video catches police kidnapping men; later show up murdered…

According to the story posted from Milenio, another 4 police
have  been arrested in this crime, exposing police kidnapping and murder.
Interesting that the crime was taped in JANUARY and is only exposed in
June… There are numerous links to the actual video online…  Including
in the AP story . And this one from Aljazeera.

Sorry I missed posting it earlier…The headline flashed by in El Diario a
few days ago, but I was not able to post at the time. It has now made
mainstream world news. Th speculation is that it might impact the
elections…I’m traveling now and may miss good followup, so please feel
free to post…  molly


Mexico Drug Violence Shows Decline–Wall Street Journal

In this interview with President Calderon, he discusses a slight decline in
violence nation-wide and also a proposal to the US to legalize some
Note this on the official government count:

Mr. Calderón declined to give out a specific figure of drug-related deaths
in the first five months of this year, giving out only the percentage
decline. He said his government will no longer make the figure public after
human-rights groups and victims’ families complained the government was
issuing a verdict on murders before the judicial system. Mexico’s
government uses evidence at the crime scene—such as decapitations or a sign
left by an alleged cartel—to distinguish crimes linked to the drug gangs
from common murders. “We had complaints from human rights groups and
analysts that we were pre-judging cases and victims,” said Mr. Calderón.”I
have given orders to my government that we play by the book on this. Only
after a judge issues a verdict can we include this in an official number,”
Mr. Calderón said.The government hasn’t given out data on drug-related
violence since January, when figures for the first nine months of 2011
showed drug-related murders were still likely on the rise, claiming 12,903
lives during the January-September period – a pace of 16,800 murders for
the year. That compares to 15,273 drug-related murders in 2010.

The WSJ article also cites the Frontera List for the Juarez murders
January-May 2011 and 2012: down from 958 to 491…though these are all
homicides as reported from the Fiscalia, not just “drug-related” homicides.
At least as best as it is possible to tell from what is reported. For what
it is worth, at least three people were murdered today in Juarez–two men
shot to death by a group of three young assassins and early today, the body
of a woman was found wrapped in a blanket.

I will be traveling in the next few days, but I have been trying to keep
track of the daily homicides in Juarez.  I will report back when I have
time to tally things, or, if Diario posts something with a summary…

2 new CRS reports on Mexico

See links below to two new Congressional Research Service Reports (CRS) on
Mexico.  These are generally a good baseline for publicly available,
published information…and the research is fairly objective as noted by
Gordon, who sent me these links.
Word on Frontera List—I’m going to be traveling for the next week to a
conference outside of the US. I may not be able to post things or keep up
on the news. Feel free to post to the list and when I’m able to be online,
I can send your postings.  If you send an article, please also include the
LINK so that readers can go to the source. molly

Mexico’s Drug Trafficking Organizations:
Source and Scope of the Rising Violence

Mexican Migration to the United States:
Policy and Trends


US Embassy Documents Confirm Televisa-Peña Nieto Deal in Mexico–Narco News Bulletin

Narco News broke the story last night that US Embassy cables released by
Wikileaks confirm the allegations of manipulation of Mexican political
races by Televisa and other media… Although this political tactic is
being portrayed in international media as some new scandal, it has been a
part of Mexican politics and media for a long time…Note this quote from
one of the cables: “Journalists and their bosses have been more or less
free to engage in the time-honoured Mexican electoral tradition of selling
favourable print and broadcast coverage to candidates and parties>

Go to the Narco News link to get links to the original cables.  The
Guardian version of the story is also posted below… molly



Palomas Humanitarian Aid: press release and photos

I posted this press release from Victoria Tester for Children of Palomas.
I’m not attaching the photos just to save space, but if you would like to
see, the pictures, please write directly to Victoria at
You can also get on her mailing list to learn more about this valuable
work.  molly

on behalf of the work of esperanza lozoya
in palomas and rural chihuahua

Press Release
Contact: Victoria Tester
Phone: (575) 536-9726

Contact: Esperanza Lozoya
Phone: (575) 936-0417 or in Mexico at: 0115216563414195

June 12, 2012

PALOMAS, MEXICO, JUNE 12, 2012:  Yesterday Esperanza Lozoya and Palomas
volunteers distributed 500 meals to children in the Main Plaza in Palomas,
Chihuahua, on the first day of what will be a four week summer meal
program. This is the third year Lozoya has distributed child summer meals
in Palomas. Many of the children remaining in Palomas are extremely thin,
and the need for food in what Lozoya has called “a true humanitarian
crisis” in Chihuahua, remains dire.

