Recent Shootings in Juarez

There was a shootout today in downtown Juarez near the Santa Fe bridge leaving one municipal policeman dead and a young girl seriously injured. Border Patrol agents pursued several other Juarez police involved in the shooting… A more detailed version in El Diario also posted below…

Yesterday, a used car dealer in Juarez was shot to death… With the killing of the policeman today, there have been at least 29 homicides so far in July in Juarez. -Molly

One Mexican Police Officer Dead, Other Injured In Juárez Shootout (updated) – El Paso Times

Fallece Policía Herido Durante Tiroteo En La Zona Centro – El Diario

Ejecutan De 10 Balazos A Lotero – El Diario

El Diario Report: Sites of Massacres…Then and Now

Yesterday, El Diario ran a special report on seven of the most shocking multi-homicides that occurred between 2008 and 2013.  There are a lot of photos and it is worth exploring online…  And just for some perspective, there were 25 massacres in the city (massacre defined as more than 6 victims in one incident) between 2008 and 2013. I posted that full story below from the Frontera List archive for more details.

La Muerte Aún Tiene Memoria ‘En Cuanto Oscurece, Sale El Miedo’ (El Diario)

From The Frontera List Archive… (the story is still online at the link below)

Cimbran a Juárez 25 Masacres En Cinco Años (El Diario)

Honduran President Wants a ‘Plan Colombia’ for Central America…Panamerican Post

By all means, let’s INCREASE military and security payouts to corrupt military and police in Central American countries.  Remember that the murder rate in Ciudad Juarez exploded to nearly 300 homicides per 100,000 people AFTER the Plan Merida inspired military surge into the state of Chihuahua…  Honduras already has a murder rate of 100… And the city of San Pedro Sula’s murder rate approaches 200.  More guns, helicopters and training for police who already are experts at torture thanks to US military advisers and they may surpass Mexico in murderousness. The victims?  Poor people. The result? An ever greater EXODUS of refugees showing up at the border. -molly

Honduran President Wants a ‘Plan Colombia’ for Central America (Pan-American Post)

Local Police Attack Migrant Shelter In Nogales

Two stories on an attack by Mexican police on a migrant shelter in Nogales, Sonora. I would suspect that this attack is related to non-payment of protection money by the group operating this shelter. It’s a hopeful sign that the Kino Border Initiative is offering support and getting the word out in the US. -Molly

Rights group says Mexican police raided shelter, robbed migrants (Nogales International)

Mexican police raid immigrant shelter in Nogales, group says (Arizona Daily Star)

Elite Honduran Unit Works To Stop Flow Of Child Emigrants To U.S…Bortac In Honduras

Excellent report from Cindy Carcamo in Honduras for the LATimes below. She also gave an interview on THE WORLD:

Elite Honduran unit works to stop flow of child emigrants to U.S. (LA Times)

This special security unit went from targeting drug smugglers to spotting unaccompanied kids (The World)

For those who have read Todd Miller’s book, Border Patrol Nation, this story about US trained and funded border police in Honduras will not be a surprise.  I assume that the Obama funding request considers this kind of program in Central America a valuable contribution. There seems to be no awareness in US policy circles about the extreme levels of corruption in the military and police units we supply and train in Mexico and Central America.  Expect more violence–robbery, rape, beatings, extortion–toward the desperate people trying to flee conditions in their countries. But do not expect to see much coverage of it in the US press. -molly

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)

At Least 22 Killed In Gunfight Southwest Of Mexico City

I am not certain, but I believe this new story from the AP is a rare follow-up to this initial report of a shootout that took place on June 30.  The original story says it happened in Michoacan while the new story is in a small town in Estado de Mexico.  There are corresponding details–the “gang” consisted of 21 men and one woman–that lead me to believe this is the same incident.

In all of my efforts (and those of many others) to track the death toll in Mexico during the past 7 years, it is very rare that any information is released on the numbers of military deaths.  Years ago, there was one odd report of a death toll of about 200 soldiers–this in contrast to a civilian death toll at the time of nearly 100,000. I could be wrong, but I do not think there is ever any official reporting on deaths in the Mexican military. And as this AP story notes, there are many incidents reported in which the army encounters what are reported to be “gangs of criminals” and kills them all–no witnesses and few or no military casualties noted…

“The shootout was the most dramatic in a string of battles in which the army says criminals fired first at soldiers who then killed them all, while suffering few or no losses. There have been so many such incidents that human rights groups and analysts have begun to doubt the military’s version.”

