Mexican Soldiers Face Civilian Trials

An article found on the Washington Post website talks about Mexico straying away from corruption in the case of Mexican soldiers facing civilian trials.

OJINAGA, Mexico — This rough little border town in the middle of nowhere has seen its share of lawless men, the cocaine cowboys whose wild rides end out in the desert with a shovel of dirt tossed into their shallow graves.

Then the General came to town, and the place went to hell.

Brig. Gen. Manuel de Jesus Moreno Avina, commander of the Third Infantry Company, arrived in the spring of 2008 in Ojinaga, across the Rio Grande from tiny Presidio in Texas’s Big Bend country.

The General, as he is known by all here, quickly began what his own officers described in court testimony as a “reign of terror.”

Instead of confronting organized crime, the Mexican soldiers here quickly became outlaws themselves. Then people began to disappear, according to the charges filed against them.

Now, four years after Moreno’s 18-month tenure in Ojinaga, the landmark case against Moreno and his men may finally change the way Mexico prosecutes soldiers tied to the alleged abusesduring the country’s bloody drug war.

The Mexican Supreme Court recently ruled that Moreno, his officers and two dozen of his soldiers should be tried for human rights crimes in a civilian court — and not as the constitution currently mandates, before a secret military tribunal whose proceedings can take years to go nowhere.

If it happens, such a trial would mark an unprecedented shift of power that could end a century of impunity for Mexico’s armed forces, whose top generals have fought hard to protect themselves from scrutiny.

“What the people want to see after all these years is a real trial,” said Ariel Garcia, a physician in Ojinaga. “It is not right that someone who was sent to protect the people did the exact opposite.”

The doctor said he knows what is he talking about. While he was at the hospital performing surgery in 2008, his house, like many others here, was ransacked by troops in a fruitless search for weapons and drugs.

“When we saw these soldiers, we were not only afraid,” Garcia said. “We were ashamed at what they had become.”….

You can read the rest of the article on the Washington Post website here. 



Ojinaga, México – Esta ciudad fronteriza poco áspero en el medio de la nada ha tenido su parte de los inicuos, los vaqueros cocaína cuyo fin paseos salvaje en el desierto con una pala de tierra arrojó en sus tumbas poco profundas.

Entonces el general llegó a la ciudad, y el lugar se fue al infierno.

Brig. El general Manuel de Jesús Moreno Avina, comandante de la Tercera Compañía de Infantería, llegó en la primavera de 2008 en Ojinaga, al otro lado del Río Grande desde Presidio diminuto país en Big Bend de Texas.

El general, como es conocido por todos aquí, rápidamente comenzó lo que sus propios oficiales se describe en el testimonio de la corte como un “reino del terror”.

En lugar de enfrentar el crimen organizado, los soldados mexicanos aquí se convirtió rápidamente fuera de la ley a sí mismos. Entonces la gente empezó a desaparecer, según los cargos presentados en su contra.

Ahora, cuatro años después de 18 meses de Moreno en la tenencia de Ojinaga, el caso histórico contra Moreno y sus hombres finalmente pueden cambiar la forma en que México persigue a los soldados vinculados a la supuesta guerra sangrienta abusesduring droga del país.

La Suprema Corte de Justicia dictaminó recientemente que Moreno, sus oficiales y dos docenas de sus soldados deben ser juzgados por crímenes contra los derechos humanos en un tribunal civil – y no como la Constitución actualmente mandatos, ante un tribunal militar secreto cuyo proceso puede tomar años para ir a ninguna parte .

Si esto sucede, tal ensayo marcaría un cambio sin precedentes de poder que podría poner fin a un siglo de impunidad para las fuerzas armadas de México, cuyas principales generales han luchado duro para protegerse del escrutinio.

“Lo que la gente quiere ver después de tantos años es una prueba real”, dijo Ariel Garcia, médico en Ojinaga. “No es justo que alguien que fue enviado para proteger a la gente lo hizo exactamente lo contrario.”

El doctor dijo que él sabe lo que está hablando. Mientras estaba en el hospital realiza la cirugía en 2008, su casa, como muchos otros aquí, fue saqueada por las tropas en una búsqueda infructuosa de armas y drogas.

“Cuando vimos a los soldados, que eran no sólo miedo”, dijo García. “Estábamos avergonzados de lo que se había convertido.” ….

Puedes leer el resto del artículo en el sitio web del Washington Post aquí.

For Days and Days

An email from Jose (a former gang-banger) found on the Frontera List Google Groups site:

Molly I wrote to mr houseworth this. We won, yayyyhhhh!. Can you post this? Jose.