So far this spring 2012, she and volunteers not only held the huge annual
Easter egg hunt in the Main Plaza, but thanks to the generosity of a donor
church in Las Cruces, have fitted more than 600 children in Palomas and
Colonia Modelo and other areas of rural Chihuahua with new shoes. Lozoya
will soon take shoes to nearby Colonia Guadalupe Victoria to serve children
there, and to other places in rural Chihuahua as well, until all 1000 pairs
of donated shoes have been distributed.

At Western New Mexico University this spring, a successful school supply
drive on behalf of Lozoya’s work in Palomas was held again by Dr. Alexandra
Neves in the School of Education. Other schools and universities are urged
to host drives. All school supplies and registrations gathered will aid
Palomas children to attend school.

Eight basic first aid kits are also needed for women who have been trained
to aid their extremely poor rural communities in health care in rural

In the La Luz de La Esperanza Palomas Outreach building on Buenaventura
street in Palomas, a daily meal continues to be offered to those aged 60
and over, and to the disabled. For most of the elderly served, this is
their only meal of the day. Visitors to the Outreach building are welcome,
and donations for the senior meal are badly needed. Individuals,
organizations and churches interested in sponsoring a senior meal at 10
dollars a month, or who can donate fresh or preserved food, are urged to
come forward.

Donations are also accepted at Diaz Farms in Deming, and at the Food Basket
stores in Silver City and in Bayard. This spring marks the second
anniversary of all three donation barrels.

Lozoya, who is glad to be in the ninth year of her humanitarian work in
Palomas, is also in emergency need of a “new” used truck or van, to keep
her work going optimally.

I act as a U.S. coordinator on behalf of the work of Esperanza Hope Lozoya,
who is often travelling in rural Chihuahua. I hope you will come forward to
aid the work of this remarkable woman whose strength, courage and
dedication to the poor are bringing hope to the crisis situation at the
Mexico border.

All photos by Victoria Tester. Photo captions:
1. Esperanza Lozoya
2. Children recieving meals, June 11 2012
3. Child, after the Easter Egg Hunt.
4. Pantry, La Luz de La Esperanza Palomas Outreach building complex
5.  Chapel, at the Outreach building complex
6. Girls with new shoes, crayons and spirals.
7. Girl with new shoes, crayons and a spiral.
8. Waiting for new shoes.

Juárez homicides lowest in 3 years–EPTimes

So far in June, there have been several days with no murders reported, so  the decrease seems to be holding.  I have had trouble keeping the count because El Diario does not give cumulative numbers.  I will try to summarize what I know for June by tomorrow. This article is a good summary of the analysis out there in the press.  Based on INEGI and SNSP reports on TOTAL homicides in Mexico since 2006, I think that we are getting close to a figure of 100,000.

If that is the case, then Juarez accounts for TEN PERCENT of the total for the whole country. And Juarez has about 1.2 million people. The country has about 112 million… So with very rough arithmetic we could say that Juarez has
suffered 10 percent of the homicide deaths in Mexico and in a city that accounts for about 1 percent of the population of the country. molly

Columbus, New Mexico- On the border: Guns, drugs — and a betrayal of trustvia CNN

