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)

New Justice in Mexico Report: “DRUG VIOLENCE IN MEXICO: DATA AND ANALYSIS THROUGH 2012″

The new and expanded Transborder Institute Justice in Mexico report is now onlineHere is the introductory information and links to the full report. It will be be very interesting to review their data and analysis and I hope other frontera list readers will comment.  For starters, it is nice to see in their introduction, a paragraph that reflects my reporting on the Frontera List going back to July 2011 when I first realized that we had to look at the INEGI numbers to count ALL homicides, not just those supposedly related to organized crime.  I believe this is the FIRST report from the TBI to do that. And indeed, this paragraph reflects the numbers that have been reported here continuously since mid-2011 and in articles such as:
Mexican Death Toll in Drug War Likely Higher Than Reported

Fueled by War on Drugs, Mexican Death Toll Could Exceed 120,000 As Calderon Ends Six-Year Reign
Also excerpted below is the chart “Comparing Criteria for Classifying Homicides Linked to Drug Trafficking and Organized Crime” found on page 11 of the report. I haven’t read it in detail yet to see if it is cited, but it was in August 2012 that the Mexican government itself said in an interview with REFORMA that these criteria were not valid and would no longer be used because they were not in anyway applied uniformly by police or other law enforcement authorities anywhere in the country.  I continue to insist (as I did in a presentation at a conference at the TBI in June 2010) that it is impossible to accurately determine the causes or perpetrators of murders since the Mexican government itself admitted then and later that 95% of the crimes were not investigated.  I hope that now that these numbers are presented by the Transborder Institute in its continuing series of excellent publications that the mainstream media will start reporting the real death toll of the ongoing violence in Mexico.  I hope to find more interesting details in the report and will post later and I hope other readers will too.  Molly Molloy

[Excerpt from Introduction]:

However, under President Calderón, the number of overall homicides annually increased more than two and a half times from 10,452 in 2006 to 27,213 in 2011, according to figures from the National Institute of Statistics and Geography (Instituto Nacional de Estadística y Geografía, INEGI). During the first five full years of Calderón’s term—from 2007 through 2011—INEGI reported 95,646 people killed, an average of 19,129 per year, or more than 50 people per day. By these measures, there was a 24% average annual increase in overall homicides during the Calderón administration. Calculating that overall homicides appear to have dropped by roughly 5-10% in 2012, our estimate is that the total number of homicides during the Calderón administration was likely around 120,000 to 125,000 people killed, depending on whether INEGI or the National System of Public Security (Sistema Nacional de Seguridad Pública, SNSP) data are used. (emphasis added)

Border Patrol Under Scrutiny for Deadly Force–AP

The following article was published in the Associated Press. Brian Skoloff writes about an incident with Mexican drug smugglers crossing the border.

NOGALES, Ariz. (AP) — A pair of Mexican drug smugglers in camouflage pants, bundles of marijuana strapped to their backs, scaled a 25 foot-high fence in the middle of the night, slipped quietly into the United States and dashed into the darkness.

U.S. Border Patrol agents and local police gave chase on foot — from bushes to behind homes, then back to the fence.

The conflict escalated. Authorities say they were being pelted with rocks. One agent responded by aiming a gun into Mexico and firing multiple shots at the assailant, killing a 16-year-old boy whose family says was just in the wrong place at the wrong time.

The Oct. 10 shooting has prompted renewed outcry over the Border Patrol’s use-of-force policies and angered human rights activists and Mexican officials who believe the incident has become part of a disturbing trend along the border — gunning down rock-throwers rather than using non-lethal weapons.

The Department of Homeland Security Office of Inspector General has launched a probe of the agency’s policies, the first such broad look at the tactics of an organization with 18,500 agents deployed to the Southwest region alone. The Mexican government has pleaded with the U.S. to change its ways. And the U.N. High Commissioner for Human Rights has questioned the excessive use of force by Border Patrol.

At least 16 people have been killed by agents along the Mexico border since 2010, eight in cases where federal authorities said they were being attacked with rocks, said Vicki Gaubeca, director of the ACLU’s Regional Center for Border Rights in Las Cruces, N.M.

The Border Patrol says sometimes lethal force is necessary: Its agents were assaulted with rocks 249 times in the 2012 fiscal year, causing injuries ranging from minor abrasions to major head contusions.

