. You replace the [City, and State] with any in Mexico and its the same story!

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    1. 7:40 you could put senator Ricardo Monreal as governor in any of these city or states, and the result would be the same...
      --And Monreal is trying to get in the line for the presidency,
      que chinguen a su madre Los opportunists.

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  3. After they sell their homes where are they going to move? If there is not violence in one area, it will follow them. It is growing everywhere. They are killing people for nothing. The other day here in Chihuahua, there was a group of criminals that wanted a very nice car some people had. They told them if they handed over the car they would not kill them. Of course they said no. Well they returned killed 6 people and took the car which has not been found. They then took the bodies to Santa Eulalia here in Chihuahua and dumped them in a mine shaft in La Mina Condessa. The security here in Mexico is getting to be a joke. The only place these people can move where they will be safe would be the USA.

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    1. Prove it what town or city did this crime originate in?

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    2. They should move to Canada if they really want to be safe. Cartels are more quiet here.

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    3. 11:18 Really do not care much if you believe it or not. Apparently you are not Mexican and do not live in Mexico. Santa Eulalia is a small mining pueblo, on the outskirts of Chihuahua City. In the last 5 years with good marketing Santa has become a great destination for Mexican tourists. They do not always publish killings like this as it could really hurt the tourism there that they have fought to bring it. A lot of crime is censored. With all the people I know in Mexico and Chihuahua I get the real truths as to what happens. I was there when the day they were pulling the bodies out. The people that were killed were distant relatives of my wife here. Like they said once here on Borderland Beat, too much going on to report on everything. There is so much that goes on without being reported. If you lived here you would know that.

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    4. 12:56 im actually from Meoqui and haven't heard anything about that

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  4. So CJNG does not even have total control of its principal territories. Its like CDS not controlling Culiacan. What do you expect from some baby killing lame asses led by a mugroso tecato.

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    1. Guadalajara population is almost 5 Million it’s huuuuuge- impossible for a single cartel to have complete control. Culiacan has only 800,000 people. Common sense , use it.

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    2. So true...the cheerleaders would say Mencho runs Culiacan lmaooo

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    3. 8:56 is the biggest cjng hater lol he puts the same nonsense in every post

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    4. 10:44 AM...LA County has roughly 10 million people. However, not even an ant can move their without the blessing of La Eme. No cartel can move a grain of dose without paying tribute or risking assualt on the inside or outside. So, when you stick to bizness, stop victimizing your own people than maybe people won't live in fear.

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    5. Last time I checked culiocan was on the most dangerous cities in the world list does anyone really control it

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    6. 8:13 Big Pharma got to sell billions and billions of dollars worth of opioids right under the eMe noses, (pendejos) and much of it paid for by insurance companies and MedicAid, then the orphaned and addicted got thrown to the cartels, but by then the Russian Red Mafiya had already defrauded Medicare (or MedicAid) of more than two billion dollars in New Jersey like senator and former Florida governor Rick Scott's own insurance company had done in Florida before having to pay back about 2.5 billion dollars to the US government for his own frauds...he dumb, the Red Mafiya did not pay shit back. But he not dumb, he stole a lot more than the Russians and must have gotten commissions for training and franchising to the russkyes, not for nothing Columbia Health Care was funded by Santo trafficante and then run by a pinche mafioso Cubano Miguel Recarey.
      In return the Russkystas got "governor" Monkey De Santis elected.

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  5. Mexico dont care about there ppl its a shitwhole

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    1. The people care just not the corrupt pols...funny it seems mass killing doesn't end at the US Border...sorta like mass killers be everywhere, especially in MX. Not much outrage or racial finger pointing is the only difference I see between the two places.

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  6. Chivis let me get this straight....El Mencho does not even control his own capital city?? LOL...I thought this guy was supposed to be as gangster as El Chapo....Chapo never lost Culiacan. That tells me El Mencho does not have the power people says he has.

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    1. Bro, that's like comparing a grapefruit to a grape. You're comparing 5 million people to 500,000 people. Not even close.

