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

Monday, July 25, 2011

Lawless Monterrey

Monterrey Sin Ley
Enrique Mendoza Hernández
Semanario ZETA

The mass killings in bars are no longer exclusive to Ciudad Juárez or Tamaulipas. Now the massacres also occur in Monterrey as seen at the El Sabino Gordo bar when 21 persons were executed on a Friday night, July 8th. .

The official version was predictable. According to Jorge Domene Zambrano, the Nuevo Leon State Security spokesman, “Until now the most likely motive was an attack by a rival gang because this bar had been identified as a drug selling point controlled by another group.”

Then, in a 24 hour period between July 11th and 12th, 18 people were killed in Nuevo Leon, including 2 fifteen year olds.

The next day, July 13th, another 5 victims were executed in Nuevo Leon, including another 2 teenagers.

What overshadows all the murders in Nuevo Leon is the lack of any investigation by the authorities, based on the official version that all the victims are linked to organized crime.

"I find it very troubling that when people are killed the official version by the authorities is that they are all criminals. This is serious because then the authorities believe there is no need to investigate”, says Sister Consuelo Morales Elizondo, Director of the NGO Citizens in Support of Human Rights in Monterrey, Nuevo Leon.

“There are a some bars like Sabino Gordo that was attacked last week where it is common knowledge that drugs are sold, so the question is why the authorities have not acted?"

"I do not believe the official version that everyone inside the bar was a ‘narcomenudista’ (street level drug pusher) but if a conflict of interest between members of organized crime at any given time can generate these massacres and the authorities are aware of this information, then the question remains. Why don’t the authorities act to prevent such painful situations that are taking us to a world of terrible inhumanity?”

The practice of criminalizing victims of violence comes from the top down as when President Felipe Calderon called the 15 adolescent and young students shot dead in Ciudad Juarez on January 31, 2010, “gang members”.

Lacking the ability to investigate and react, state authorities have continued the same practice of criminalizing victims, according to Sister Morales.

Sister Morales reminisces, "Last year, in March, a couple, Rocio Elias Garza and Juan Carlos Pena Chavarria, was killed after leaving their job in Anahuac, Nuevo Leon. State officials issued a statement, which they later retracted, that an extremely dangerous criminal called “La Gata” (the cat) had been caught.”

“The community of Anahuac was outraged when they realized what the authorities had said. According to the community the couple was leaving work to pick up their children at a daycare. That is when we started to realize the lies with which the authorities operate. It is unjust that we are criminalized to cover-up the failures of the authorities, and as this continues impunity continues to grow.”

“And as impunity grows, the executions continue to rise.”

Executions in Nuevo Leon have doubled.

Shootouts in downtown Monterrey, “narco” blockades, “narco” banners, “narco” fosas (clandestine gravesites), kidnappings, executions, extortions and police pursuits are the daily bread of residents living in the Monterrey metropolitan area, whose 4 million people comprise the bulk of the state population.

In the past four and a half years and according to information from Nuevo Leon’s Attorney General (PGJE) and the Federal Public Security Secretariat (SSP), Nuevo Leon has documented at least 2,443 murders linked to organized crime.

In 2007 Nuevo Leon counted 283 drug murders; in 2008 the count was 263; in 2009 it was 267; in 2010 the count jumped to 770; and up to June 30 of 2011 the count has more than doubled to 860.

The 2,443 murders rank Nuevo León as the fifth most violent state in Mexico. First thru fourth are Chihuahua with 11,264; Sinaloa with 6,055; Baja California with 3,072; and Durango with 2,800.

According to the PGR, "the phenomenon of increasing violence Nuevo León is explained by the clash between the Gulf Cartel and the 'Zetas' that has led to an increase in the number of murders since 2010".

No official statistics on the disappeared.

The violence in Nuevo Leon also includes many “disappeared, or missing, persons. Unfortunately the government of Rodrigo Medina, Governor of Nuevo Leon, does not provide statistics for missing persons in the state.

