Mexicanos en Exilio Press Conference, Wednesday, Feb 25, Offices of Carlos Spector

(Summary in English)
The Mexicans in Exile organization will hold a press conference Wed Feb 25 at the Offices of Carlos Spector. The group will discuss violence in the Valle de Juarez and the fact that government forces have allowed criminal groups to exercise control over the region and its residents. Since 2009, the population of the Valle de Juarez has been persecuted, displaced, murdered and disappeared and the government has done nothing to stop this violence. The state has systematically ignored complaints presented against criminals in the region. In Mexico, in Chihuahua and in the Valle de Juarez, authorized crime rules. Mexicans living in exile are victims of authorized crimes of the state.
 
Subject: Mexicanos en Exilio Press Conference, Wednesday, February 25
Papacho, Toga y Meño: Crimen Autorizado. El Valle de Juárez exige justicia y el arresto de los oficiales que facilitaron los delitos en contra de los ciudadanos de la región.

1430 E Yandell, El Paso, Tx.
Miércoles
Febrero 25, 2015
13 hrs

Este 25 de febrero Mexicanos en Exilio insiste en señalar su posicionamiento ante la violencia y el despojo en México y en el Valle de Juárez, Chihuahua: fue y sigue siendo el Estado.

El pasado 18 de febrero la Fiscalía General de la Zona norte presentó, en calidad de detenido, a Mauricio Luna Aguilar a quien se vincula con al menos 20 homicidios en el Valle. Al lado de Mauricio fueron presentados otros integrantes del cártel de Sinaloa: Isidro Soto Aguilar, alias el “pantera” y líder de la célula; Juan Carlos Nuria Gómez, alias el “parral”; Karina Carrillo Griego; Jonathan Arturo Torres Rodríguez, alias el “Jhon”; Antonio Carrillo Griego, alias el “Toño y/o el tio”; y Juan Cuellar Cereceres, alias “Quintana.

A estos arrestos se agrega el homicidio de los también integrantes del cártel de Sinaloa Leonardo Rubén Morales Rodríguez, alias “el Toga” y Jesús Manuel Morales Rodríguez, alias “El Meño”. “El Toga” había sido arrestado en 2012 y liberado pocos meses después.

Desde 2009 la población del Valle de Juárez ha sido perseguida, despojada, asesinada y desaparecida sin que el gobierno haya hecho nada; sistemáticamente fueron ignoradas las denuncias y quejas presentadas contra estos individuos en las distintas instancias de impartición de justicia ¿De qué otra forma habría sido posible que una sola persona asesinara a 20 personas?

En México, en Chihuahua y en el Valle de Juárez impera el crimen autorizado.

Frente a este teatro, levantamos nuestra voz. Estaremos presentes víctimas del Crimen autorizado y del Estado:

  • Jorge Reyes Salazar
  • Israel Estrella Chávez
  • Lucía del Carmen Rangel
  • Gerardo Gamez
  • Víctor García Archuleta y Armando Archuleta
  • Sandra Flores
  • Miguel Murguía
For more information, contact:
Alfredo Holguin (President of Mexicanos en Exilio): (915) 727-8344
Carlos Spector (Attorney for Mexicanos en Exilio): (915) 544-0441

History of Lynchings in the South Documents Nearly 4,000 Names…NYTimes

I’m certain that some will disagree, but since I get asked to talk about the violence in Mexico and I get asked hard questions, I thought I’d share some thoughts on this article from [the] NYTimes. It reports on a new study of lynching in America from reconstruction through the 1950s….nearly 4000 documented cases of lynchings of African Americans–700 more cases than previously recorded. The worst place was Phillips County Ark. where 237 people were lynched in 1919 during the Elaine race riot. The rest of the worst places are in Louisiana…my home state.