It is a common occurrence along the border for rocks to be thrown from Mexico at agents in the U.S. by people trying to distract them from making arrests or merely to harass them — particularly in areas that are heavily trafficked by drug smugglers and illegal immigrants.

Still, Gaubeca balks at what she and others deem the unequal “use of force to use a bullet against a rock.”

“There has not been a single death of a Border Patrol agent caused by a rock,” she said. “Why aren’t they doing something to protect their agents, like giving them helmets and shields?”

The Border Patrol has declined to discuss its use of lethal force policy in detail, but notes agents may protect themselves and their colleagues when their lives are threatened, and rocks are considered deadly weapons.

Kent Lundgren, chairman of the National Association of Former Border Patrol Officers, recalled a time in the 1970s when he was hit in the head while patrolling the border near El Paso, Texas.

“It put me on my knees,” Lundgren said. “Had that rock caught me in the temple, it would have been lethal, I have no doubt.”

It is extremely rare for U.S. border authorities to face criminal charges for deaths or injuries to migrants. In April, federal prosecutors said there was insufficient evidence to pursue charges against a Border Patrol agent in the 2010 shooting death of a 15-year-old Mexican in Texas.

In 2008, a case was dismissed against a Border Patrol agent facing a murder charge after two mistrials. Witnesses testified the agent shot a man without provocation but defense attorneys contended the Mexican migrant tried to hit the agent with a rock.

Meanwhile, Mexican families have filed multiple wrongful death lawsuits, and the U.S. government, while admitting no wrongdoing, has paid out hundreds of thousands of dollars. Last year, the family of the illegal immigrant killed by the agent whose murder case was dismissed reached an $850,000 settlement. The agent remains employed by Border Patrol.

Even the Mexican government has asked for a change in policy, to no avail, though Border Patrol points out that Mexico has put up no barriers on its side of the border and does little, if anything, to stop the rock throwers from assaulting agents.

“We have insisted to the United States government by multiple channels and at all levels that it is indispensable they revise and adjust Border Patrol’s standard operating procedures,” Mexico’s Foreign Ministry said in a written statement.

Elsewhere around the world, lethal force is often a last resort in such cases. Israeli police, for instance, typically use rubber bullets, water cannons and tear gas to disperse rock-throwers. Israeli police spokesman Micky Rosenfeld said officers use live fire only as a last resort and first fire warning shots.

“There is no such crowd incident that will occur where the Israeli police will use live fire unless it’s a critical situation where warning shots have to be fired in the air,” Rosenfeld said.

Border Patrol agents since 2002 have been provided weapons that can launch pepper-spray projectiles up to 250 feet away. The agency did not provide statistics on how many times they have been used, but officials are quick to note agents along the U.S.-Mexico border operate in vastly different scenarios than authorities in other countries.

They often patrol wide swaths of desert alone — unlike protest situations elsewhere where authorities gather en masse clad in riot gear.

Experts say there’s little that can be done to stop the violence, given the delicacies of diplomatic relations between the two countries and the fact that no international law specifically covers such instances.

“Ultimately, the politics of the wider U.S.-Mexico relationship are going to play a much bigger role than the law,” said Kal Raustiala, professor of law and director of the Burkle Center for International Relations at UCLA. “The interests are just too high on both sides to let outrage from Mexico, which is totally understandable, determine the outcome here.”

During a visit to the Border Patrol’s training academy in Artesia, N.M., officials refused comment on all questions about rock-throwing and use of force.

At the sprawling 220-acre desert compound, prospective agents spend at least 59 days at the academy, learning everything from immigration law to off-road driving, defense tactics and marksmanship.

“We’re going to teach them … the mechanics of the weapon that they’re going to use, the weapons systems, make them good marksmen, put them in scenarios where they have to make that judgment, shoot or not shoot,” said the training academy’s Assistant Chief Patrol Agent James Cox.

In the latest scenario, the two smugglers were attempting to climb the fence back into Mexico, while Border Patrol agents and Nogales Police Department officers ordered them down.

“Don’t worry, they can’t hurt us up here!” one suspect yelled to the other. Then came the rocks.

The police officers took cover, but at least one Border Patrol agent went to the fence and opened fire on Jose Antonio Elena Rodriguez, who was shot seven times, according to Mexican authorities.

