Refugees Coming To El Paso, More To Arizona…

June 7: Below are several more reports on the current numbers of Central American refugees entering the US. Though the AP story from last night (second in list below) says that people will continue to be sent to Arizona, ICE officials as well as some workers with the Catholic diocese refugee services and others in the religious communities serving immigrants in El Paso have said that buses and planes will begin bringing some of these people to El Paso starting today…

As for the reasons these folks are coming in such numbers, I believe that we cannot discount fact that people talk to each other along the route and these communications (true and otherwise) have some influence on the decisions people make. As far as the dangers they face traveling through Mexico, there is ample evidence that many migrants are killed or go missing along the way. There is no safe route (other than in a commercial flight which poor people cannot afford) across Mexico for these people, yet we know that in recent years more and more have attempted the journey despite the dangers.

There have been other large-scale movements of people from Central America into the US in past years…the kinds of movements that make it difficult or impossible for ICE to detain them all and so they will be released on condition that they report to immigration later.  Hurricane Mitch in 1998 for example caused large numbers of people to leave the region and many were given temporary protected status in the US:

http://news.newamericamedia.org/news/view_article.html?article_id=ee5a15c67fb5ca48d49d489f0b0d375c

People are now fleeing war-like conditions caused by criminal activities in the region and the government malfeasance. Poverty is at the root of why most people migrate and that is true in the current situation as well. molly

http://www.elpasotimes.com/news/ci_25916964/el-paso-may-see-an-influx-undocumented-immigrants

http://abcnews.go.com/US/wireStory/us-agency-flying-migrant-families-arizona-24036894?singlePage=true

UPDATE (June 8): There is a lot of in-depth information in the report from the US Conference of Catholic Bishops trip to Central America in Nov 2013. This report was cited in a previous posting. I note that it does have links to some statistics from US authorities on the numbers of unaccompanied children apprehended in previous years. It is available here:

http://www.usccb.org/about/migration-policy/upload/Mission-To-Central-America-FINAL-2.pdf

http://www.elpasotimes.com/news/ci_25921825/planes-carrying-130-people-land-el-paso

UPDATE (June 8): Apparently, there are at least 270–not 130–immigrants who have been flown to El Paso from the Rio Grande Valley. The situation is changing rapidly and according to a media person who wrote to me personally, the CBP officials are not giving many statements to reporters, but there should be updates tomorrow.

The Annunciation House press conference on the local faith community response will be Monday at 1:30 pm at CASA VIDES, 325 Leon Street in El Paso. molly

Las Vegas Man Arrested…EP Times

Based on the details in this EP Times article, I tend to think the analysis of the El Paso police is correct.  I see no evidence that these billboards were pointed toward Juarez in any more specific manner than they are on the I-10 (running east west) and thus are visible from both sides of the border.

Not that I’m an investigator, but based on the initial reports, it certainly seemed that the actions and the messages resonated with the Occupy movement. I believe it would have been difficult to create such installations and not leave fingerprints that a US police investigation would find…

There have been hundreds of police murdered in Juarez in recent years and such actions were never advertised in any way in El Paso… -Molly

Las Vegas Man Arrested In Connection With Threatening Billboard Graffiti (El Paso Times)

Two Bizarre Billboard Messages Startle El Paso Commuters…EPTimes

This looks much more like Anonymous agitprop estilo “Occupy” … I can see where the police and Chamber of Commerce in El Paso get excited. I’d like the trick better if it said something like “Dying from maquiladora slave wages…”  Or maybe “dying for Wall Street money laundering bankers…” Just saying…  -Molly

Two Bizarre Billboard Messages Startle El Paso Commuters (El Paso Times)

Juarez Drug Wars: Display of Threats Often Used by Cartels (El Paso Times)

Border Residents Fear Message On Mysterious Billboards (KHOU)

Drug Dealer’s Daughter Recalls A Luxurious Life On Both Sides Of The Border, Before It All Crashed…Borderzine

Drug Dealer’s Daughter Recalls A Luxurious Life On Both Sides Of The Border, Before It All Crashed

Nadia Rivas on May 2, 2014

EL PASO — Luz relaxes in a chair and taps the table with her fingertips as she begins to reveal startling details about her unique life as the child of a powerful Juarez drug cartel member.