"A phenomenon that is of great concern are the disappearances where the young are being abducted, now even young girls are being taken.” Sister Morales responds.

“But this is not just about crime. We are also living with the anxiety of the military and Marines now patrolling all the neighborhoods as an answer for the protection of the citizens. The media portrays this as something very helpful but the reality is that this we are now receiving cases that tell us this is not the real picture.”

“For example, in Sabinas Hidalgo, in the last fifteen or twenty days, the Marines have taken more than 10 young people, including women and also a 54 year old woman and we can’t get any answers about them. We have gotten an injunction and the same Marines tell us they don’t have them.”

“We are really very concerned that institutions like the Navy, the military, SEDENA (the Ministry of Defence), are not even be able to tell the truth. We know they were Marines, soldiers, the parents know because some were taken out of their homes, and still they tell us it’s not true. We are in a serious situation, we are looking for all the people who have been taken without any help from the authorities."

Sister Morales says that the state authorities are not gathering any statistics of the disappeared in Nuevo Leon and the only quantifiable evidence is derived witness and relative’s testimony. "We have information from the same families who have been to the military searching for the disappeared that up to 20 complaints are being received daily.”

"A statement from SEDENA issued on Tamaulipas and Nuevo Leon spoke of 1,700 disappearances. The report was posted for a short while and then removed. There are people searching for the disappeared who are denouncing the Marines and public prosecutors who do not register with us and the majority of the people don’t denounce anyone because they are too paralyzed by fear.”

The human rights advocate claims that the Attorney General of Nuevo Leon, Adrian de la Garza, does not follow through in the investigations. "Eight people testified before the Movement for Peace with Justice and Dignity, headed by Javier Sicilia, about cases of missing persons in Nuevo Leon. It was decided to highlight these cases with the Attorney General, Adrian de la Garza.”

“De la Garza received the families of victims of the disappeared who told him they had reported the cases to the authorities and nothing has happened, and in some cases they had even been threatened."

"The Attorney General promised to have results within a month. So on June 7 De la Garza said he would have the status of the cases by July 7th."

At the time Sister Morales regretted the failure of any investigation by the Attorney General’s office, saying “90 to 95 percent of what's in those files is information collected by the same families of the missing."

The ZETA staff requested an interview with Attorney General Adrian de la Garza and Governor Rodrigo Medina. As of July 14 no response had been received to the request nor the status of the cases.

Meanwhile, the consequences of insecurity are made clearly visible in the closure of businesses in the state of Nuevo Leon.

928 firms close.

In addition to the families of victims of violence in Nuevo León reflected in the doubling of the murder rate from 2010 to the first half of 2011 plus the thousands of missing people, Nuevo Leon is also being affected by employers that are going out of business due to the insecurity. .

The Instituto Mexicano del Seguro Social (IMSS) counts the number of companies of all sizes that generate formal employment and who are enrolled with the institute. The highest number of companies registered with the IMSS in the state of Nuevo Leon is 58,418 counted on October 31, 2008, while the lowest number of employers counted since was 56,926 counted in January 2010.

At the end of the first half of 2011, on June 4th, the number of employers stood at 57,490 according to the IMSS regional office in Monterrey. Taking into account the highest number of companies registered with the IMSS on October 31, 2008, this means 928 businesses have closed.

Nobody wants to be police officer in Nuevo Leon.

In Nuevo Leon nobody wants to be a policeman. After the assassination of the mayor of Santiago, Edelmiro Cavazos Leal, which occurred on August 18, 2010, Juan Ernesto Sandoval, President of the National Chamber of Commerce, Services and Tourism (CANACO) in Monterrey addressed the reduction of police forces in the state.

"Right now there are no police in some municipalities. In Santiago where they killed the mayor (Edelmiro Cavazos Leal), when the mayor took office the town had 120 police officers and right now I think there are 7. Many have been killed, others left due to fear or threats and some have been removed for being linked with organized crime."

Governor Rodrigo Medina reacted a year later by acknowledging that he needed a lot of police and was implementing a plan to recruit them from other states and bring them to Nuevo Leon because the residents of the state do not want to work in the municipal or state departments of public safety.

