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

Friday, August 1, 2014

Sinaloa slams the door shut on the press and democracy

Borderland Beat Translated by Leila English/Mexico Voices
From Sinembargo:

Perhaps it is best to begin by saying that Governor Mario López Valdez is in a fight with Sinaloa’s critical press. He has abused it, and he has besieged it. He doles out punishments by withholding government publicity funds, for example, or simply harasses its journalists. Such is the case of the newspaper Noroeste, which has suffered a campaign of aggressions that affected, obviously, even its general director. 

Nothing less than a shooting. An assault, supposedly. Nobody could believe it.

Recently, the State Congress approved reforms to the Organic Law of the State Attorney General which will limit the scope of the media, who will no longer have access to information about investigations and who, by law, now, will only be able to “report” official press releases.

And these press releases have to be delivered by another organization, a very specific one: that which guards access to public information. And always and only when they are in compliance with the requisites identified in transparency laws.

To restate: even the press releases will require a bureaucratic process.

Reporters will not have access to crime scenes, any audio, video, or photographs of the people involved in a criminal event, or to the use of information related to public security or the pursuit of justice. It’s like that.

No representative from the Attorney General’s office will be able to give information to media outlets without the express authorization from the State Attorney General or from the organization guarding access to public information.

Yes, it’s like that. It’s not a joke. It’s not Iraq or Iran; it’s not China or North Korea. It’s Sinaloa.

Governor Mario López Valdez has been accused of having links with organized crime. His police forces have been accused of manipulating evidence and falsifying guilt. His administration has been fingered as an assailant of journalists. And few of these suspicions have been cleared.

In response, however, comes this law.

As journalists we are part of the mechanism of democracy. Access to information is a necessity for that great resource, the free press, to function.

Now the journalists of Sinaloa must await press releases in their offices, or risk subverting the law in a way that could send them to prison.

Mario López Vladez has constructed, for himself and his own, a hidden castle. They will live there as they please. They will act there as they wish. Not ruled by a king, but by a dictator.

These are bad times for Sinaloa. These are bad times for democracy

If you recall, after the Chapo capture, the governor said he was told nothing about the operation., which no doubt was a big part of the plan.  

A year ago a video was sent to Riodoce accusing the governor of ties to the Sinaloa Cartel. Below is an article from Justice in Mexico about the incident.

Another Mexican state governor is in the media spotlight, this time for alleged ties to the Sinaloa Cartel. Around the same time as the corruption scandal surrounding Tabasco Governor Andrés Granier broke in late June, and just a week before former Quintana Roo Governor Mario Villanueva was sentenced to 11 years by a U.S. federal judge for corrupt ties to drug trafficking, a video surfaced online through Ríodoce news outlet accusing Sinaloa Governor Mario López Valdez of working with the Sinaloa Cartel to defeat cartel rivals and gain control of territory in Sinaloa. López, more commonly known as ‘Malova,’ has denied the allegations.

The video itself features López’s bodyguard, Frank Armenta Espinoza, calmly speaking to the camera as he details interactions the governor had with the Sinaloa Cartel’s two leaders, Ismael “El Mayo” Zambado García and Joaquín “El Chapo” Guzmán Loera. Armenta explicitly points to a meeting with El Mayo and El Chapo that he joined López at in Quilá, Sinaloa near the start of the governor’s term in office (2011-2016). Armenta accuses López of working directly with members of the Sinaloa Cartel in a collaborative effort to defeat the coalition among the Beltran-Leyva Organization, the Carrillo-Fuentes Cartel, and Los Zetas in northern Sinaloa, while simultaneously assisting the Sinaloa Cartel in gaining full control of the state

To allegedly assist the Sinaloa Cartel, Armenta said that several state officials were promoted to increase protection of the cartel and its interests. One such promotion was the appointment of Jesús Antonio Aguilar Íñiguez, also known as Chuytoño, as the head of the Ministerial Police (Policía Ministerial, PM)

Armenta alleges that Chuytoño has headed the effort to coordinate the Sinaloa Cartel’s control, a role in which he also promoted Jesús Carrasco as the Chief of Police in the municipality of Ahome to combat activities against the Sinaloa Cartel in the northern part of the state. Carrasco, who has since been replaced by Gerardo Amarillas Gastelum as chief of police, is accused of having committed crimes including extortion, assassinations, robberies, drug trafficking, and supporting the Sinaloa Cartel.