A long CNN story on Columbus.  I don’t know exactly what to say since the
very premise seems a bit of a fabrication…that there is big cartel
corruption in the town and that is what is behind the Federal raid and
guilty pleas of town officials in the gun smuggling case… First, the
violence in Palomas did not begin in 2009 when mayor Tanis Garcia was
murdered. Some of the most violent incidents in Palomas occurred in late
2007 and early 2008. As far as the town being  “a lovely town that had
lived off some farm and ranch exports and tourism,” as described by Josiah
Heyman in the CNN piece, people who have been going to Palomas for years
and who venture off the main street, know that it is extremely poor, that
many children there are malnourished and that what little economy there was
from tourism basically stayed with a few businesses in the town.  And there
is an army garrison also just south of the town and for years soldiers have
harassed people in the town, as the incident in 2005 that led to the
threats against reporter Emilio Gutierrez who reported it. In 2004-2006,
the town was a staging area for immigrant smuggling–the outskirts south of
town are littered with abandoned hotels, or abandoned sites where hotel
construction began and then stopped when the immigrant smuggling moved west
to Arizona…At least 40 people were killed in the first few months of 2008
and many of the townspeople fled.  I attended the funeral of Tanis Garcia
in Palomas in October 2009 and there was not a single reporter there from
Las Cruces, Deming, El Paso or Juarez–much less from any more distant
media. And at least 500 townspeople were in attendance.
The politics in the town of Columbus has been dominated by the anglo
minority there for many years and in 2005 or 2006 when Eddie Espinoza was
first elected mayor (beating Martha Skinner I believe) it was seen as
something of a scandal.  I’ve always suspected that there was some element
of payback in terms of the big federal raid over the illegal purchase of
about 200 guns and the attempts to smuggle them into Mexico.  It is always
portrayed in national media as a huge contributor to the violence in Mexico
when in reality, it was a tiny fraction of the guns smuggled into the
country from the US and an even tinier fraction of the guns available to
criminals in Mexico… As far as I know, the Mexican military uses AR-15
rifles, not AK-47s. And many many of the guns used by organized crime
groups in Mexico come from the foreign gun market and from soldiers
deserting the Mexican army.
I also have not heard of any violence done to residents of Columbus or
other communities along the New Mexico border by “agents of cartels”
attacking in groups…(see last line of story).  And, for the record,
Columbus is not really near the NM boot heel region. Picky picky picky…



another journalist missing in Mexico–Coahuila…

Another journalist is missing in Mexico. Stephania Cardoso, a crime
reporter in Saltillo, Coahuila, disappeared between late Thursday night and
Friday morning from her home, along with her 2-yr-old son.  Her house
appeared disturbed and her camera was broken and left on the floor. Neither
her relative, nor co-workers had been able to contact her…. molly


Veracruz journalists–living in terror–Marcela Turati in PROCESO

A long article in Proceso on the situation of journalists, esp. in the
state of Veracruz, Mexico. A major point of the article is that while
Mexico has a lot of laws, state institutions and non-governmental groups
that say they exist to protect freedom of the press, they don’t do anything
to stop the killing and terrorizing of journalists. A google translation is
posted below. molly


In Veracruz is not strange that a journalist is threatened. Not be picked
up, tortured and murdered. Or, if it saves life, which means that hired him
to fire you … Being a journalist in the state is like bringing a target
painted on the back. Y-governmental bodies responsible for civil-union
protection to simply wallow in inaction. It is so serious and scandalous
state of Veracruz press is already known internationally and is the subject
of forums. In one reporter summed Veracruz: “We are living in terror.”

AUSTIN, TEXAS (Process). – Minutes before the end of the forum dedicated to
discuss the challenges of journalism in Latin America, a Mexican reporter
spoke: “In Veracruz we are living in fear. The journalists not only kill
us, torture us and we also cut up. There you stand, you’re stuck, you do
what they want. ”

It was Miguel Ángel López Solana, who on June 20 last year survived the
murder of his father, the deputy director of Notiver, Miguel Angel López
Velasco-investigator of drug-trafficking and political corruption, his
mother and brother, photographer of the same daily. This fact opened the
spate of killings since then cripples the lives of journalists in the state.

“I just ran away, ran away, ran to where I could, to the darkness of the
night I reached, I was there,” he told journalists and officials of
organizations present at the forum. And, apparently, has not stopped
running for his life.

His testimony revealed that journalists in Veracruz that are known risk no
justification. Notiver accused, the local newspaper for which labored, to
have fired him. The House of Journalists Rights, created with public funds
to shelter journalists in difficult situations, gave less than a week’s
stay. The organizations he claims to have attended, the said house of the
journalist, Article 19, the Committee to Protect Journalists and Reporters
Without Borders, could not agree to help.

The many government institutions created to protect journalists, including
the National Commission on Human Rights, sinned away.