The Border Patrol has revealed little information about the case as probes unfold on both sides of the fence that separates Nogales, Ariz., from Nogales, Sonora, literally a stone’s throw from each other. The FBI is investigating, as is standard with all Border Patrol shootings, and the agency won’t comment “out of respect for the investigative process,” said U.S. Customs and Border Protection spokesman Michael Friel.

The teen’s mother claims her son had nothing to do with drugs or throwing rocks. She says he was just walking past the area a few blocks from home and got caught in the crossfire. None of the training, political maneuvering or diplomatic tip-toeing matters to her. She just wants her boy back. She just wants answers.

“Put yourself in my place,” Araceli Rodriguez told the Nogales International. “A child is what you most love in life. It’s what you get up in the morning for, what you work for. They took away a piece of my heart.”

Associated Press Writer Josef Federman contributed to this report from Israel.

 

********************************************************************

GOOGLE TRANSLATION:

NOGALES, Arizona (AP) – Un par de narcotraficantes mexicanos con pantalones de camuflaje, paquetes de marihuana atados a la espalda, en una escala de 25 metros de altura, cerca de la mitad de la noche, se deslizó silenciosamente en los Estados Unidos y se precipitó en el oscuridad.
EE.UU. agentes de la Patrulla Fronteriza y la policía local lo persiguió a pie – desde detrás de los arbustos para hogares, luego de vuelta a la cerca.
El conflicto se intensificó. Las autoridades dijeron que estaban siendo atacados con piedras. Un agente respondió que apunta un arma a México y disparar varias tomas con el agresor, matando a un joven de 16 años cuya familia dice que estaba en el lugar equivocado en el momento equivocado.
El 10 de octubre de disparo ha provocado protestas renovado por el uso de pólizas vigentes de la Patrulla Fronteriza y enojado activistas de derechos humanos y funcionarios mexicanos que creen que el incidente se ha convertido en parte de una tendencia inquietante a lo largo de la frontera – matar a tiros a lanzadores de piedras en lugar de utilizar armas no letales.
El Departamento de Seguridad Nacional de la Oficina del Inspector General ha puesto en marcha una investigación sobre las políticas de la agencia, la primera mirada tan amplia en la táctica de una organización con 18.500 agentes desplegados en la región suroeste sola. El gobierno mexicano ha pedido a los EE.UU. a cambiar sus maneras. Y el comisionado de la ONU para los Derechos Humanos ha cuestionado el uso excesivo de la fuerza por parte de la Patrulla Fronteriza.
Al menos 16 personas han muerto por los agentes a lo largo de la frontera con México desde el año 2010, ocho en los casos en que las autoridades federales dijeron que estaban siendo atacados con piedras, dijo Vicki Gaubeca, directora del Centro Regional de la ACLU de Derechos Fronteriza en Las Cruces, NM
La Patrulla Fronteriza dice que a veces la fuerza letal es necesario: Sus agentes han asaltado con piedras 249 veces en el año fiscal 2012, provocando lesiones que van desde abrasiones leves contusiones a la cabeza grandes.
Es un hecho común a lo largo de la frontera por las rocas para ser lanzado desde México a los agentes en los EE.UU. por gente que trata de distraer la atención de los arrestos o simplemente para hostigar – particularmente en áreas que son muy transitadas por contrabandistas de drogas e inmigrantes ilegales.
Aún así, Gaubeca resiste a lo que ella y otros consideran la desigualdad “uso de la fuerza para usar una bala contra una roca.”
“No ha habido una sola muerte de un agente de la Patrulla Fronteriza causada por una roca”, dijo. “¿Por qué no están haciendo algo para proteger a sus agentes, como darles cascos y escudos?”
La Patrulla Fronteriza se ha negado a discutir su uso de la política de la fuerza letal en detalle, pero los agentes notas pueden proteger a sí mismos ya sus colegas cuando sus vidas están en peligro, y las rocas se consideran armas mortales.
Kent Lundgren, presidente de la Asociación Nacional de Ex Funcionarios de la Patrulla Fronteriza, recordó la vez en la década de 1970 cuando fue golpeado en la cabeza mientras patrullaba la frontera cerca de El Paso, Texas.
“Se me puso de rodillas”, dijo Lundgren. “Tuvimos que el rock me pilló en el templo, que habría sido letal, no tengo ninguna duda”.
Es muy raro que las autoridades fronterizas de Estados Unidos para enfrentar cargos penales por muerte o lesiones a los migrantes. En abril, los fiscales federales dijeron que no había pruebas suficientes para presentar cargos contra un agente de la Patrulla Fronteriza en el asesinato de 2010 de un mexicano de 15 años que vive en Texas.
En 2008, un caso fue despedido contra un agente de la Patrulla Fronteriza enfrenta a una acusación de asesinato después de dos anulaciones de juicios. Los testigos declararon que el agente disparó a un hombre sin provocación pero los abogados de la defensa sostuvo que el migrante mexicano trató de golpear al agente con una roca.
