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

Tuesday, December 10, 2013

Day 1: Bernardino García Francisco

This is the first of twelve biographies of defenders of the security system and indigenous justice system of the state of Guerrero; 12 posts put in the “12 Days in Defense of Our Lives and Freedom” campaign, against the climate of violence that prevails in Guerrero and the soaring use of targeting members with jail time because of the various manifestations of the Community Police. The campaign seeks to raise the voice for those men and women who have been victims of a justice system that on one hand leaves assaults, threats, and killings against activists and human rights defenders go unpunished, and on the other hand is attempting to coercively control the indigenous authorities who are promoting community justice.

Day 1: Bernardino García Francisco.  Coordinator of Community Authorities of the House of Justice of El Paraíso, Regional Coordinator of Community Authorities- Community Police (CRAC-PC) in Ayutla de Los Libres.
Costa Chica Region

 La Montaña Region

Bernardino García Francisco, a Na Savi indigenous originally from the community of El Paraíso, municipality of Ayutla de los Libres, Guerrero, has dedicated much of his life towards the defense and promoting the rights of indigenous communities of the Montaña and Costa Chica region of Guerrero.  Bernardino is a survivor of the “El Charco” Massacre, which are the terrible events that occurred in the early hours of June 7, 1998, in which several indigenous leaders were resting after having participated in an assembly, when members of the Mexican Army stormed into the school “Claritino Maldonado”, executing 10 Na Savi indigenous people and a university student.  During the events, Bernardino was wounded, arrested, and imprisoned for just over a year.

Manuel Ponce Rosas and Raúl Lucas Lucía

Bernardino, 53, was a municipal commissioner for El Paraíso and during the period of 2004-2006, he served as President of Communal Goods of Coapinola, municipality of Ayutla de los Libres.  He was a founder of the Future of the Mixteco People Organization (OFPM) and fellow comrade of Raúl Lucas Lucía and Manuel Ponce Rojas, two leaders of the OFPM who were disappeared, tortured, and later executed in February 2009.  These crimes have not been properly investigated and those responsible remain unpunished.

Faced with the climate of violence and insecurity that exists in the Costa Chica region of Guerrero, Bernardino was the victim of several assaults in recent years, for example in 2007, he almost lost his sight when he was attacked in his right eye.  These and other events have become increasingly more widespread in the region, and were key to him (as the community advisor) in creating the Community Police in the region of Ayutla, part of the CRAC.

The CRAC-PC-with over 18 years operating- is a model of justice that has reduced crime levels almost entirely in the territory of the Montaña and the Costa Chica region.  His persistence and strength are based on the legitimacy of the community.  In addition to this, the State Legislature passed the Law 701 of the Recognition of Rights and Culture of Indigenous Peoples and Indigenous Communities of the State of Guerrero, which explicitly recognizes the CRAC and empowers it in performing tasks which prevent crime, the administration and enforcement of justice and rehabilitation.

 However, on Wednesday, August 21, 2013, a large scale joint operation involving state and federal forces (including the Mexican army), broke into the community of El Paraíso, Municipality of Ayutla de los Libres, with the aim of arresting members of the Community Police, as well as to put an end to the re-education process in which several people there faced accusations that were under investigation and tried in community justice courts.  During the operation, Bernardino was arrested along with 12 other Community Police officers.
Nestora Salgado
Simultaneously, in the Montaña region, another operation was occurring in which an arrest warrant was ordered against Nestora Salgado, Coordinator of the Community Police in the municipality of Olinalá.

To this day, the defender of the rights of indigenous peoples finds himself deprived of freedom in the prison of Acapulco, accused of kidnapping, in the criminal case 191/2013 to be heard in the 4th Court of First Criminal Instance of the Judicial District of Tabares (Juzgado 4º de Primera Instancia del Ramo Penal del Distrito Judicial de Tabares), located in Acapulco, Guerrero. 

The State’s response before the organization of the towns to ensure its security has been to place the indigenous authorities, whom defend their people, outside the law and charge them with crimes as if they were dangerous criminals.  State authorities, not only strive to criminalize and stigmatize the indigenous justice system, but also to destroy a system of community justice and community security which has proven over the course of 18 years to be a successful model within one of the most violent states of the country. 


  1. I don't see why y'all would put pictures of these people just making it easy for them to identified by cartels seem pretty messed up just my 2 cents.....

    1. They already know who they and have prices on their heads. Yet, they still fight on... better to live 1 day on your feet than your entire life on your knees. Thank you for sharing and I look forward to learning about all these defenders of freedom.

    2. Check out my 2 cents.. if you are entrenched in a war with beheading monsters,you can't really be 2 scared of them to know how you look,it is your enemy after all.these men are just brave and really love their family..**ARRiba GRO**

    3. @ 10:48

      Thank you Pancho Villa

  2. valor - very interesting approach and we look forward to seeing more articles like this.

