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

Monday, June 28, 2010

Mexico Mayhem: Drug Violence Claims 20

Mexico's increasingly powerful and dangerous drug cartels killed over 20 people over the weekend -- including a massacre at a drug rehab center and singer Sergio Vera in Sinaloa, who sang about the narco-trafficers in his ballads

Gunmen murdered nine people at a drug rehabilitation center in northern Mexico, while 10 other people were reported killed in drug-related violence in the country, officials said.

The gunmen entered the Fuerza Para Vivir drug treatment center in Gomez Palacio, a city in the northern state of Durango, around 1:40 p.m. on Saturday and opened fire, killing nine people and wounding five others, police spokesmen told Efe.

The drug rehabilitation center's owner, Roberto Mayoral, was among those killed, the Reforma newspaper reported.

The rehab center in Gomez Palacio, located 815 kilometers (506 miles) northwest of Mexico City, housed 46 people, the newspaper said.

Gunmen employed by Mexico's drug cartels have attacked several drug treatment centers in recent months.

Durango ranked third among Mexico's states last year in terms of homicides, with 734.

A woman and four men were gunned down early Saturday at the Habana bar in Ciudad Juarez, a border city in the northern state of Chihuahua, prosecutors said.

Gunmen opened fire on the table where the victims were sitting, a Chihuahua state Attorney General's Office spokesman told Efe.

The gunmen managed to carry out the attack even though the bar is on El Trigal Plaza, one of the areas most watched by military and state police patrols.

Ciudad Juarez, Mexico's murder capital, is located across the border from El Paso, Texas.

The Sinaloa drug cartel, led by Joaquin "El Chapo" (Shorty) Guzman, has been battling Vicente Carrillo Fuentes's Juarez cartel for control of smuggling routes around the border city.

Press reports say the Sinaloa organization, Mexico's oldest and largest drug cartel, has effectively taken control of Juarez.

Ciudad Juarez, where more than 5,000 people have been murdered since 2008, has been plagued by drug-related violence for years.

The murder rate took off in the border city of 1.5 million people in 2007, when 310 people were killed, then it more than tripled to 1,607 in 2008, according to state AG's office figures, with the number of killings climbing to 2,635 last year.

The death toll for this year currently stands at more than 1,200.

Ciudad Juarez, with 191 homicides per 100,000 residents, was the most violent city in the world in 2009, registering a higher murder rate than San Pedro Sula, San Salvador, Caracas and Guatemala, two Mexican non-governmental organizations said in a report released earlier this year.

Army troops, meanwhile, engaged a group of gunmen in a firefight near Ciudad Mier, a city in the northeastern state of Tamaulipas, the Defense Secretariat said.

Five suspected gunmen were killed in the incident Friday near the road that leads to state-owned oil company Pemex's Arcos facility, the secretariat said.

The gunmen opened fire on the soldiers, who "proceeded to repel the attack," the Defense Secretariat said.

Soldiers seized nine rifles, more than 11,300 rounds of ammunition, 99 ammunition clips, four grenades and two vehicles after the firefight.

The incident occurred two days after Pemex told legislators that five of its employees and two belonging to a contractor had been kidnapped in Cuenca de Burgos, an area in northeastern Mexico, two months ago.

Organized crime groups' activities are affecting Pemex's operations in the area, which has large natural gas reserves, Pemex director general Juan Jose Suarez Coppel said.

Pemex has asked the army to guard the Gigante Uno liquefied natural gas (LNG) facility, located near the border with the United States and in an area where the Los Zetas and Gulf cartels have been battling for control of smuggling routes and territory.

Singer Sergio Vega Gunned Down

Mexican singer Sergio Vega was shot to death while driving on a highway in the northwestern state of Sinaloa, Mexican media reported Sunday.

Vega was heading to Alhuey, where he planned to perform with several other artists, when gunmen who had apparently been following the singer attacked him.

The death of the 40-year-old singer, known as "El Shaka," was confirmed by businessman Jesus Tirado, who was organizing the concert at which Vega was to perform and which has been cancelled.

Judicial officials also confirmed the killing of Vega, who was traveling with another person at the time of the attack, the Mexico City daily El Universal reported on its Web site. The facebook page of Vega was full of comments from fans who were on shock over the death.

Vega denied a few hours before his death that he had been the target of an attack.

The singer said he had bolstered his security in light of the attacks on musicians in Mexico in recent years.

Singer Carlos Ocaranza was gunned down last August as he left a bar where he had given a concert in the western city of Guadalajara and his agent was seriously wounded.

Ocaranza, who was related to a famous singer murdered in 2006, had just finished performing at the La Revancha bar in the city's western section when two gunmen shot him and fled on a motorcycle.

Investigators found 12 bullet casings from 9mm weapons at the crime scene.