Mientras tanto, las familias mexicanas han presentado varias demandas por muerte injusta, y el gobierno de los EE.UU., aunque admite ninguna fechoría, ha pagado cientos de miles de dólares. El año pasado, la familia del inmigrante ilegal asesinado por el agente cuyo asesinato causa fue sobreseída llegado a un acuerdo de $ 850.000. El agente sigue empleado por la Patrulla Fronteriza.
Incluso el gobierno mexicano ha pedido un cambio en la política, en vano, a pesar de los puntos de la Patrulla Fronteriza que México ha puesto ningún obstáculo en su lado de la frontera y hace poco o nada para detener a los lanzadores de piedras de agredir a los agentes.
“Hemos insistido al gobierno de Estados Unidos por múltiples canales y en todos los niveles que es indispensable que revisar y ajustar los procedimientos estándar de operación de la Patrulla Fronteriza”, dijo el Ministerio de Relaciones Exteriores de México en un comunicado.
En otras partes del mundo, la fuerza letal es a menudo el último recurso en estos casos. La policía israelí, por ejemplo, suelen utilizar balas de goma, cañones de agua y gases lacrimógenos para dispersar a lanzadores de piedras. Portavoz de la policía israelí Micky Rosenfeld dijo que los agentes utilizar fuego real sólo como último recurso y los primeros disparos de advertencia contra incendios.
“No hay un incidente tal multitud que se producirá cuando la policía israelí va a utilizar fuego real a menos que sea una situación crítica en tiros de advertencia tienen que ser despedido en el aire”, dijo Rosenfeld.
Los agentes de la Patrulla Fronteriza desde 2002 se han suministrado armas que pueden lanzar gas pimienta proyectiles de hasta 250 pies de distancia. La agencia no proporcionó estadísticas sobre el número de veces que se han utilizado, pero las autoridades se apresuran a señalar los agentes a lo largo de la frontera México-Estados Unidos operar en escenarios vastamente diferentes a las autoridades de otros países.
A menudo patrullan amplias franjas de desierto sola – a diferencia de las situaciones de protesta en otros lugares donde las autoridades se reúnen en masa vestido con uniforme antidisturbios.
Los expertos dicen que no hay mucho que se puede hacer para detener la violencia, dadas las delicias de las relaciones diplomáticas entre los dos países y el hecho de que el derecho internacional no se refiere específicamente a tales casos.
“En última instancia, la política de la más amplia relación México-Estados Unidos va a jugar un papel mucho más grande que la ley”, dijo Kal Raustiala, profesor de derecho y director del Centro Burkle para las Relaciones Internacionales de la UCLA. “Los intereses son demasiado altos en ambos lados para que la indignación de México, que es totalmente comprensible, determinar el resultado aquí”.
Durante una visita al centro de entrenamiento de la Patrulla Fronteriza en Artesia, NM, los funcionarios se negaron a comentar sobre todas las cuestiones sobre que arrojan piedras, y el uso de la fuerza.
En el complejo extenso desierto 220-acre, los agentes potenciales pasar al menos 59 días en la academia, el aprendizaje de todo, desde la ley de inmigración para la conducción off-road, tácticas de defensa y puntería.
“Vamos a enseñarles … la mecánica del arma que vamos a utilizar, los sistemas de armas, los convierten en buenos tiradores, ponerlos en situaciones en las que tienen que hacer ese juicio, lanzar o disparar, no “, dijo el asistente de la academia de entrenamiento del Jefe de la Patrulla agente James Cox.
En el último escenario, los dos contrabandistas intentaban escalar la valla de regreso a México, mientras que los agentes de la Patrulla Fronteriza de Nogales y funcionarios del Departamento de Policía les ordenó abajo.
“No te preocupes, no pueden hacernos daño aquí!” sospechar gritó a la otra. Luego vinieron las rocas.
Los agentes de policía se puso a cubierto, pero al menos un agente de la Patrulla Fronteriza fue a la valla y abrieron fuego contra José Antonio Elena Rodríguez, quien recibió siete disparos, según las autoridades mexicanas.
La Patrulla Fronteriza ha revelado poca información sobre el caso como sondas se desarrollan en ambos lados de la valla que separa a Nogales, Arizona, de Nogales, Sonora, literalmente a tiro de piedra de la otra. El FBI está investigando, como es habitual con todos los disparos de la Patrulla Fronteriza, y la agencia no hará comentarios “por respeto al proceso de investigación”, dijo EE.UU. Aduanas y Protección Fronteriza vocero Michael Friel.
La madre de la adolescente afirma que su hijo no tenía nada que ver con las drogas o las rocas que lanzan. Ella dice que él estaba caminando más allá de la zona a pocas cuadras de su casa y quedó atrapado en el fuego cruzado. Nadie en el entrenamiento, maniobras políticas o diplomáticas asuntos Toeing punta a ella. Ella sólo quiere a su hijo de vuelta. Ella sólo quiere respuestas.
“Ponte en mi lugar”, dijo Araceli Rodriguez Internacional de Nogales. “Un niño es lo que más amas en la vida. Es lo que te levantas por la mañana, qué usted trabaja. Me quitaron un pedazo de mi corazón.”
Associated Press Josef Federman contribuyó con este despacho desde Israel.

