video catches police kidnapping men; later show up murdered…

According to the story posted from Milenio, another 4 police
have  been arrested in this crime, exposing police kidnapping and murder.
Interesting that the crime was taped in JANUARY and is only exposed in
June… There are numerous links to the actual video online…  Including
in the AP story . And this one from Aljazeera.

Sorry I missed posting it earlier…The headline flashed by in El Diario a
few days ago, but I was not able to post at the time. It has now made
mainstream world news. Th speculation is that it might impact the
elections…I’m traveling now and may miss good followup, so please feel
free to post…  molly

 

Veracruz journalists–living in terror–Marcela Turati in PROCESO

A long article in Proceso on the situation of journalists, esp. in the
state of Veracruz, Mexico. A major point of the article is that while
Mexico has a lot of laws, state institutions and non-governmental groups
that say they exist to protect freedom of the press, they don’t do anything
to stop the killing and terrorizing of journalists. A google translation is
posted below. molly

GOOGLE TRANSLATION

In Veracruz is not strange that a journalist is threatened. Not be picked
up, tortured and murdered. Or, if it saves life, which means that hired him
to fire you … Being a journalist in the state is like bringing a target
painted on the back. Y-governmental bodies responsible for civil-union
protection to simply wallow in inaction. It is so serious and scandalous
state of Veracruz press is already known internationally and is the subject
of forums. In one reporter summed Veracruz: “We are living in terror.”

AUSTIN, TEXAS (Process). – Minutes before the end of the forum dedicated to
discuss the challenges of journalism in Latin America, a Mexican reporter
spoke: “In Veracruz we are living in fear. The journalists not only kill
us, torture us and we also cut up. There you stand, you’re stuck, you do
what they want. “

It was Miguel Ángel López Solana, who on June 20 last year survived the
murder of his father, the deputy director of Notiver, Miguel Angel López
Velasco-investigator of drug-trafficking and political corruption, his
mother and brother, photographer of the same daily. This fact opened the
spate of killings since then cripples the lives of journalists in the state.

“I just ran away, ran away, ran to where I could, to the darkness of the
night I reached, I was there,” he told journalists and officials of
organizations present at the forum. And, apparently, has not stopped
running for his life.

His testimony revealed that journalists in Veracruz that are known risk no
justification. Notiver accused, the local newspaper for which labored, to
have fired him. The House of Journalists Rights, created with public funds
to shelter journalists in difficult situations, gave less than a week’s
stay. The organizations he claims to have attended, the said house of the
journalist, Article 19, the Committee to Protect Journalists and Reporters
Without Borders, could not agree to help.

The many government institutions created to protect journalists, including
the National Commission on Human Rights, sinned away.

The reporter spent six months in the Federal District waiting for someone
to help him leave the country. Desperate, to be known without help, he
returned to Veracruz and then traveled to the border of Tamaulipas and the
United States where for a month asked for a visa. Since April is in this
country with his wife, seeking asylum. His only support, he said, has been
the newspaper La Jornada, which was a correspondent.

Some of his remarks were “a war zone Veracruz no worse than (…) There is
an immense impunity nurtures violence. From the time they killed my family
should have changed things and we would not be mourning the death of
others. No one did anything. Neither the newspaper did a follow-up note. “

Bore witness to the corruption of local government, in addition to not
protect reporters ‘leaked’ to the press the list of journalists
executables, which was fulfilling-the collusion between officials and drug
traffickers, the indifference of the media owners to local reporters
threatened or killed, the removal of government institutions and NGOs
should protect and institutionalized impunity that encourages new crimes.

He was saved but not the same fate his three colleagues Guillermo Luna,
Gabriel Rodriguez and Esteban Huge, although after the first killings left
journalism (or ran their means to distance himself from them), in some
cases fled the state or tried unsuccessfully to obtain a visa. In May were
killed. Their bodies were dismembered.

Less than a week earlier, on April 28, had been killed the correspondent of
process in that state, Regina Martinez, known for his work against the
powerful, in what appeared a hunt against journalists.

This period was called by the UN the “tragic week in the Mexican press.”

