Monthly Archives: July 2012
Why is Google Picking a Fight with the Mafia?
Mexicans Pay in Blood for America’s War on Drugs…Mexico’s Magical Homicides…New Times Online
Folks–Charles Bowden and I have articles coming out online in the “New Times” chain. A longer version should appear in print in Phoenix and Dallas and possibly in other papers in the chain. The first edition to come out online is in the Miami New Times. It features photographs by Miguel Angel Lopez Solana, the photo-journalist now seeking asylum in the US after his parents, brother and several colleagues in Veracruz were murdered. Just yesterday, Miguel sent me an email about another colleague in Veracruz who is missing. Go to the link to read the stories and if you live in a city with a New Times, look for it on the newsstand. molly
Mexico’s Magical Homicides
Mexicans Pay in Blood for America’s War on Drugs
2 shootouts leave at least 3 dead on Tuesday in Juarez; total of 30 homicides as of July 23
After the report that came out on Monday that as of July 21, there had been only 23 murders in Juarez, the next 2 days (Monday and Tuesday) turned much more violent. On July 22 there were three murders in all. On July 23, by early afternoon, there had been 3 separate murders: a man was killed while eating at a burrito stand in an incident that also left the owner of the stand seriously injured. Another man was shot to death while drinking whiskey at a drive-in. Early in the morning, a man was found dead in an abandoned house in the Parajes del Sol neighborhood. Then, later on Tuesday night, there were 2 confrontations between municipal and federal police and “sicarios.” The stories are quite confusing. Note the statements that some of the attackers were members of the Sinaloa cartel? These stories seem to need some sorting out. But, as far as I can tell, in the first attack, one “sicario” was killed and two police seriously injured. In the other event, at least 2 people were killed, also identified as “sicarios.” By my quick reading of these, it seems that at least 3 people died in these shootouts and added to the other 3 murders yesterday, a total of 6. So adding these 9 people to the previous count, there have now been about 30 people killed as of July 23. molly
Todos Somos Juarez spokesman says fewer people killed in Juarez than in New Orleans…fact check??
Response to Google executives visiting Juarez-WP Article
A couple of people sent me this article on google executives visiting Juarez in order to study some sort of techno fix for the violence…below is a comment from Tim Dunn…
They were looking for violent criminals.
So, the techno-wizard billionaires who created GOOGLE think the federal police in Mexico are the good guys. When every man woman and child (maybe especially the kids on the street) in Juarez and the rest of Mexico know that the federal police are the kidnappers, killers, torturers and thieves, etc … If google thinks they can keep this technology away from the bad guys…who of course, ARE the police and have much more $$ (thanks to the Merida Initiative and our US tax dollars, not to mention their own HSBC and Wells-Fargo laundered narco-dollars) to acquire whatever technology they want… well, if I had Google stock I would sell it in a flash. Sadly, I think that the narco-rich of Mexico and the world already probably have a lot more google stock than you or I can imagine….
Molly & Listeros,
See Washington Post article by 2 senior Goggle executive who recently visited Juárez, with an idea for how to reduce violence there. They propose some sort of ill-defined, yet hopefully better method of anonymously reporting crime problems and generating some sort of justice response. Seems to rely on a bunch of (seemingly naïve) assumptions that may not apply to Juárez context, though. But who knows, maybe they are on to something (& not just technological fetishism)?
“In a sense, we are talking about dual crowdsourcing: Citizens crowdsource incident awareness up, and responders crowdsource justice down, nearly in real time. The trick is that anonymity is provided to everyone, although such a system would know a unique ID for every user to maintain records and provide rewards. This bare-bones model could take many forms: official and nonprofit first responders, investigative journalists, whistleblowers, neighborhood watches.”
Would “crowdsourcing” include or promote vigilantism? Would “official first responders” respond if they were made more aware of crime incidents? Lack of awareness among Juárez authorities of crime is not the problem many times, as Molly et al.’s posts have made abundantly clear for years now…
Denise Dresser on Guadalajara plaza … POLICE arrested in the rape/robberies near Mexico City..
For those who may have objected to my comments about the ludicrous Google tour of Juarez with the Federal Police, see this translation from Borderland Beat of a Proceso article by Denise Dresser… and also, Several POLICE are among the perpetrators in the rape and robbery attack on the church camp outside of Mexico City. I received a complaint yesterday from a person on the list [I asked permission to post the complaint but got no reply] saying that I was wrong to place all responsibility for the Juarez violence on the federal police…something I did not do. However, since the google piece opens with a breathless description of their fearless and skilled escorts–policia federal–I mentioned the PF in my commentary. I never said, nor do I believe, that the PF are the only killers…nor do I blame them for anything more than their share of the violence. As I’ve said in numerous postings on the list:
“…though the military sits at the pinnacle of the impunity pyramid in Mexico, it is one of many powerful groups that abduct, torture and kill Mexicans. Drug trafficking gangs kill. Street gangs kill. Municipal, state and federal police kill. And drug cartel operatives often kill from the inside of these security forces. As former Chihuahua governor, Jose Reyes Baeza, declared in March 2008,
“”All of the public security agencies are infiltrated—all of them, pure and simple…” The governor predicted a “return to normalcy” as soon as these agencies could be cleaned up. Five years on, more than 10,000 people in the city of Juárez alone are dead and so far this year, another 3.4 people are added to the tally each day.”
Note that it is the former Chihuahua governor stating that ALL of the agencies are corrupt…I’ve talked to so many people, both in Juarez and now living in exile in the US who have experienced or been witnesses to corruption and killing by the federal police, the army, the municipal and state police, that I find it the height of gullibility to assume that the federal police are the good guys–as the piece about the Google visit does. I think that the Google execs were probably invited to Juarez by powerful people who think it will give them some cachet… The Juarez press did not cover the Google visit hat happened two months ago, but Diario de El Paso did have an article about the Washington Post piece on their front page today: Surgió en Juárez sistema de denuncia vs narco de Google
Mexico homicide numbers 2007-2012 (est.) chart
|2011||22,223+||14,000 (est. based on rate of decrease)|
|2012 (est. Jan-June)||10, 394|
|2012 (est. projection for year)||20,788||14,000 (est. based on rate of decrease)|
|Est. total homicides as of June 2012||99,667|
|Est. total homicides durig Calderon’s term of office||110, 061||91,740|
Posted above are numbers of actual homicides for Mexico as a whole reported by different agencies of the Mexican government. I can provide the links to the sources. Molly
Data from official Mexican statistical agency (INEGI) # and from the National System for Public Security (SNSP) +
U.S. homicides from FBI Uniform Crime Reports @
U.S. population– 311,591,917 Source: U.S. Census Bureau
Mexico population– 112,336,538 Source: National Institute of Statistics and Geography (INEGI)
On the murder rate in Juarez- Norte de Juarez & Insight
This article in Norte de Ciudad Juarez says that the figure of 952 is for the STATE of Chihuahua, not just the city of Juarez. If the number is really 952 for the state and roughly 540 for the city (as reported by El Diario) then the city still accounts for more than half of all of the murders tallied in Chihuahua. Note also this article in InSight Crime–an analyst reports 510 “organized-crime-related” or “ejecuciones” for Juarez… It is still very confusing (actually I believe it is impossible) to realistically distinguish between those homicides counted as “organized crime related” vs. other homicides… The criteria are never clearly stated in any of the sources that report these numbers. The information comes from media accounts in almost all cases, according to the article in Insight… And those reports contain only the most superficial characteristics of the crimes scenes and the killings such as the type of weapon used, the number of people involved, etc. No real investigation is actually completed to determined who killed whom and why.