For Days and Days

An email from Jose (a former gang-banger) found on the Frontera List Google Groups site:

Molly I wrote to mr houseworth this. We won, yayyyhhhh!. Can you post this? Jose.

From my phone.

—-Forwarded Message—-
From: joeriv…@yahoo.com
To: ghi…@icgpartners.com
Sent: Sat, Nov 10, 2012 10:14 AM CST
Subject: for days and days.

guten morgen, Gordon.
being from that culture i know exactly the mind set of the active participants in this war. (have you noticed that in this theater of war there are no claims to post traumatic stress disorder).and i can also empathize with the unwilling participants. whether they be connected to crime because their relative is a gang-member or as they see themselves “warrior”. armies were invented not for protection but to improve ones own economy. off course the stronger armies have always ruled the world. but here it is something else entirely. these men and women are just more enthusiastic about getting rich. no one does is for the fun, (except the psychos, the really scary ones. i get in their head sometimes and i see the horrors perpetrated on their victims, it is very scary.  the majority do it because of the money and a false sense of pride that what they are doing is for the good of the community. i grew up in those places where if your are a bad kid you are
noticed and a lot of people start to respect you, but is that respect that is out of fear, not for good deeds, although some are considered saints. i was considered a wise guy by everyone and that because i was always the smartest guy in the room. there were smarter wise guys than me but i never let them they were. it was still a mutual respect though we were all tough guys. and we took care of each other. that’s how we grew strong and conquered the texas prison system and then the city of el paso, texas. then juarez and ports unknown. under my direction. not in business but in mentally training an army. not the one you see today. no one killed to get in and no should die to get out. those were my rules. i let soldiers go because they were trying to improve themselves. a couple of them had moms that had the temerity to seek me out and beg that her son be let out. the son was more scared of disappointing me than anything. one of the moms was hot and she
liked me. but i would give the talk. “you cant come back cause you cant be in and out. i going to make sure people help you if you need our help but just to help you along a better way. we all want to find that path but we are on this one. it’s the right path for now. and most of them became better citizens and dads. i am glad and grateful that could help people like this. my people knew that i genuinely cared about them and i and had proved it in the joint and out here, they knew by word of mouth that i was in the business of taking care of business. or as we say “beesnes”.  no one had ever done this. the underworld had a deep respect for me, juarez and el paso and pretty much everywhere i traveled. we respect our criminals if they are daring, a mexican buccaneer if you will. i know how they think. especially the bad guys. i’m grateful i became one of the good guys. i didn’t need followers. i didn’t acolytes, nor servants, soldiers or addicts. most of
these men could’ve been been special forces soldiers. they would all kill for me but i never availed myself of that service. i liked to take care of my brush fires myself. i was good with my hands and feet. i have a street taught black belt. i like to call it street-fu. when i turned fifty i trained for a cage fight in iowa, i fought one whole round with one arm. i dislocated my shoulder with the first punch. it was an anomaly in and otherwise sterling street fighter reputation. i would cross the border into juarez to beat people up. now juarez is very bad mojo for me. after the reporter incident. i didnt go there to hurt him. i went there for these two strippers who were going home with me and my buddy. the guy disrespect the girls and i stabbed him with my buck. anyway, i got beat up but i didn’t tap out. they stopped it. i learned to be humble after that and lose the rest of my arrogance. this runs in the narco’s veins. the good lord deemed fit to
give me a body that i could turn into a weapon. that how i rose to the top of my game in the underworld. deep down inside somewhere in my nether regions, was the me i am today. i needed leaders.all those positive roll models that i looked up to in my formative years who helped me put the jigsaw together that was to be me today. the are all part of the dream that i now live. it was never a nightmare. it’s all just part of the dream that carries us across an untold number of thresh holds till we get it right. they were part of my healing. i am a violent man living in a pacifist’s body. i have dismembered and fantasized about commiting terrible acts on my enemy’s and it’s almost always as an aztec warrior. i just never saw the need. it’s a different story now. when i left, el chapo ruled juarez and we were all the better for it. no one was dying. if you lost a load. too bad. there was more where that came from. carrillo fuentes was in charge in juarez and
all was well. they were recruiting aztecas. they knew who i was and i let my guys work for them. i just wanted my free heroin and cocaine. and if saw someone on the street selling i would shake them down and tell them it’s for tax purposes. the narco’s didn’t’ mind. i was cheap. i never got greedy. thats why i am still alive. i did this one job, (if i tell you, i have to kill-you type of deal). my friend wanted more loot. i told him we had enough, but he went back and never saw him again. alive i mean. i booked it and no one except God and me the wiser. you know something? i am now in better physical shape than i was ever in my gang banging years.