The reporter spent six months in the Federal District waiting for someone
to help him leave the country. Desperate, to be known without help, he
returned to Veracruz and then traveled to the border of Tamaulipas and the
United States where for a month asked for a visa. Since April is in this
country with his wife, seeking asylum. His only support, he said, has been
the newspaper La Jornada, which was a correspondent.

Some of his remarks were “a war zone Veracruz no worse than (…) There is
an immense impunity nurtures violence. From the time they killed my family
should have changed things and we would not be mourning the death of
others. No one did anything. Neither the newspaper did a follow-up note. ”

Bore witness to the corruption of local government, in addition to not
protect reporters ‘leaked’ to the press the list of journalists
executables, which was fulfilling-the collusion between officials and drug
traffickers, the indifference of the media owners to local reporters
threatened or killed, the removal of government institutions and NGOs
should protect and institutionalized impunity that encourages new crimes.

He was saved but not the same fate his three colleagues Guillermo Luna,
Gabriel Rodriguez and Esteban Huge, although after the first killings left
journalism (or ran their means to distance himself from them), in some
cases fled the state or tried unsuccessfully to obtain a visa. In May were
killed. Their bodies were dismembered.

Less than a week earlier, on April 28, had been killed the correspondent of
process in that state, Regina Martinez, known for his work against the
powerful, in what appeared a hunt against journalists.

This period was called by the UN the “tragic week in the Mexican press.”

On Friday 1, Notiver-which has four journalists killed Lopez Solana replied
that the company itself has required
justice for the murder of his father, denies that the reporter was hired by
the newspaper, accusing him of “walking down the wrong path” and asks him
to tell the U.S. authorities “everything he knows” (“we are sure that if
anyone knowswho murdered his family and why you, “he said).

The Forum organized by the Knight Center for Journalism in the Americas
were several things clear: No one understands what happens in Mexico, a
country with strong institutions and monetary resources and allows murder
and gagging their journalists. And that Veracruz is the state where
violence has been merciless with the guild.

Diluted Resources

Research Studies Center and Freedom of Expression (CELE) of Argentina said
the nonsense: In Mexico there is a proliferation of organizations dedicated
specifically to the protection of journalists and investigation of crimes,
and that is not reflected in results.

They include the Program Attacks against Journalists and Human Rights
Defenders of the National Commission of Human Rights, the Special
Prosecutor for the Investigation of Crimes against Freedom of Expression of
the PGR, the Special Committee to Monitor Attacks on Journalists and Media
in the House of Representatives and the Unit for Promotion of Human Rights
Department of the Interior.

Among the burdens that drag on the whole, the CELE detected operating with
a limited legal framework, depend on political decisions, their powers are
limited by jurisdiction, have a tight budget, small staff professionalized,
have serious difficulty in coordination, are hostages of jostling among the
parties and the government, which pays just-concluded-there is more to

In Mexico, despite all the bureaucracy assigned to the case, only 3.7% of
crimes are solved and in 59% of cases, the PGR has been declared
incompetent to investigate.

“Unlike other countries in the region, Mexico has strong institutions and
there is clear evidence that when the Mexican government wants to take an
action on an issue, gives institutions the power to act. But as for
protection of journalists and investigation of crimes there is a
proliferation of overlapping institutions and not conducive to good
operation, “said Natalia Torres, lead researcher of the CELE.

Document institutional designs for the effectiveness of protection policies
and investigating crimes against journalists states that one of the most
emblematic of this inefficiency is that institutions have not even been
able to agree on how many assaults are committed each year against
communicators. Each institution has its own, and incomplete account.

“The study did not assess the mechanism of protection (recently approved),
perhaps the mechanism can turn it around and create a coordinated, open to
civil society participation and generate statistics, but until 2011 in this
way has been running,” said researcher in an interview with Proceso.

Meanwhile the annual report of Article 19 states that in 2011 were assigned
to the Interior Ministry 25 million pesos for measures to protect
journalists, which is unknown to what was used 24 million. We only know
that 22 thousand dollars were assigned to protect a journalist from Sinaloa.