On Friday 1, Notiver-which has four journalists killed Lopez Solana replied
that the company itself has required
justice for the murder of his father, denies that the reporter was hired by
the newspaper, accusing him of “walking down the wrong path” and asks him
to tell the U.S. authorities “everything he knows” (“we are sure that if
anyone knowswho murdered his family and why you, “he said).

The Forum organized by the Knight Center for Journalism in the Americas
were several things clear: No one understands what happens in Mexico, a
country with strong institutions and monetary resources and allows murder
and gagging their journalists. And that Veracruz is the state where
violence has been merciless with the guild.

Diluted Resources

Research Studies Center and Freedom of Expression (CELE) of Argentina said
the nonsense: In Mexico there is a proliferation of organizations dedicated
specifically to the protection of journalists and investigation of crimes,
and that is not reflected in results.

They include the Program Attacks against Journalists and Human Rights
Defenders of the National Commission of Human Rights, the Special
Prosecutor for the Investigation of Crimes against Freedom of Expression of
the PGR, the Special Committee to Monitor Attacks on Journalists and Media
in the House of Representatives and the Unit for Promotion of Human Rights
Department of the Interior.

Among the burdens that drag on the whole, the CELE detected operating with
a limited legal framework, depend on political decisions, their powers are
limited by jurisdiction, have a tight budget, small staff professionalized,
have serious difficulty in coordination, are hostages of jostling among the
parties and the government, which pays just-concluded-there is more to
impunity.

In Mexico, despite all the bureaucracy assigned to the case, only 3.7% of
crimes are solved and in 59% of cases, the PGR has been declared
incompetent to investigate.

“Unlike other countries in the region, Mexico has strong institutions and
there is clear evidence that when the Mexican government wants to take an
action on an issue, gives institutions the power to act. But as for
protection of journalists and investigation of crimes there is a
proliferation of overlapping institutions and not conducive to good
operation, “said Natalia Torres, lead researcher of the CELE.

Document institutional designs for the effectiveness of protection policies
and investigating crimes against journalists states that one of the most
emblematic of this inefficiency is that institutions have not even been
able to agree on how many assaults are committed each year against
communicators. Each institution has its own, and incomplete account.

“The study did not assess the mechanism of protection (recently approved),
perhaps the mechanism can turn it around and create a coordinated, open to
civil society participation and generate statistics, but until 2011 in this
way has been running,” said researcher in an interview with Proceso.

Meanwhile the annual report of Article 19 states that in 2011 were assigned
to the Interior Ministry 25 million pesos for measures to protect
journalists, which is unknown to what was used 24 million. We only know
that 22 thousand dollars were assigned to protect a journalist from Sinaloa.

Silence The report forced the state complicit in violence against the
press, the international organization said that the NHRC has poor
accountability and offers dubious figures that do not meet the emergency. If
true the little we have, then each trade that sent that cost 226 000 pesos
advocacy.

In the prosecution of the PGR agency calls it “no skills and no
achievements”, and notes that despite the seriousness of the situation has
presented a budget under-spending. A legislative committee is described as
“ornamental” because its members have dedicated themselves to go to forums
instead of adopting the necessary reforms.

Meanwhile, the rapporteurs of the UN and the OAS for Freedom of Expression,
Frank La Rue and Catalina Botero, respectively, present at the forum and in
2010 traveled to the country to know the reality, which issued
recommendations to the State Mexico, called for the end of impunity in the
investigation of crimes.

Process Botero says: “We worked with the UN rapporteur to try to understand
the situation in Mexico, which is complex, is one of the countries with the
highest rate of violence against journalists in the region and made a
series of recommendations believe urgent. The situation in Veracruz is
extremely serious. “

Botero also made an urgent appeal to the federal government to adopt all
the mechanisms of protection, it implements the newly adopted law on
protection and prevention and that independent and qualified authorities
investigate crimes committed in Veracruz.

“It is urgent that federal investigations take, take all the mechanisms at
its disposal to advance research and convicting those responsible for
crimes against journalists that all they were doing was fulfilling its duty
to inform. Each murder sends a message that can not speak of what happens
in Veracruz and Mexico are entitled to know the results of the
investigations that they, and especially Regina, being developed, “he says.

La Rue for his part said that the increase in violence against journalists
in the Americas, the most serious cases are Mexico and Honduras, and noted
that Veracruz lives at critical moments.

