Denuncian falta de interés en caso de El Choco/Juarez journalists denounce ‘lack of interest’ in solving murder of Armando Rodriguez

Today is the 4th anniversary of the murder of Armando Rodriguez, the crime reporter for El Diario, shot in front of his house on Nov 13 2008.

His case is referred to in the article from NYRB by Alma Guillermoprieto.
Google Translation:Hoy es el 4 º aniversario del asesinato de Armando Rodríguez, reportero de El Diario, rodada en frente de su casa el 13 de noviembre de 2008.Su caso se hace referencia en el artículo de NYRB por Alma Guillermoprieto.

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Luz del Carmen Sosa
El Diario | 2012-11-13 | 07:40

La Red de Periodistas de Juárez denunció la falta de interés de las autoridades para esclarecer el asesinato del colega Armando Rodríguez Carreón.

A través de un comunicado de prensa la agrupación asegura que no hay ningún avance en las investigaciones en manos de las autoridades para saber quién y por qué lo mató.

“El presidente Felipe Calderón mintió abiertamente al señalar, en septiembre de 2010, que el caso estaba resuelto porque ya había un detenido. Dos años después de ese falso anuncio, el crimen no sólo sigue sin ser esclarecido –y el presunto sin recibir cargos por este hecho-, sino que la impunidad que lo rodea, tal como advertimos, fungió de corolario para la brutal ola de violencia que, como nunca, ha cobrado la vida de los periodistas mexicanos”, cita el comunicado.

“Para nosotros en Ciudad Juárez es claro: con la omisión a la hora de esclarecer el crimen de Armando Rodríguez y de todos los colegas que han sido asesinados, el Estado mexicano está enviando el criminal mensaje de que, en este país, cegar una vida y silenciar así la libertad de prensa y de expresión, no tiene absolutamente ninguna consecuencia”, sostiene.

“Los periodistas seguimos esperando la justicia. Pero no podemos aceptar ni la indiferencia ni el olvido”, refiere.

Finalmente, La Red de Periodistas de Juárez repudió la nula eficacia de las autoridades de procuración de justicia y reiteró su exigencia a los gobiernos, federal y estatal, y a sus fiscalías para que hagan justicia para el compañero Armando Rodríguez, reportero de El Diario de Juárez, asesinado el 13 de noviembre del 2008.

Google Translation:

Luz del Carmen Sosa
El Diario | 11.13.2012 | 7:40

The Juarez Journalists Network denounced the lack of interest of the authorities to investigate the murder of colleague Armando Rodriguez Carreon.

Through a press release the group said that there is no progress in the investigations into the hands of the authorities to find out who killed him and why.

“President Felipe Calderon openly lied stating, in September 2010, the case was solved because there was already stopped. Two years after that false advertising, not only crime is still not clarified, and the charges alleged without receiving this fact, but the impunity that surrounds it, as warned, served a corollary to brutal wave of violence that, as ever, has claimed the lives of Mexican journalists, “the statement quoted.

“For us in Juarez is clear: with the failure to solve the crime when Armando Rodriguez and all the colleagues who have been killed, the Mexican government is sending the message that criminal in this country, a life blind and silence and freedom of the press and expression, has absolutely no consequence, “he says.

“Journalists are still waiting for justice. But we can not accept nor indifference nor forgotten,” refers.

Finally, The Network of Journalists condemned the null Juárez effectiveness of law enforcement authorities and reiterated its call on governments, federal and state, and their prosecutors to do justice to the partner Armando Rodriguez, a reporter for El Diario de Juarez , killed on November 13, 2008.

Mexico President Felipe Calderon Seeks To Cement Legacy In Last Address–AP

President Calderon gave his final INFORME today…a “state of the union” speech. Note this interesting sentence in the AP story:
“Government statistics show 21,500 homicides in the first half of 2012, compared to about 25,000 for the entire year of 2007, Calderon’s first full year in office.”
 