The video also contains audio clips of alleged discussions held between Governor López and various officials in Sinaloa including Chuytoño, Carrasco, General Moisés Melo García of the military, and El Carrizo Police Commander José Ángel Castro Flores. The audio clips reveal numerous conversations pertaining to organized crime activities such as drug trafficking, murders, and robberies.
Not only have the allegations in the video caught the public’s attention, but so too did the timing of its release. On June 22, 2013, Ríodoce streamed the 55-minute long video online after it was sent to its website. The sender had included a note with the video footage stating, “Please review the link as it reveals very important information. Watch the video.” The video, featuring bodyguard Frank Armenta, came three weeks after Armenta was kidnapped on June 4 as he was returning to his home located in the town of Callejones de Guasavito in the municipality of Guasave. 

Although his whereabouts were and still remain unknown, the video footage of Armenta detailing Governor López’s alleged ties to the Sinaloa Cartel was the first sign of the bodyguard since his disappearance. For his part, López immediately partnered with the State Attorney General’s Office (Procuraduría General de Justicia del Estado, PGJE) stating they would do everything in their power to get the guard back, including the use of land and water operatives.

 While the source of the video’s audio clips are unconfirmed, López, however, has wasted no time in negating all accusations made by Armenta, including the validity of the audio. While he recognizes that the voice in the clips is his, he asserts that it was distorted using advanced technology to piece together phrases he said during various speeches to create inaccurate statements. He believes the video was made under threat to Armenta and went on to say that it is a tool that is being used by organized crime to “discredit his government.”

 If the audio clips are proven true, it reveals a network of government, police, and military officials who will be linked to protecting and serving the interests of the Sinaloa Cartel within the state. For example, one audio clip reveals a conversation between Governor López and General Melo García in which López thanks the general for his support in assisting the municipal and state police in several distinct areas in the state. In response to the audio surfacing, General Melo García replied that it was not his problem nor did he have an opinion on the matter.
Due to growing concerns among residents in Sinaloa and pressure from Governor López, the government of Sinaloa has released an eight point response to the video seeking to assure residents that the video was used to fool the public and is a direct attack to discredit the government’s actions against organized crime groups.


  1. Que desgracia..
    Seems like some of the money from Merida initiative was well spent helping CDS..,

  2. Mexico is awash in crime and conflict.
    Calls for revolution cry out from the hinterlands of the mountains ...

    It is now a "War", and the first casualty in war is always truth.
    Truths handmaidens, liberty and democracy fall soon after.

    The Mexican government is fighting a war, a low level insurgency, against a whole host of combatants.

    That Mexican man in the mirror, he hasn't got a hope in hell.

  3. Rip primo frank peace LoKs

  4. Place captions under each photo for clarification. Por Favor

  5. ...Hmm, just as I called out... The Federation has put the heavy hand down and this is a warning to some BIG People... No more Facebook, YouTube, Posting of Videos / Showing Off, Instagram, or even Reporting (unless cleared)... I am for all of them but 1, reporting is needed as are Journalists around the world... As for Mr. Caro, Much Repect R-1... Much Respect...

  6. This is happening in several states. The government is enacting laws that attempt to control the flow of information. At the federal level, Pena Nieto has signed into law measures that allow censorship of the Internet. In addition, the federal law limits competition in the media and gives Televisa and TV Azteca monopolies over TV and mass media broadcasting. Everybody assumes that this is payment for the help that Televisa gave EPN in the election.

    In the D.F., the government has passed laws that make demonstrations a prosecutable offense. Same in Veracruz, Guerrero, and other states. The PRI is making sure that it never loses an election again.

  7. Thank you for the very kind words...
    .You know who this is for, you made my day :)

  8. Mexico needs to evolve from a third-world country to a developing country. It may very well be a developing country for all I know, but what's certain is that the cartel world is holding it back and taking it on a one way trip to the abyss. There's the government, the cartels, and those who just want to live their lives honestly and with dignity stuck in the middle. It's fucking sad.

    1. It is developed even with the cartels Mexico will have the fifth biggest economy in the world by 2050

    2. Every third world country is awash in criminals working with politicians, police and military. Mexico is just fortunate to be the neighbor of drug loving citizens with more money to spend on dope per capita than most third world countries spend on food per capita.

  9. PRI is putting a lot of power in the Governors hands and turning it's head. It also sounds like the CDS is really backed into a corner and is crying for help. And maybe Mayo told him if I go down, your whole family will be pushing up daisies. CDS is running scared as hell. We are fixing to see an all out war or some very tactical assassinations. These Governors are doing more coke than the US does.

    1. How do u come to the conclusion cds is running scared?

  10. Like there was ever any doubt that CDS controlled the governor. They control almost all the politicians in the areas they operate. Even some in Juarez, Tijuana and Tamp. For a cartel to rule they must have control of the state just like it has become evident in Michoacan. CDS still big but now they are getting smarter and telling there young guys to shut up.