Reminiscing about her childhood brings a smile to her face. She lived a life that was close to perfect, she says, full of luxuriesexpensive clothes, cars, parties, entertainment, and any wish she desired.

“You get used to having a lot of stuff, good stuff,” says Luz, 24, who asked that her name not be revealed. “I never remember hearing my mom say, ‘no we can’t get that because we don’t have money.’”

At the same time, she admits, it was difficult for her mother to teach her and her younger brother strong ethics and values because of her father’s criminal activity.

“We weren’t following any of the rules, any of the laws,” said the petite 24-year-old with light-brown shoulder-length hair and brown eyes. “I was always told I couldn’t talk about what my dad did, which involved the drug cartels.“

Read the full article here.

‘Man in the Middle’ separates Ruben Salazar from his myth…LATimes

‘Man in the Middle’ separates Ruben Salazar from his myth
By Yvonne Villarreal April 26, 2014, 6:00 a.m.

His is a name that has appeared in this publication’s pages hundreds of times — as an author and as a subject. It’s a name that calls up notions of the Latino struggle for civil rights and the radical Chicano movement in Los Angeles.

It’s also a name that initially made filmmaker Phillip Rodriguez groan when someone suggested the life behind the name as a subject for his next documentary.

Click here to read the rest of the story.

The Current State of Ciudad Juárez and Future Prospects

Educ. Forum on Social Justice.

SOCIAL JUSTICE EDUCATION FORUMS

A community project designed to increase understanding of local, regional, and national issues that have a social and economic impact on the El Paso/Las Cruces/Ciudad Juárez borderlands.

To RSVP–Just Reply

Featured Speaker:

 Miguel Fernández Iturriza*

“The Current State of Ciudad Jrez

and Future Prospects”

Saturday, May 17, 2014, 10 am

El Paso Times Building, Community Room, 1st Floor
500 W. Overland Dr., El Paso, Texas 79901
(Street parking available along with parking in nearby garages and lots.)

* Miguel Fernández Iturriza is a prominent businessman and civic leader in Ciudad Juárez.  He currently serves as director of the Plan Estratégico de Ciudad Juárez.
Forums are held on a periodic basis and are public events. Organizing committee: Oscar Martínez, Virginia Martínez, Kathy Staudt, Joe Heyman, Stephanie Acosta, Jacque Wehmeyer, and Marshall Carter.

Copyright © 2014, El Paso Social Justice Education Forums

Mailing address:  To be determined

He helped capture EU in ‘El Chapo’ ; now his family faces deportation…El Diario de El Paso

A doctor who treated members of the Sinaloa cartel injured in the state of Chihuahua crossed the border to provide crucial information to US federal authorities that led to the capture of “El Mayito” (Mario Núñez Meza) and also to the capture of Joaquín “El Chapo” Guzmán Loera. He was promised protection and reward money for himself and his family, but his wife is now in deportation proceedings and he is also in danger of being deported. If returned to Mexico, they would be in danger because of his work as an informant in the US. Article from El Diario de El Paso.  A google translation is also posted below

He helped capture EU in ‘El Chapo’ ; now his family faces deportation

Luis Chaparro

The Journal | 23:00

A man who was a key witness for the capture of Mario Nuñez Meza , alias “El Mayito ” or ” M-10 ” and Joaquin “El Chapo ” Guzman Loera, now faces deportation to his wife and says that no give more information to U.S. federal authorities , he will be the next to be expelled from the country , along with the other three members of his family, with the risk of being killed in Ciudad Juarez.

According to the evidence shown to The Journal by the informant and corroborated by members of the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA ) in charge of his case, ” Alfonso ” – the name acquired as a protected witness the U.S. government – was the one who handed the cell phone using which could be located at “El Chapo ” Guzman in Mazatlan.

” Alfonso ” was until last August attending a doctor at a hospital in Ciudad Juarez to members of the Sinaloa Cartel injured in the state of Chihuahua.

However, he said he decided to do what he thought was right and provide information on the exact location of ” The Mayito ” Guzman Loera course lieutenant , arrested two days after the meeting the informant with U.S. officials .

Now says U.S. authorities have turned their backs and ” Alfonso ” awaiting deportation of his wife, retained in a processing center from Immigration and Customs Enforcement ( ICE acronym ) for seven weeks . If deported , reports ” Alfonso ” , your entire family could be murdered in Ciudad Juárez.