auf weidershein….
jose

Response to: On Drug War Violence Along Texas Border…. via Huffington Post

I wish that the people who write these stories would consider the statement from many years ago from Senator Daniel Patrick Moynihan:

“Everyone is entitled to his own opinion, but not to his own facts.”

It is also interesting that the clamor for MORE SPENDING on border security, regardless of the facts that show constant increases in border security spending since 2004 and a steady decrease in violent incidents on the US side of the border, come from the same right-wing citizens and politicians who berate the democratic administration for government spending…

And, even the “facts” provided on the violence in Juarez seem disconnected from reality:

“Juarez has seen well over 2,000 people killed each year in the drug war, he said. In 2009, that figure peaked at 2,754 murders, according to El Diario, the city’s major newspaper. The number of murders in Juarez fell to 2,086 last year, a 24 percent drop.”

Apparently the 3,622 people killed in Juarez in 2010 (by far the most violent year ever in the border city since the Mexican Revolution) don’t count. And the story repeats the old “50,000″ number for those killed in Mexican violence. And not a shred of evidence is provided on any people killed on the US side of the border. But, if you would really like to escape reality (without taking drugs), take a look at the readers’ comments on this story… molly

Mexico, before and after Calderon’s drug war…LATimes

Still no mention of the INEGI numbers released last week and other releases of numbers from the PGR and other Mexican agencies and reported in the Mexican press and on the Frontera List recently.  And in Le Monde.  From following the Mexico news for many years (Frontera List existed back into the 1990s) I archived stories of the violence spiking in 2004-2005… Actually, the real hotspots at that time were in Nuevo Laredo and other cities in the eastern border region…as well as in Chihuahua and Michoacan as reported here.  The full report mentioned in the LATimes article is available here.