“Because of the situation that we are living in we are going out to other entities, we have crews in other states that have been recruiting and are working on all fronts,” boasted the Governor without providing statistics on how many positions need to be filled or how many police officers had been recruited in other states, mainly in the south.

"I prefer to reserve the data but the call has been answered in other states," Medina said to the media last May 7.

"It is a serious situation, but more important than a deficit in police numbers I think there is a deficit in the system of policing. We have been unable to develop a police model that can tackle the public safety issue for the citizens of the state,” declared Sister Morales.

But while the Nuevo Leon police leave their posts the Governor is not far behind and prefers the strategy of "every man for himself" as he has fled his state and moved to McAllen, Texas.

"It's a shame that our governor when he took office that said he would give his life for the people of Nuevo Leon and, well, that's the way he’s giving it, by going to live in the U.S. It sad because our Governor should be willing to suffer the same fate as the citizens," laments Sister Morales.

Rodrigo Medina de la Cruz vowed on Wednesday, September 1, 2010 that he would "regain the tranquility and peace at any cost."

But three months short of his second year in office his words have not translated into deeds.


  1. it is a difficult situation, because police presence often leads those who because of bad experiences with the police (extortion "mordidas" or otherwise) do not trust the police, plus the police are lacking in proper training and equipment, AND they are underpaid, who would want to risk their life for ingrates and a low salary, to be hated because you are a cop, who maybe, maybe, maaaaybe, at first did want to make a change for the better, but it is just hopeless when no one cooperates genuinely to stop such crimes...

  2. So how much do you think that a Mexican cop should be paid, Anonymous 7:37 pm? It seems that you believe in that now getting stale and old canard, currently being passed around amongst the drug war officialdom of the US, that the cure all to all of Mexico's problems is to simply just raise the cops' wages so as to supposedly weed out corruption there. But lets look at CANAMEX's comparison of Mexican and US wages some...

    $2.10 Average hourly manufacturing wage in Mexico
    $17.20 Average hourly manufacturing wage in US

    In short the average Mexican industrial worker only brings home less than $400 a month, so why should cops be given raises to then take home pay 3 to 4 times that?

    Three to four time the average US manufacturing wage would be $51 to $68 per hour. Should US cops be making that much? I don't think so!

  3. The PAN administration has turned Mexico into into a war zone of all types of desperate people. They have done nothing for the people of Mexico but put them at extreme risk. Calderon and his entire administration should be held accountable in an international court and any profits generated during this dark and evil era by them and any of their family members should be distributed to the people of Mexico. This is totalitarianism at it's finest and I am ashamed to see that the US supports this.

    What is it going to take? Will 90,000 dead and 200,000 disappeared be enough? Will it take twice that? How many inmates in prison in the US will it take, 10 million, 20 million? We already have 5 million. We can't afford it!!!!

    Legalize it!!!!! I don't give a damn if someone wants to smoke crack!!!!!

  4. Gerardo...great post!
    The problems Anon @ 7:37 outlined can be said about any city in the Mexican violence landscape. Mty did not have to fall, and no one thought it would...well unless you count the State officials who began begging for help from the feds back 4 years ago, they saw the writing on the wall, and requested help, I have said repeatedly they should have protected the city much like the protected the maquilas in Juarez with a fed take over. Now it is called the new Juarez. I have a post in forum I titled THE NEW JUAREZ, and I have the death numbers for the year and they are not much different than Juarez.

    I think it was 2 1/2 years ago or so when I drove into the city and experienced my first sighting of a narcomanta hanging on the pedestrian bridge coming into the city. I was shocked as I had never seen one in Mty, it was an ädvertisement for recruits! Nowadays if your are in the city a few days you are sure to see one. I love Mty and long for the days of yesterday.