” Alfonso ” maintained relations with several leaders of the Sinaloa Cartel and Juarez who operated in the state of Chihuahua, through their families involved with one of them for 13 years. This relationship gave him direct access to the cell phones, social networking sites and Mario Nuñez Meza and Emma Coronel, the current wife of Joaquin “El Chapo ” Guzman .

Until the end of last August ” Alfonso ” was called to treat the injured Sinaloa Cartel statewide , and even made ​​him the offer to work directly with Hermosillo Guzman writes.

” I began to treat the wounded in a hospital in Juarez and it never died and neither recognized me as a good doctor, why Emma Coronel wanted to take me Hermosillo ” he says.

However, a confession of Núñez Meza in 2013 lit the alerts ” Alfonso ” and he decided to surrender to U.S. authorities , there starting a collaboration with federal agencies in the United States.

” Last July I was asked to be the ‘ M- 10′ to bring a Chihuahua and Ciudad Juarez. On the way back he told me that he had come to assemble the ‘ chingazos ‘ again , that was going to be another strong violence because he wanted time to regain control of Ciudad Juárez. This I did not like , I do not want to replace Juarez violent and so I thought it was right to give it , before I started the riot , “says ” Alfonso ” from a location in El Paso, Texas.

It was then called the number of anonymous reporting of the DEA in El Paso to provide information leading to the capture Nuñez Meza . According to his version, supported by documentation in the hands of the Drug Enforcement Administration and stamped on his immigration permit , the first meeting between the agents and ” Alfonso ” occurred on August 18 at the premises of the bridge “Free” around 12 Noon .

” At that meeting people was Interpol , the FBI and the DEA. I told them ‘The Mayito ‘ was in a hotel in Juarez , I gave them the phone he had, because that’s how they find them , the plates of their trucks and everything, “says the protected witness .

Ten days later, on August 28 , Mario Nuñez Meza was arrested by agents of the State Single Police Chihuahua in this hotel located on the Panamericana, ” thanks to a citizen complaint and intelligence work ,” as described by the press release at that time.

That same day around 4 pm ” Alfonso ” along with four members of his family crossed the border under the immigration form I-94 SPBP , delivered to reviewers or ” snitches ” by U.S. authorities .

Delivery of ‘El Chapo ‘

“The officers asked me if I had more information and I said yes , I could give them information on how to find the Chapo ” says ” Alfonso ” .

The doctor says he met Colonel Angelica Ortiz , cousin Emma Coronel, a U.S. citizen married to Guzman Loera .

” She gave me the phone to Emma Coronel, a fixed and a mobile phone, I knew she could find by Chapo and indeed it was ,” says ” Alfonso ” .

The informant showed Diary messages sent to the agent Muñoz cell phone contact with the pair of “El Chapo” . After a phone call to the agent Daniel , case manager , after Muñoz retired a few weeks ago , the version of ” Alfonso ” regarding the information provided was confirmed .

The special agent said not to talk to the reporter , however , be confirmed by agent “Alphonse ” as a protected witness DEA .

According to phone messages and documents submitted in possession of the lawyer ” Alfonso ” , on January 15 the first information to capture “El Chapo” began. 22 of the same month, ” Alfonso ” met with the special agents in charge Saul , Daniel and DEA supervisor John W. Jewett on the premises of the Department of Justice , located on Calle Mesa Hills on the west side El Paso, Texas, to make an official report on the information provided.

Joaquin “El Chapo ” Guzman was captured on 22 February in an apartment complex in the city of Mazatlan , Sinaloa, then the authorities will track the cell phone of the couple who accompanied him up before he was arrested by the Mexican Army , according to U.S. officials who spoke to the Associated Press news agency .

the reward

” Alfonso ” says Special Agent of DEA intelligence “Joe” confirmed the existence of a million dollar reward for information leading to the capture of Guzman. However, note in return gave his wife ‘s arrest by agents of Immigration and that if the judgment did not provide more information about the drug lords ” have no more money, more protection , not more permission to be in the United States. “

” What they did was become a protected informant witness but without pay . The reward is a lie , I never got anything and all I ask is support to get a permit to work here and support my family , “says the man.

But a DEA agent , who asked not to be identified , said in an interview to have delivered more than $ 50,000 in about seven months, ” Alfonso ” by the information provided.

