illegal border crossings way down in El Paso sector…

Two stories from the New Mexico part of the sector… On a personal note…I spent some time at the Las Cruces gun show yesterday and boy, was it a rousing success! I actually saw less anti-government propaganda than I expected, but did stop to talk to a few people.  One was buying a shotgun to protect his property from all of the dangerous drug smugglers from Mexico… And of course the anti-wilderness rhetoric for the Organ Mountains is that making these areas wilderness opens up more terrorist havens.  Yes, there are New Mexicans who believe that terrorists are waiting behind every yucca…

National Registry database contains 26,121 cases of disappeared in Mexico

According to an official registry, there are 26,121 disappeared people in Mexico.

This is a more or less direct translation of this article.

This information comes from a search on the web site of the National System for Missing or Disappeared Persons on Monday February 25.

The information was migrated from the National Center of the Executive Secretariat of the National System for Public Security by the National Center for Planning, Analysis and Information for the Combat of Delinquency of the PGR (the Federal Attorney General) and the data in the system comes from what local attorneys general have reported.

The database contains basic information about the cases including: date of disappearance, state, municipality and locality of the disappearance, sex, identifying marks and/or tattoos of the disappeared person and the public ministry (local law enforement bureau) that registered the disappearance.

According to the web site, this information corresponds to that required by the Law of the National Registry of Missing or Disappeared Persons that came into effect on April 18, 2012 and which said that “all administrative or judicial authorities which have knowledge of a missing person or which receives any report about the disappearance of a person, must communicate this information immediately to the National Registry in the form established by the current Law.”

It is worth noting that as of the present date, this regulation has not been officially established and disseminated.
[Cabe destacar que, a la fecha, dicho reglamento aún no ha sido emitido.]

The data that is available on the website is somewhat consistent with the information published in the Washington Post on November 29, 2012 that cited 25,000 disappeared persons during the past presidential administration, as well as with the information released on December 20, 2012 by the NGO Alianza Civica which made public the database of 20,851 disappeared persons from 2006-2012 that was reported by Tracy Wilkinson of the Los Angeles Times.

The data presented in this National Registry makes no distinctions with respect to missing persons, disappeared persons or victims of forced disappearance.

Commentary on “How Mexico Got Back in the Game” T. Friedman

Yes, just what we have been waiting for! Economic Flat-Earth-Society guru Thomas Friedman says Mexico is ALL RIGHT! No mention of 125,000 murdered people and 27,000+ more missing in the past 6 years…  Why mention it when the outcome and outlooks (according to Friedman) are so rosy?  I would love to know what PR bill-of-goods Mr. Friedman is buying and who is selling it.  I hope there will be an investigative report soon on the Mexican government’s rebranding campaign and how it is being run.  I have no doubt that it is growing bigger and is getting more and more success every day as business reporters and columnists swallow the happy pills.  Thanks to Ed for sending this one…

Meanwhile, killings continue this weekend in Ciudad Juarez.  At least 2 more today since my early morning report…
WAIT WAIT THERE’S MORE!!! Tony Garza is a former US Ambassador to Mexico and now a big investor, profiting from free trade… Not that there’s anything wrong with that.  But, to be fair, there is something wrong with all this economic jingoism completely ignoring the human toll of more than 100,000 murdered Mexicans in the past 6 years…  And the increasing rate of poverty in the country. What kind of economic success leaves more than 50% of the country in poverty or EXTREME poverty? molly

Texas bans shooting immigrants from helicopters

Yes, it is a temptation to laugh at such a headline…if only the shooting hadn’t happened and killed two immigrants (that we know of).  But, Mr. McCraw, the outspoken head of Texas Department of Public Safety says that had nothing to do with his kinder gentler new policy…
A friend just suggested I keep a file of such headlines…NOT THE ONION…. Good idea…  feel free to send more… molly

“While announcing the new policy, Texas Department of Public Safety Director Steve McCraw insisted that the ban on aerial shootings had nothing to do with the October 2012 death of two Guatemalan immigrants, who were gunned down by troopers in helicopter while they were hiding in the back of a speeding pickup truck near La Joya.”