  5. about old stale canards....ardnarc the defender of narcos .epitomizes old stale canned ards ...

    why triple a cops pay over an industrial worker...gee whiz ardy tard ..let me take a stab at that one about risking your life...against arguably the most ruthless criminals on earth

    but you wouldn't know about that would you canard ...senor safe and sound behind the us border...

    you have given your self a new name tardy..from now on you are the canard

    as usual condemnation...irrationalization..,but no offered solution..the same old stale.....

  6. @8:33 I agree with you. It's taken me a while to come to this conclusion, but it's the right one. The question is--what political ideals justify it? Answer: the basic principles of the Libertarian Party.

    "As Libertarians, we seek a world of liberty; a world in which all individuals are sovereign over their own lives and no one is forced to sacrifice his or her values for the benefit of others.

    We believe that respect for individual rights is the essential precondition for a free and prosperous world, that force and fraud must be banished from human relationships, and that only through freedom can peace and prosperity be realized.

    Consequently, we defend each person's right to engage in any activity that is peaceful and honest, and welcome the diversity that freedom brings. The world we seek to build is one where individuals are free to follow their own dreams in their own ways, without interference from government or any authoritarian power."

    It is only from a position of individual liberty that you can justify legalizing drugs. A radical change in our political system is necessary.

  7. @ Karl A...Thank you, well said and a solid, strong political stance. I think any change will have to occur from a radical movement as the US is too comfortable with where it is today. It may take 2 more years of this true "depression" before we have a radical revolt but it will come. It will not be to legalize drugs, but more on the nature of a dying middle class that revolts against the ultra wealthy because the hope of America is gone. We have off shored America and we produce very little compared to 20 and 30 years ago. All we make well is weapons and that is ok. But until we have a movement that has leadership supporting "Made in the USA", truly negotiates trade agreements, and does not open the doors for the ultra rich to farm our jobs out for 10 cents on the dollar, this depression will continue. We have got to quit electing politicians and start electing business leaders. We need to empty our prisons of inmates that are not there for criminal offenses such as rape, murder, robbery, theft and burglary. If drugs were legalized and regulated, the agencies that are assigned to police inmates and to arrest drug traffickers could be retrained to create the new "Made in the USA" policies. Prior to release, they could train discharging inmates trades such as oil field work, electrical worker and plant operations. Put the DEA in charge of drug control and distribution. Put another agency in charge of building an electrical grid for the USA for wind and solar energy. This all could be financed from money saved from not having to house addicts in prisons at a cost of $40,000 per inmate a year. Texas alone has a prison system larger than any other country in the world, yes larger than China and Russia. Every cop on this site will be busting my balls about this post but have have to read their posts and I do not bash them.

  8. @buela
    Who, besides you, call Monterrey the new Juarez?

    So let me get this straight? Ardent is "señor safe Behind the US border" what are you? On the front lines in Monterrey?

  9. @ LB no comentes si no sabes de lo que hablas


  10. @ 10:42
    I don't know if I agree with your assertion that Texas has a bigger Prison system than China. If it is true then maybe it's because they just execute people instead of incarcerating them? I would like to see some citation on those numbers please

  11. Mexico seems to be the worst place anyone could ever find themselves. There are no solutions to the problems that Mexico has, the very, very small groups that are law abiding good people are so outnumbered they do not even have a voice and do not fit into the equation.

    The entire system in Mexico is criminal full of evil people that are rotten to the core. People are afraid to call it all what it really is out of fear of being called a racist but telling the harsh truth does not make a person a racist.

    What screw is missing from their genetic make up that allows them to commit these horrific acts against their fellow country men, women and children? My advice to anyone and everyone, get out of Mexico by any means necessary.

  12. But on every weekend the stadiums are full in Monterrey. Be it Rayados or Tigres. I'm gonna guess more and more chilangos gonna stop going north.

  13. Brito, you might want to pay ALL those Mexican cops 20 times more pay than the average Mexican industrial worker's pay because the work is so dangerous you say, but where in the world is all this new money for the cops supposed to fall from? The sky? Or from the US taxpayer perhaps?

    I already even sat down and showed you how the wages in Mexico compare to US wages and gave you an idea of how much a US cop's pay would become if the same thing was done in the US, but you simply just ignored the figures! You simply don't get it.

