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

Monday, September 3, 2012

Mexican supreme court orders 22 soldiers to trial

By Chris Covert

The Mexican  Suprema Corte de Justicia de la Nacion (SCJN) or Supreme Court ordered 22 soldiers to trial in civilian court over the detention and disappearance of two men in Ciudad Juarez in 2008, according to Mexican news accounts.

A news report posted on the website of Animal Politico political news website Monday evening said that an amparo appeal filed by the 22 defendants was overturned, and the court ordered the military judge in the proceedings to stop the proceedings and turn the case over to a federal judge.

Up until a year ago, military prosecutors nationwide conducted the investigation and prosecution of all Mexican military involved in crimes against civilians, even if those crimes were committed as a part of a military operation.  Amparo suits intended to move those cases to civilian courts, which are procedural appeals instituted to assure the rights of defendants, were usually denied by civilian courts in favor of military prosecutors, until the SCJN declared last year that all human rights cases stemming from crimes committed by the military must be prosecuted in civilian courts.
SCJN Justice Juan Silva Meza

The case involves the detention in November 2008 of two brothers who were arrested by a force of between 40 and 50 soldiers in Ciudad Juarez, and then disappeared.

According to a column by Raymundo Riva Palacio posted in 2009 on the website of, witnesses had seen soldiers remove the two men from their home and were taken away in military vehicles.

A year after the detention, the Mexican Army and security officials in Ciudad Juarez, Chihuahua state and even the federal government denied knowing the whereabouts of the two men.

The raid was a joint operation carried out by Mexican Army and Policia Federal, which provided perimeter security for the raid, took the detainees to the headquarters of the Mexican 22nd Motorized Cavalry regiment.  One of the detainees, Jose Luis Guzman Zuniga, 29, was arrested for extortion while the other, Carlos Guzmán Zúniga 28, was arrested for possession of cocaine.

The Mexican Procuraduria General de Republica (PGR) or Mexican attorney general denied having been involved in the detention subsequent to the arrests.

According to the Animal Politico story, the Secretaria de Defensa Nacional (SEDENA), the controlling agency for the Mexican Army, had investigated the involvement of four of the soldiers involved in the arrests, but had to date not made any case or arrests against them.

According to current law even though a Mexican federal judge can continue the prosecution, that judge still has the power to dismiss the case outright.

The disappearance case also directly impacts the Mexican Constitution, Article 19, which permits federal courts to assert jurisdiction in cases even though a case may have been a local matter, regardless whether federal security forces were involved in the original arrests. 

The SCJN ruling last year which requires human right cases to only be tried in civilian courts, relies heavily on Article 19 which allows federal courts to take jurisdiction in cases even with a jurisdiction issue that would allow the case to proceed in a local or state court.

Chris Covert writes Mexican Drug War and national political news for


  1. Seems like the Military have there own Gangs roaming Mexico....what a perfect death-squad huh.

  2. Sounds like to many chiefs and not enough Indians... Complicated to unbelief... By design?

  3. ...good effort...

    holding these men accountable is an important but meager step when imparting justice equally to all; whomever they are (in mex, lady justice has a habit of peeking under her blind).

    building mexican's confidence in their judicial system has to start somewhere. It is a shame that these small steps are being taken with the mexican military (which seems to more generally be on the side of the regular citizen and has their confidence more than any other governmental institution).

    as much as some "tort reform" conservative idiots on here might not like it, a more litigious country( like it is in the US) might have already sued the mexican executive branch (and real pressure on the legislature) for a real effort to bring money and national attention to the problem of building a law enforcement infrastructure (federal cops, prosecutors, prisons) intended to build mexican's confidence and reliance on justice. for the mess in the states and their law enforcement infrastructures...

    Geez... lets at least start here...


  4. They said they don't know where the two guys are. What more do you want?

  5. Attn Admin: grab this story and post it please.

    Mexican gunmen fire at Border Patrol agents near Hidalgo
    by Rafael Carranza
    Posted: 09.02.2012 at 10:49 PM

    Authorities are investigating an incident where Border Patrol agents came under fire by Mexican gunmen just east of Hidalgo.

    Border Patrol officials confirm the cross-border shooting happened on the Rio Grande River just east of city limits around 9:30 p.m. Sunday.