According to the latest releases from INEGI, there were 8,867 murders in 2007… So, I’m not sure what statistics AP is using… 

If there were indeed 21,500 homicides in the first 6 months of 2012, then my estimate of about 116,000 dead for Calderon’s term would be much higher…

I’ll try to gather more information and analysis on the President’s speech and post tomorrow…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.

 

 

Rick Perry: US immigration plan doesn’t alter state law…AP

In light of recent stories indicating that President Calderon may join the faculty of the University of Texas at Austin when he leaves office and that he says he rec’d death threats early in his term, it is nice to know that Gov. Perry of Texas is going to do everything in his power to deny legal status to Mexicans (and others) who might qualify for the Obama administration’s deferred deportation program because of their long-term residency in the US…  I assume President Calderon will quailfy for other visa programs. The positive side of this is that he may have to come face-to-face with hundreds or thousands of Mexicans-in-exile who have left their country due to dangers to their lives and who are now seeking asylum in the US. Many of these people are living in Texas.
I guess Gov. Perry does not want to be out-machoed by his counterpart, Janet Brewer of Arizona… It will be interesting to see what New Mexico governor Martinez does in this regard. molly

Mexican government admits it doesn’t know how many homicides are related to drug war…

Yesterday, REFORMA reported that a spokesman for the federal government in Mexico stated that this administration will not release a new number of “homicides related to organized crime” before the end of Calderon’s sexenio.  The main focus of the article is that this will not be done because the government cannot accurately determine the causes of the homicides. This is exactly what I have been saying consistently on this list and elsewhere for several years.

 The government will release the complete tally of homicidios dolosos or intentional homicides as tallied by SNSP.  The numbers I’ve report most often use INEGI data for the earlier years of the sexenio and SNSP for 2011 forward.  I think that these numbers are somewhat higher because INEGI data does not separate the homicidios dolosos from other homicides that are what would be classified as negligent or accidental in the US… The differences are not huge. The REFORMA article gives a total of 94,357 through June 2012; INSIGHT CRIME says the SNSP figure for Jan-June 2012 is 10,617. If the average homicides per month (1,770) is extrapolated through the end of November 2012 (when Calderon’s term ends) the total will be 19,464. Added to the previous SNSP number, we would have a total of about 103,204.  I think the eventual number will be higher than that and considering the government’s political motives, I’m comfortable with my current estimate of 110,000. As some of the national figures (including Javier Sicilia) quoted in the article say, these numbers do not include the numbers of missing and disappeared people, nor the bodies that are still being found buried in clandestine graves in many places in the country.
The content of the government spokesman’s statement is almost exactly what I have been saying for years–that the criteria used to determine what is or is not an “organized crime related homicide” is bogus:
__________
He further explained: “They set the criteria and said, ‘well, let’s see…if they used weapons of heavy caliber, if they moved the body, if the body is bound, if there are signs of torture…if two or more of these (characteristics) are present then the homicide could be attributed to organized crime ‘. They had some methodological support for what was published but it was only an approximation, as if they are just saying, ‘yes, this could be organized crime,’ ” he said.

__________

I will look around for more statistics to see if a better estimate is possible. It is interesting that this admission by the government is first published by REFORMA. REFORMA’s oft-cited “Ejecumetro” has for years used the same or similar criteria to determine which killings are related to organized crime and these much lower numbers have been frequently reported in the Mexican national media. The REFORMA data are also used by the Transborder Institute (TBI) in their monthly publications on the drug war. It will be interesting to see how this policy change–admission–backtracking (what else could we call it?) by the Calderon administration will be treated in the international media–if it is noticed at all.
Borderland Beat has a better translation of the Reforma article. Also take a look at the comments.
Here is one of them:
Does anyone know why all that is going in Mexico hardly makes it on the evening news here in the US?
It’s like the domestic dispute next door that everyone is aware of but we all want to pretend its not happening. It really is strange.
More Mexican government officials report that the new database for compiling homicide and missing persons data nationally is extremely behind and indefinitely delayed. A Google translation is below:
GOOGLE TRANSLATION

New national database for homicides delayed

Prado Henia

Agency Reform | 08.17.2012 | 22:24

Federal District-The new database that will store the numbers of intentional homicide and missing persons, which was negotiated by state attorneys and the Attorney General, has not been able to start walking.

