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

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Police deny any role in disappearance of 4 men in Mexican tough cop’s border city

Human rights activists demand an outside investigation into the disappearance of four civilian men March 26 in the city, which has the highest drug-war death toll in Mexico.

In March, Lt. Col. Julian Leyzaola took the oath as secretary of public security of Ciudad Juarez, Mexico. (Alejandro Bringas / European Pressphoto Agency)

LA Times and AP

CIUDAD JUAREZ, Mexico — Rights activists and relatives of four men missing in this border city raised questions Monday about whether officers of the city’s new get-tough police chief were responsible for the men’s disappearance.

The city government said in a statement over the weekend that local police did not pick the men up and are not holding them.

At the center of the controversy is Ciudad Juarez’s new police chief, Julian Leyzaola, who was dogged by allegations that he inflicted or condoned torture during his previous tenure as top cop in another border city, Tijuana.

Government human rights inspector Gustavo de la Rosa said witnesses reported that the Ciudad Juarez men were last seen March 26, when they were picked up by patrol vehicles with decals matching those used by Leyzaola’s security detail.

“We have no proof that it was them (the security detail), but there must be an investigation into who was driving those vehicles, if it was not them,” de la Rosa said.

The city government said it would cooperate with any investigation by the appropriate authorities. In such cases, the responsibility for investigating falls to state prosecutors.

A spokesman for Leyzaola's department said it would cooperate in any investigation of the disappearances.

Armida Vazques, sister of two of the missing men, said her brothers were picked up outside a street market for no apparent cause.

“The only thing we want is for them to hand them over, we won’t press charges ... but we want them to returned,” said Vazques.

Murguia appointed Leyzaola as public security secretary overseeing all police in Ciudad Juarez on March 10. The city of 1.3 million residents across the Rio Grande from El Paso, Texas, registered more than 3,000 homicides last year amid the nation’s soaring drug violence.

The flamboyant retired army officer had served in the same position in Tijuana, in the state of Baja California, for two years until 2010. There he was credited with helping to rein in skyrocketing murder rates and other drug-war violence and with rooting out corruption from police ranks.

Leyzaola, 50, a retired army lieutenant colonel, took on drug traffickers in a close alliance with the army during his tenure as Tijuana’s top cop from December 2008 to November 2010.

He was dogged by allegations that he inflicted or condoned torture. Several police officers who were charged in early 2009 with helping drug traffickers alleged Leyzaola or other officers dropped them off at a military base where they were beaten, nearly asphyxiated or forced to endure electric shocks to their genitals.

Leyzaola denied the allegations and called them part of a campaign to smear him.

The Washington-based group Human Rights Watch called for an investigation into the disappearances in Ciudad Juarez.

“Strong evidence of police involvement in the disappearances, and the lackluster investigation by state officials cast serious doubt on the ability of local authorities to investigate this crime,” said Jose Miguel Vivanco, the Americas director for Human Rights Watch.


  1. Its almost comical Human Rights groups ?? Why are they not raising hell with Drug gangs,for not humanley killing thousands of people??, instead of torturing mutilating dismembering. This is truly rich Washington D C based HUMAN RIGHTS GROUP Doging a man who is risking his life on a daily basis to fight Mexican drug gangs, Talk about Monday morning Quaterback, B S .

  2. Where are the human rights of business owners being extorted and murdered like cattle? It's disturbing how many groups exist out there that have nothing better to do, but go against laws, values and protection which at times needs to resort to aggressive tactics.

    Also, Does anyone know why Julian Leyzaola appears to be wearing lipstick in this photo? :-)

  3. Lt. Col. Julian Leyzaola is the man! Why don't you Human Rights Activists go sell your spew to the Narcos so they can skin you alive like they do to others. You idiots.

  4. It better be Sinaloa Cartel members he had disappeared because may he rest in peace if he thinks the Juarez Cartel will let him get away with what he did to the Tijuana Cartel. "They will fuck him up!!!" The Juarez Cartel fears nothing. They have had their backs to the wall for 4 years against everyone including the military. He spent most of his term in Tijuana trying to weaken the Tijuana Cartel and received lots of criticism about this as it was viewed and favoritism.

    The Sinaloa Cartel was screaming foul when he first came and making threats toward him. We will see in time.

    There is something about this guy I cannot put my finger on. He has good leadership qualities but I don't think I could ever trust him. To me, and it is way to early to judge, he seems like a Calderon puppet.

    I hope he can clean Juarez up but I think that would be like sending the Pope to hell to straighten things out down there. Lol, a real tuff task.

    We Americans need to know that human rights activists in Mexico have a very important role. Mexicans remember well the Dark War in Mexico when the extreme right wing disappeared anyone that they perceived was a threat to their style of government. It is not like these activists in Mexico are tree huggers. And they do protest cartels. In fact, the mother of a murdered daughter protested against the 3 judges that released the Zeta that murdered her daughter. The Zetas killed her too and her murder was filmed in front of a government building. The judges resigned because she as an activist exposed their corruption.


  5. torture is torture, he shouldn't have to stoop to their level. if the allegations are true, he is breaking the law to uphold the law. then again he could arrest 90% of all the scum, but what good would it be if they can bribe their way out of jail.

  6. Also, Does anyone know why Julian Leyzaola appears to be wearing lipstick in this photo? :-)

    Couple of reasons come to mind. The dirt wind and sand in the Juarez desert are probably taken its toll on his lips, or if it is like he was in Tijuana, he and his dog lived, ate and slept in his office rarely going outside.

  7. All you have to do is notice it's from LA Times. Go figure. Where have they been all these years? No reporting all of the extortion, human & drug smuggling, kidnappings, killings done by the gangs and cartels of innocent, good people of Mexico? Oh let's not forget the gangs that have trashed L.A. or the money laundering that US big banks were involved (and probably still going on currently). Nothing, nada, zip for years from L.A. Times. Now they want to jump on a political bandwagon in Mexico? Oh wait, it's that love for the UN human rights commission to make them look like they're actually doing something. No..... they go after someone who is trying to fix the problem. I don't know what's going on down there, I'm not sure what tactics Leyzaola is using, but it can't be worse than what has happened to the innocent in Mexico. I don't know if he's clean or not but it would nice to know the truth. That's all we ask in reporting.

    Who were the 4 men? Great place to start if anyone is interested..... Just saying

    I can't believe I saw a post earlier today by Janet Napolitano, and now this crap from L.A. times. I don't come to this website for the MSM garbage and political BS. Come on BB!

    As a side note: Those pics of Alcapulco today were extremely upsetting, especially the ones of the young kid. For awhile recently it seemed liked you put the graphic photo access via a second page link and gave a "Graphic Warning". That would be a good standard practice. The friend that pointed me to this website last year said todays pics were so upsetting, she can no longer go to BB, and she has been a loyal follower.

    Please stop posting the US or UN, MSM BS, we get enough of it (or no reporting at all). We come to your website to get the truth as to what is actually going on.


  8. He's not wearin' lipstick! His lips are chapped or something...all that wind and dust...

  9. Anon at 10:48:
    I'm not bitching, but for the first time I put a name to a comment. I love this website and have always counted on it to get some reality to what is going on south of the border. I've been following for a long time. No, I'm not going away, just tried to give some feedback and would love them to get away from the US MSM BS.


  10. In the photo, is there a Bible under his hand that has been cropped out or is he really in a Hitler stance?

  11. This comment has been removed by the author.


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