From the details described below and the fact that the United Nations’ High Commission on Human Rights was on the scene shortly after this massacre, it appears that the people killed inside the building were shot at close range. It is gratifying to see the AP reporting on this… Thanks to Margie Lilly for sending me the article. I would have missed it…  -molly

In Mexico, Lopsided Death Tolls Draw Suspicion (Miami Herald)

At Least 22 Killed In Gunfight Southwest of Mexico City (Toronto Sun)

Border Reflection & Debunking Myths

Listera Kathy Nicodemus sent this reflection (posted with permission) on the current border situation and below is an excellent article by David Bacon published in IN THESE TIMES with details on how US economic and security policies have exacerbated the situation that forces people to flee their homes in Central America. -molly

______
Border Reflection – Support Non-violent solutions in Central American Countries. My thoughts on the Central American immigrant-refugee situation at the moment.

We need to deal with the immediate need, however, if we don’t deal with the systemic issues, the situation will only continue. First we need to stop contributing our (US) part- Corporations that use the land, cheap labor (including Maquilas), our cheap products sold to these countries (taking away their ability to make a living). Need to stop-Selling weapons, supporting bad leaders, US need for drugs. I know there are many other issues. What might be of help–The US supporting these countries to be self-sustaining economically and non-violent.

Debunking 8 Myths About Why Central American Children Are Migrating (In These Times)

29 Murder Victims in Juarez in June; 229 For The Year So Far

There were 29 homicides in Juarez in June, the lowest monthly toll so far in 2014, according to El Diario. The tally for the year is 229: Jan 32; Feb 41; March 40; April 35; May 52; June 29…these are the statistics provided by the Fiscalia. The victims in June include an unidentified woman found on June 28 whose body had been cut up. In another case, a woman who suffered from severe depression murdered her two children and then killed herself. A transit policeman was also a victim in June.  Two men were killed on Sunday at a horse race in San Isidro in the Valle de Juarez.

This morning, the first homicide of July took place with the murder of a bus driver.

In terms of national homicide statistics, the SNSP reports a total of 1,423 homicidios dolosos (intentional homicides) in May (latest available). This is up slightly from April’s numbers.

HOMICIDIOS (H)

14,299 (Total)

2,804 (Jan)

2,690 (Feb)

2,896 (Mar)

2,963 (April)

2,946  (May)

CULPOSOS (HC)

7,423 (Total)

1,436 (Jan)

1,418 (Feb)

1,480 (Mar)

1,566 (April)

1,523 (May)

DOLOSOS (HD)

6,876 (Total)

1,368 (Jan)

1,272 (Feb)

1,416 (Mar)

1,397 (April)

1,423 (May)

http://www.estadisticadelictiva.secretariadoejecutivo.gob.mx/mondrian/testpage.jsp

Cierra Junio Con 29 Homicidios http://diario.mx/Local/2014-06-30_badc3397/cierra-junio-con-29-homicidios/

Ejecutan A Hermanos Al Salir de Una Carrera de Caballos en San Isidro http://diario.mx/Local/2014-06-29_2d597764/ejecutan-a-hermanos-al-salir-de-una-carrera-de-caballos-en-san-isidro/

Hallan Mujer Descuartizada en Colonia Francisco I. Madero http://diario.mx/Local/2014-06-28_3a3bc53d/hallan-mujer-descuartizada-en-colonia-francisco-i-madero/

Ejecutan A Chofer de Transporte de Personal http://diario.mx/Local/2014-07-01_993dc39c/ejecutan-a-chofer-de-transporte-de-personal/

 

U.S. Visas Helped Fuel the Juárez Drug Wars…Jason McGahan in The Daily Beast

There is more information about Julio Porras (the main ICE informant in the Daily Beast piece) in this 2012 article from Reporte Indigo. Apparently Julio Porras is also Ramiro Chavez and he worked as an informant for the PGR during the same time he was providing information on Juarez Cartel activities to ICE.

http://www.reporteindigo.com/reporte/mexico/otro-gobernador-en-la-mira?page=1 (Reporte Indigo) 

http://www.thedailybeast.com/articles/2014/07/01/u-s-visas-helped-fuel-the-juarez-drug-wars.html (Daily Beast)