Ocaranza's agent, Jorge Altamirano Pelayo, was wounded in the attack.

Ocaranza was related to Valentin Elizalde, who was murdered in November 2006 in the border city of Reynosa by drug traffickers apparently unhappy with some of his compositions, the Jalisco state Attorney General's Office said.

Elizalde and other singers perform what is known in Mexico as grupero music, a genre that includes so-called "narcocorridos," ballads that recount the exploits and travails of drug kingpins.

Reports claim that drug capos pay large sums for the ballads and more than a dozen grupero singers have been murdered since 1992.

In January 2008, Roberto Ignacio del Fierro Lugo, the publicist for Jesus Elizalde, Valentin's brother, was murdered near a recording studio in the Guadalajara suburb of Zapopan.

Before managing Jesus Elizalde's public relations, Del Fiero had represented Valentin.

Valentin's brothers, including Jesus, have stopped playing narcocorridos.

In December 2007, a wave of violence was unleashed against various grupero singers, such as Sergio Gomez, 34, the lead singer of Grammy-nominated band K-PAZ de la Sierra, who was kidnapped and murdered after a concert, and vocalist Zayda Peña Arjona, 28, killed by a gunman who pursued her to the hospital where she was recovering from gunshot wounds.

2 Indians Die in Election-Related Violence in Chiapas

Two Indians were killed and more than 50 others arrested in a clash between rival political groups in the southern Mexican state of Chiapas, officials said.

The incident occurred Saturday in Zinacantan, one of the cities where elections will be held on July 4.

The disturbance started around 11:00 a.m. in the Tzotzil community of Nachig following a rally by mayoral candidate Domingo Hernandez Perez, who belongs to the leftist Party of the Democratic Revolution.

PRD members opened fire on a group of Institutional Revolutionary Party, or PRI, members who were in the plaza where the rally was held, eyewitnesses said.

The PRD members barricaded themselves inside a house after the shooting.

Two houses were burned and more than 20 vehicles were vandalized in the incident, with angry PRI members blamed for the rampage.

Brothers Martin and Juan Sanchez Lopez were taken to a hospital in San Cristobal de Las Casas.

The brothers were both shot to death, with Martin being killed in the plaza and Juan at the hospital.

The Chiapas state government deployed more than 200 police officers and three helicopters in the community to restore order.

Chiapas is governed by Jaime Sabines with the support of the PRD.

Sabines succeeded Pablo Salazar Mendiguchia, who broke the PRI's decades-long grip on power in the state.

A total of 118 mayoralties are up for grabs in the July 4 elections in Chiapas.


  1. so much for going to Don Cuco's boot shop in Mier to have a pair of custom boots made...and no more going to Guerro to get cold chevys....and so long to Miguel Aleman for lunch...too bad the Z's have destroyed the little tourist industry along thes stretch of the frontera...nobody gets the money but dinero por el paisanos

  2. where is the news about Cantu? You guys do a good job of reporting but I would have expected to see something on your site since at least 12 noon today? keep up the good work. Cuando la gente, nuestros paisanos y de otros paises, tiene conocimiento de lo que esta pasando es poder. Si no nadie supiera de lo que esta pasando a nuestro pais, seria una trageria mas.

  3. Gunmen don't care when they kill criminal and innocent people. How would they feel if their beloved partner / wife and kids get killed?

    I can't imagine a picture of myself shooting at people, but if they are very bad people trying to harm me and I need to defend myself and my life, maybe the story is different.

    Killing can happen to anyone, anywhere, anytime. Life's not fair. They just come across your path and the next question is, are you going to be alive, injured or dead. We never know, but (don't get mad with me) the only people who really know it would happen to us on the earth is God.

  4. F the Zetas. I don't care for any of the Cartels but especially those assholes because they above all have NO respect for anyone or anything.

  5. Does anyone know why they keep attacking drug rehabilitation centers?

  6. All the Cartels are using extreme violence to achieve their goals. I believe that, in order to really hit them hard, the government should 1. clean its forces from corruption 2. Arm civilians to help around their communites to clean up 3. Let the U.S use UAV strikes on suspected Cartel hideouts,(after confirming intel) 4.Use DEath penalty on ALL Sicarios,CArtel Members and TElevize it to the Community. (that will teach everyone a lesson) 5. take out the narco corridos and narco movies industry, that is a venue to induce young people into the trade.

    i mean remember Echeveria and diaz ordaz, they wouldnt tolerate anyone going against the constitution (massacre of students in the 1960's, who were paid by communist to start an uprise,) how did the presidents cope with that? by literally killing everyone opposing the government. Mass killings i mean, Gather every damn sicario and narco, and kill them

  7. they kill the rehab centers to stop them from getting off drugs , so they never talk ,so they don't help the policia and also F.M does some good recruiting from these people

  8. i agree completely ..armed citizen militias ,in close radio contact with militares, especially in the small towns and countryside would really help out...that is why in USA culeros cant take over , and set up road blocks and take over small towns ...the local men are all armed to the teeth and will not let anyone mess with their familys...these pinche culeros have easy victims in mexico ...unarmed , defenseless EUA, no way, they would not last, because each man is allowed to defend his home, gun control is a recipe for empowering the criminal and making the honest persons at the mercy of is a shame the brave people of mexico are held like this at the mercy of these mierda de pollo z's and otras..but you cannot bring rocks to fight guns..i am an american and don't have to back down, but in mexico where i am unarmed , when i get the look from the malo hombres , i have to just drop my head and look another mexico i am not a man who is equal, i am a sheep among wolves.