  3. Not on chapos watch.

  4. "I don't see why y'all would put pictures of these people just making it easy for them to identified by cartels seem pretty messed up just my 2 cents....."

    that's an interesting question. the answer is perhaps as follows. first, the drug cartels have exceptionally good intel - so they will find out who these people are anyway. it's really not possible to stay "hidden" for very long. and secondly, when the autodefensas first sprang up some local villagers were wearing masks and balaclava's. they did it for the same reasons you mentioned - fear of repirals. but the problem with this is the "image" - it makes the villagers look like roadside bandits. so the media image this was conveying was terrible - not what they were trying to achieve. therefore, the autodefensas are forced, more or less, to be "normal" people and show their identities. no doubt they are not all doing this ... there is no universal agreement about how to handle this. but it is a consequence of the media coverage and the preceptions of the public. just my thoughts, and perhaps other readers here will offer their own views about this. P, CA

  5. Great Reporting as usual by BB. These/Those poor poor souls up against the biggest greediest corrupt Marie Antionette types in Mexico city that
    create a life of basic slavery and torment for the poor in Mexico .While all the profits from Cancun , Taxes collected from landings and arrivals at the airports , the resorts , the tourist meccas , never reach the poor . Things other than beer or liquor cost more too . Buying a new compact little car in Mexico is like buying a House . They will have to pay years and years for that car and then make it last for years and years. Mexico always been that way and always will be. Except now for all the evil criminals pillaging and raping the country side.
    And remember its beautiful Mexico relax on the beach with a margarita while poor folk die at the hands of demonic bastards.

    Like having a picnic behind Auschwitz in 1943 . Wow sure is beautiful in Poland !!! No Pasaran !!!!! & Stop ignoring the violence. Tell all your friends family, associates about BB and the violence in Mexico . In the name of humanity pass it on. Spreads the word of all atrocities and mass graves, dismemberments.

    1. The worse part is that since the Spanish arrived,behind their crosses and their swords,the caciques have been the powers in charge,with authority to do as they please,es long as the owners of everything in the state are ok with it,or they order what to do,the worst governors,the Ruben figueroas I,II,and III used guerrillas to create problems,then they get their guerrilla friends killed,since el Rey Lopitos was assassinated by the state,to thrive as a criminal in the state of Guerrero,you must be fully sponsored by the state,on behalf of the state's rich potentates,the real problem behind all evil in Mexico,I hope BB can go there next,in the name of Digna Ochoa and
      Regina Martinez,whose suspected killers had ties to Guerrero state caciques,protected by... who else,state and federal "authorities"
      who always "find"the culprits when things get too hot for them.nice job BB and valor...

  6. Story of how just one municipality has more violent killings than a whole country. Speaking of Gro. It claims here Acapulco is now the most violent city in Mexico. What once was home to Hollywood Stars and movies with Elvis is now degenerated to a bloodbath.

    Here's the article from

    Place is becoming Mali or Somolia with a bunch of greedy handlebar wearing mustache azzholes in DF.

  7. Dear BB. I have decided to re-post a piece of reader feedback that happened on another one of your threads. I am doing this because it was added late, but deserves much more attention. Very special thanks to the reader who posted this earlier!!
    Reader Feedback, Dec 10, 2013:
    After 25 years of extensive travel in Mexico and believe me it HAS changed. Oh sure, sure there are all the pretty little tourist areas . We can name many. San Miguel de Allende , Oaxaca ,Baja etc. But, even Taxco GRO has had its share of bloodshed. Places like once beautiful Acapulco are now ruined . Why would someone want to drive a Ford 4x4 F250 all over Mexico? Some group of armed azzholes will probably take it , and everything in it before It gets to the state of Nuevo Leon .
    I will not go to mexico for many reasons. One I am a victim / survivor of violence. And upon return to my homeland I was mocked , publicly humiliated ,cyber bullied , and eventually exiled by people I thought were my friends. I will not goes as far as to say do not buy Avocados from Mexico . But , I will plea to anyone wanting to go Mexico to read BB and the following sites.

    I will not paint a false sense of security about the situation in Mexico.

    Comment: It is indeed true that some areas of Mexico are exceptionally beautiful. Yet tragically there is also random and extreme violence. It is as if the age-old gods of the Aztecs and the Mayans have risen and come to life again - they are demanding to be paid in blood for the peoples' errors in judgment. Who can say why?? P, CA

  8. Can't forget the food!

  9. Wow...just go ahead and publish their home addresses.

  10. that is the desperation that's felt in Mexico. the stupid law is scared to punish the traffickers kidnappers, extortionists. Yet when honest people try to organize and defend themselves, the stupid authorities tell them they can't own guns and are jailed for the stupedist reasons like organizing to defend themselves...

    1. 11:03 The "authorities"are not stupid,they are one with the problem and the problem
      since they love their mordidas more than the people,when the shit hits the fan,the popoliticians and the sicarios will be seen together,unless they rat on each la judas z40, and la puta tuta

  11. Bravo! Excellent article, look forward to this series. VIVA MEXICO!

  12. Hi-What a great idea this post is! Bravo! I do also worry about the photos too.

    I have an idea, after you finish this series, you should do one along the lines of this one below with the good chart. But Chivis said you thought there were inaccuracies. I see one. I like series and a good project too.

