Closer Look At Massacre In Mexico Reveals Glimpse Of Corruption…Al Jazeera America

Below is another excellent report on the massacres in Allende, Coahuila…Yesterday I posted the piece from VICE.COMHow a Mexican Cartel Demolished a Town, Incinerated Hundreds of Victims, and Got Away, by Diego Enrique Osorno.

The July 5 report below by Michelle Garcia and Ignacio Alvarado at Al Jazeera America goes further in pointing out the actual involvement of Mexican government forces in the disappearance and killing of more than 300 people–activities that went on for months in 2011. Only after three years has a Coahuila state prosecutor begun to investigate and probably only now because of testimony provided by several people who left Mexico and are now protected witnesses in a Texas court proceeding.

A few excerpts:

“Missing from the official statements was any explanation as to how the Zetas — whose name means Z — were able to carry out days, if not months, of killings unimpeded by law enforcement. There was no indication that the military, which was posted at a base in Piedras Negras and operated a checkpoint outside of Allende, intervened.”

“… Questions about possible government complicity — directly or indirectly — generally dissipate when violence is branded as Zeta-related. Indeed, as violence in Mexico’s northern region continues unabated, in lieu of investigations and convictions, Zeta is the catchall explanation applied to criminality, one that has the effect of silencing further questions.”

…“Let’s suppose that there had existed a small, tenuous difference between the supposed legal and political system and the narco organizations, the cartels,” said Vera, who operates the Center for Human Rights Fray Juan de Larios, which defends migrants’ and prisoners’ rights. “That line is faded now because of the degree of corruption.”

The discovery of this latest atrocity can be added to years of similar events, some of which I tried to explain last summer here: The Mexican Undead: Toward a New History of the “Drug War” Killing Fields…  

These questions remain: Which criminal element is actually the driving force–the cartels, or the government? And where in the mainstream US press can we find any reference to Merida Initiative billions of US taxpayer dollars going directly to corrupt and murderous Mexican police and military? And to what end? I think we need only look at the exodus of children and families from Mexico, El Salvador, Honduras and Guatemala to get a glimpse of how such policies play out on the ground. -molly

Closer Look At Massacre In Mexico Reveals Glimpse Of Corruption (Al Jazeera America)

52 Homicides In May In Juarez; 200 Victims In 2014

May was the most violent month so far in 2014, ending with 52 homicides. Seven of the victims were women. Five children were killed including 3 apparently strangled by their father who also killed their mother, and yesterday an apparent murder-suicide in which a woman killed her 5-month old baby and herself (story also posted below) Victims also included a municipal policeman, two well-known attorneys and 4 members of the gay community.

The total homicides for 2014 now stand at 200–an average of 1.3 people per day.

January 32
February 41
March 40
April 35
May 52

Murders in Ciudad Juarez 2007-May 2014

2007 316
2008 1623
2009 2754
2010 3622
2011 2086
2012 797
2013 535
2014 200 (Jan-May)

Fue Mayo El Mes Más Violento En Lo Que Va Del Año (El Diario)

Confirma Fiscalía Que Muerte De Madre Y Bebé Fue Homicidio-Suicidio (El Diario)

2 Lawyers Among 8 Killed On Monday In Juarez…EP Times

This EP Times article summarizes some of the public career of Juarez attorney Salvador Urbina, murdered on Monday afternoon in the city… There were at least two murders reported yesterday, so the death toll for May is now at about 50–the most violent month so far this year. I do not claim to know why Urbina was murdered, though I would point out that his public statements and actions in the years of extreme violence in the city pointed out malfeasance of government officials, notably the brutality of the municipal police under Julian Leyzaola and the false prosecution of El Paso teacher Ana Martinez. He also frequently commented in the media on government malfeasance. -Molly

Attorney Salvador Urbina Assassinated In Juarez

Juarez attorney Salvador Urbina Quiroz was assassinated yesterday in his office. A judge serving in the current city administration, César Cordero, was murdered also. The men were meeting in Urbina’s office and it is reported that 2 young men got out of a black pickup, came to the office and asked to see Urbina. The receptionist told them he was in a meeting. When he did not come out, the men took out their weapons, threatened the people in the outer office, then went into the private office, asked who was Urbina. When the men did not answer, both of them were shot to death. The shooters then left. Police and paramedics arrived, but nothing could be done for the victims.

The story indicates that two men were arrested, but no more details were provided before the paper went to press.

Salvador Urbina Quiroz had also worked as a journalist for El Diario de Juárez in 2004-2005 and for other media in Juarez. He was a leader of the Juarez legal community and was often consulted as a source by the news media as a critic of government authorities in fighting the violence. He has also served as subdirector of the state prison (CERESO). Urbina received many threats to his life and briefly fled to the US in 2011 after receiving a warning from the federal police. He had returned some time ago and continued to practice law until he was killed yesterday.

UPDATE May 27: 

In total, 9 people were murdered yesterday in Juarez. The details are in the article below. It was the most violence day so far in 2014.