I am often asked how to explain the extreme violence of the killings in Mexico. The only way I can explain many of these actions–whether they come from directly from the state or from criminal entities sanctioned by the state–is that they are acts of terror designed to control the population.

http://www.nytimes.com/interactive/2015/02/10/us/map-of-73-years-of-lynching.html

The Guardian reported on the Equal Justice Initiative study also quoting Bryan Stevenson:

“I also think that the lynching era created a narrative of racial difference, a presumption of guilt, a presumption of dangerousness that got assigned to African Americans in particular – and that’s the same presumption of guilt that burdens young kids living in urban areas who are sometimes menaced, threatened, or shot and killed by law enforcement officers.”

http://www.theguardian.com/world/2015/feb/10/history-of-lynchings-and-racial-violence-continues-to-haunt-us?CMP=share_btn_link

Note the similarity with the Mexican practice of criminalizing all victims of violence (90 percent at least)… Note the similarity to the narrative of the murdered students in Iguala–portraying them as radicals, criminals and hooligans in order to justify their murders. The idea that the people killed in Mexico are all narcos or malandros and thus deserving of their violent deaths.

I read Bryan Stevenson’s book [Just Mercy]a couple months ago…and I can’t recommend it enough. But this new report is so important and shows the need to keep the record and to reclaim the truth of the terrorist history of our own country. I am also struck by the parallels to the current Mexican and Central American violence and forced migration…

“Lynching and the terror era shaped the geography, politics, economics and social characteristics of being black in America during the 20th century,” Mr. Stevenson said, arguing that many participants in the great migration from the South should be thought of as refugees fleeing terrorism rather than people simply seeking work.

The terror in Mexico has already claimed more than 150,000 lives and the official narrative continues to criminalize the victims. -molly

13 Disappeared Per Day During EPN Tenure…Proceso

A new study of reported disappearances in the official statistics in Mexico shows that during the EPN administration (Dec 2012-present) there have been 13 disappearances each day–a total of 9,384 people in 22 months. This is more than double to rate of disappearances registered during the previous administration of Felipe Calderon. These are some of the findings from an examination of the databases of the National Register of Missing or Disappeared Persons from Jan 2007-Oct 2014 maintained by the Executive Secretariat of the National Public Security System. The database contains a total of 26,569 cases. The article below is an excerpt from the current issue of Proceso, 1997. It includes this link to numbers of disappearances per state. – Molly

Con Peña Nieto, 13 Desaparecidos Al Día (Proceso)

7 People Murdered So Far This Weekend In Juarez

At least 7 people have been killed in violent incidents in Juarez so far this weekend. On Saturday a municipal policeman was shot but survived the attack and injured the shooter. The policeman was taken to the hospital. Later on Saturday, near midnight, 5 people were killed and at least 4 others were injured when an “armed comando” attacked a house party in the Colonia Felipe Angeles. The report says at least 30 people were at the party–a birthday celebration–and included women and children. The attackers also set fire to several vehicles on the property. The owner of the house ran a tortilleria.

In another area of the city known as Granjero, a couple were attacked and the man was killed. The woman apparently survived. People in the area indicated that in the past several days there have been several execution-style murders and the residents are fearful.

Early Sunday morning, a man was executed at the Tequila Bar in the Pronaf zone near the Plaza de las Americas mall (this is a traditional tourist zone near the UACJ and the Las Americas bridge to central El Paso). -Molly

Mexico Violence: Dozens Of Bodies Uncovered In Acapulco…BBC

For those who believe that the violence is diminishing in Mexico… Consider the fact that we have no idea how (or IF) the mass killings happening now along the border in Tamaulipas or these mass graves in Guerrero even get into the official statistics. More details below from Animal Politico.