From my phone.

—-Forwarded Message—-
From: joeriv…
To: ghi…
Sent: Sat, Nov 10, 2012 10:14 AM CST
Subject: for days and days.

guten morgen, Gordon.
being from that culture i know exactly the mind set of the active participants in this war. (have you noticed that in this theater of war there are no claims to post traumatic stress disorder).and i can also empathize with the unwilling participants. whether they be connected to crime because their relative is a gang-member or as they see themselves “warrior”. armies were invented not for protection but to improve ones own economy. off course the stronger armies have always ruled the world. but here it is something else entirely. these men and women are just more enthusiastic about getting rich. no one does is for the fun, (except the psychos, the really scary ones. i get in their head sometimes and i see the horrors perpetrated on their victims, it is very scary.  the majority do it because of the money and a false sense of pride that what they are doing is for the good of the community. i grew up in those places where if your are a bad kid you are
noticed and a lot of people start to respect you, but is that respect that is out of fear, not for good deeds, although some are considered saints. i was considered a wise guy by everyone and that because i was always the smartest guy in the room. there were smarter wise guys than me but i never let them they were. it was still a mutual respect though we were all tough guys. and we took care of each other. that’s how we grew strong and conquered the texas prison system and then the city of el paso, texas. then juarez and ports unknown. under my direction. not in business but in mentally training an army. not the one you see today. no one killed to get in and no should die to get out. those were my rules. i let soldiers go because they were trying to improve themselves. a couple of them had moms that had the temerity to seek me out and beg that her son be let out. the son was more scared of disappointing me than anything. one of the moms was hot and she
liked me. but i would give the talk. “you cant come back cause you cant be in and out. i going to make sure people help you if you need our help but just to help you along a better way. we all want to find that path but we are on this one. it’s the right path for now. and most of them became better citizens and dads. i am glad and grateful that could help people like this. my people knew that i genuinely cared about them and i and had proved it in the joint and out here, they knew by word of mouth that i was in the business of taking care of business. or as we say “beesnes”.  no one had ever done this. the underworld had a deep respect for me, juarez and el paso and pretty much everywhere i traveled. we respect our criminals if they are daring, a mexican buccaneer if you will. i know how they think. especially the bad guys. i’m grateful i became one of the good guys. i didn’t need followers. i didn’t acolytes, nor servants, soldiers or addicts. most of
these men could’ve been been special forces soldiers. they would all kill for me but i never availed myself of that service. i liked to take care of my brush fires myself. i was good with my hands and feet. i have a street taught black belt. i like to call it street-fu. when i turned fifty i trained for a cage fight in iowa, i fought one whole round with one arm. i dislocated my shoulder with the first punch. it was an anomaly in and otherwise sterling street fighter reputation. i would cross the border into juarez to beat people up. now juarez is very bad mojo for me. after the reporter incident. i didnt go there to hurt him. i went there for these two strippers who were going home with me and my buddy. the guy disrespect the girls and i stabbed him with my buck. anyway, i got beat up but i didn’t tap out. they stopped it. i learned to be humble after that and lose the rest of my arrogance. this runs in the narco’s veins. the good lord deemed fit to
give me a body that i could turn into a weapon. that how i rose to the top of my game in the underworld. deep down inside somewhere in my nether regions, was the me i am today. i needed leaders.all those positive roll models that i looked up to in my formative years who helped me put the jigsaw together that was to be me today. the are all part of the dream that i now live. it was never a nightmare. it’s all just part of the dream that carries us across an untold number of thresh holds till we get it right. they were part of my healing. i am a violent man living in a pacifist’s body. i have dismembered and fantasized about commiting terrible acts on my enemy’s and it’s almost always as an aztec warrior. i just never saw the need. it’s a different story now. when i left, el chapo ruled juarez and we were all the better for it. no one was dying. if you lost a load. too bad. there was more where that came from. carrillo fuentes was in charge in juarez and
all was well. they were recruiting aztecas. they knew who i was and i let my guys work for them. i just wanted my free heroin and cocaine. and if saw someone on the street selling i would shake them down and tell them it’s for tax purposes. the narco’s didn’t’ mind. i was cheap. i never got greedy. thats why i am still alive. i did this one job, (if i tell you, i have to kill-you type of deal). my friend wanted more loot. i told him we had enough, but he went back and never saw him again. alive i mean. i booked it and no one except God and me the wiser. you know something? i am now in better physical shape than i was ever in my gang banging years.

auf weidershein….