    Acting Assistant Border Patrol Chief Henry Mendiola spoke to Action 4 News about the incident.

    Mendiola said agents were out on boat patrol when they were ambushed by gunfire from the Mexican side of the river.

    No injuries were reported during the shooting.

    Mendiola confirmed that two Border Patrol boats were in the water and two agents were on the banks of the river at the time.

    According to Mendiola, some eight to 12 bullets were fired.

    The agents reported that they saw a car leaving the scene on the Mexican side of the river.

    Mendiola said Mexican authoriteis will be informed about the incident.

  6. some are aware of this but this reporter puts it all together in an incredible article.
    "Monday, September 3, 2012
    'Managing' the Plaza: America's Secret Deal with Mexican Drug Cartels In a story which should have made front page headlines, Narco News investigative journalist Bill Conroy revealed that "A high-ranking Sinaloa narco-trafficking organization member's claim that US officials have struck a deal with the leadership of the Mexican 'cartel' appears to be corroborated in large part by the statements of a Mexican diplomat in email correspondence made public recently by the nonprofit media group WikiLeaks."

  7. Great post. Yeah, the military is into kidnapping also.

  8. Crooked federal judge in a crooked court system going after crooked military men for kidnapping, after a crooked military judge had the case. How does it work down there? Do people have a price tag somewhere only Mexicans can see? Oh, I forgot that they just tell you how much you have to pay. I've just started reading Executioners, the book about the Zetas. Prologue, it could have been all stopped if it wasn't for a corrupt police dept. First chapter, could have been stopped from the beginning if it wasn't for a corrupt police dept. I'd say I was seeing a trend, but I've seen that trend my entire 50 years. You can't cry about the cartels killing everyone if everyone in that country has a price. And a low price at that. You reap what you sew.

  9. Mexican supreme court that's funny.

  10. shots fired at US officers UPDATE: Border Patrol agents did not return fire
    September 03, 2012 1:55 PM
    Gail Burkhardt
    The Monitor
    HIDALGO – Law enforcement officials saw five to seven people leave in a vehicle on the Mexican side of the Rio Grande after Border Patrol agents were fired upon Sunday night.

    Eight to 12 rounds were fired at Border Patrol agents who were patrolling the river on two boats and agents on the bank after 9 p.m. Sunday down river from the Hidalgo-Reynosa International Bridge, said Border Patrol spokesman Enrique Mendiola. Agents immediately took cover and they were not hurt. The agents did not return fire.

    “They immediately took cover because obviously they were somewhat vulnerable there,” Mendiola said. “They were not able to spot their assailants.”

    U.S. Customs and Border Protection officials in a helicopter saw five to seven people leave the area in a vehicle on the Mexican side, Mendiola said.

    He said the Border Patrol reached out to the Mexican government, which indicated it would investigate on its side of the river, but as of Monday night there was no big break to report.

    The Texas Department of Public Safety also provided backup on the ground. Originally it was reported that the Department of Public Safety had provided assistance in a helicopter, but that was actually Customs and Border Protection, Mendiola said.

    Agents arrested two illegal immigrants who had crossed nearby, but determined that they were not involved in the shooting, he said.

    This is not the first time Border Patrol agents have been shot at, Mendiola said, explaining that the agents are trained to be aware of their surroundings.

    "Obviously our agents are well-trained,” he said. "They’re well-equipped; they’re prepared; they remain vigilant. They took the appropriate action when they heard the gunfire coming at them.”

  11. La madrina is dead !!!!!

  12. Time to light them up with A10's. Those planes could have the whole river on lockdown with ease.

  13. super video about the interaction of drug routes and big oil companies.
    Published on Sep 4, 2012 by rancholosmalulos

    Challenges posed by oilfield operations along the Texas border. Ranchers struggle with fires started by drug smugglers. Crime threatens lives of oilfield workers, ranchers, and law enforcement in ranches.

  14. The United States should give our law enforcement agents full authority to fire back and kill the people on the mexican side who attacks them. We all know the mexican authorities won't do shit about this case.

  15. For an average citizen to just publicly criticize the military is a death sentence in Mexico. Large corporations remain very friendly the officers. Predictably, the result is a top heavy meat grinder.

  16. Griselda blanco was killed monday in medellin colombia


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