  14. @ ardent
    Yeah he gets it Allright. Don't you see, Brito is an expert on Mexico especially Monterrey since he was born and raised there and studied political science at ITESM. Did I mention his Spanish is impeccable?

  15. @ ANON 11:06
    do you simply read the nrco blogs for your news? You will remain uninformed if you do. Try the governor for starters and read my post. WHen one makes comparatives compared are not only number of murders but types and protocol, however they are so close in numbers. Who says? Do you read Mx papers? Obviously you don't read much or you would not ask such a silly Q. Its my Op...

    LB...I think the mouse is Ardent..I though your answer what excellent, I thought to myself, WHY SHOULD THEY BE PAID MORE??? Seriously? JAJAJAJA. Every expert and social thinker in the entire world including Mx says training, equipments, and high pay and incentives are a must to curb corruption.

  16. @ buela
    Yeah I read Mexican newspapers. Hablo y escribo español perfectamente (además radico en Nuevo León, no como la mayoría de personas en este forro) te crees reportera pero no lo eres. Ningún medio de comunicación de México se refiere a Monterrey como el nuevo Juárez.

    Maybe Brito can translate for you

  17. What? Brito told me that he had a Law Enforcement degree from the University of Phoenix? He also mentioned that he had gotten his Linguistics Degree in Laredo's Boy's Town, and that therefore he was totally impeccable.

    Monterrey wants to be the next DF and not the next Ciudad Juarez, Anonymous. But it s a beautiful place full of nightlife, the highlife, and bellas regias. Can it be no wonder that it has captured the hearts of so many knights of the night, like LB. If only they can throw more money at the cops and military like Buela and Brito say they should, then it truly will become a Heaven on Earth. Pay them all about 100 times the average workers wage, why not? It can only lead to good things if they do.

  18. Monterrey is the new Mogadishu! ... NOT!!!!!!!

  19. hey tuchi..any mouse annoying cowardly canard asses @ 11:06 y 11:12 pm..

    i am not on any front lines there a front line? ...pero culero... i am in Monterrey..and BTW illiterate jerkoff it is spelled touche' you REALLY need to work on your english

    give it up douche' are never gonna win with me

    and for the topic..yeah i think it is necessary to increase cops pay enough to compete with the bribes and other incentives offered by the narcos all the world the real frontline of defense against career criminals and lawlessness in general is a well paid, motivated career police force...

    what is some of you peoples problems? want to play street corner anarchist, along with coffee shop revolutionary? you really think humanity is ready to live without laws and police?...jajajaj..what a childish butterflys toss the frisbee, and finger paint ..but leave real thinking to adults ..ok tuchis

    why any one want to deny the people of Monterrey adequate law enforcement is beyond me...unless they were a paid shill for the es possible?..shill(s)

    @ B yeah i think so ...he is reduced to talking to himself to back up his ignorance

    or even worse he has a nutrider

    either way ..methinks they called victory too soon imbeciles often do

    a target rich environment... clowns and ducks all around's anyone?

  20. @11:40 PM At any given time one of these 4 systems can be the largest in the world because the numbers change; California, Texas, Florida, and New York. Each has been the largest and they vacillate. This was data I got at a Texas Department of Health conference probably 6 tears ago. I will look for supporting documentation. I do respect the respectful way you asked for it.

  21. @ L'B

    ¡Imbécil! No es touché es TUCHI. Pregúntale a tu suegro lo que significa.


  22. Wait a minute? This article is from a newspaper calling itself semanario ZETA? Maybe they didn't get the memo. They should go talk to Judith Zaffarini and see what she has to say. Jajajajajajajajaj!!!!

  23. Anonymous, who posted on July 25, at 11:40--

    I agree with you. It is very sad, but I think these people really are evil. They have chosen the wrong path in so many ways. Serial killers aren't this violent. And the Mexicans do this to their own kind.

    I do not blame people who flee Mexico by any means necessary.


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