” Yes I have given money to eat , to rent an apartment , but instead of leaving my job in Juarez, risking my family and now we can deport all ; that is not worth $ 50,000 also are to survive five people in the United States , “says the protected witness .

According to the records of the Bureau of Immigration (ICE ) , the wife of ” Alfonso ” was arrested on 26 February and has since been awaiting resolution of his case.

Currently seeking political asylum after he was yesterday the credible fear interview , according to the same unit . ( Luis Chaparro / The Journal)

 

illegal border crossings way down in El Paso sector…

Two stories from the New Mexico part of the sector… On a personal note…I spent some time at the Las Cruces gun show yesterday and boy, was it a rousing success! I actually saw less anti-government propaganda than I expected, but did stop to talk to a few people.  One was buying a shotgun to protect his property from all of the dangerous drug smugglers from Mexico… And of course the anti-wilderness rhetoric for the Organ Mountains is that making these areas wilderness opens up more terrorist havens.  Yes, there are New Mexicans who believe that terrorists are waiting behind every yucca…

Border communities thrown under the bus by politicians…BNHR response

I am certain that there will be many stories today on the immigration hearings underway in Congress. Instead of that, I’m forwarding this statement from Fernando Garcia, Director of the Border Network for Human Rights and an excellent NPR piece from Sunday featuring interviews with the Mayors of El Paso and Laredo. The gist of the interviews was that the border has never been more secure. This is the same information that the FBI and the DHS and other US officials have insisted on for years now. molly
Border communities thrown under the bus by politicians
Response from the border to today’s immigration hearing in the House

(EL PASO, Texas) —  There was a lot of talk about border security from leaders of both parties at today’s immigration hearing in the House Judiciary Committee. Unfortunately, it was all rhetoric from people who don’t seem to understand the reality of the border.

The usual suspects such as Republicans Rep. Lamar Smith and Rep. Steve King called for “securing the borders,” despite the massive enforcement of the last several years. But we also saw Democrats Rep. John Conyers and San Antonio Mayor Julian Castro conceding that “more must be done.”

Worse yet, Republicans specifically fail to recognize what has been done: 22,000 boots on the ground, 6,400 miles of fencing and walls, the deployment of the National Guard and military units, increasing the use of military technology including unmanned drones, and $18 billion spent on immigration enforcement last year alone.

“It’s very interesting to us on the border that the only people talking about border security at today’s hearing were politicians. While the panel experts wanted to talk about solutions, some politicians would rather talk about the boogie man of border security. This shows how out of touch the committee is with the reality of the border,” said Fernando Garcia, executive director of BNHR. “We are living under the massive buildup of enforcement from the last several years on the border. And while these politicians want to talk border security, they seem unwilling and unable to talk about the consequences of it. These consequences include civil and human rights violations in our communities, migrant deaths and families torn apart.”

Border Network welcomes the committee to learn more about the border.

“Rep. Conyers said he would like the committee to visit the border and we think they should come on down and learn the truth before proposing politically-motivated ideas that have real life and death consequences for our community,” said Garcia.

El Pasoans Take Risks to Keep International Bonds

An article found on the KFox14 website brings to light the necessity for El Pasoans to cross the Juarez border:

EL PASO, Texas — The U.S. Department of State is keeping Ciudad Juarez listed as a specific concern for those who need to cross the border, but many El Pasoans need to keep going.

They go for family and businesses, so they make adjustments and take their chances. For some, the price is high.

The familiar border aroma of onion, cilantro and jalapeno rise in Rosemary’s kitchen in El Paso – the same way they once did in her home in Juarez.

“I still imagine myself cooking, cleaning,” she said.

For 17 years, the El Paso-born American rose at 4 a.m. to make the trek back and forth across the international bridge, and she did it all for a man.

“It just gives me a great sadness because I sacrificed so many things. I sacrificed a lot of things being in Juarez,” Rosemary said. I sacrificed family; I sacrificed friends because I wanted to be with the man that I loved.”

Together, the couple built a house from one room and a thriving little enterprise.

“He built his business starting with nothing but a shovel and a little truck,” she said.

While Rosemary commuted to El Paso for her job, her husband worked seven days a week building their future.

Then, in 2009, cartel violence consumed the city.