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    2. Big difference between Gangster and Cartel Mafioso. Go smoke a joint kid.

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    3. Hey pendejo first of all chapo shared culoacan with Beltranes and even carrillos.. it's a small city too lol

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    4. Lmaooo @ 11:59 Blo still and always have been operating in cln

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    5. 8:56, 11:56 y 11:59 es el mismo buey, tan lurias está que se contesta el mismo. Hacerle caso a un peπ√£jo es engrandecerlo.

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    6. Gdl is the 2nd largest city in mexico there will always be another group in these huge metropolis

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    7. Dont call me a pendejo you dont know who you are talking to punk ass bitch.

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    8. culiacan small city? have u been to culiacan? its fucken huge

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    9. 9:16 well, PENDEJO, don't behave like a PENDEJO and make us confuse you with a PENDEJO with your PENDEJADAS, pinche mamon.

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    10. 9:16 you must be Chapos unofficial son, CDS is the bestest cartel in the world! Dispensa level 1 killer

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    11. Culiacan is nothing compared to Gld in size ya derp

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    12. To all the people that cant except the fact that Culican is de Los SINALOENSE dont matter if its Mayo chapo BLO Carrillo but Guadalajara has diffrent groups its not menchos just like he can't even control Michocan never has and will die trying

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  7. I’ve travelled throughout Mexico border towns and coastal cities alike.. I’ve been to Jalisco Michoacán Tamaulipas Monterrey Veracruz Querétaro Guanajuato etc... I’ve been cautious and wary in every destination however the one place where I “felt” fear and felt uncomfortable every second was Juarez .. it’s almost like the city itself wants you dead .. death feels tangible there and feels as if it’s lurking around waiting on you to slip up

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  8. I am thinking of moving to Guadalajara. Is it really that bad and unsafe? I know this site puts the worst crimes in Mexico and the U.S. would look even worse if border land beat dedicated itself to showing all the criminal activity in the States....

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  9. I reside in Guadalajara and would describe it as tense. Secondly houses going up for sale don't mean the second largest city in Mexico is living in fear. Every family wants to live at ease but when do you hear about families leaving Chicago, St. Louis, Stockton, New Orleans, Baltimore, Detroit, Atlanta, Oakland? Every large city has its problems with violence and poverty even corruption. Yes corruption in the United States. In conclusion, if you believe you are safer in those American cities than you are in Guadalajara you are mistaken.
    El que nada debe nada teme

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    1. Im sorry to say thats the dumbest thing i heard crime in mexico is not even close to crime in USA in los united you have a gun you can defend yourself and then you got the police that at least come.in mx if your armed dont matter cause they come hell of deep and better armed and the police 15 of 10 times they crooked so ya good luck with that

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  10. “El que nada debe nada teme“ u r a pendejo!

    There many many innocent victims in Mex (and everywhere else for that matter). It is exatly that mindset which allows the 2% monsters to control the rest 98%!

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    1. Go get your GED pendejo, maybe then you can possibly state your case. Till then you're just an uneducated punk instigating fights behind a smartphone from mommy's basement. I strongly recommend you pick up a book and cut the time you spend on this blog site.
      1 last thing stop using Bernie Sanders statistics they don't apply here.

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    2. 2:55 that 2% has 90% of the weapons, illegal, courtesy of the US.
      Legal weapons in possession of police and military usually do not have supplies unless the law enforcers buy or steal their own ammo because the superiors stole all the money and never even leave money for jail shanks for police officers.

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  11. Si en Verdad eres de Meoqui oh de Chihuahua..Sabras que pasan cosas horibles que nunca se reportan jamas ven la luz del dia...
    En Julio alli en tu Rancho que paso $$$ y promesa de el que reporte y publique firmo su contrato con la muerte..
    Prove It
    How about you prove que eres de Meoqui
    Dices eres de alli y no as escuchado as de estar bien comunicado .. Tu Cartilla cantamela

    ReplyDelete

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