A Drug War Informer in No Man’s Land…NYTimes

This long piece in the NYTimes is worth a look. Keep in mind that the DEA is famous for not protecting informants but merely using them. During the time period that the former informant portrayed here was police chief in Zapopan, Guadalajara, it was well-known to be a town sheltering many high-level traffickers. I’m particularly interested in the phone call Mr Lopez receives from an aging and sick General Rebollo Gutierrez recently. I have probably missed it, but I have not seen anything in the press about him being released from prison and transferred to a military hospital with his rank restored.  In fact, I talked to a person recently who claims to have met and talked to the general in prison. Here is a long piece from 1995 about the arrest of El Guero Palma…

The figure of 60,000 dead seems to be the official number, despite the fact that the toll surpassed that easily more than one year ago and that people are still being killed in many places in Mexico… The weekend in Chihuahua state was especially violent, though spread out in rural areas.   molly

U.S. role at a crossroads in Mexico’s intelligence war on the cartels…Washington Post

I recommend careful reading of this article by Dana Priest of the Washington Post…  A few paragraphs are highlighted. There is also an excellent graphic at the link showing the very small number of Mexican military and police killed since 2006…the number is significant, but not when compared to the 100,000+ civilians killed and the 25,000+ disappeared.

After reading this article, I’m struck by this sub-headline below: Violence deepened ties

I think we should ask: “Did the violence deepen tie (between Mexican and US security forces) OR did the deepened ties increase the violence??

The article confirms many of the operations revealed by the Wikileaks files on Mexico and covered in detail by Narco News Bulletin. The article also describes some detail about the long-standing and extremely close relationship between Mexican security forces (especially CISEN) and the CIA dating back to the 1980s. The information on US drones being used in Mexican security operations is especially interesting and troubling…I highlighted the paragraphs on the lack of effects on the supply and price of heroin, cocaine and other drugs in the US, despite the extremely high number of Mexican deaths. The main thing missing from the article is any hint that there is no information to be able to determine that the dead are indeed cartel criminals. But, we can’t have everything.
Read the article… comments welcome.  molly


CSUN journalism professor José Luis Benavides interviews Charles Bowden

Cal State Northridge, journalism professor, José Luis Benavides, interviews journalist and author Charles Bowden, April 22, 2013.

Over the last twenty years Bowden has authored several books on the violence occurring on the border between the United States and Mexico, focusing on Ciudad Juárez. Benavides and Bowden discuss the factors that led to his decision to start writing about the atrocities that Mexico’s powerful and, well-connected, elite carry out against the poor citizens of the country. At the forefront of his decision were the local street photographers that he encountered during a murder story he was investigating in Juárez in 1995. Bowden continues to tell the true story of why such an overwhelming amount of violence exists in Juárez.

After writing a piece about the exceptional work of the Juárez photographers, he discusses the origins of his friendship and collaborative working relationship with Juárez photographer, Julián Cardona. Bowden and Cardona have collaborated on several books. In “Juárez: Laboratory of our Future” Bowden shares how “American generated poverty in factories owned by American companies that pay slave wages,” are not enough for Mexican citizens, working in maquiladoras (foreign owned factories along the US/Mex. border), to survive. The book “Exodus/Éxodo” documents the emigration of Mexican citizens.

Father Alejandro Solalinde–El Alberque showing…Austin May 8

Free Screening of the documentary El Albergue followed by

Q & A with Father Alejandro Solalinde, Mexico’s 2012 National Human Rights Award recipient

 When: Wednesday, May 8, from 7 – 9 p.m.

 Where: Emma S. Barrientos Mexican American Cultural Center

(600 River St, Austin TX 78701, Tel: (512) 974-3772)

MAY 1, 2013 – AUSTIN, TX. Father Alejandro Solalinde, a Mexican Priest and winner of Mexico’s 2012 National Human Right’s Award is leading an “Interfaith Caravan of Hope for Immigration Reform Beyond Borders.” The aim of the caravan is to address the violence and injustices that migrants face on their trek from Latin America into the United States. With violence in Mexico and deportations from the US at a record high, migrants are especially vulnerable and facing a humanitarian crisis which calls for immediate action. The caravan departs from San Diego on April 29 and arrives in Washington D.C. on May 31. The caravan includes priests, pastors, and relatives of Central Americans who have been kidnapped, murdered or disappeared while traveling through Mexico on their way to the United States.

 Austin Tan Cerca, Cine las Americas, The Texas Observer, Mexicanos en Exilio and the Emma S. Barrientos Mexican American Cultural Center are honored to host the caravan on its stop in Austin, Texas, on May 8th at 7 p.m.  at the Emma S. Barrientos Mexican American Cultural Center for a film screening of EL ALBERGUE a documentary about Hermanos en el Camino,a shelter for migrants in Oaxaca, Mexico run by Father Solalinde. Following the screening there will be a Q & A with Solalinde and members of the Caravan. Donations are accepted and will be used to cover costs of hosting; the remaining funds will be donated to the caravan. Donations can be made to the nonprofit Austin Tan Cerca and are tax deductible.


Presented by the Emma S. Barrientos Mexican American Cultural Center, in collaboration with Mexicanos en Exilio, Cine Las Americas, Austin Tan Cerca and The Texas Observer

Contact: Alejandra Spector (915) 204-6511 mexenex@gmail.com

Alejandra Spector

Mexicanos en el exilio

Twitter: @mexenex


 El albergue

A film by Alejandra Islas

2012, Mexico, Documentary

86 min. Digital, Color

Along the railroad tracks in Ixtepec Oaxaca, Father Alejandro Solalinde founded and built a shelter in 2007 to provide refuge to Central American migrants who ride on top of the trains on their way to the United States. Solalinde’s struggle intersects with the changing lives of dozens of women and men, who compelled by hope for a better life, wait for the moment when they will embark on their perilous journeys north.

En español:

Frente a las vías del tren, el sacerdote Alejandro Solalinde funda y construye un albergue en Ixtepec, Oaxaca, para dar refugio y alivio espiritual a migrantes centroamericanos. La lucha de Solalinde se entrecruza con las cambiantes vidas de mujeres y hombres, que movidos por la fe y la necesidad de trabajo digno, aguardan el momento de desafiar los peligros de su viaje al norte.

Sponsors: Austin Tan Cerca, Cine Las Americas, Mexicanos en Exilio, and the Texas Observer

Special Thanks: Austin Food Recovery Network

45 murder victims in Juarez in April

The Fiscalia and El Diario report this morning that a total of 45 people were murdered in Juarez in April. There is no breakdown by age or gender reported here.

At least two people were murdered on April 30, though I did not see these in El Diario. I got the information from the Fiscalia communiques that I receive via email. I will assume these are included in the total, but I am not certain of that. The Fiscal paints it in a positive light—even though the past two months have shown an increase, the numbers are still far below what they were in 2008-2012. Below are the cumulative figures for 2013 that I have. molly
January 30 1 Diario reported 25, but my count was 30  


February 29 5 Diario reported 25, 2 of them women; but there were 4 bodies found in narcofosas, 1 male and 3 female
March 45 2