Archive for the “Drug Cartels” Category

Lou Dobbs - John Culberson: Criminals Are Laughing at Us

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The National Association of Former Border Patrol Officers (NAFBPO) extracts and condenses the material that follows from Mexican and Central and South American on-line media sources on a daily basis.

El Diario de Coahuila (Saltillo, Coahuila) 4/1/08

Organized Mexican narco traffic has succeeded in virtually occupying Guatemala after creating powerful and dangerous organizations of Guatemalans to smuggle Colombian cocaine to Mexico and the U.S. and by penetrating a series of strategic political, business, police, security and judicial systems. Allied in the multimillion dollar business of narco traffic, Mexicans and Guatemalans have cast a web of corruption that brought death, fear and silence in Guatemala. “If we say that Mexico is a narco state, Guatemala is a criminal state,” said Iduvina Hernandez, director of Security in Democracy, a nongovernmental organization. “Guatemala suffers a transnational siege by organized crime.” The crisis of the incursion in Guatemala by the Sinaloa, Tijuana, Gulf and Juarez cartels, among others, was revealed last Tuesday with the gun battle between narco groups in a town east of Guatemala City that left 11 dead. “The slaughter put in headlines a reality that was a secret for too long,” added Hernandez.

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The San Francisco Chronicle

Agua Prieta, Mexico ? At the Center to Aid Migrants in Exodus shelter, would-be immigrants to the United States shared stories of violence at the hands of human smugglers working for drug cartels.

?You used to be able to walk across? the border, said Javier Corazon, 48, who says he lived in Tucson for decades before being deported two years ago. ?Now you never know what?s going to happen. They may leave you, beat you or worse.?

The 30 or so beds at the shelter in this small Mexican town near the Arizona border were filled mostly with Mexicans and a few Central Americans, some of whom remain determined to cross the border.

?The only thing they have to look forward to when dealing with the ?coyotes? is more abuse,? said Rosa Soto Moreno, a shelter volunteer.

As U.S. border security has tightened, Mexican drug cartels have moved in on coyotes, the common moniker for human smugglers who are paid to bring illegal immigrants into the United States.

The traffickers now use their expertise in gathering intelligence on border patrols, logistics and communication devices to get around ever tighter border strictures. They are slowly gaining control of much of the illegal passage of immigrants from Mexico to the United States, U.S. border officials say.


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MEXICO CITY, Mexico — The Mexican government has ordered 2,000 troops to the U.S.-Mexico border in response to a wave of drug-related violence that is blamed for 200 deaths since January, officials announced Thursday.

The troops are expected to depart Friday. The majority will be near the northern border of Mexico, in Juarez.

Juarez sits across the Rio Grande from El Paso, Texas.

Officials said the violence in Mexico has increased in large part to competing drug cartels.

“In this battle we will show that no criminal group is capable to resist the strength of the Mexican government,” Interior Minister Juan Mourino said at a news conference Thursday.

Defense Secretary Guillermo Galvan said 2,026 soldiers, 180 military tactical vehicles, three airplanes and more than a dozen drug detection devices would be employed in the military operation.

M3 Report - Special Forces to Aid Beleaguered Cuidad Juarez

El Imparcial (Hermosillo, Sonora) 3/27/08

The Mexican Army will deploy a contingent of 500 troops to Cd. Juarez, Chihuahua to stop the wave of violence that has battered that part of the country and, since January, has left at least 200 people executed. The Secretary of National Defense said a company of the Special Forces will join the other troops. The unit will depart tomorrow in four military aircraft based near Mexico City.

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The Daily Aztec

For those of you thinking about traveling to Baja California, Mexico this Spring Break, travel experts have an important message for you: Don’t.

Robberies, kidnappings and even murders have people changing their plans and staying stateside for their upcoming vacations.

Usually this time of year presents college students with a golden opportunity to loosen up and head to Baja for drinking, partying and relaxation. However, times are now different, with crime running rampant throughout Tijuana and Rosarito, which has proven tough enough to scare away even the most seasoned of travelers.

Read more.

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This is a news report provided by NAFPBO as seen on Border Fire Report.

El universal (Mexico City) and La Jornada 3/20/08

Reflecting Mexico’s official attitude toward U.S. immigration policies, a demonstration by Central Americans in Mexico’s southern border state of Chiapas also included Mexico in their complaints. Carrying banners that read “Calderon, we are migrants not criminals, respect our human rights” and “The dignity of the migrant has no border,” they called for an end to “repression, kidnapping, violaltion and murder,” complaining that there is an anti-immigrant attitude in Mexico as well as in the United States.