Silence The report forced the state complicit in violence against the
press, the international organization said that the NHRC has poor
accountability and offers dubious figures that do not meet the emergency. If
true the little we have, then each trade that sent that cost 226 000 pesos

In the prosecution of the PGR agency calls it “no skills and no
achievements”, and notes that despite the seriousness of the situation has
presented a budget under-spending. A legislative committee is described as
“ornamental” because its members have dedicated themselves to go to forums
instead of adopting the necessary reforms.

Meanwhile, the rapporteurs of the UN and the OAS for Freedom of Expression,
Frank La Rue and Catalina Botero, respectively, present at the forum and in
2010 traveled to the country to know the reality, which issued
recommendations to the State Mexico, called for the end of impunity in the
investigation of crimes.

Process Botero says: “We worked with the UN rapporteur to try to understand
the situation in Mexico, which is complex, is one of the countries with the
highest rate of violence against journalists in the region and made a
series of recommendations believe urgent. The situation in Veracruz is
extremely serious. ”

Botero also made an urgent appeal to the federal government to adopt all
the mechanisms of protection, it implements the newly adopted law on
protection and prevention and that independent and qualified authorities
investigate crimes committed in Veracruz.

“It is urgent that federal investigations take, take all the mechanisms at
its disposal to advance research and convicting those responsible for
crimes against journalists that all they were doing was fulfilling its duty
to inform. Each murder sends a message that can not speak of what happens
in Veracruz and Mexico are entitled to know the results of the
investigations that they, and especially Regina, being developed, “he says.

La Rue for his part said that the increase in violence against journalists
in the Americas, the most serious cases are Mexico and Honduras, and noted
that Veracruz lives at critical moments.

“The common phenomenon of these acts is that of impunity. The State’s
obligation to investigate each fact itself, where it comes from, who
executed it, investigate and establish a criminal trial. Every one that
remains unresolved but does not generate a lot of violence. Is a multiplier
effect because the message is that anyone can get away with it, “says

Guy Berger, head of the Division of Freedom of Expression and Media
Development UNESCO Process says that while Mexico appears to have
institutions that could curb impunity, require coordination to be effective.

“It’s great to have these mechanisms, now need to begin to work,” he says.

He also notes that if the media do not protect their own members or come to
their defense, journalists can not expect society to do.

At the forum, Heriberto Cantu, editor of El Manana newspaper in Nuevo
Laredo in May was attacked with explosives, reiterated the editorial
decision to cancel the coverage of drug violence.

“Four hours from now imagine a newspaper that has to work behind
bulletproof glass barricades or as a result of the bloody disputes,” the
newspaper editor beaten that he has lived a decade of attacks since the
murder of Roberto Mora, director editorial, strafing, verbal and written
threats, intimidating messages and attacks with explosives.

Entering Honduras

At the forum held from 20 to 22 May last in this city attended by more than
70 journalists and officials of organizations defending freedom of
expression representing Latin America and the Caribbean, who were given the
task of making a diagnosis of the challenges facing you and press to take
practical measures to reverse the crisis situation.

Knight Center director, Rosental Alves of Brazil, began the meeting called
Security and Protection for Journalists, Bloggers and citizen journalists
with the claim that “the serious problem of safety and security of
journalists has acquired unprecedented catastrophic proportions” and is fed
by the serious illness of impunity. If you do not care for journalists,
said, cut the chance of having informed societies and endangered democracy.

The cases of Mexico and Honduras were the most alarming about the growing
violence against its journalists. According to statistics from the
organization Artículo19, 47 journalists have been killed during the
presidency of Felipe Calderón and 14 were missing and at least 565 offenses
were committed against the press in 10 years.

Daniela Pastrana, executive director of Journalists Network of Foot, of
Mexico, told a story about the situation facing journalists Veracruz: the
week following the four murders came to that entity to provide a
professional training workshop and found colleagues desolate, without
support from organizations, government or business.

“I asked them what they need and one of them replied: ‘A gun, but not
because I want to do anything to anyone, is to not catch me alive.’ That is
the level of fear that have (…) They understand that there is persecution
and that they will pursue as journalists and wherever. Of the desolation
that level, “he said.