Mexico Police Find Dozens Of Bodies In Acapulco (BBC News)

Hallan 60 Cadáveres En Crematorio Abandonado En Acapulco; Dueño Ya Tiene Orden De Localización (Animal Politico)

Refutation That The Normalistas Were Incinerated At Cocula…

Thanks to Jim Creechan for these links to updates on the killings and disappearances of the 43 students. -Molly

Reports in La Jornada and a report from CENCOS:

http://www.jornada.unam.mx/2014/12/12/politica/008n1pol

http://www.jornada.unam.mx/ultimas/2015/01/07/rechaza-sedena-informacion-sobre-cremacion-de-normalistas-7481.html

http://www.cencos.org/comunicacion/cientificos-desmienten-a-pgr

Academic Investigators have refuted the claim that the normalistas were incinerated at the Cocula garbage dump. They provided a detailed analysis of why this was physically impossible. Some independent (academic) investigators have suggested that the students might have been incinerated in army crematoria or in other private crematoria. The investigators have called for the army to allow inspectors onto the base to check. The army rejects both the “possibility” that this could have happened and “access to inspect”. In fact, a letter in today’s La Jornada from a general argues that the army does NOT HAVE incinerators capable of burning bodies. Sanjuana Martínez interviewed an academic at the centre of these claims (on Sunday) and he suggested that there had been threats made against those who opposed the “official version”. On Monday, an opinion column in La Jornada warned about the growing signs of “suppression” and threats against those who oppose the official version.

Both the Mexican press and the intellectual class of Mexico continue to be worried that the ultimate government response to the missing students and the public protests will be another DIRTY WAR. And I’m guessing that these fears are even greater today after the announcement the death of one of the iconic voices of free speech [ Julio Scherer Garcia (Proceso publisher)died early this morning–http://www.washingtonpost.com/world/the_americas/julio-scherer-garcia-journalist-and-irritant-of-politicians-dies-at-88/2015/01/07/a50ebb82-96a0-11e4-8005-1924ede3e54a_story.html ].

429 homicides in Juarez in 2014…El Diario

El Diario reports a total of 429 homicides in Juarez in 2014–a decrease of 11.5 percent over 2013 when there were 485 murders in the city. Interestingly, a couple of days ago (Dec 28) El Diario reported that there had been a total of 447 murders in the Northern Zone of the state of Chihuahua. Both figures are from the state Fiscalia, so I’m assuming that the difference has to do with which municipalities are included in the count. The criminologists and sociologists interviewed by El Diario point out that the year saw several examples of domestic violence in which fathers or mothers killed their children and in some cases also committed suicide.
“Criminologist Oscar Maynez Grijalva said that the conditions in the border city, in addition to being next door to the country that consumes more drugs than any other in the world, also suffers from a lack of opportunities, a weak and corrupt justice system and thus the violence and murders remain high.

“Violence within the family he said, is a product of the crisis generated by many causes of stress and is a symptom of something happening, that society is failing to protect victims, especially children.”

Bajan Los Homicidios En 2014: Fueron 429 (El Diario)

Acribillan y matan a hombre en la colonia Manuel Valdés (El Diario)

 

“El Wicked” Accused Murderer Of Marisela Escobedo Dies In Prison

The accused killer of Juarez activist Marisela Escobedo (shot to death in front of the governor’s palace in Chihuahua on Dec 16 2010) is reported to have died of a heart attack in prison. Last year on the anniversary of the murder, Marisela’s family members were interviewed by phone from El Paso Texas where they are seeking political asylum in the US. On the 3rd anniversary of the murder of Marisela, they maintained that the person arrested for the crime was a scapegoat and that the real murderer of Marisela is Andy Barraza, the brother of Sergio Barraza who murdered Rubi–Marisela’s daughter–and who was released by the court in Juarez in 2010.  Sergio Barraza was reported killed in a confrontation with the Mexican army in 2012: http://latino.foxnews.com/latino/news/2012/11/22/confessed-killer-mexican-activist-daughter-dies-in-shootout/

Below is an article from Dec 2013 and from [Dec 31].

