Mexicanos en Exilio Press Conference, Wednesday, Feb 25, Offices of Carlos Spector

(Summary in English)
The Mexicans in Exile organization will hold a press conference Wed Feb 25 at the Offices of Carlos Spector. The group will discuss violence in the Valle de Juarez and the fact that government forces have allowed criminal groups to exercise control over the region and its residents. Since 2009, the population of the Valle de Juarez has been persecuted, displaced, murdered and disappeared and the government has done nothing to stop this violence. The state has systematically ignored complaints presented against criminals in the region. In Mexico, in Chihuahua and in the Valle de Juarez, authorized crime rules. Mexicans living in exile are victims of authorized crimes of the state.
Subject: Mexicanos en Exilio Press Conference, Wednesday, February 25
Papacho, Toga y Meño: Crimen Autorizado. El Valle de Juárez exige justicia y el arresto de los oficiales que facilitaron los delitos en contra de los ciudadanos de la región.

1430 E Yandell, El Paso, Tx.
Febrero 25, 2015
13 hrs

Este 25 de febrero Mexicanos en Exilio insiste en señalar su posicionamiento ante la violencia y el despojo en México y en el Valle de Juárez, Chihuahua: fue y sigue siendo el Estado.

El pasado 18 de febrero la Fiscalía General de la Zona norte presentó, en calidad de detenido, a Mauricio Luna Aguilar a quien se vincula con al menos 20 homicidios en el Valle. Al lado de Mauricio fueron presentados otros integrantes del cártel de Sinaloa: Isidro Soto Aguilar, alias el “pantera” y líder de la célula; Juan Carlos Nuria Gómez, alias el “parral”; Karina Carrillo Griego; Jonathan Arturo Torres Rodríguez, alias el “Jhon”; Antonio Carrillo Griego, alias el “Toño y/o el tio”; y Juan Cuellar Cereceres, alias “Quintana.

A estos arrestos se agrega el homicidio de los también integrantes del cártel de Sinaloa Leonardo Rubén Morales Rodríguez, alias “el Toga” y Jesús Manuel Morales Rodríguez, alias “El Meño”. “El Toga” había sido arrestado en 2012 y liberado pocos meses después.

Desde 2009 la población del Valle de Juárez ha sido perseguida, despojada, asesinada y desaparecida sin que el gobierno haya hecho nada; sistemáticamente fueron ignoradas las denuncias y quejas presentadas contra estos individuos en las distintas instancias de impartición de justicia ¿De qué otra forma habría sido posible que una sola persona asesinara a 20 personas?

En México, en Chihuahua y en el Valle de Juárez impera el crimen autorizado.

Frente a este teatro, levantamos nuestra voz. Estaremos presentes víctimas del Crimen autorizado y del Estado:

  • Jorge Reyes Salazar
  • Israel Estrella Chávez
  • Lucía del Carmen Rangel
  • Gerardo Gamez
  • Víctor García Archuleta y Armando Archuleta
  • Sandra Flores
  • Miguel Murguía
For more information, contact:
Alfredo Holguin (President of Mexicanos en Exilio): (915) 727-8344
Carlos Spector (Attorney for Mexicanos en Exilio): (915) 544-0441

429 homicides in Juarez in 2014…El Diario

El Diario reports a total of 429 homicides in Juarez in 2014–a decrease of 11.5 percent over 2013 when there were 485 murders in the city. Interestingly, a couple of days ago (Dec 28) El Diario reported that there had been a total of 447 murders in the Northern Zone of the state of Chihuahua. Both figures are from the state Fiscalia, so I’m assuming that the difference has to do with which municipalities are included in the count. The criminologists and sociologists interviewed by El Diario point out that the year saw several examples of domestic violence in which fathers or mothers killed their children and in some cases also committed suicide.
“Criminologist Oscar Maynez Grijalva said that the conditions in the border city, in addition to being next door to the country that consumes more drugs than any other in the world, also suffers from a lack of opportunities, a weak and corrupt justice system and thus the violence and murders remain high.

“Violence within the family he said, is a product of the crisis generated by many causes of stress and is a symptom of something happening, that society is failing to protect victims, especially children.”

