Mexican soldier tries to stop fellow soldiers working for narcos…Proceso

Borderland Beat has a translation of a Proceso article about a soldier–a military nurse–assigned to the border crossing at Piedras Negras/Eagle Pass.  This soldier tried to stop a load of drugs being passed through the checkpoint by his fellow soldiers who were actually working for drug dealers. When the soldier tried to do his job by firing his weapon at the ground, the corrupt soldiers called for reinforcements… In the confusion, one soldier dies from a ricocheting bullet. The nurse who tried to stop the smuggling is shot numerous times in the legs and sent to a prison hospital where his legs are amputated. He is also convicted of murder for the death of the smuggling soldier he wounded…  The details of how the video evidence is ignored by the military judges is even more interesting. And how the soldier who tried to stop the criminals is smeared in the press. I think the key phrase in the story is when the corporal working for the narcos screams at the army nurse:
“!No la hagas de pedo, ya está arreglado, vas a valer madres!”, le advirtió el cabo de zapadores Onésimo Díaz Robles…
The transportation of the drug load was approved and arranged by military higher-ups and the honest soldier who tries to do his job ends up losing his legs and accused of murder and in prison. I’d also like to add a correction to the Borderland Beat translation of the Proceso headline: MUTILATED AND IMPRISONED…FOR DOING HIS JOB (that is…for carrying out his duties in a disciplined manner…)
There are many comments at the link to the Proceso story.  I would like to pose the question of why incidents like this one that are covered in the national press in Mexico (Proceso is the most important news magazine in the country) are consistently ignored by the U.S. and other international press? Is it because this reality challenges the standard view of the Mexican government and the US government that the Mexican Army are all good guys and fighting the good fight against narco-traffickers? I would note that this one soldier who tried to do the job he was assigned to do was completely surrounded by soldiers at all levels transporting drugs. And in addition to his severe injuries, he is also destroyed by the justice system.  molly

Why is Google Picking a Fight with the Mafia?

InSight Crime reporter attended Google Ideas conference and reports from the scene… At the link are speeches from the conference.  Note that Public Security minister Alejandro Poire represented the Mexican government.  I recall that last year at the border security conference at UTEP, Poire refused to answer questions about the violence in Juarez and denied (on video) that there were refugees from the violence. None of these google ideas even deal with the question of high level government complicity with criminal organizations.  molly
Related Links:


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??

In the Diario article, quoting Arturo Valenzuela:
Dijo que las cosas en esta frontera ha mejorado dramáticamente al grado de presentar cifras de incidencia delictiva por debajo de Nueva Orleáns, donde hubo un registro mensual de 50 muertos.
He said that in this border city the rate of crime has dramatically improved that the crime numbers are now below those of New Orleans where there was a monthly tally of 50 deaths…
I checked the current crime stats from New Orleans that indicates there have been 109 murders so far this year–that is current as of today, July 21.  It is likely the highest murder rate in a US city.  New Orleans only has about 350,000 people.  That would be a murder rate of about 31 per 100,000. 
But the Diario article goes on to say that there have been 19 murders in Juarez so far in July, and that would not count at least 2 killed on Thursday, one yesterday and one today (Saturday).  By my tally, there were 540 murders in Juarez as of June 30, so now we can say there are at least 560+.  That would calculate to a murder rate of 46 based on a Juarez population of 1.2 million. 
At the link, you can check the numbers of murders in New Orleans for the year. 
I have been collecting the stories on Juarez murders, though I’ve not posted them. It looks like between one and two people per day have been victims of homicide in Juarez so far in July. Certainly an improvement over recent years.  But the annual tally so far just past mid-year is nearly twice what it was in 2007. 

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…

I admit to being a little more cynical about this than Tim…  I had to laugh when I first read it…especially this at the very beginning:
 The officers were “policía federal.” Like the ones you hear about, they carried machine guns and wore masks to hide their identities. They hung off the backs of their trucks, alert, constantly swiveling as they surveyed the landscape.

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….

Here’s Tim’s comment:

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)?


Key paragraph:

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…

Tim Dunn

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




2007 8,867# 17, 128
2008 14,006# 16,465
2009 19,803# 15,399
2010 24,374# 14,748
2011 22,223+ 14,000 (est. based on rate of decrease)
2012 (Jan-May) 8,662+
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.

Note that the analyst’s report used by InSight says that there were “7,022 murders linked to organized crime” from January thru June 2012 in Mexico.  And in a parenthetical note, the report mentions that the SNSP “tallied 8,662 murders nationwide through May, though the June figures have not yet been released.” My estimate for the half-year point for murders nationwide (based on the earlier monthly averages) was about 9,996. But if we take the 8,662 number for Jan-May and divide by 5 we get a monthly average of 1,732 and if we add that to the Jan-May total to estimate the mid-year tally we get a higher estimate of 10,394.  So if the trend continues in the second half of the year, the total homicides in Mexico for 2012 will be about 20,788. This would bring the total number of homicide victims for Calderon’s term to about 110,000.
That said, the trend is that murders are going down in Juarez and yet Juarez is still the city with the highest number of murders. And while the murders are going down in Juarez, they are going up in the smaller city of Chihuahua.


Discrepancies in Numbers: How many have been killed in Juarez this year? 952? 653? 536?

Note the discrepancies between a Mexican Army report on killings in Juarez from January-June 2012: 952 
And the number provided by the Fiscalia as of June 27: 653
And no resolution of these differing numbers.  Also, as I recall, the total reported by EL DIARIO at the end of June was 536….  The total I reported was about 540.
I have been traveling the past few weeks and not able to research these things, but will attempt to find some more information later this week. If either number reported by the Army or the Fiscalia is true, then the REPORTING of the deaths in Juarez has not been accurate.  That could be the fault of the Fiscalia, the Public Ministry, some other government entity, or the newspaper.  We may never know the real number.  What these disparate reports indicate is that the real numbers are most likely unknown to any government agency responsible for reporting and that the true death toll may never be known.  As with other past reports, when government numbers do appear, they tend to be higher than previous media reports.  Molly