“The common phenomenon of these acts is that of impunity. The State’s
obligation to investigate each fact itself, where it comes from, who
executed it, investigate and establish a criminal trial. Every one that
remains unresolved but does not generate a lot of violence. Is a multiplier
effect because the message is that anyone can get away with it, “says
Guatemalan.

Guy Berger, head of the Division of Freedom of Expression and Media
Development UNESCO Process says that while Mexico appears to have
institutions that could curb impunity, require coordination to be effective.

“It’s great to have these mechanisms, now need to begin to work,” he says.

He also notes that if the media do not protect their own members or come to
their defense, journalists can not expect society to do.

At the forum, Heriberto Cantu, editor of El Manana newspaper in Nuevo
Laredo in May was attacked with explosives, reiterated the editorial
decision to cancel the coverage of drug violence.

“Four hours from now imagine a newspaper that has to work behind
bulletproof glass barricades or as a result of the bloody disputes,” the
newspaper editor beaten that he has lived a decade of attacks since the
murder of Roberto Mora, director editorial, strafing, verbal and written
threats, intimidating messages and attacks with explosives.

Entering Honduras

At the forum held from 20 to 22 May last in this city attended by more than
70 journalists and officials of organizations defending freedom of
expression representing Latin America and the Caribbean, who were given the
task of making a diagnosis of the challenges facing you and press to take
practical measures to reverse the crisis situation.

Knight Center director, Rosental Alves of Brazil, began the meeting called
Security and Protection for Journalists, Bloggers and citizen journalists
with the claim that “the serious problem of safety and security of
journalists has acquired unprecedented catastrophic proportions” and is fed
by the serious illness of impunity. If you do not care for journalists,
said, cut the chance of having informed societies and endangered democracy.

The cases of Mexico and Honduras were the most alarming about the growing
violence against its journalists. According to statistics from the
organization Artículo19, 47 journalists have been killed during the
presidency of Felipe Calderón and 14 were missing and at least 565 offenses
were committed against the press in 10 years.

Daniela Pastrana, executive director of Journalists Network of Foot, of
Mexico, told a story about the situation facing journalists Veracruz: the
week following the four murders came to that entity to provide a
professional training workshop and found colleagues desolate, without
support from organizations, government or business.

“I asked them what they need and one of them replied: ‘A gun, but not
because I want to do anything to anyone, is to not catch me alive.’ That is
the level of fear that have (…) They understand that there is persecution
and that they will pursue as journalists and wherever. Of the desolation
that level, “he said.

The forms of attacks on the press released or recrudecidas this
administration, the reporter mentioned the bombings, disappearances, exile,
self-censorship and infiltration in the newsroom, attacks against users of
social networks and torture after the murder .

He noted that vulnerability is accentuated by reporters in the provincial
media where, generally, these are little known in its day, earn an average
of 3 thousand 500 pesos per month charge for less than 100 pesos note, they
drawup to 10 per day and their means are in line with local governments.
“The journalist threatened, run. Threat is synonymous with unemployment,
“he said.

The forum which brought together the highest authorities in the protection
of journalists at the international level, the Mexican case was widely
discussed.Although in May, following the murder of Regina Martinez, were
approved mechanisms to protect journalists and a new law requiring the
federal government to attract and investigate crimes against journalists,
Benoit Hervieu, the head office the Americas to Reporters Without Borders,
expressed doubts about the extent of such modifications.

“The federalization of crimes to investigate the attacks are very late and
incomplete because it is accompanied by a substantial reform of the justice
system and the police investigation. The situation with Mexico is
desperate, and in other countries achieve results but in countries like
Mexico and Honduras all worse, “he complained.

In an interview with Proceso also referred to the murder of Regina Martinez
who said: “It’s hard not to imagine a relationship between what is revealed
Regina and her murder, one of his publications was an article about the
arrest of nine policemen allegedly linked to drug trafficking . He had also
been summoned to appear in court as a witness in Veracruz. “

 

 

Failure of anti-narco fight is intentional, says Chomsky (google translation)-El Diario

Visit NACLA

Original article from El Diario

*New York-cons* so-called war on drugs is failing, but unintended
consequences are both within the United States and the hemisphere, said
Noam Chomsky, who also emphasized that the most notable change in the
Americas is their increasing independence from Washington .

