Thanks to Jim for sending these links and analysis. – Molly
Comments from Jim:
Padre Alejandro Solalinde is proving to be a one-man wrecking crew undermining the Peña Nieto government attempt to push the Ayotzinapa massacre into the background.
He was the first one to report that the students had been executed and burned with diesel fuel (three weeks? before the Murillo Karam press conference).
And yesterday he addressed a group of students in Guadalajara and reported that the arrest of ex-Alcalde Abarca was a staged event for political reasons and an attempt to control the agenda.
> El gobierno “ha estado administrando esta información para aprovechar tiempos políticos. No es cierto que le interese la tragedia; lo que le interesa es sacar provecho electoral
> Se trata de un control de daños políticos, un control de daños partidistas. Han estado manipulando toda la información para beneficio del PRI-gobierno.–
According to Padre Solalinde, Abarca and his wife were captured in Vera Cruz. If you remember, I had previously sent out an email indicating that Abarca was arrested in Vera Cruz and I had based my information on an internet item that was briefly reported by ejecentral.com and at least one other daily. But those reports did not lead to any national coverage or follow-up of this report.
According to Padre Solalinde, the arrest of Abarca and his wife was staged in Itztapalapa in D.F. in hopes of gaining a political advantage. Basically, the argument is that the PRD was targeted by the PRI (…in spite of PRD cooperation in most for the Enrique Peña Nieto political agenda in the first 18 months). Itztapalapa is a PRD stronghold (based on demographics – it’s poor, and it has voted PRD consistently). Arresting Abarca in this “urban zone” would make it look like he had PRD help in hiding. He and his wife were supposedly hiding in a house owned by a family that has benefitted from PRD contracts (towing contracts). The circumstances of the arrest are strange – there was pre-arranged press-coverage, and Abarca emerged wearing a perfectly pressed suit from a hovel.
Unfortunately for the PRI, Padre Solalinde keeps bringing forward accusations that are backed up by evidence. And even more unfortunately, Enrique Peña Nieto has his own Marie Antoinette (La Gaviota) living in his own personal Versaille and doing much more than eating cake. -James (Jim) Creechan
Abarca fue capturado en Veracruz y sembrado en el DF, acusa Solalinde (La Jornada)
A Abarca “lo encontraron en Veracruz y lo fueron a sembrar” en el DF: Solalinde (Aristegui Noticias)
Seminario Zeta of Tijuana recently published a piece comparing homicide statistics from the Calderon and Pena Nieto administrations and has appeared in several newspapers and magazines in Mexico including Proceso, http://www.proceso.com.mx/?p=380354
The original piece is posted below.
The gist of the article is that even though EPN and his government secretaries say that homicides have been reduced significantly (30% or more), the truth is much more murky and that compared to the first 20 months of Calderon’s term, there have actually been more homicides, not less.
The discussion has to do with the fact that official homicide statistics come from two main sources: the SESNSP and INEGI. [I posted a brief explanation of these two sources here, http://fronteralist.org/2014/08/22/q-a-with-frontera-lists-molly-molloy/ ] written before this new Zeta piece was published.
Zeta also uses media reports and civic organization counts in different states and cities and comes up with tallies that are somewhat higher than the recent INEGI report: http://www.inegi.org.mx/inegi/contenidos/espanol/prensa/Boletines/Boletin/Comunicados/Especiales/2014/julio/comunica3.pdf
The INEGI report itself is not a final report for 2013, but a preliminary one. More recent statistics are available only from the SESNSP and from media. There is also an issue of which homicides are counted? Homicidios dolosos are those usually considered murder or intentional/aggravated homicide. There is a whole other category of homicidios culposos, usually translated as accidental or negligent homicides. Zeta points out that as the numbers of homicidios DOLOSOS is slightly lower than in previous years, the number of CULPOSOS (accidental or negligent homicides) are going up. This makes us wonder if the government is “adjusting” its classifications of causes of deaths to make it appear that many of the killings are the kinds of “ordinary” accidental homicides that do not indicate an organized crime problem, but just people behaving badly.
One comes away thinking several things: 1) It is becoming even more difficult to know how many people are murdered in Mexico. 2)The EPN administration is determined to pursue an aggressive media strategy to make things appear less violent. 3) Presenting the homicide numbers for arbitrary periods like the “first 20 months” of different administrations is not that useful for comparison. 4)The levels of homicide, forced disappearances and kidnapping are still extremely high in Mexico.
Even using the more conservative figures reported by INEGI and the lower homicidios dolosos numbers reported by the SESNSP, “more than 153,000 people–an average of more than 1,600 per month–56 people PER DAY–have been murdered in Mexico since 2007.”
An English translation of the article published in El Diario de Coahuila is provided from Borderland Beat. Also posted below… -Molly Molloy
Los muertos de EPN: 36 mil 718 (Zeta)
Pena Nieto has been unable to decrease homicides (Borderland Beat)
3 Suspects Arrested in Killings of Officials in Western Mexico
23 April 2014
MORELIA, MEXICO –Three hitmen suspected of participating in a plot to destabilize the government by killing security and justice officials in the western Mexican state of Michoacan have been arrested, federal officials said.
The suspects, who were arrested on Monday, planned attacks on Michoacan Public Safety Secretariat and Attorney General’s Office personnel sent by President Enrique Peña Nieto’s administration to the state, the federal commissioner for security and development in Michoacan, Alfredo Castillo Cervantes, said.
To read more about these killings, click here.
With this comment from a person who sent me this story: ” As far as I remember, Mando Único was meant to have ended in late 2011…!!! Amazing that this is not taken as a sign that Duarte does not have control of his state.”
I would add as a general comment, in all of the areas that have been under military rule (martial law, invasion, police takeovers, etc.) the violence explodes. After the first few months of 2008 had passed in Juarez and the military was brought in to “control the violence” people very quickly realized that the military were the perpetrators of much of the violence. And the levels of killings went up and up thru the first quarter of 2011… The violence did not even begin to recede in Juarez until the military and federal police began to be withdrawn from the city in late 2011. Is there anyone in Mexico who believes that the military and federal police do anything other than kill?
And in case you thought it was difficult before to get news and statistics on the violence in Mexico, now Mexico’s leaders will only give out information on murders in small “doses” that the public can handle… And President Pena Nieto asks the media to achieve an “equilibrium” between good news and bad news… If only Mr. Orwell were here to provide some good counsel… Thanks to Jose Luis for sending. His comments and the article follow:
Amazing to think that the governor of Colima and other governors agreed to this… 24 people killed and seven businesses assaulted by armed groups in one month! And nobody knows. Colima is a very small state. In short, the violence has not subsided, but the information is now prescribed in “dosages” so we don’t get sick.
“Los reportes policiales indican que en lo que va del año en la entidad han sido ejecutadas 24 personas y 7 comercios fueron asaltados por grupos armados, pero los hechos no han sido reportados por la Procuraduría de Colima, como lo hacía hasta el 2012.”