 

 

former Chihuahua governor Jose Reyes Baeza investigated for links to Juarez Cartel

The federal attorney general is now investigating former governor Reyes Baeza for protecting Juarez Cartel operatives…
This is worth looking at in terms of determining the origins of the explosion of violence in Juarez that began in late 2007… Actually, according to this account, the stage was set several years earlier… A google translation follows.  The article also appears in the newspaper, OMNIA.
Former governor Reyes Baeza responds to allegations of his ties to Juarez cartel published yesterday in Reporte Indigo. The Diario reporter contacted the PGR which says there is no investigation.  However, El Diario had reported on Reyes Baeza’s links to organized crime back in March 2010, based on information received from the PGR. 
One of the more interesting allegations revealed by Julio Porras–the protected witness who served as link between cartel and governor–is that he met Amado Carrillo in 1990 through Army General Acosta Chaparro. This general was assassinated earlier in 2012. 
The arrangement with Reyes Baeza included payment of at least 3 million pesos before his election with the agreement that when elected he would appoint a state police chief chosen by the Juarez cartel. According to Porras’ statement, Reyes Baeza agreed and named Lauro Abelardo Venegas Aguirre as head of the State Investigative Agency. None of this is difficult to believe as such allegations against Reyes Baeza and the state attorney general Patricia Gonzalez were made continuously during their administrations. It is also interesting that the PGR investigation apparently began during the administration of Arturo Chavez Chavez as Attorney General in 2010. Chavez Chavez is from Chihuahua and also was alleged to be on the payroll of the Juarez Cartel.
A google translation of the article is below…  molly
GOOGLE TRANSLATION
Reyes Baeza denies pact with cartel
Sandra Rodriguez Nieto
The Journal | 07.31.2012 | 00:05
An alleged pact between the Juarez Cartel and former Governor Jose Reyes Baeza, in which the first support the 2004 election campaign and the second to the criminal organization would not only operate but to appoint the head of the State Judicial then, Report was released yesterday by Indigo.
According to the article available in the print edition of the medium with the title “Another governor in sight,” the former president of the PRI connection to drug trafficking was revealed to the Federal Government by the drug trafficker Julio Porras and is part of the preliminary RMP / SIEDO/UEIDCS/313/2010.
Asked yesterday about it, Baeza told the newspaper that published allegations are false and that they said in 2010 against former Attorney General Arturo Chavez Chavez and before the prosecutor Marisela Morales today, then head of the Office of Special Investigations into Organized Crime (OFDI).
The case cited is rooted in a statement that occurred in 2010 of a person who under the protection of a protected witness, said the alleged involvement of various public officials, where I include, in criminal acts allegedly occurred in the year 1998 and 2004, “said Reyes Baeza in a position letter sent to this medium.
“At the time I made clarifications to the Attorney General of the Republic, Mr. Arturo Chavez Chavez, and to the degree Marisela Morales Ibañez, then assistant attorney of the SIEDO, showing that those complaints were not only false but malicious,” the former president and the date member National Executive Committee of the PRI.
Meanwhile, although Indigo Report cites paragraphs and the number of the preliminary investigation, the Attorney General’s Office said yesterday that the research did not exist.
“There is not. SIEDO has no such investigation, “said José Luis Manjarrez The Journal, Chief Information Officer at the PGR headquarters in Mexico City.
The article adds that Indigo Report on the investigation, the protected witness is identified as Ramiro Chavez, but the data provided “presumed” it is the drug trafficker Julio Porras, who worked for the Juarez Cartel and who is imprisoned in USA.
“Between January and February 2004, to be sure that Jose Reyes Baeza seek the governorship by the PRI, we agreed to support him in his bid to the amount of three million pesos, which would bring me,” says the statement of witness, As Reported Indigo. “In return, they asked that when he was governor, left, among other things, appoint the head of the state police, as this would facilitate the operation of their business,” adds the same date.
Report Indigo Publishing is not the first that mentions the former president’s alleged ties to drug trafficking, and specifically with Julio Porras, and the existence of a federal investigation against the former governor.
Since March 2010-year for which the preliminary data-, the former state public safety secretary, Raul Grajeda Dominguez, said in an interview with The Journal that the federal government had opened a case against Reyes Baeza.
On the same occasion, Grajeda also delivered to the medium an unpublished manuscript mentioned that, when Julio Porras was attacked in May 2006, received state protection of both the president and the then Attorney Patricia Gonzalez.
“The operator of the Juarez Cartel, JL, suffering serious injuries were accidental. A point of death, arises as a result, the civil war to take its place. Of the four groups of the cartel, Julio Porras tried to help one of them, ‘Doctor’, and this angered the JL 02 “Grajeda wrote in his text.
“The point is that JL is recovered, and sent them to kill Porras in Chihuahua capital, where he died his escort as he escapes and is saved. Having applied for protection of the attorney, is obtained, with permission of the governor, on the premises of public safety complex in the area of ​​Attorney, “the manuscript.
The information was published on March 3, 2010 in The Journal with the headline “Former police chief accuses Reyes Baeza to protect drug”, which also included an interview with then-president who said he did not know Julio Porras.
Information disseminated by Indigo Report says the pact between the former governor and the Juarez Cartel or the Carrillo Fuentes “would have been accomplished and, once elected, Reyes Baeza respected the request of the seudoempresarios. The chosen one was Lauro Aguirre Abelardo Venegas, who was appointed director of the State Investigation Agency. “
The article also abounds in the history of Porras, who appear in the preliminary inquiry stating that he met Amado Carrillo since 1990 through a court officer was “unconditional” General Arturo Acosta Chaparro, killed on April 20, 2012 .
“From these relations with former judicial bosses and lieutenants, Ramiro Chavez met Vicente Carrillo, who years later gave her links with the state government in turn, Jose Reyes Baeza, whom he met when he was president Chihuahua City, “says Indigo Report article.
“Chavez said Vicente Carrillo Fuentes got to hand over $ 60,000 monthly payroll of the police forces, primarily the controls having the rank of commanders,” the statement said.
Willing to provide information
In the letter sent yesterday to The Journal, Baeza says willing to provide information to any authority that requires it.
“I was always fully prepared to bring proceedings in any federal or state, when required. As someone convinced of the rule of law, the rule of law and respectful of the institutions, I have full confidence in them, so I think this kind of tendentious leaks and notes payable to the investigations bit serious and responsible, “he said.