“To say that the war on drugs has failed is not understanding something.
It is true that for 40 years the war on drugs has failed in its stated
objectives. Everyone knows that prevention and treatment is the most
efficient way to address drugs, and foreign operations is the most
inefficient. One has to wonder what is in the minds of planners face of
such evidence that does not work what they say they are trying to
accomplish. What are the likely intentions? The predictable consequences
are good indicators of effect, “he said.

Since the poisoning of crops in places like Colombia over drug fumigation
benefits the large agricultural interests and destroys the lives of the
peasants, that violence has displaced or destroyed the social fabric of
communities in several Latin American countries and because to drug
policies applied within the United States has imprisoned a large segment of
the poor, on the whole African-American and Latino, have to wonder if these
are predictable consequences, that is intentional, counter-narcotics
policy.

In comments-no-paper here to celebrate the 45th anniversary of the
publication NACLA, linguist and philosopher offered his views on the
changes in the hemisphere, and elaborated on what is behind the drug policy
of the U.S. government and political and economic elites in the region that
support it.

He recalled that in the United States these policies are doing what was
achieved after the end of slavery in the 1870s, when African Americans
enjoyed their freedom of form in this period, but “was achieved through
criminalize resclavizarlos” .  This was key because the labor force subject
to these conditions resclavizada engine served as the Industrial Revolution
in America: the state was the supplier of imprisoned workers, which
companies do not have to worry about unions or contracts of any kind.

This lasted until the Second World War, which was followed by two decades
of accelerated and sustained economic growth, but that was halted in the
mid-70’s with the supremacy of the financial sector in the economy and with
the relocation of production abroad .  There, under the pretext of the war
on drugs, began the mass incarceration of African Americans and Latino men.

In Latin America there is enormous money flows that benefit the elite,
and a large business is somehow involved with drug trafficking.  On the
other hand, Chomsky provided examples in Colombia and other countries under
the pretext of the war, have been able to control and override autonomous
economic efforts of various communities in the region for the benefit of
powerful interests.  All the while does not meet the stated objectives to
curb the drug and its consequences.

“I do not think the war on drugs is a failure, has a purpose different
from that announced,” he said Chomsky.  “The drug problem in Latin America
is here in America. We supply the demand, weapons, and they (Latin
American) experience.”

But just on this subject, by the growing questioning of U.S. drug policy,
such as relations with Cuba, expressed a growing autonomy of Latin America
from Washington, said Chomsky.

“United States no longer decreed in Latin America” since the region is
increasingly shaping their own future, as expressed at the last Summit of
the Americas.  That said, we could not adopt a final declaration by lack of
unanimity.  Faced with overwhelming support for Cuba’s inclusion in future
summits, Washington and Ottawa just opposed, equal to a growing consensus
on the decriminalization of drugs, there were only two objections, the same
Washington and Ottawa.

“You have to recognize that something remarkable has happened in Latin
America: the days when the U.S. imposed its will on the hemisphere and are
very much in the past.”  He said this has not yet recorded at the American
media, and still do not understand “that things have changed.”

In addition, there is a change in popular consciousness in the region,
marked by the election of Lula Inacio da Silva, Ollanta Humala, Evo Morales
and others, where the majority are being installed as leaders to “people
like them,” and not educated elites abroad and from the ruling class.  At
the same time, regional integration processes and the increasing exclusion
of the United States these are another sign of a new relationship.

In celebration of 45 anniversary of the founding of NACLA prizes were
awarded to Chomsky, Javier Sicilia and Eduardo del Río (Rius)-the latter
was unable to attend and his award was accepted by his friend, the Mexican
cartoonist Feggo.  Chomsky said that when NACLA was founded, was the
beginning of a wave of repression and dictatorship backed by Washington,
and worth celebrating the changes that have happened, at least to the
extent that the order decreed from the U.S. no longer dominates America
America compared to half a century ago.

After decades of U.S. policies designed to “kill hope” in Latin America,
said Chomsky, we are now at a time when that region is now “inspire hope”
for all.