  9. Some of the comments here are really good. I agree that we need to sweep government first, then the police and military, before we will ever see peace on the ground. With those sweeps needs to be severe penalties for anyone in these positions who abuses the public trust. Also, any person who wants to run for office should be investigated to make sure they are not on the payroll of the narcos.

    I also agree that we need Unmanned Assault Vehicles (UAVs) from the US to attack cartels and in the worst areas literally go house to house searching for the narcos. Couple that with a death penalty for anyone involved in organized crime on any level and we might see things stop.

    As to citizens being armed, it just doesn't work. How many of these reports talk of 5, 10, 20 or more gunmen shooting 1 to 2 people? One handgun against a bunch of assault rifles is kind of useless

    Finally, what is it that the narcos want? Their actions are just random. And kidnapping and killing innocent citizens just wanting to make a life for their families - what do the cartels gain from that? Maybe we need to arrest all known family members of narcos as accessories to crime to send a message to the leaders that whatever you do to the public, we do to you.

  10. I agree with many comments here regarding solutions; apply the death penalty in public executions of sicarios, but I would go a few steps further, since many of the sicarios are sons of prostitutes, they are bastards, have no vested interest in raising families, not in all cases of course. I would support civil society by enforcing marriage ( no unmarried couples living together arrangements). Illigelize adulterous relationships. No alchohol sales on Sundays. Corporal punishment for low level drug traffickers. Forfieture of personal properties, and businesses for high level drug traffickers. paying living wages to municipal policeman and proffessionalize local law enforcement. Remember Rudy Julianni, he had the right idea to bring crime stats down by enforcing the little things, like ticketing people for jay walking, littering, having policeman 'man' known street corners where drug dealing is taking place. But what is happening is beyond law enforcement - strict marshall law should be implemented, immediatly.

  11. mexicans should have easy access to get guns from the black market to defend their families. I can't believe there is so much legal restrictions to buy one. This organized crime problem is just out of hands for the government, and their police corporations are already contaminated with bad apples, so definitely I think people should step up and stop looking and complaining only and do their part helping fighting crime for a better place to live. It would also be helpful a good leader to coordinate such civilian efforts to stop violence. It seems like some isolated projects like this recently took place already in the peninsula area, they called themselves the matazetas.

  12. Kidnapping and killing wouldn't go further more if the drug cartels agreed to share their routes and the President changed from illegal to legal for the drugs in the country but it is not going to happen. That's why drug cartels are out of control by damaging lots of things that have affected criminals, victims and federal authorities. Look back in the past - Adolf Hitler killed millions of victims just because he hated jewish very much even though I wondered if he really was a jewish himself. Major and minor countries trashed Germany, completely sending the life of Nazi to grave (well, not really) and the U.S. dropped an atomic bomb down on two cities in Japan, wiping out about 100,000 victims. Can't they do the same thing for the drug cartels? Heroin and crystal meth are f**king stinks that need wiping out forever.

  13. Yall gonna keep censoring my comments? yall let a bunch of comments go throuh about how the US needs to go down and kill a bunch of narcos, about how the government should implement marshall law, all that right wing shit. I disagree, No matter of martial law is going to wrest these deeply entrenched narcos from their positions in power down there. None of us above the border understand whats going on down there, but the one thing that is clear is the US and Europe are a huge revenue source for these groups. Take down their revenue source and you'll take them out of power. Fuck yall censoring motherfuckers, this is a great site but yall think you can keep people from commenting about what is going on? just what you want to hear? fuck that.

    Aaron H

  14. Josefina ArgüelloJuly 5, 2010 at 9:42 AM

    This is so sad. Mexico has always been one of my favorite places to visit. Guadalajara
    is spectacular. This can’t be doing their tourist trade a bit of good. Not to mention the death and destruction the Mexicans are being subjected to.

  15. The killing and violence will never stop. Not until Americans curb their appetities for drugs.
    Money + druggs + guns=bad juju.

  16. Legalize all drugs and starve some Mexicans. They will resort to more extortion and kidnapping. Its not like they will suddenly start planting bean fields and become docile peace loving citizens.


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