Norte (Cd. Juarez, Chihuahua) 3/20/08

1. The string of murders continues in the Juarez area. In less than 14 hours, there were 7 homicides including a police officer gunned down near the police station. In response to the recent wave of murders, federal, state and local enforcement agencies are forming an “immediate response unit” to confront the armed groups responsible for the killings.

2. In a follow-up on yesterday’s story about the kidnappings of company executives in the Juarez area, an anonymous source close to police operations said that there were not two, but six local business execs in custody of kidnappers and negotiating their release. He added that in the last three months, some 18 such kidnappings have occurred, including those of family members of important people, and that though milions of dollars have been paid in ransom, not one complaint had been filed with the authorities.


El Financiero (Mexico City) 3/20/08

Late yesterday, a group of armed men assassinated a Tijuana public official as he was driving in the Otay Mesa section of the Baja California city. The reports said he was intercepted by the occupants of two vehicles who shot him with large caliber weapons and fled.


El Imparcial (Hermosillo, Sonora) 3/20/08

The Public Security office in the state of Veracruz confirmed that there was a gun battle between the Mexican Army and an armed group in the north of the state near the border with Tamaulipas. One officer was killed in the encounter and the attackers fled leaving behind their vehicle with 15 weapons that are supposed to be restricted for the exclusive use of the Armed Forces.


La Cronica de Hoy (Mexico City) 3/20/08

Federal authorities examined a seized sophisticated armored vehicle used by the Gulf Cartel and found it to be well-equipped for defense and escape. It had armor plating, darkened rear windows to disorient followers and an opening through which a large caliber firearm could be aimed from within. Inside, it had a supply of metal spikes to throw behind to puncture tires of pursuers, bulletproof vests and more than a thousand rounds of ammunition.

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DEMING ? The embattled city of Palomas, Mexico, is now literally lawless.

The Luna County Sheriff’s Office and U.S. Border Patrol reported Thursday that the Palomas Chief of Police came to the Columbus Port of Entry late Tuesday night, requesting political asylum.

The chief, identified by the LCSO as Emilio Perez, reportedly told Immigration and Customs Enforcement his department’s only two officers had fled and he had no idea where they are.

Recent violence in Palomas includes the armed robbery last Sunday of a dentist’s office while Columbus Mayor Eddie Espinoza was undergoing a root canal, and several shootings and deaths. The LCSO said a source in Palomas identified two more victims of shootings last weekend as Sergio Perez Gonzales, 55, and Rigoberto Munoz Acosta, 21. Those would be the third and fourth deaths in recent weeks attributed to what U.S. authorities say is a battle between drug cartels for control of the area’s drug trade.

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The death of an injured woman raised the number to seven, the number of dead people who where gunned down by supposed hit men of organized crime at a law firm in Guadalajara, in the western part of Mexico, reported official sources.

The victims were found inside their office on Thursday, all with their hands tied, gagged and some shot in the head.

According to the local press, the office that was attacked belonged the lawyer Raúl Garcia Valencia, who presumedly was the defense attorney of Archibaldo Iván Guzmán, a.k.a ‘el Chapito’, son of the leader of the cartel of Sinaloa, Joaquín ‘Chapo’ Guzmán, one of the most sought bosses by the American and Mexican authorities

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FOX news

MEXICO CITY ? Mexican officials said Saturday that 36 bodies were found buried in the backyard of a house in a city across the border from El Paso, Texas, and they believe that number represents the final tally.

Mexican federal agents began digging behind a Ciudad Juarez house allegedly used by the Juarez drug cartal two weeks ago after receiving an anonymous tip, officials said.

In the raid, investigators found 3,740 pounds of marijuana in the house. They initially found six dismembered bodies, but as excavations proceeded the tally rose.

On Saturday, the Attorney General’s office said in a statement that a total of 36 bodies had been found in 16 pits in the house’s yard. The previous estimate had been 33. Officials did not provide details on the three new bodies.

The statement said investigators are done excavating behind the house in La Cuesta neighborhood and they believe there are no more remains to be found.

The remains date back about five years and all but three apparently are males. The statement said investigators were still trying to determine how the victims died and who buried the bodies.

Ciudad Juarez has been plagued by violence as Mexico’s crackdown on powerful drug cartels stokes turf wars among traffickers that have been linked to hundreds of killings in the past two years.

Cartels frequently use “safe houses” in border cities to store drugs, house gunmen and dispose of dead rivals.

In January 2004, police unearthed a grave containing 12 bodies in a Ciudad Juarez backyard.

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FOX News

SOUTH PADRE ISLAND, Texas ? For college students, March Madness usually means basketball and Spring Break. But on South Padre Island in Texas, March Madness is taking on a whole new meaning.