6 (or 8) killed yesterday in Juarez; heads and body parts dumped in Juarez; detail on murders of state prosecutor and her son on Saturday

El Diario reports 6 killed yesterday in Juarez. But, according to the reports in the paper and the press notices from the Fiscalia, I believe the actual count for May 14 is 8. One man died in the hospital after being wounded on Sunday. Another man was found inside a house, apparently beaten and left to die. Also, the dramatic event yesterday was the finding of 2
heads and 4 hands left outside of the Bar “Bandoleros” in Juarez. The article early Monday said that Sunday was a “dia blanco” no murders recorded in the city.  I am in the process of counting the numbers for the month of May and I will
post that later today.
Also posted, the case of the state prosecutor and her son murdered in their home on Saturday. The mother who worked for the Fiscalia had intervened after her son killed an off-duty federal policeman in a bar fight in 2010.  She had the murder charge downgraded to “simple homicide” result of bar fight rather than aggravated… so her son got sentence of 4 years and served 13 months. The commentators in the article say this is normal and OK–that is what defense attorneys are supposed to do–except for the little complication in this case that the mother worked for the prosecutor and not
in the capacity of defense attorney. After getting out of jail, the son tried to join the state police academy, but alas, he was rejected cause of his criminal record.  molly

 

Discovery of dumping ground in Valley of Juárez puts slayings of women in spotlight—EPTimes

According to the figures for the state of Chihuahua for 2009, women are 5.9
percent of the total number of homicide victims. I may be missing
something, but I can see no statement or evidence in this article that the
12 (or 22) female murder victims discovered in one (or several) places in
the Valle de Juarez recently and who are thought to have been disappeared
and murdered between 2009 and 2011–I see no evidence in what has been
released about the recent discoveries that establishes that these women and
girls suffered the “very particular type of violence” that has been defined
by academics and others “as systemic sexual femicide, which has to do with
disappearances, torture, rape, mutilation and with abandoning their bodies
in empty lots or deserted areas of the city.”

One of the people quoted in the article says: “And there is also the issue
of the veil covering those responsible for the slayings,” she said.”—But
as far as I am aware, there are no meaningful prosecutions in a huge
percentage of ALL of the more than 10,000 murders that have occurred in
Juarez just since 2008.

I’ve also seen nothing in any of the writing about the “femicides of
Juarez” that establishes these murders as anomalies with the numbers or
characteristics of female homicide victims in other places in Mexico.  In
fact, the only things I’ve seen that even compare the numbers have
established that for all of the years between 1990 and 2007, the only thing
that distinguished the female murder victims in Juarez and the state of
Chihuahua from other states in Mexico is that the victims tended to be
younger. [see:

- El homicidio en México entre 1990 y 2007 : aproximación estadistica
/ Fernando Escalante Gonzalbo ; con la colaboración de Erick E. Aranda
García.
- México, D.F. : Colegio de México ; Secretaria de Seguridad Pública
federal, 2009.]

It seems to actually be the case that there is LESS neglect to the
murders of women in Juarez than in other places in Mexico with similar
numbers of female homicides and in that regard the activism on the part of
families is to be commended for bringing attention to the disappearances
and killings. It would be an advance if such attention could be brought to
bear on the many more thousands of victims over the same years who are men
and boys. [those numbers posted below for 1993-April 2012...]

Years                 Women   Total  % Women

1993-2007………………427       (3,538) –    12%

2008 ……………………….87         (1,623) –    5.3%

2009……………………….164        (2,754)—   5.9%

2010 ………………………304         (3,622) –   8.3%

2011 …………………….. 195           (2,086) – 9.3%

2012 (as of April 30) …55             (416) –  13%

*Women………**…1,232  **(  total **victims)* (14,039) – 8.7%

Women = 8.8 percent of total murder victims over the past 18 years
Statistics from El Diario based on official data from the Chihuahua
State Attorney General

molly

9 bodies hung from a bridge in Nuevo Laredo, 14 decapitated

14 more bodies–these were decapitated– have been found today in Nuevo
Laredo…in addition to the 9 bodies found early this morning hanging from
a major overpass in the city. I hope it occurs to someone to question how
these acts in such public places can take place without the cooperation of
government and/or participation of criminals within the military and law
enforcement agencies.

The newswires version as presented on the NPR blog.

