Mexican authorities announced Feb. 8 the largest seizure of methamphetamine in Mexican history — and possibly the largest ever anywhere — on a ranch outside of Guadalajara. The total haul was 15 tons of pure methamphetamine along with a laboratory capable of producing all the methamphetamine seized. While authorities are not linking the methamphetamine to any specific criminal group, Guadalajara is a known stronghold of the Sinaloa Federation, and previous seizures there have been connected to the group.
MEXICO CITY—Throughout Mexico’s drug war, the country’s military has shrugged off allegations that soldiers have occasionally tortured or even executed suspected members of drug cartels, saying that the majority of the charges were made up by zealous activists or the cartels themselves.
But three high-profile cases this month that are being investigated outside the military’s own secret courts have prompted the army’s top commander to say the military may have committed serious human-rights abuses.
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HOUSTON — To cops and the courts, they are confidential informants and cooperating co-conspirators. In the streets, they are snitches and rats.
They make deals to avoid prosecution or do less time, sometimes paid with tax dollars to burrow in where undercover officers cannot. But once deals are made with authorities, what may seem like a stroke of luck can become a life imperiled.
Countless criminals, lovers, brothers and friends havegone down in part on the word of an informant or government witness, a high-stakes turn-of-play that fuels distrust and sometimes leads to death.
Authorities do not track how many informants are working for local, state and federal officers; nor are there standard guidelines for how they are used or protected.
But their secretive roles in law enforcement increasingly are being made public in Texas and elsewhere as the collateral damage plays out in killings, arrests and attacks.
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Check out the translation of this article in Hilo Directo by José Pérez Espino, commenting on a report in LETRAS LIBRES by Juan Carlos Romero
Puga. Both Mexican journalists note that the portrayal of the ZETAS that appears over and over again in US media and reports from “intelligence analysts” like STRATFOR (and I would add by US government agencies also) are simply repeating the Mexican government’s own pronouncements that have little basis on the ground in Mexico… Here’s the quote from Perez Espino:
“The security consultants Statfor practically reproduced the official
version and assumed that the Zetas are a drug trafficking cartel, and
the most powerful criminal group in the country.”
Thanks to UPSIDEDOWN WORLD for the translation and to Dawn Paley for
sending to the list. Below the translation are the original articles
from Hilo Directo and Letras Libres. molly
Stratfor’s Myth in Mexico
Written by José Pérez-Espino, Translation by Laura Cann
Wednesday, 15 February 2012 18:37
Editor’s note: We republish the translation of this blog entry to
share with our readers an important, critical perspective on Austin,
Texas based “intelligence” firm Stratfor, whose reports are often
cited and repeated without question in the U.S. media.
Source: hilo directo
Original en español:
El mito de Stratfor
Periodista. Es autor del ensayo Homicidios de mujeres: la invención de
Mexican President Felipe Calderon and Sinaloa Cartel leader “Chapo” Guzman have been accused of crimes against humanity before the International Criminal Court (ICC), raising questions about the application of international humanitarian law to the “war on drugs.”
The official complaint was filed in the ICC on November 25 by an enterprising team of legal scholars, activists, and journalists, and was supported by a petition bearing more than 20,000 signatures. According to human rights lawyer Netzai Sandoval, who is spearheading the case, the appeal to international law rather than Mexico’s courts was necessary because the Mexican judicial system lacks the “will and ability… to judge crimes against humanity.”
When the complaint was filed at the International Criminal Court, it garnered significant media attention in the US, and was been followed by analysts and pundits discussing the merits of the case. Last month Excelsior op-ed contributor Ricardo Aleman endorsed the charges against Calderon, predicting that “upon leaving office, he will become the most prosecuted of Mexican presidents.”
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An article in El Diario states that Sonia Tapia and her son
have left Juarez. The boy is in a hospital in El Paso and the family
does not plan to return to Juarez, in part due to fear of reprisals.
The article says that many other victims of violence would like to
leave Mexico but are unable to. Sonia Tapia and her son are US
Here is a story from the weekend on a report from Centro para la
Investigación y el Desarrollo (CIDAC), entitled: Ocho delitos primero.
The report compares homicide rates and concludes that the rate of
homicide in the state of Chihuahua, approximately 130 per 100,000 far
surpasses the murder rate from Colombia during the worst years of the
violence in that country in the 1990s (about 80 per 100,000). Of
course, the rate in the city of Juarez is even higher than for the
state, currently about 160 per 100,000…down from a high of about 275
in 2010. The study also finds that Chihuahua is one of the Mexican
states which has also seen a huge increase in other high-impact crimes
such as extortion and kidnapping.
The full text of the CIDAC report is available here: Ocho delitos primero
To provide an update on the homicides in February for the past several
days, from looking at the daily stories in El Diario, there have been
a total of about 35 violent deaths as of Sunday February 12. As of
yesterday, about 157 people had been killed so far in 2012, an average
of 3.6 people per day. On Feb 7, there were no murders, but one death
was reported of a man who had been wounded in a shooting and died on
that day. Wed Feb 8, there were 5 homicides; Thurs Feb 9 and Fri Feb
10–there were 3 each day. One of the victims Friday was a young
pregnant woman who was shot to death. On Sat and Sun, Feb 11 and 12,
two people were killed each day. The deaths on Saturday were 2
separate incidents of the victims being run over by vehicles. One man
was intentionally run over by a municipal police car on Avenida Juarez
where he worked as a parking attendant and car washer. Relatives
protested the brutality of the killing at the Fiscalia. As of this
morning, Diario reports that the policeman who killed the man and then
fled the scene has been arrested:
FNS has a very good summary of recent police brutality
incidents in Juarez. I have been away from the computer for a couple
of days, but Diario reports 3 killed in Juarez on Friday and I believe
there were also at least 3 yesterday. I will report later. The
headline on the front page of Diario this morning:
Also, Juarez journalists denounced the public climate of insecurity
and lack of guarantees for carrying out their work due to the
aggressive behavior of the municipal police…