Guatemala can’t confirm fight, much less dead Chapo…

The Guatemalan minister of interior has retracted his statements from yesterday referring to a confrontation between police and narcos in El Peten and the possible death of Chapo Guzman…  He says now that he cannot even confirm that a confrontation occurred.
Meanwhile, The Atlantic Wire takes it all seriously. But of course Stratfor and Wikileaks revealed the presence of Chapo in El Peten long ago… This is just an example of the twitterizing of news (IMO)…  Even if there were a confrontation, and even if the actual person who is Chapo Guzman were killed, what difference would it make to the systematic problems of crime, violence and non-functioning justice system in Mexico? And/or in Guatemala…

Proceso report on government response to disappearances–Marcela Turati

Turati’s story explores here how families forced the government of Coahuila to respond to the crisis of the disappeared there: 1,835 people disappeared. Apparently, governors reported to Gobernación  how they are dealing with this. If the current government decides to act, it might follow similar methods listed here–not surprisingly, the state says half the people disappeared were criminals. As a side note, the database with 25,000 leaked to the Post has only 270 disappeared in that Coahuila. So, if the difference is so large, how can we be sure the 25,000 or 27,000 figure is even close to representing the real size of the problem?

UTEP Panel discussion: Julian Cardona, Photographer & Journalist

PANEL DISCUSSION THURSDAY February 21, 2013, 6:00 pm, UTEP Rubin Center Auditorium, 500 West University Ave. El Paso, TX

Julian Cardona, photojournalist
Charles Bowden, author of Juarez: The Laboratory of Our Future (1998); Down by the River (2002); Murder City (2010)
Nancy Sutor, curator of the exhibit, History of the Future, currently at Museo de Arte in Juarez

Moderated by Kerry Doyle, curator of Stardust: Memories of the Calle Mariscal, currently at the Rubin Center

Mexico’s Disappeared: the Enduring Cost of a Crisis Ignored–Human Rights Watch

Mexico’s Disappeared: the Enduring Cost of a Crisis Ignored

Human Rights Watch is pleased to invite you to Casa Lamm in Mexico City on Thursday, February 21, 2013, at 10:15 a.m. for the launch of a new report on the human rights situation in Mexico. 

What: Release of Human Rights Watch report on Mexico

Who: José Miguel Vivanco, Americas director at Human Rights Watch 
Nik Steinberg, Mexico researcher at Human Rights Watch

When: Thursday, February 21, 2013, at 10:15 a.m.

Where: Casa Lamm, Room Espacio Visual
Álvaro Obregón 99, Roma Norte

Cuauhtémoc, 06700 Mexico City

For more Human Rights Watch reporting on Mexico, click here

For more information and to arrange interviews, please contact:

In Mexico City, José Miguel Vivanco (English, Spanish): +52-1-55-5450-4934 (mobile); or
In Mexico City, Nik Steinberg (English, Spanish): +52-1-55-1578-1277 (mobile); or
Please RSVP to:; or +1-202-612-4335
Note to journalists: The full report is embargoed until the news conference. The news conference will be held in Spanish. Complimentary copies of the report in English and Spanish will be available.


***Conferencia de prensa***
Los Desaparecidos de México: El persistente costo de una crisis ignorada

Human Rights Watch tiene el agrado de invitarle a la presentación de un nuevo informe sobre la situación de los derechos humanos en México en Casa Lamm a las 10:15 a.m. el próximo jueves 21 de febrero.

Evento: Lanzamiento de nuevo informe de Human Rights Watch sobre México
Expositores: José Miguel Vivanco, Director para las Américas de Human Rights Watch
                      Nik Steinberg, Experto a cargo de México de Human Rights Watch
Fecha: Jueves 21 de febrero de 2013, 10:15 hrs
Lugar: Casa Lamm, Salón Espacio Visual
Álvaro Obregón 99, Roma Norte
Cuauhtémoc, 06700 DF, México
Para mayor información sobre el trabajo de Human Rights Watch sobre México, por favor diríjase aqui.

Para obtener más información, comuníquese con las siguientes personas:
En México D.F., José Miguel Vivanco (inglés, español): + 1-202-612-4335 (oficina); + 52-1-55-5450-4934(celular);
En México D.F., Nik Steinberg (inglés, español): +52-1-55-1578-1277 (celular);
Por favor confirme su asistencia a:; o +1-202-612-4335
Nota para periodistas: El informe está embargado hasta la conferencia de prensa. La conferencia de prensa se llevará a cabo en español. Habrá copias disponibles del informe en inglés y español.

Nuevo Laredo police chief missing, brothers dead; sniper kills state police commander in Nuevo Leon

In addition to the missing police chief of Nuevo Laredo, this story details the sniper shooting of a state police official in Apodaca in Nuevo Leon. He was shot in the back by gunfire from a Barrett .50 caliber rifle. That is a big rifle… The police chief had been threatened and drove an armored vehicle. The shot came from an estimated 60 meters away. He was arriving home to a gated and guarded community at 1:45 am. They suspect that the sniper was waiting outside the wall all night with the rifle supported on the wall. There are some good images of the Barrett.50 here. molly