 

Mexico probes journalist Regina Martinez’s death–Xalapa, Veracruz

via BBC News

Regina Martinez was found in her home in Xalapa on Saturday, apparently beaten and strangled to death.

She reported on crime for the weekly news magazine Proceso.

Pressure groups say Mexico is one of the most dangerous places in the world to be a journalist, with more than 40 journalists killed or disappeared since President Felipe Calderon took office.

Click here to read more

Hallan muerta a corresponsal de Proceso en Veracruz

Xalapa— La periodista Regina Martínez, corresponsal de la Revista Proceso, fue hallada estrangulada sin vida en el interior de su domicilio, en la colonia Reforma de esta capital.

En conferencia de prensa la Procuraduría General de Justicia del Estado de Veracruz inició una investigación ministerial para esclarecer el presunto asesinato de la periodista Regina Martínez e instruyó a la Agencia Veracruzana de Investigaciones integrar un equipo especial para esclarecer los hechos.

Click here to read more

 

3 people killed yesterday in Juarez; witnesses say federal police abducted and killed the 4 young people found near San Rafael cemetery on Tuesday

Three homicides were reported yesterday in Juarez, bringing the total
number of killings as of April 25 to 86 for the month and for the year
2012, the number of homicides is about 395. The estimate since January 2008
is now about 10,480. Another article from today details the
abduction of 5
*THIS REPORT IS ON THE VICTIMS OF THE KILLINGS NEAR THE SAN RAFAEL
CEMETERY. THE BODIES WERE FOUND ON TUESDAY AND THE VICTIMS HAD BEEN
ABDUCTED ON MONDAY. I translated this article from today’s Diario. Another
case of eyewitnesses to kidnapping and murder carried out by Federal
Police. As far as I know, none of the victims have been identified in order
to protect the survivor and the family members who testified.*
Relatives and friends of the four people killed alleged that the
perpetrators of the killings and injuries to the woman who survived, are
agents of the Federal Police (PF).
The complainants, who asked the condition of anonymity for fear of being
killed, said the victims were in a park when hooded federal agents deprived
them of freedom and hours later they took them to the gap located about 2.5
kilometers from the Panamerican Highway where they sexually assaulted the
women, tortured one of the men and then they shot all of them. “The
federales are the ones who did that. What we want is that this does not go
unpunished, because the kids were good, two of them worked as laborers and
the girls worked at a second-hand market in Paseo de Mitla.”The survivor
said that they were abducted violently; she is certain that she saw the
federales when they picked them up and when they killed them. They shot her
in the head and she went crawling to the road as best she could and called
for help,” said a relative of the victims.* *

Links to Commentary on Wal-Mart’s Alleged Bribery Cover-up

Go to the link for Pan American Post to see the reports in major US papers
highlighted. In contrast to the “cost of doing business in Mexico” yawns
and who cares? Does anyone challenge the basic assumption that Walmart
benefits ordinary people in Mexico or elsewhere? Is it an unquestionable
benefit to provide cheap products made by people paid terrible wages in
China, India, Haiti, El Salvador, Honduras and elsewhere to people in
Mexico (and many in the US also) who have seen domestic manufacturing
destroyed by free trade policies over the past 18 years? Does anyone think
that small business people in Mexico benefit from a rotten system that
requires street vendors and sellers of second hand clothes and other goods
to pay bribes to get a spot in a flea market, or worse, who must pay
protection money to keep from being beat up or killed?  Small businesses in
Juarez now are being destroyed by extortion and the cruelty of the criminal
gangs (often allied with the police) that threaten and carry out threats by
burning and killing. molly

 

Mexico’s Plan to Create a Paramilitary Force–Stratfor

Based on what I know about Mexico and other Latin American countries that
have used paramilitary forces, if this plan gets enacted, we will see even
more extra-judicial killings and the level of impunity will increase (if
that is possible?)… A paramilitary force will have carte blanche to carry
out social cleansing and will be even less accountable than the current
federal police and military forces, in my opinion.  It is interesting to
see this proposal from the PRI candidate since what most people seem to
think he will do is reestablish arreglos (arrangements) with criminal
organizations as a way to lessen the levels of violence.  It is hard to
imagine that these new forces would not be even more easily corruptible.
The term fascist also comes to mind.  molly