Asesinan A 9 Ayer En Distintos Hechos (El Diario)

 

Peace Pact In Juarez…Cleanup To Come…Proceso 1960

Two reports by Jesus Esquivel from PROCESO #1960… An anonymous source in Juarez says that La Linea is still in control (or back in control) in Juarez and that professional sicarios are operating in the city to clean up the malandros–the young wannabes (los malandros que se sentían narcos)… So that the people being killed now are only those that need to be killed…  and that the city will be a good place for the good people of Juarez again… as in the days before the Calderon project turned Juarez into the most violent city in the world…  The police in Juarez, especially the municipal police, will be cooperating more than ever with this new/old regime to make sure that life gets better in Juarez and also ensure that the real  big time drug crossing business functions properly–generating more money and less violence…

The Sinaloa Cartel people have withdrawn from Juarez and the new objective (is this new?) is to get the business done as it should be done.  The real shipments to the US will continue to cross in big cargo trucks, not carried over by little guys… All those little guys trying to do business on their own (hormigas carrying loads in private cars or on foot) will be cleaned up if they haven’t been already…

DEA tells Proceso that Juarez is again (was it ever not?) a major crossing point for drugs, including more meth, though the city is less violent… -Molly

En Juárez, Paz Pactada…Pero Viene Una “Limpia” (Proceso)

See Borderland Beat’s translation of the story below.

Juarez Is Peaceful…But There’s A Clean Up Coming (Borderland Beat)

Menos Violencia, Más Anfetaminas (Proceso)

See the Frontera List post for a Google translation of the articles.

 

WikiLeaks Highlight Concerns About Juárez Drug Abuse, Mexican Drug Wars…EPTimes

Many of the Wikileaks revelations about Juarez were detailed in earlier reports (from 2012) in the Narco News Bulletin:

Mexican Diplomat Traded Secrets with Private Intel Firm Stratfor, WikiLeaks Documents Reveal

Mexican Special Forces Employed as Death Squads in Drug War, Email Records Released by WikiLeaks Reveal

This current info is from the El Paso Times.

WikiLeaks Highlight Concerns About Juárez Drug Abuse, Mexican Drug Wars

Drug addiction in Juárez represents a daily drug-trafficking market of about $2.3 million, according to files disclosed by online whistleblower WikiLeaks.

The leaked file cites a Mexican official who is referred to only as “MX-1.” During a meeting with U.S. and Mexican officials, the official identified as MX-1 said “that Juárez has a drug abuse problem which amounts to about 30 million pesos a day.”

“It’s a 30 million peso a day market for Juárez, with anywhere from 2,000 to 2,500 individuals,” MX-1 said. “He (MX-1) added, for example, they know that most of the people that are participating in the kidnappings are addicts,” according to the leaked file…

Mexico’s Vigilante State…Al Jazeera English

This new report from Al Jazeera is not available online to those of us in the US.  Perhaps a listero in another country can figure out a way to post this via Facebook or some other platform that would be viewable in the US…  It sounds like an interesting piece with on-the-ground reporting.

Mexico’s Vigilante State

“Correspondent Teresa Bo takes viewers to the troubled state of Michoacán for an immersive examination of the autodefensa movement.  With tension between the vigilantes and the government increasing this week, a tenuous disarmament deadline looming, and new allegations of cartel affiliations…I think the story will shed some light on how things have been unfolding on the ground.”

Click here for some background and preview to the new Fault Lines on Michoacan. 

Mexico’s Congress Approves Revision of Military Code Of Justice…LA Times

Note the low-ball numbers of dead and disappeared in the LATimes story: “Since then, more than 70,000 people have been killed and more than 20,000 have gone missing, some of whom were last seen in custody of the military.”

Another compilation of info below from Panamerican Post.

Mexico’s Congress Approves Revision of Military Code Of Justice (LA Times)

Mexico Lawmakers Vote for Military Justice Reform (Panamerican Post)

Ciudad Juárez’s Perverse Development: Knowledge City By Sandra Rodríguez Nieto

Ciudad Juárez is not all about the drug war. The city is a complex place: 1.3 million people live here. It’s not the Wild West, as some writers seem to make out. And the city is woefully served by its leaders, political, educational, or otherwise. This October 2011 article by Sandra Rodríguez Nieto lays bare the human costs to students in higher education of these problems.

The article commemorates the two year anniversary of the murder of journalist Regina Martínez a fearless documenter of public corruption in Mexico.

Ciudad Juárez’s Perverse Development: Knowledge City — Between Scholarly Pursuits and Private Interests


By Sandra Rodríguez Nieto (EL DIARIO DE JUÁREZ)

Even though his classes begin at 0800, David Valles, 19, and a resident of Colonia Monumental, has to get up before 0600 so that he can take the Indiobús at 0640 from the Zona Centro. From there it takes him more than an hour to arrive at the Autonomous University of Ciudad Juárez’s (UACJ) new southeast campus, 16kms from the southern limits of the border city.

Click here to read the rest of the article.

 

Mexico Forbids Drug Lord’s Extradition Even As Negotiations With US Continue

This is worth listening to.  One of the more honest looks at the arrest of Chapo in the US media.  Note the statement of the unnamed legal clerk in the audio of the story.

Fronteras Desk spoke with a judge’s clerk in Chihuahua. Fearing possible retribution, he asked that we not use him name. He says Guzmán’s testimony would expose long-alleged government involvement in organized crime. “If he told the truth, you’d find out he’s not even the biggest player,” the man said in Spanish. “You’d soon see connections with (Mexican) congressional representatives and senators.

Mexico Forbids Drug Lord’s Extradition Even As Negotiations With US Continue

By Lorne Matalon

CHIHUAHUA, Mexico — On Feb. 22 the world’s most wanted drug trafficker — Sinaloa Cartel leader Joaquín Archivaldo Guzmán Loera, known as “El Chapo,” or “Shorty”— was captured in a joint U.S.-Mexico operation.

Click here to read the rest of the story and listen to the audio.