The reasons for the delay of this new registration agreement over a year ago is that there is partial information, wrong or delay in delivering it.

An early start date for this database, set for May 12 was postponed and finally determined that as of June 15 would begin to flow data to concentrate on this record.

“The National Conference reaffirms its commitment to fulfill the mandate of the CNSP to establish databases nationally, for registration of intentional homicide and missing persons.

“For this, the law enforcement agencies are committed to providing complete records of these databases later than June 15 this year, expand, update and validate the respective information permanently,” said May 24 the entitled the PGR, Marisela Morales.

Federal District connection, Jaime Lopez-Aranda, head of the National Information Center of the Executive Secretariat of the National Public Security System (SESNSP), said that while the collection of information is substantial homicide, shall be at least one other months to complete the count. “The database of voluntary manslaughter is compiling the PGR will allow us to have more accurate data of victimology, for example, and not only the preliminary investigation, it secretes the victim’s age, sex of victim, location.

“We are really behind. Promised for June 15, I hope it comes out in September and October, because many entities provided information as we had to be delivered, then you should return it, “he said.

This new database and updated monthly to the SESNSP on its website will be the only references that citizens have about the violent murders occurred in the country.

Neither breaks down the number of executed by organized crime. (Agency Reform)

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Molly Molloy

Surge in violence in Mexico’s drug war? Figures are inconclusive; 30 deaths in 2 days–Proceso

Several articles below on the recent upsurge in violence in Mexico. The LA Times reports on discrepancies in the numbers of homicides reported and not reported in recent weeks/months. A Reforma article from August 13 explicitly says that the government is “hiding the numbers.”  This is one of the first articles I have seen in either the Mexican or US or international press that questions the government’s criteria for separating so-called “drug-related” or “organized crime related” homicides from the general tally of killings. 

From the REFORMA piece ( I will try to post a complete translation later…):

“The lack of homicide investigations on the part of the state and federal authorities, the absence of coordination to determine which are linked to organized crime and which are pot, as well as a weak (feeble, flimsy) methodology, all are factors that obscure knowledge of the real number of homicides, say public security experts.”

“La falta de investigacion de los homicidios por parte de autoridades estatales y federales, la ausencia de coordinacion para determinar cuales estan vinculados al crimen organizado y cuales no, ademas de una metodologia endeble, son factores que impiden conocer la cifra real de ejecutados, opinan especialistas en seguridad publica. “

This is exactly the same point I have made many times on the Frontera List and most recently in this Phoenix New Times article.

Finally it is clearly stated in a major Mexican newspaper and it is beginning to be hinted at in the US press. Also, the LA Times piece is the only reference I have seen in the US press to the release of homicide data from state attorneys general reported last week in El Diario that revealed an actual homicide count of more than 83,000–MINUS any figures at all from 4 states and only counting through December 2011…. For that study, see here.

I have read and heard from Mexicans living in exile in the US much speculation that there will be an increase in violence as Calderon’s term comes to an end. The Proceso article makes this explicit. The person who sent the article to me points out the echo of what happened in Juarez from 2008-2011–that is–when the Mexican army, federal police and other security forces are deployed, the violence increases dramatically. I think that we are seeing evidence of this now in reports from Nuevo Leon, Durango, Veracruz and Mexico City. molly molloy

Mexico’s drug deaths blamed on departing president’s security strategy

At least 83,541 homicides in Mexico during Calderon’s term–El Diario

This article by Luz del Carmen Sosa appeared yesterday in EL DIARIO…I have not found a link to the original yet, but this one from puronarco.com seems to be complete. There is also a translation from Borderland Beat. If anyone has the full original version of the article from El Diario, please post or send me the link.
 