“A lot of my husband’s friends who had the same types of businesses had all been killed already,” she said.

Rosemary’s extortion nightmare began and everything about the couple’s future was threatened.

“That put our life, his life, the life of our family in danger,” Rosemary said.

The couple starting handing over $200 a week from his business.

“I begged him and I pleaded with him to move here to El Paso and he refused. He said he was not going to give in to anybody and that he came to this life with nothing, and he was going to leave with nothing,” Rosemary said.

The nightmare went on for a year, and then, the extortionists wanted more.

“The day that he was shot, I was at my job here in El Paso and they told me that they had shot someone inside the business of my husband. It was all over the news,” she said.

In an instant, Rosemary’s husband’s life was over. Her life was over and she knew it. In a matter of hours, with the help of family in El Paso, Rosemary packed up everything she could and moved back home.

American business owners by the dozens would follow suit.

“It was us, it was our neighbors, our neighbor got shut down for a year, and then, our neighbor next to him – they assaulted him twice,” said Luis Gallegos, who owns a staffing company.

In 2009, an extortion threat arrived at the door step of Arias and Associates, Gallegos’ company.

“I got a call in the afternoon, we were right here and they called us that all our employees are locked in,” Gallegos said. “They wouldn’t let them out because the federal police had just gotten executed a just 10 feet from our door.”

Soon after, the Gallegos family would be trapped in a gun battle while stuck in Juarez traffic. Their teenage son witnessed a man shot to death by automatic gun fire.

“We were panicked,” Gallegos said. “We were shocked, but our employees were like, ‘Well, it happened to me when I worked over there at the liquor store.’”

But they were not so cavalier about cartel crime. Their thriving staffing business provided a workforce to some of the 150 “maquiladoras” (factories) in Juarez, and it immediately went into stealth mode.

“The business, everything, is all being handled over the phone,” said Hossana Gallegos, Luis’ wife and business partner.

Luis said that they would not conduct business at night and would avoid staying late in the afternoon.

“If we go, we don’t even call our employees,” Hossana Gallegos said. “We don’t tell them that we are going to be there.”

Hossana and Luis, who are Americans, operate their business in Juarez as though they are phantoms. They are doing as many Americans commuting to Juarez now must do. They drive modest cars and constantly change their routines.

Although security measures are not openly discussed, these business owners say it’s an adjustment being made by all, including maquiladoras.

“You see a lot of increase to the security,” Luis Gallegos said. “They’re shutting streets down. The access to the plants is more difficult.

The Mexican chamber of commerce reports more than 10,000 businesses have shut down since 2009.

It’s unclear how many of those businesses were American-owned, but Mexican business owners by the hundreds have sought refuge relocating to the U.S. side of the border. Most of them move their businesses revenue to the states.

They represent a growing social and professional network that meets at a restaurant on a regular basis.

Statistics from the state department show that there may be no going back to a prosperous pre-cartel Juarez anytime soon.

The state department warnings remain in place in Juarez calling it a specific concern.

The number of non-immigrant visas to the United States has increased steadily since 2009 and continues to rise. State department numbers show Juarez has one of the highest murder rates in Mexico.

Immigration and human rights attorneys representing those seeking asylum in the United States agree that safety remains a rapidly deteriorating concept in Mexico despite what its politicians push to the public.

Meanwhile, Americans trying to run their business with one foot in each country wistfully wish for days past before commuting got crazy.

“I would still commute every day, but it was not the same as before. I would always have to look behind my back. My husband would always be waiting for me as soon as I left for home and would lock the gates as soon as possible,” Rosemary said.

There seems to be no predictability factor as to whether Juarez can ever return to the days before blood began running in the streets.

“I was happy living in Juarez; I had everything I needed around me,” Rosemary said. “I had a Sams, Walmart, and all the stores.”

Those in El Paso creating a booming bi-national community on the border say they are adjusting.

“As soon as you crossed the border, you would see the soldier and then there was one after the other, patrols, the trucks,” Luis Gallegos said. “They would pull you over, and you don’t see that so much anymore. And oddly, you feel safer now.”

As far as the economic impact in El Paso is concerned, given the businesses and business people and families who have moved here from Juarez, every indicator from numbers gathered by the El Paso Regional Economic Development Corporation show that all the stability and growth of the city’s economy is coming from our military base, and not from beyond the border.