Bajan Los Homicidios En 2014: Fueron 429 (El Diario)

Acribillan y matan a hombre en la colonia Manuel Valdés (El Diario)


“El Wicked” Accused Murderer Of Marisela Escobedo Dies In Prison

The accused killer of Juarez activist Marisela Escobedo (shot to death in front of the governor’s palace in Chihuahua on Dec 16 2010) is reported to have died of a heart attack in prison. Last year on the anniversary of the murder, Marisela’s family members were interviewed by phone from El Paso Texas where they are seeking political asylum in the US. On the 3rd anniversary of the murder of Marisela, they maintained that the person arrested for the crime was a scapegoat and that the real murderer of Marisela is Andy Barraza, the brother of Sergio Barraza who murdered Rubi–Marisela’s daughter–and who was released by the court in Juarez in 2010.  Sergio Barraza was reported killed in a confrontation with the Mexican army in 2012:

Below is an article from Dec 2013 and from [Dec 31].

Also, an article in PROCESO (posted below) on Dec 17 2014 reports that the cases of the murders of Marisela Escobedo and of her daughter, Rubi, will be brought before the Inter-American Court of Human Rights in 2015–charging the Mexican State with negligence and culpability in these cases.  It is hard not to view the death in prison of Marisela’s accused murderer on the last day of 2014 as (at least) an interesting coincidence.  -molly

Se cumplen 4 años del asesinato de la activista Marisela Escobedo (El Diario)

Murió ‘El Wicked’ de un infarto fulminante: Fiscalía (El Diario)

Detenidos por crimen de Marisela Escobedo, chivos expiatorios: familia de activista (La Jornada)

Llevarán caso Marisela Escobedo a la Corte Interamericana de Derechos Humanos (La Jornada)


5 murders yesterday in Juarez; total of 424 so far in 2014

There were at least 5 murders reported yesterday in Juarez–the three bodies left near the highway outside of Los Arenales in the Valle de Juarez and two more incidents. A man was killed early in the morning near the state offices of the Federal Attorney General (PGR) in Juarez. He was shot as he was getting into his car after leaving the bar El Museo located in the Pronaf tourist zone. The victim has not been officially identified. This crime occurred 5 days after a multiple homicide was reported at another Pronaf bar, 7 Pecados (7 Sins). Also yesterday, the body of a woman was found inside of a vehicle in the colonia Morelos II. It appeared that the body had been inside the car since Wednesday…

The article says that a total of 424 homicides have occurred so far in 2014. The total at the end of November was 401, so that would leave a count of 23 so far in the first 11 days of December. So far, 45 of the victims are women — almost exactly 10 percent. -Molly

Asesinan a hombre a unos metros de la PGR

2 killed in Pronaf attack in Juarez early Sunday…El Diario

Two men were killed and 2 others injured in an attacked by an armed group inside of a bar in the Pronaf tourist zone in Juarez early Sunday morning. The bar was later closed by the Secretariat of Gobernacion. The attack took place in front of security cameras financed by the US government as part of the Merida Initiative–cameras intended to provide a safer environment and to help the state of Chihuahua fight narco-trafficking.

Ataque armado en bar del Pronaf deja dos muertos (El Diario)

Clausura Gobernación bar del Pronaf por asesinatos

US Ambassador Visits Juarez; Human Heads Found In City; 5 Students & 2 Soldiers Dead In So. Chih.

During the day that US Ambassador Anthony Wayne visited Ciudad Juarez, two heads were found in garbage bags near a maquiladora on Avenida Talamas Camandari in the city.  IT is the 4th finding of mutilated bodies/body parts in the city so far this month. Also yesterday in the southern part of Chihuahua state, the bodies of 5 students from Parral were found near the Chihuahua/Durango border. The report says that the students were from the city of Parral, Chihuahua and according to witnesses they had been abducted by an armed comando unit last Saturday in the area of San Miguel de Badiraguato, Sinaloa and disappeared without a trace. When their bodies were found yesterday, they had been shot dead and showed signs of torture. The report says the bodies were found by the military in a rural area near the border of Chihuahua and Durango. The family is said to be from Parral with links to residents of Chihuahua towns Balleza, Atascaderos and Guadalupe y Calvo.

Victims identified are: Rita Cristina Gutiérrez Escobedo, 25, student at the Tecnológico de Parral, Karina Estefanía Gutiérrez Escobedo, 19, student of the Escuela Normal de Parral, Teresa Escobedo Martínez, Marco Alberto López Martínez  and Esteban Ponce Escobedo, whose ages were not given but they are said to be very young.

Information was released that in the investigation of this multiple homicide, two soldiers were shot to death in a confrontation in Guadalupe y Calvo, but they have not been identified. The bodies of the 5 victims were taken to a funeral home in Parral while the destination of the soldiers’ bodies is unknown.