Highlights: government data from the Public Ministries of 28 states on homicides (specifically homicidios dolosos or intentional homicides) were provided through the Mexican transparency law (similar to the US Freedom of Information Act). The data reveal that from Dec 1 2006 when Calderon took office up through December 2011, there have been at least 83,541 homicides. The four states that DID NOT report homicides are: Coahuila, Durango, Morelos and Tlaxcala. I know from following media reports and in looking at the previous releases from different government agencies that Coahuila and Durango have been very violent during the years of Calderon’s administration. Some of the most violent mass killings have been reported from the Lagunera area that includes parts of both Coahuila and Durango state. The investigation is continuing with the effort to obtain data from these states as well.  The officials are legally obligated to provide the information. 
 
At least 8.4 percent of the victims nationally are women, though state authorities cannot determine the sex of 184 of the bodies counted. Most of the homicide victims are between the ages of 21 and 30. 
 
The states with the most homicides are Chihuahua (16,592) and Estado de México (8,602). Though not in the article, it should be noted that the Estado de Mexico (essentially includes all the population in the central area around the capital city minus the population of the Distrito Federal) and it is the largest in population of all the states of Mexico with more than 15 million inhabitants. [http://cuentame.inegi.org.mx/monografias/informacion/mex/poblacion/default.aspx?tema=me&e=15] Chihuahua with twice as many homicide victims has a population of 3.4 million [http://cuentame.inegi.org.mx/monografias/informacion/chih/default.aspx?tema=me&e=08]
 
The article reports 1,304 of the 16,592 homicide victims in Chihuahua state were women–the highest number of “feminicidios” in the country.  This statement is relatively meaningless in terms of the statistics because Chihuahua also had by far the highest number of homicides overall. The percentage of female victims in Chihuahua is actually about 7.8 percent, slightly lower than the overall percentage of female victims in all of the states reporting (8.4 percent). So in relation to the TOTAL victims, there were relatively fewer female homicide victims in the state of Chihuahua compared to those in the other states. In other words, yes, there are more murders of women in Chihuahua than in any other state. But that is because there are so many more murders total in Chihuahua… And, the percentage of female victims is actually slightly LOWER than in other states.
 
The article does not give the exact figure reported for Ciudad Juarez, but says that the city had the highest number of homicides in the state, followed by the capital, Chihuahua City. The border city of Juarez had nearly 11,000 murders from Dec 2006 through December 2011 and accounted for 13.4 percent of all the murders in Mexico. 
 
In terms of the quality of the data, the article indicates serious omissions. Chiapas (for example) reported only 77 murders in the time period (dec 2006-dec 2011) but the official reporting for the public ministry there says:

“From 2006-2009 no record was found of any homicidios dolosos.” Chiapas appears only to have started counting in 2010. 

Extrapolating from these data provided by the public ministries of the 28 states reporting, we have a base number of 83,541 homicides from Dec 2006-Dec 2011, we can use the number reported nationally by the Sistema Nacional de Seguridad Publica (SNSP) of 8,622 homicides between January-May 2012. 
That is an average of 1,732 homicides per month. [see: http://www.insightcrime.org/insight-latest-news/item/2895-violence-in-mexico-2012-a-halfway-report for this number from SNSP] … Considering that the murders have been reported to be decreasing slightly in 2012, let’s estimate an average of 1,500 homicides per month for June-November 2012 (Pen~a Nieto will take office Dec 1 2012) for an estimate of 9,000 more homicides for the remainder of Calderon’s term. Added to the 92,203 as of the end of May we get an estimate of 101,203 homicides.  Keep in mind that the data obtained through the transparency law and reported in this article does not include ANY numbers from 4 states, including two very violent states: Durango and Coahuila. 
 
Dec 2006-Dec 2011 =                  83,541
Jan-May 2012 (SNSP data) =          8,662
TOTAL as of end of May 2012 =   92,203
Estimate June-Nov 2012 =             9,000
Est. TOTAL Calderon’s term =    101,203
For a person who was always bad at math, I am polishing up at least my arithmetic.  I have looked at the numbers reported by INEGI for 2005-2010. From those numbers we can at least get 4 years of data quickly for the states that did not report homicide numbers and this gives us another estimate of at least 106,392. Considering the missing data and state entities that seem not to have counted homicides at all for several years, I believe it is very reasonable to estimate that by the end of Calderon’s administration more than 110,000 Mexicans will have been victims of homicide.