  11. More garbage by the government my people's ....understand this it's all a FUCKN JOKE on the mexican government everybody knows this

  12. I think i read somewhere that they executed armenta they found his body

  13. And people here wonder why the US press isn't putting out information regarding the happenings in Mx. Because 1- they cannot trust "official" govt run reports and 2 - independent reports are becoming "illegal".

    Interesting that with all the bla bla bla about Vz, you can publish as much as you want pro or contra the Pres. But in Mx, you'd be in jail for doing so as it's actually agaist the law. You only see that law in toilet hole monarchies like Myanmar and such.

    But it was ovious what was coming after BB reported what EPN stated about not showing pics or giving locations of alleged drug lords because it could hurt their feelings or some such BS.

  14. Question: who vote on these politicians ?

    Answer: stupid voters of Sinaloa

    Conclusion #1:
    they got what they deserved (corrupted politicians who f*ck them)

    Please don't leave Mexico for USA.
    Stay where you are, together with your politicians and cartels

    1. Don't worry we will just send you the drugs that you love so much.

    2. What if the other guy is corrupt or they didn't know he was corrupt your a dumbass who jumps to conclusions

  15. genaro garcia luna would not leave any mierda initiative money around for anybody, the narcs in mexico don't "pay piso" they work for table scraps, the army and state governments associated with federal government and politicians are the main owners of the business of drug trafficking...
    --as long as they produce they get their 10% from the money the drug trade makes, US weapons manufacturers and law enforcement get another chunk, under disguise of weapons for the contras, and the bush crime family associates make another chunk for their presidential campaigns..
    --as long as we keep blaming the "ugly dirty unwashed mexican narcs" of being the sophisticated big bad devils the press makes them out to be, we will never get to the root of the problem, the global owners of the drug trafficking trade and their US partners with planes trains and cars to spare...

  16. "Court Pleadings Point to CIA Role in Alleged “Cartel” Immunity Deal"
    Paste the above into google search and get a full perspective of how far reaching the Sinaloa Cartel was.

  17. 3:47 sorry honey we already left mexico and are in the US, for YEARS!!!
    also the US government aporoves of the mexican government actions, supports them with weapons and half assed training for their gorillas, as long as they can keep the rabble down, la burra es suya, it is only fitting that we who can leave mexico to the revolutionaries, the government and the exploiters, we are better off here in the US, for now, but have faith, the american people are getting fed a whole lot of bullshit too...

  18. yeah...and so... regardless,cds w-o goverment are nothing but a bunch of cowards that can barley defend little bitty culiacan,that cartel,such a shame...the cds is not like people mentioned in mexico...cds nothing but snitches,cowards,get slaughtered when it comes down do it*check the facts*and chapo begging for food in super max...cds didnt win over on esingle plaza in all the years it had help from calderon....what a shame of a cartel!

  19. " genaro garcia luna,,,the global owners of the drug trafficking trade and their US partners "

    Hahahaha what a fuckin monumental bore you are senora.Sort Mexico out before you all whine about other countries with the blame game.People make a country...

  20. Unlike the cartels/govt. of Michoacan, the organized criminal structure in Sinaloa doesn't extort or kidknap. Not to say they are no better than the CTs, but CDS is the lesser of two evils. CDS mainly involves itself in drug trafficking and avoids involving innocents in their efforts to control territory. There is no doubt in anybody's mind that Malova has ties to the CDS. However, there is plenty of blame to go around when it comes to who's fault it is when it comes to the drug
    trafficking industry of Sinaloa which includes such agencies as the CIA. There is no governor in Sinaloa who wouldn't have had ties to CDS. Mind you Malova is a PANISTA, not a PRIISTA. What does that say about the state of corruption en la República Mexicana.

    1. Ya thay did a great job of not involving inocente in nuevo Laredo Vera cruz and juarez

  21. Este es el problema con nuestro bello pais de Mexico. Los politicos que tenemos encargados se creen la divina Garza y tambien se creen los duenos de nuestro pais como el cara de puerco que se encuentra en la primer foto.

  22. good find 4:30 wish I had time to translate.
    not sure about it, but one thing is papers like Riodoce always have their sources in sinaloa and are are the first to know what is happening.

  23. he looks like the hulk in that first picture

  24. he looks like satan. cara de satanas

  25. Someone said the Mexicans voted him in.Well it doesn't matter what politition is voted in whether PRI PAN or Joe Blow the cartels will get 2 them and corrupt them all.

  26. I passed this along to a reporter with the Columbia journalism Review who covered similar issues of censorship of the media. Maybe she will give it some legs.


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