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

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:




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)

5 murders yesterday in Juarez; total of 424 so far in 2014

There were at least 5 murders reported yesterday in Juarez–the three bodies left near the highway outside of Los Arenales in the Valle de Juarez and two more incidents. A man was killed early in the morning near the state offices of the Federal Attorney General (PGR) in Juarez. He was shot as he was getting into his car after leaving the bar El Museo located in the Pronaf tourist zone. The victim has not been officially identified. This crime occurred 5 days after a multiple homicide was reported at another Pronaf bar, 7 Pecados (7 Sins). Also yesterday, the body of a woman was found inside of a vehicle in the colonia Morelos II. It appeared that the body had been inside the car since Wednesday…

The article says that a total of 424 homicides have occurred so far in 2014. The total at the end of November was 401, so that would leave a count of 23 so far in the first 11 days of December. So far, 45 of the victims are women — almost exactly 10 percent. -Molly

Asesinan a hombre a unos metros de la PGR

Violent Outbreaks In Juarez And Chihuahua State

The El Paso Times reports that several people were killed and dismembered in Juarez over the past weekend.  In addition, below, El Diario reports another gun battle yesterday in Guachochi in southern Chihuahua with 8 more people killed.

2 mutilated bodies found in Juárez, 11 killed in mountain gunfight (El Paso Times)

Otro enfrentamiento en Guachochi: 8 muertos (El Diario)


Los Muertos De EPN…Pena Nieto Has Not Decreased Homicides…ZETA De Tijuana

Seminario Zeta of Tijuana recently published a piece comparing homicide statistics from the Calderon and Pena Nieto administrations and has appeared in several newspapers and magazines in Mexico including Proceso, http://www.proceso.com.mx/?p=380354 

The original piece is posted below.

The gist of the article is that even though EPN and his government secretaries say that homicides have been reduced significantly (30% or more), the truth is much more murky and that compared to the first 20 months of Calderon’s term, there have actually been more homicides, not less.

The discussion has to do with the fact that official homicide statistics come from two main sources: the SESNSP and INEGI. [I posted a brief explanation of these two sources here, http://fronteralist.org/2014/08/22/q-a-with-frontera-lists-molly-molloy/ ] written before this new Zeta piece was published.

Zeta also uses media reports and civic organization counts in different states and cities and comes up with tallies that are somewhat higher than the recent INEGI report: http://www.inegi.org.mx/inegi/contenidos/espanol/prensa/Boletines/Boletin/Comunicados/Especiales/2014/julio/comunica3.pdf

The INEGI report itself is not a final report for 2013, but a preliminary one.  More recent statistics are available only from the SESNSP and from media. There is also an issue of which homicides are counted?  Homicidios dolosos are those usually considered murder or intentional/aggravated homicide.  There is a whole other category of homicidios culposos, usually translated as accidental or negligent homicides.  Zeta points out that as the numbers of homicidios DOLOSOS is slightly lower than in previous years, the number of CULPOSOS (accidental or negligent homicides) are going up. This makes us wonder if the government is “adjusting” its classifications of causes of deaths to make it appear that many of the killings are the kinds of “ordinary” accidental homicides that do not indicate an organized crime problem, but just people behaving badly.

One comes away thinking several things: 1) It is becoming even more difficult to know how many people are murdered in Mexico.   2)The EPN administration is determined to pursue an aggressive media strategy to make things appear less violent.  3) Presenting the homicide numbers for arbitrary periods like the “first 20 months” of different administrations is not that useful for comparison.  4)The levels of homicide, forced disappearances and kidnapping are still extremely high in Mexico.

Even using the more conservative figures reported by INEGI and the lower homicidios dolosos numbers reported by the SESNSP, “more than 153,000 people–an average of more than 1,600 per month–56 people PER DAY–have been murdered in Mexico since 2007.”

An English translation of the article published in El Diario de Coahuila is provided from Borderland Beat. Also posted below… -Molly Molloy

Los muertos de EPN: 36 mil 718 (Zeta)

Pena Nieto has been unable to decrease homicides (Borderland Beat)


6 People Killed In One Day In Juarez; 25 So Far In August

Six people were murdered in a recent 24-hour period beginning Tuesday afternoon in Juarez. One victim was a woman in her 30s who has not yet been identified. The story says she was leaving her house for work. I don’t know exactly where all of the locations are in the city, but the six cases seem scattered in various places from the far eastern area (Zaragoza) to the central commercial district (a bar in a shopping mall near Ave. De la Raza y López Mateos) to poor barrios on the west side (colonia Franja del Río). The article indicates that no arrests were made in any of these cases.

The total number of homicides for the month of August now stands at 25.

En Un Día, Asesinan A 6 En La Ciudad (El Diario)

Update 3:32 PM August 21, 2014:

Chihuahua Governor Duarte said that Juarez has gone a full year with NO kidnappings reported.  He was in the city for the celebration of the 40th anniversary of the maquiladora association, now known as Index.  Considering that national statistics show kidnappings on the rise, it is hard to believe that there have not been any kidnappings in Juarez.  As most reports have indicated, less than 10% of kidnappings even get reported to authorities. Duarte was asked about the 6 murders reported yesterday in the city and he said it was normal for such upturns to occur and that the tendency is toward the reduction of homicides.  -Molly

Tiene Juárez Un Año Sin Secuestros, Dice El Gobernador (El Diario)