INEGI data 2007-2010

Durango          2804

Coahuila          1068

Tlaxcala           228

Morelos           1089

TOTAL             5189

101,203 + 5,189 = 106,392

 Molly Molloy
 

Mexico homicide numbers 2007-2012 (est.) chart

YEAR

TOTAL  HOMICIDES*

U.S. HOMICIDES@

2007 8,867# 17, 128
2008 14,006# 16,465
2009 19,803# 15,399
2010 24,374# 14,748
2011 22,223+ 14,000 (est. based on rate of decrease)
2012 (Jan-May) 8,662+
2012 (est. Jan-June) 10, 394
2012 (est. projection for year) 20,788 14,000 (est. based on rate of decrease)
Est. total homicides as of June 2012 99,667  
Est. total homicides durig Calderon’s term of office 110, 061 91,740

Posted above are numbers of actual homicides for Mexico as a whole reported by different agencies of the Mexican government. I can provide the links to the sources. Molly

Data from official Mexican statistical agency (INEGI) # and from the National System for Public Security (SNSP) +

U.S. homicides from FBI Uniform Crime Reports @

U.S. population– 311,591,917 Source: U.S. Census Bureau

Mexico population– 112,336,538 Source: National Institute of Statistics and Geography (INEGI)

Mexico Drug Violence Shows Decline–Wall Street Journal

In this interview with President Calderon, he discusses a slight decline in
violence nation-wide and also a proposal to the US to legalize some
drugs…
Note this on the official government count:
__________

Mr. Calderón declined to give out a specific figure of drug-related deaths
in the first five months of this year, giving out only the percentage
decline. He said his government will no longer make the figure public after
human-rights groups and victims’ families complained the government was
issuing a verdict on murders before the judicial system. Mexico’s
government uses evidence at the crime scene—such as decapitations or a sign
left by an alleged cartel—to distinguish crimes linked to the drug gangs
from common murders. “We had complaints from human rights groups and
analysts that we were pre-judging cases and victims,” said Mr. Calderón.”I
have given orders to my government that we play by the book on this. Only
after a judge issues a verdict can we include this in an official number,”
Mr. Calderón said.The government hasn’t given out data on drug-related
violence since January, when figures for the first nine months of 2011
showed drug-related murders were still likely on the rise, claiming 12,903
lives during the January-September period – a pace of 16,800 murders for
the year. That compares to 15,273 drug-related murders in 2010.
______

The WSJ article also cites the Frontera List for the Juarez murders
January-May 2011 and 2012: down from 958 to 491…though these are all
homicides as reported from the Fiscalia, not just “drug-related” homicides.
At least as best as it is possible to tell from what is reported. For what
it is worth, at least three people were murdered today in Juarez–two men
shot to death by a group of three young assassins and early today, the body
of a woman was found wrapped in a blanket.

I will be traveling in the next few days, but I have been trying to keep
track of the daily homicides in Juarez.  I will report back when I have
time to tally things, or, if Diario posts something with a summary…

massacre in bar in Chihuahua City; General assassinated in Mexico City

At least 15 people were massacred in an attack on the Bar Colorado in Chihuahua City last night. A followup report says that 2 of the victims were journalists. One used to have a radio program in the city and now was working for the municipal government. Another had a website for reporting news. The actual death toll is now at least 15….

Retired General Mario Arturo Acosta Chaparro was assassinated at a car repair garage in DF. In 2000 he was linked to the Juarez Cartel and tried and sentenced to 16 years. Neither the PGR (Federal Attorney General) nor the Military Attorney General could make the charges stick and so eventually he was exonerated.

“Para 2007 ni la PGR ni la Procuraduría de Justicia Militar pudieron acreditar los nexos de Acosta Chaparro con el narcotráfico, por lo que tuvo que ser exonerado.”
He had also been charged with crimes against humanity from the “dirty war”
in the 1970s.  AND he was decorated by Calderon in 2008 as a hero…molly

Retired Mexican general shot dead in Mexico City