US Ambassador Praises Juárez For Improvements (El Paso Times)

Hallan A 5 Estudiantes Ejecutados; Matan A 2 Militares Cuando Investigan (El Diario)

Dejan Dos Cabezas Humanas En Avenida Talamás (El Diario)

Violence Cost Mexico 4.4 Billion Pesos In 2013…PROCESO

Violence cost Mexico 4.4 billion pesos, 27.7% of the gross domestic product, in 2013. A study carried out by the Institute for Economy and Peace found that Mexico is the second “least peaceful” country in Latin America [the article does not say what the least peaceful country is…I assume it is Honduras based on recent info] and since 2008, Mexico has gone down 45 positions in the international peace index. Turkey, Iran, Venezuela and Bolivia are all higher than Mexico in this ranking.

The report from the international organization estimates that the least violent state in Mexico is Campeche…The most violent state is Morelos with a murder rate of 78 homicides per 100,000 inhabitants. [n.b. I am not sure what figures the report is using as in the most recent INEGI report, Morelos had a murder rate of about 33 in 2013. See: According to that same report (just released in July) the state with the highest murder rate in 2013 was Guerrero with 63 homicides per 100,000 people; second is Chihuahua with 59]

The northern region of the country has had the largest deterioration in the peace index–40% in the past 10 years.

Another interesting finding: 90% of the population of Mexico believe that the police are corrupt.

And in the past 10 years, homicides related to organized crime (no definition given) have increased 73%.


I believe that this is the website for the Institute:

And some info for MEXICO here:

But I do not think it includes the most recent information…

The full reports are available here:

Note that Russia ranks as less peaceful than Mexico or any other country in the Americas, according to the map… Based on a quick look at the report, the organization includes more factors than homicide rates.

I hope to report later this week on the new INEGI numbers released recently.  -molly

Violencia Costó Al País 4.4 Billones De Pesos En 2013 (PROCESO)

UPDATE: August 6, 2014

Here’s a comment and corrective on the data mentioned in this article from Proceso. Thanks to Jose Luis for sending.  I have not studied the reports at the Economics and Peace Institute, but I think there is some interesting stuff there.  See: -Molly

The reporting on this report is terrible when it comes to numbers. This is one of the report highlights. Adding to this confusion is the change of names: billion = milmillones (omillardossegún la academiaespañola), trillion =billón. And pesos versus dollars.

The study calculates that the direct cost of violence to the Mexican economy is 3.8% of GDP, while the indirect costs amount to 12% for a total of 2.49 trillion pesos (15.8% of GDP) in 2012. Under optimal conditions, if there was no violence in Mexico, the economy would have the potential to improve by up to 27%.
-José Luis

Mexico Forbids Drug Lord’s Extradition Even As Negotiations With US Continue

This is worth listening to.  One of the more honest looks at the arrest of Chapo in the US media.  Note the statement of the unnamed legal clerk in the audio of the story.

Fronteras Desk spoke with a judge’s clerk in Chihuahua. Fearing possible retribution, he asked that we not use him name. He says Guzmán’s testimony would expose long-alleged government involvement in organized crime. “If he told the truth, you’d find out he’s not even the biggest player,” the man said in Spanish. “You’d soon see connections with (Mexican) congressional representatives and senators.

Mexico Forbids Drug Lord’s Extradition Even As Negotiations With US Continue

By Lorne Matalon

CHIHUAHUA, Mexico — On Feb. 22 the world’s most wanted drug trafficker — Sinaloa Cartel leader Joaquín Archivaldo Guzmán Loera, known as “El Chapo,” or “Shorty”— was captured in a joint U.S.-Mexico operation.

Click here to read the rest of the story and listen to the audio.

Drug Smuggling Twist: Innocent Mexicans Allegedly Duped By Mennonite Suspect…Fronteras Desk

It is seldom that we see reports from the rural parts of the border and this one gives a small taste of what things are like and how a lot of drugs get into the US–through the ports of entry. I was also struck by this statement from the young Mexican man who was tricked into driving the drugs across:
“They treated me well in the U.S.,” he said in Spanish. “No one pressured me, no one attacked me. I have nothing against the U.S. prosecutors or police.”
The subtext: Had he been arrested IN Mexico, the police or army would have beaten and tortured a confession from him.  Also, the men caught in this scheme and deported back to Mexico are very fearful to be identified because they would be targeted by the smugglers and their suppliers for failing to deliver their product in the US.  -Molly
Lorne Matalon | Fronteras

CHIHUAHUA, Mexico —Federal prosecutors in Texas and New Mexico are dealing with a series of unusual cases.

Ten drug smuggling crimes have been traced to a man from a Mennonite community in Mexico who is alleged to have duped the victims.