“I repeat, openly available to any public authority, state or federal, who legitimately require information from me, refusing to advance into the game leading to the biased remarks and notes that staff pursue the prestige and not the search for truth “he said. (Sandra Rodriguez Nieto / The Journal)

Deadly Addiction–series in the Albuquerque Journal

 

This is the first installment of an Albuquerque Journal series on drug use in New Mexico… The thing that strikes me in my initial reading of this is how disconnected the problem is from the hysteria over Mexico and “fighting the drug war” there.  It makes the terrifying level of violence and death in Mexico all the more absurd when we realize that much of the drug abuse problem in New Mexico and in other areas of the US also, is a domestic issue–a family issue… Something that requires health care, education, job security, opportunities in society, etc.  Remembering the piece I posted this morning about a supposed US military plan to “kill or capture Chapo Guzman” — does anyone really think that such a thing would stop the abuse of drugs in the US or reduce the violence in Mexico? molly

Excerpts:

“We are, from an enforcement and prosecution viewpoint, designed to deal with drug trafficking organizations,” U.S. Attorney Gonzales said. “Prescription drugs present a different dynamic.” Keith Brown, assistant special agent in charge of the U.S. Drug Enforcement office in Albuquerque, put it this way: “There is no prescription drug cartel to target.”

• Undercover agents bought grams of heroin for $100 — the same price as in 1977.• The purity of the heroin agents purchased was three to four times the purity level of heroin sold just 10 years ago.• The heroin was cheaper than prescription opiate painkillers on the street, which average $1 per milligram. That’s $10 for a 10-milligram hydrocodone pill.

 

 
 

 

Why is Google Picking a Fight with the Mafia?

InSight Crime reporter attended Google Ideas conference and reports from the scene… At the link are speeches from the conference.  Note that Public Security minister Alejandro Poire represented the Mexican government.  I recall that last year at the border security conference at UTEP, Poire refused to answer questions about the violence in Juarez and denied (on video) that there were refugees from the violence. None of these google ideas even deal with the question of high level government complicity with criminal organizations.  molly
Related Links:

 

Mexicans Pay in Blood for America’s War on Drugs…Mexico’s Magical Homicides…New Times Online

Folks–Charles Bowden and I have articles coming out online in the “New Times” chain. A longer version should appear in print in Phoenix and Dallas and possibly in other papers in the chain. The first edition to come out online is in the Miami New Times. It features photographs by Miguel Angel Lopez Solana, the photo-journalist now seeking asylum in the US after his parents, brother and several colleagues in Veracruz were murdered. Just yesterday, Miguel sent me an email about another colleague in Veracruz who is missing. Go to the link to read the stories and if you live in a city with a New Times, look for it on the newsstand. molly

 

Mexico’s Magical Homicides

 

Mexicans Pay in Blood for America’s War on Drugs