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Tuesday, March 15, 2011

ICE agents welcome in Juárez, mayor says

by Adriana Gómez Licón \ El Paso Times

A plan that could increase the number of Immigration and Customs Enforcement agents in Juárez was welcomed by that city's mayor while meeting with U.S. diplomats on Monday, Mexican officials said.

U.S. Ambassador in Mexico Carlos Pascual met with Juárez Mayor Héctor Murguía to discuss national security matters after last week's blow against the Barrio Azteca gang, known to operate in both El Paso and Juárez.

"To put a stop to the criminal wave, it is necessary to get the help from any organization or country that is willing to do it. My administration is open to cooperate," Murguía said Monday in Juárez.

Also present at the meeting was Dean Haas, U.S. consul in Juárez.

The detailed proposal on placing more ICE agents on the ground in Juárez has not yet been drafted, said Karen Villareal, Murguía's spokeswoman. But Pascual was in the city to gauge the mayor's feelings toward U.S. involvement in Juárez, she said. It is not known up to what capacity ICE agents would work in Juárez.

"My stance is that in Juárez we would welcome help from any institution, be it Mexican or foreign," Murguía said.

He said that criminals live in El Paso and cross the border into Juárez to commit crimes. "That is why we need to collaborate with U.S. authorities," he said.

The Barrio Azteca arrests were a clear example, Murguía said. U.S. and Mexican agencies shared information to arrest alleged gang members.

ICE agents already operate in other cities in Mexico. In February, ICE Special Agent Jaime Zapata was shot dead in San Luis Potosí while on duty. Another agent, Victor Avila, was also shot in the same attack but survived. Both were assigned to Mexico City.

Murguía also spoke with Pascual about the Mérida Initiative, a $1.4 billion drug-fighting aid package. Murguía wanted to learn what Juárez can do to obtain more funding, Villareal said.


  1. The ICE agents will be targeted in Juarez and die one by one unfortunately and/or be kidnapped and tortured to create fear.

  2. Anyone that thinks a few unarmed ICE agents will make any difference is sadly mistaken, it's rather all in or stay out, everyone knows who belongs where in the towns, the streets are controlled by both corrupt cops , and cartel members, although we may have to sacrifice a few agents to get the US involved, but to serve them up on a silver plater is a stupid move.

  3. Zak, I agree with you completely and not to be a "right winger" as some may accuse me of, this is another example of Obama pussy footing around a major issue. I'm not saying Bush did much else to help either.

  4. Hey 7:28pm....I'm not a fan of either Bush or Obama, but I do find that remark uninformed. It implies that the US has ANY control over what happens in a sovereign nation. And that the president (Obama or Bush) are incompetent because they don't do things your way.

    This is Mexico and unless and until the US is asked to help, no president can do anything. Sending troops into Mexico uninvited constitutes an act of war.

    You need to get your facts straight.

  5. You are wrong if you think these ICE agents are just going to be targeted. Now don't get me wrong, some drugged up idiot might take one out by mistake but after the last ICE agent got killed how many people went down for that? Dozens? Probably more. It's just not worth it. It brings way too much heat and those that do the shooting get turned in by their higher ups because the rain of shit that would comes down upon them is too much to deal with.


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