The seduction starts with a classified ad in the paper, one that 23-year-old named Juan was drawn to. He asks that his last name not be revealed; he’s frightened there may be retribution if the man who placed the ad — identified by U.S. attorneys and the victims as David Giesprecht Fehr — finds him.

The ad reads, “Si tienes visa laser recienmente americano, contratación inmediata.” Translated, “If you have a recent U.S. visa known as a laser visa, there’s immediate work available.”

The man who placed the ad is from the Ciudad Cuauhtémoc area, a 40,000-strong Mennonite community of ranchers and farmers in the northern Mexican state of Chihuahua.

They’re members of a conservative Christian church with European roots. Mennonites were invited by Mexico’s post-revolutionary government to settle here in the 1920s in part to populate Mexico’s border twith the United States.

The Mennonites in Chihuahua today trace their ancestry to Canada, and prior to that Germany and the Netherlands.

Juan answered the ad. And a man called back.

“The man said ‘I’ll pay you $500 a week to drive my truck to the U.S. and back,’” Juan was making $70 a week as a security guard.

The would-be employer, David Giesbrecht Fehr, goes by different aliases and imports American farm equipment. It’s now alleged he ran narcotics.

Mennonites enjoy a deserved reputation as prolific farmers and ranchers. This image was taken near Casas Grandes, Chihuahua where Mennonites have made the desert bloom.

He pitches non-Mennonite Mexicans who respond to his ad by saying that he imports farm equipment from the United States.

What he allegedly did not add is that the trucks he gave people to enter the U.S. with were loaded with large quantities of marijuana.

Juan thought the job offer was too good to be true. The caller was offering to quadruple his salary and give Juan steady work with health benefits.

So he told the caller he needed time to consider the offer.

The same offer was made to Juan’s father. They discussed it together. The father declined while Juan accepted, to his enduring dismay.

Liz Rogers was the federal defender in West Texas whose office represented Juan and five other Mexicans. The other three were arrested crossing into New Mexico.

“Whenever the person that is a Mennonite that the government has identified, whenever he showed up he could talk to them very professionally over exporting and importing farm equipment,” Rogers said. “And so it would be no wonder that they’d believe it was a legitimate job.”

It was anything but. When Juan hit the Texas border at Presidio, a customs agent told him to get out of the truck.

“They didn’t tell me what was happening,” he said in Spanish. Then another customs officer approached.

The officer said a DEA agent would explain everything. When that agent arrived, the conversation continued.

A Mennonite father and son at work in a field near Casas Grandes, Chihuahua.

“Are you carrying drugs?” the agent asked Juan. ‘Absolutely not,’ he replied. He couldn’t digest what he heard next.

“The DEA agent told me I had 57 kilograms (125 pounds) of marijuana in the gas tank,” Juan related. “I couldn’t move, I couldn’t breathe.”

Rogers says one of the cases showed how sophisticated the operation was.

“The marijuana was hidden very professionally in an I-beam,” she recounted. “It was welded into the I-beam of this big flatbed. And the government found it is because there’s x-ray equipment that can find very well hidden marijuana.”

At least seven of the people allegedly duped by Giesprecht, including Juan, live near a cluster of Mennonite villages near Ciudad Cuauhtémoc located about 60 miles southwest of the state capital, Ciudad de Chihuahua.

One non-Mennonite I spoke with outside Ciudad Cuauhtémoc — a man who says he greatly who respects the Mennonite culture — says his neighbors are hard-working farmers. But he says there are exceptions.

“They plant corn. Sometimes plant some marijuana too,” he said in English.

For Juan, arrested with 125 pounds of drugs, and the others in New Mexico and Texas, the prospect of serious jail time was real. But as evidence tied to David Giesbrecht Fehr mounted, the state of New Mexico dismissed all the cases.

In Texas, three defendants were allowed to plead guilty to time served and immediately deported. The defendants’ visas were revoked, and that revocation lasts for three years.

A man drives a cotton harvester on a Mennonite farm near Lopez Mateos, Chihuahua.

As a practical matter, however, none of the now-former defendants will find it easy to return to the United States, even for a visit with family. Juan, for example has aunts and cousins in Denver and Los Angleles.

If Juan to present himself at a border crossing, a computer check of his documents would show that he faced serious drug charges and accepted a plea deal which included immediate deportation.

But Juan’s just happy to be home.

“They treated me well in the U.S.,” he said in Spanish. “No one pressured me, no one attacked me. I have nothing against the U.S. prosecutors or police.”

The alleged drug trafficker, David Giesprecht Fehr, remains at-large. (Lorne Matalon / FRONTERAS)