Students there say the real madness would be to take the traditional 30-minute trip to the Mexican border for the popular “Two-Nation Vacation.”

News of gun battles between Mexican soldiers and drug cartels in border cities are keeping tourists away and prompting many parents to dole out a stern warning: “Don’t go to Mexico.”

Bryanna Lindblom is visiting for a few days from University of Central Missouri, and she says she wouldn’t think of going to Mexico. “I think my mom would freak out,” she says. “She’d probably have a little bit of a cow.”

It’s easy to see why parents are concerned.

In Ciudad Juarez, just across the border from El Paso, machine-gun-toting Mexican soldiers have been deployed to the border in armored personnel carriers to quell drug cartel violence. The situation is the same in other Mexican border towns. But the sight of armed men patrolling the streets makes many visitors nervous.

As a result, local businesses that depend on tourist traffic to Mexico say they are really hurting this year.

Debra Fassold’s family has been running the Original Tours company since the 1970s. Fassold says she used to have 10 to 20 trips from South Padre Island to Matamoros, Mexico, each day. But now she says she doesn’t have enough customers for even one tour.

Read more.

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MEXICO CITY, March 5 (Reuters) - A convicted Mexican drug cartel boss is free and back in Mexico following his release on parole just weeks after he began serving a U.S. prison sentence, U.S. and Mexican officials said on Wednesday.

Francisco Rafael Arellano Felix, 58 and the eldest of a clan of brothers who ran Mexico’s Tijuana cartel, was deported on Tuesday and crossed to Mexican soil at Ciudad Juarez, entering from El Paso, Texas.

“He does not have any pending charges in Mexico so he was freed,” a source in the Mexican Attorney General’s office, who spoke on condition of anonymity, told Reuters.

Arellano Felix was the boss of the Tijuana cartel when he was arrested in 1993 in Mexico and sentenced to 11 years for drug possession and using illegal weapons.

He remained in prison for two more years while authorities arranged his extradition to the United States, where he was wanted for selling cocaine to an undercover U.S. agent. He was extradited in September 2006 and pleaded guilty to the cocaine charge in June 2007 in San Diego.

He received a six-year sentence, which he began serving in January, and was paroled on Feb. 1, the U.S. Federal Bureau of Prisons said. A U.S. official said Arellano Felix received credit toward his U.S. sentence for time served while awaiting extradition in Mexico. Because his case dates back to 1980, he was eligible for parole under laws that were on the books at that time, the official said. Since then, parole has been eliminated for criminals convicted of federal crimes in the United States.

U.S. Justice Department spokeswoman Laura Sweeney said Arellano Felix’s case “reflects the conclusion of a cooperative effort between the U.S. and Mexico to ensure that he faced justice for crimes he committed on both sides of the border.”


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TIJUANA ? A female between the ages of 16 and 18 was among the five shooting victims found early Tuesday on a rural road in eastern Tijuana, the Baja California Attorney General’s Office has reported.

The four others, all males, ranged in age from 18 to 30, according a statement from the state office, in charge of investigating the crimes.

The grisly discovery was reported to police about 8 a.m., the Attorney General’s Office reported Tuesday afternoon in the first official account of the crime. All the victims had been shot, and one had been handcuffed, the statement said.

Authorities said the scene was littered with more than 150 spent shell casings.

The victims had been laid out next to an unpaved road in a rural southeastern area of Tijuana off of the Bulevar 2000, a new highway that links the city to Rosarito Beach.

The discovery comes amid a spike in violence in the region. The weakening of the Arellano Felix drug cartel in recent years has allowed smaller criminal cells to operate with fewer restrictions, analysts say.

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EL PASO, Texas — Thomason Hospital looked more like a police station Wednesday than a trauma center, as about half a dozen SWAT members and police officers stood guard - some with assault rifles - all to protect the life of Mexican police commander Fernando Lozano, shot in Juarez Monday by several men believed to be drug traffickers.

“I saw all the cops with the machine guns and everything. I got a little scared man,” Central El Paso resident Memo Arguigo said.

Lozano was originally being treated at a hospital in Juarez, but has been moved to El Paso’s largest trauma center for reasons that remain unknown. Since drug cartels have been known to attack victims recovering at hospitals in the past, some who live and work near Thomason question the decision to bring Lozano to El Paso, which is a hospital right next to a school.

“They’re putting a lot of people in danger, since the cartels don’t stop for anybody,” Central El Paso resident Joe Gonzalez said.

A spokeswoman for Thomason did not want to go on camera, but said the hospital is beefing up security, not just for Lozano but the hospital as a whole.

The hospital also said it had no choice but to take Lozano Tuesday night, since he arrived at the international bridge where American medical assistance was called.

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