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)

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)

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)

Violent Incidents Today In Juarez (June 23)

A traffic policeman was killed in Juarez late this afternoon in what appeared to be a hit and run incident. There has not yet been an official report on the incidents.

Asesinan A Agente De Tránsito En La Talamás Camandari (El Diario)

Below, three El Diario reporters were attacked in the city center while on the job. When first attacked by three guys, they were leaving the area and took a photo with a cell phone. At that point, one of the attackers called and apparently asked permission to beat them up and they were then set upon by about 11 men. -Molly

Agreden A Reporteros De El Diario En La Zona Centro (El Diario)

31 Bodies Found On Ranch At Tres Valles, Veracruz State

Below are brief accounts of the mass graves discovered at a ranch near the town of Tres Valles in Veracruz. At least 31 bodies have now been exhumed from shallow pits. The best story is this first one.

http://www.blog.expediente.mx/nota.php?nId=6974

El Rancho Del Horror

I’m not able to include the entire article, nor can I print it and do a proper translation, but it is worth going to the link to see the photographs… REFORMA reported earlier today that 8 of the 31 bodies had been identified.

The property known as El Diamante is reported to belong to Fernando Cano Cano, mayor of the municipality of Tres Valles.

Here are a few excerpts:

“The odor in the place is penetrating. Green flies buzz around the rotten carrion and enjoy themselves among the worms. There are 13 holes and from each one two or three bodies were exhumed. It has not been long since the forensic experts left after working like never before. They had to get help from Xalapa and Veracruz. “

“‘We came here because we heard about a lot of dead bodies found here and back in our neighborhood there are about 4 boys who disappeared. A truck came and blocked off the street and then took them away,’ said a woman who was there with others and they seemed not to notice the nauseating odor nor the heat. They are wives, mothers, aunts, grandmothers or other relatives of disappeared persons–the grief-stricken of Cosamaloapan and nearby towns…like pus from an infected wound… they are desperate. ‘Sometimes you just want to find them already so them you can rest…that they would just tell you they are dead,’ said one of the women whose daughter, Wendy Cruz, has been missing since May.”

The article describes the scene at the ranch and there are numerous photos at the link. There were several statues and candles devoted to Santa Muerte, as well as black candles, Los Siete Potencias and other objects considered evil… The place is described in some detail–leftover food, human waste, dirty mattresses and clothing… Apparently it was a place where people were kept for some time before being killed and buried. Some of the bodies were decapitated and many had hands and feet cut off.

It also notes that in most of the press accounts, it is described as “an abandoned ranch” but that the buildings and land looked to be in good condition. It was confirmed that the property was owned by the PRI mayor of the nearby municipal seat of Tres Valles and that no one could explain how a group of killers were living there.

AND “24 men and 7 women were murdered in this place that is less than 2 kilometers from the police headquarters in the town of Tres Valles. How is it possible that so many people were massacred so close to the police?”

Mass grave containing 28 bodies discovered in eastern Mexico  (The Guardian)

 

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)