The forms of attacks on the press released or recrudecidas this
administration, the reporter mentioned the bombings, disappearances, exile,
self-censorship and infiltration in the newsroom, attacks against users of
social networks and torture after the murder .

He noted that vulnerability is accentuated by reporters in the provincial
media where, generally, these are little known in its day, earn an average
of 3 thousand 500 pesos per month charge for less than 100 pesos note, they
drawup to 10 per day and their means are in line with local governments.
“The journalist threatened, run. Threat is synonymous with unemployment,
“he said.

The forum which brought together the highest authorities in the protection
of journalists at the international level, the Mexican case was widely
discussed.Although in May, following the murder of Regina Martinez, were
approved mechanisms to protect journalists and a new law requiring the
federal government to attract and investigate crimes against journalists,
Benoit Hervieu, the head office the Americas to Reporters Without Borders,
expressed doubts about the extent of such modifications.

“The federalization of crimes to investigate the attacks are very late and
incomplete because it is accompanied by a substantial reform of the justice
system and the police investigation. The situation with Mexico is
desperate, and in other countries achieve results but in countries like
Mexico and Honduras all worse, “he complained.

In an interview with Proceso also referred to the murder of Regina Martinez
who said: “It’s hard not to imagine a relationship between what is revealed
Regina and her murder, one of his publications was an article about the
arrest of nine policemen allegedly linked to drug trafficking . He had also
been summoned to appear in court as a witness in Veracruz. ”



Immigration Conference: Immigration Policy and Human Rights: Perspectives from Border Communities

For more information on the NMSU Immigration Conference, see the
The conference program is also posted below.

New Mexico State University will host the conference “Immigration Policy
and Human Rights: Perspectives from Border Communities” June 17-22. The
conference includes keynote speaker Maria Hinojosa of NPR-Latino USA and
PBS-NOW (on June 18), as well as researchers and advocates for the rights
of migrants in Mexico and the US. Free and open to the public.
Spanish/English translation provided.

The lack of immigration reform at the national level has been accompanied
by increasing enforcement measures which directly impact communities in the
US-Mexico border region. This conference focuses on the social impacts of
border enforcement and discusses the challenges facing community
organizations as they seek to promote dialogue and alternative approaches
based on respect for human rights. Panels will include scholars and
community leaders from the US and Mexico with first-hand knowledge of the
current legal and social challenges facing immigrants, border communities
and policy makers. Comparative and historical contexts will also be
discussed in order to understand similarities and differences regarding the
discourses and practices surrounding immigration policy in Mexico and the
United States. The conference will be followed by three community events
with the goals of fostering broader dialogue and new networks for creating
and disseminating new knowledge.

*A keynote speech will be given by award winning journalist and author
Maria Hinojosa entitled, “Stories from the Frontlines: Detention,
Deporation, and the New America” on Monday, June 18 at 7.00 pm. **Click
here to read her bio <>*

Please see program and registration details at**

Conference Program Details<>

– 2012 Immigration Policy Conference Keynote Speaker – Maria Hinojosa<>

– Biographies of Panelists<>

– Conference Sponsors<>

– Map of NMSU Campus – Corbett Center <>

– Parking Permits for the NMSU Campus<>

Latino USA’s Maria Hinojosa to Keynote Immigration Conference

Lucia Carmona <>
Emilio Gutierrez Soto <>
Neil Harvey <>

*“The Truth Up-Front” **Mexican Journalism: **Silence or Death *
*June 16, 2012, 6:00-8:00 PM*

We would be honored to have you  participate in this event that will precede
the conference “Immigration Policy and Human Rights: perspectives from
border communities” at New Mexico State University, June 18-22.

The forum “The Truth Up-front” and will  include the
Mexican journalists who fled to seek asylum in the United States and other

Place: Nason House / NMSU BuildingCenter for Latin American Studies1200
University Ave, Las Cruces (directly across from FedEx Kinko’s)
Date: June 16, 2012
Time:  6:00 to 8:00 PM

*“The Truth Up-Front”
*Mexican Journalism:*
*Silence or Death
*June 16, 2012*

*Topics for discussion:*
· Impunity and Corruption (In Mexico)
· Summary of the process for seeking political asylum
· Legal Aspects
· International Solidarity
· Impact of leaving your country