Also, an article in PROCESO (posted below) on Dec 17 2014 reports that the cases of the murders of Marisela Escobedo and of her daughter, Rubi, will be brought before the Inter-American Court of Human Rights in 2015–charging the Mexican State with negligence and culpability in these cases.  It is hard not to view the death in prison of Marisela’s accused murderer on the last day of 2014 as (at least) an interesting coincidence.  -molly

Se cumplen 4 años del asesinato de la activista Marisela Escobedo (El Diario)

Murió ‘El Wicked’ de un infarto fulminante: Fiscalía (El Diario)

Detenidos por crimen de Marisela Escobedo, chivos expiatorios: familia de activista (La Jornada)

Llevarán caso Marisela Escobedo a la Corte Interamericana de Derechos Humanos (La Jornada)

 

Kidnapped Priest Found Dead In Southern Guerrero

A priest from the town of Ciudad Altamirano in southern Guerrero state was kidnapped several days ago and yesterday he was found dead from a gunshot to the head. People in the town staged protests after Father Gregorio López Gorostieta was abducted from the Catholic seminary in Altamirano on Dec 21.  The article notes that “these events took place despite the federal government deployment of a special operation in the area one month ago with the participation of the National Gendarmeria, the Navy, the Army and the Federal Police.”

An earlier report on the priest’s abduction is posted below from the AP. -Molly

Hallan Con Tiro De Gracia A Sacerdote Secuestrado (El Diario)

Mexicans Rally After a Priest Is Kidnapped (AP/New York Times)

Shootouts In The Valle De Juarez At Least 2 Dead

December 14, 2014

There was a confrontation [on Sunday] between armed groups lasting several hours […] in the town of Praxedis G. Guerrero in the Valle de Juarez.  The latest posting in El Diario was at about 4pm [on Sunday] and confirmed 2 people killed, 3 injured and several are reported disappeared.  One victim remained in a car at a checkpoint–his relatives were trying to take him to the hospital, but he died in the car.

Also below…it was reported in the morning paper that several members of the Archuleta family had fled their homes after three young men in the family were killed earlier this week.

Confirman 2 muertos y 3 heridos por enfrentamiento en Praxedis G. Guerrero (El Diario)

Reportan enfrentamientos en Praxedis G. Guerrero (El Diario)

Dos muertos por enfrentamientos en Praxedis G. Guerrero (El Diario)

Huyen de Guadalupe los familiares de los 3 ejecutados (El Diario)

December 15, 2014

More detailed account of the violence yesterday in the Valle de Juarez…The aggressions began about 3 weeks ago and people have been taken from their houses and disappeared. Some who return have been beaten or their bodies are dumped.

“Here there is no authority, we are less than nothing and mean nothing to anybody,” said a resident who has already lost a son to the violence in the Valle de Juarez.”No one, not one single authority came, no one has paid attention to this problem. We have been living with this for a year already and the people are more afraid than angry and for this reason, they do not denounce the situation to authorities. And it doesn’t do any good to complain anyway because there are no investigations.”

One of the complaints of the residents that exemplifies the official abandonment was the absence of medical services on Sunday. Not one medical institution was open and so those who were injured in the attacks had to rely on their own resources to get to Juarez. The family members of the injured people met the ambulances on the road. “Forced disappearances have returned, murders, many people are afraid and are fleeing.”

Consider this from the precis of Dawn Paley’s new book”… The communities in the Valle de Juarez have been extraordinarily violent since 2008 and the major state “law enforcement” presence in the area is the Mexican army… The Valle de Juarez is a gateway to cross-border development as well as bordering the western edge of new petroleum exploration and development in Texas, northern Chihuahua and Coahuila states in Mexico … molly

“This unprecedented book chronicles how terror is used against the population at large in cities and rural areas, generating panic and facilitating policy changes that benefit the international private sector, particularly extractive industries like petroleum and mining. This is what is really going on. This is drug war capitalism.”

Hora y media de balacera en Praxedis: al menos 2 muertos (El Diario)