    I really would love an exposé on the corrupt officials in the different areas Michoacan. Then we could go on to another state. Until we've done them all, updating along the way of course. That project might overwhelm us in one way or another if you know what I mean.

    Keep up the good work Valor. I enjoy your posts. Bye

  13. well Valor - before this thread is forgotten. there is a LOT of value in your series for several reasons. First, it is very important right now for the public to get a broader perspective of the "autodefensa" movement ... what are the motivations of the different groups?, do they have political aims or do they just want to secure their towns?, are they able to state a vision of just what they want to achieve (instead of only waving guns around), and how are they dealing with the passage of military vehicles through their areas? all of these issues are vital - because it gets closer to the heart of whether the autodefensas are a struggle against local crime, or part of a growing movement of citizens across Mexico to overthrow corruption. again, good luck to you. P, CA

  14. How is this reporting on Cartels? No one cares for a group of indigenous ppl who will fight for freedom and die in a few weeks maybe they will reach a month hooorayyy.Borderlandbeat has become way to humanitarian if you ask me. Its Mexico realism is a way of life.

    Yeah there's a couple of self defense groups only. I repeat only. Where a group of organized criminals instead of mainly sellin/exporting drugs they mainly steal,extort their own.The clearest and most obvious example are Michoacan,Caballeros templarios.They shouldn't be named a drug cartel,they are mainly a bunch of low lifes where there leader doesn't even control any border area,so he funds his hitman by having them extort their own,on behalf of the" brotherhood"

    notice Tamaulipas doesn't have this problem nor Sinaloa you won't see self defense groups raising up in arms against criminals. I wonder why?

    Anyways borderlandbeat maybe you can create another site for all those humanitarian who hypocritically post comments of support as if they actually care.hmmm great idea huh!!;

    1. the French succored the American colonies' revolutionaries,who put their lives,money, property and good names in the effort, helped by Ben Franklin's womanizing skill and john Paul jones' sticking it to the English navy,the french and the English discovered that revolutions are good business,and good for business,Lenin and Stalin even going to England for the first internationals,paid for by the English,Marx and Engels,subsidized by the same,France and Spain with Cuba and on to mexico-colombia,France and the USSR with the vietminh and the vietcong etc we see a pattern of global conquering campaignization???

  15. 10:09 borderland beat has sooo many other places,that I doubt you have checked all of them, then there are MILLIONS of other places I am sure you have not your pamper, see if you laid an egg yet,come back and report,but mind your maners pretty boy,if you wanna get posted...
    Charlie Brown's own Red Baron,Woodstock

  16. It does not surprise me that the government would target these people over drug traffickers, I would too. The government does not have to worry about losing it's ability to collect bribes and be useless, whereas if the people who would like to clean up the violence and corruption gain to much power they may just keep going and clean out the entire corrupted system and take back their country. I say, keep it going and do take back your country and if I was them there would be one trial after another the this time there would be no first class room in prison it would be a firing squad. Mexico is sinking in shit and if the people truly want to clean it up they are going to have to be just a violent as the people they hate, after it's cleaned up then you can start having compassion.

  17. Response to 10:09 PM.

    Your complete ignorance and racism is clearly displayed. All of Mexico need this "problem" of community police/self defense groups for protection and justice. The municipal police works for the drug cartel and /or takes bribes. The PRI accepts regular payments (Bribes) on every level, municipal, state and national. You don't believe me? Try reading some BB articles on the out of control mayhem. It will help overcome "some" of your ignorance.

    Your snarky remark, "Hooray", on the hopeful deaths of the courageous Indigenous defenders, tells me you are either a self-hating Mexican, or you work for the cartels' I think you are both.

    Finally, you don't like the humanitarian slant of BB. BB exists because of the lack humanitarian news coverage nationaly and internationaly. A good example is the NY Times coverage of Israel and Mexico. Israel, a tiny country on another continent gets fives times the coverage of Mexico, our large neighbor of 100 million people. This is one reason why BB serves as an important news resource.

    One last comment. I live in central Mexico, BB has been a lifesaver for many of us, humans.

  18. December 11, 2013 at 6:52 AM Love your compassion and words .
    Thanks for your comment .

    Time to read part 2 . Peace

    Roughrider 1898

  19. For Rough Rider 1898.

    Thank you for your gracious comment. These 10:09 PM juvenil, sit in the back of the classroom punks will always exist, sadly.

    Peace and Prosperity,

    BullDog 1876

  20. 10:09 that you gman? or is it you EFFER BEEFER?
    for a guy that knows so much about blogging rules, you seem to be a frustrated parasite homeless,always looking for an easy mark,always getting your ass chewed by some ignorant apostata that can't/won't stay on topic,or that don't know the first thing about blogging.
    I understand your frustration,and hope you get better,try and check in with a doctor,get your medicines,before you go and kill somebody. advice,compare your learned style with faux news and find out where your style is, what you are all about...

  21. To10;12AM,

    Clearly you are student of history. Ben Franklin's womanizing, revolutions are good for business and you tie in 8 countries to this "Global conquering campaignationation" Pleeaaseee, expand upon your wild thesis.

    Sounds like you read too many Marvel comic books, like Planet Hulk.


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