Cracking the Mexican Cartels—NYTimes op-ed

Does anyone believe this?  What about the YEARS of testimony from victims
of violence and extortion in Ciudad Juarez, that the Federal Police are the
perpetrators? What evidence is there that this “top-down” strategy of
killing or arresting “king-pins” has done anything to decrease the supply
of drugs flowing out of Mexico or raising the prices of drugs in the US?

“To do that, he would need forces capable of patrolling urban areas,
collecting intelligence, and gathering the evidence necessary to prosecute
drug traffickers — functions that only professionalized law enforcement
agencies could carry out. To win this war, Calderón needed cops he could
rely on.”

I would propose that the evidence indicates that the military and police
forces patrolling urban areas are guilty of hunting down street level drug
sellers and killing them, and of extorting businesses, kidnapping people
and all manner of other crimes. And that the violent effects of this
so-called successful strategy is causing the violence to spread to areas of
Mexico far beyond the border. It will be interesting to see if the longer
version of this article to be published in Foreign Affairs presents any
evidence of these claims…  molly

 

man burned inside his home in Juarez was scheduled to testify against federal police kidnappers

*Here is a story from Saturday that I missed.  I did have the initial
report of the man burned inside of his house, but, according to a report in
the EPTimes and also a followup in El Diario, the dead man was the person
who reported abuses, kidnapping and extortion and drug dealing carried out
by federal police in Juarez and who testified against them at the time
(this was in September 2011) had left the city for his safety. He had
returned to testify in a court hearing to be held this week, but was killed
— stabbed and then burned to death inside of his house in the Margaritas
neighborhood — on Friday. The original articles from El Diario and Norte
from September 2011 are also posted below from the INPRO database. The
Diario article includes the unnamed person’s testimony of his kidnapping
and near death at the hands of the federal police officers who are now said
to be in custody. But, it is likely that without this person’s testimony
that was scheduled for this week in court, the serious charges against the
federal police criminals will be dropped and it is likely that they will be
released. That is how the system works.  What will be interesting is if
that DOES NOT happen since at least in this case, there is some followup in
the press and with the human rights office in Juarez.  molly*

Click here for the original posts from El Diario and Norte

15 yr old girl shot outside of her house

Yesterday, Friday, at least 3 people were killed in Juarez. But near
midnight, in another attack a young girl, 15, was shot in front of her
house in Senderos de San Isidro in the southeast region of the city.
Another girl with her was also seriously wounded in the attack.

The 2 girls were talking in front of the house after 11 pm, standing on the
sidewalk when a vehicle came by with several people on board. According to
witnesses, no one got out of the vehicle but they began to shoot from
inside the car. The father of the dead girl cried out “JUSTICIA!” and said
that the municipal police who arrived at the scene only cordoned it off and
then stood around instead of trying to find the people who had murdered his
daughter.

“There is my daughter lying dead and they just fuck around…go an look for
the murderers…Mr. President! look and see what your agents are doing!
There is my daughter lying there…” screamed the man.

At least three of his neighbors had to restrain him as he was trying to
embrace the body of the girl…

This afternoon, another murder was reported of a 16 yr old boy in colonia
Villa Residencial del Real. He was killed with a knife early in the morning
and his body left in the street.

Rafaguean a quinceañera afuera de su casa

The note below was sent by Jose Rivera who knows the history of the gangs
in El Paso and Juarez because he lived through it. Now he is living through
tornadoes in the midwestern US…far from the border…But I asked his
permission to post his response to the story of the 15 yr old girl murdered
friday night in front of her home in Juarez… Below, a further note on the
murder in El Diario.  The killer is said to be a 14 yr old boy, a friend of
the victims… The article says that dozens of young kids in these
neighborhoods on the southeast of Juarez are making a living by stripping
abandoned houses of things that can be sold.  And that 40 percent of the
kids do not have jobs and do not go to school…molly

 

 

 

More than Words: Photojournalist captures the violence in Mexico via El Nuevo Sol

Julian Cardona/ Photo by Karla Henry for El Nuevo Sol

Mexican photojournalist Julian Cardona presented his photographs illustrating the violence in Mexico and the economic turmoil its citizens face during his visit to California State University, Northridge on Tuesday, April 11.

Sharing photographs from his books including Exodus/Exodo and Juarez: The Laboratory of our Future, Cardona noted the ramifications of North American Free Trade Act (NAFTA), an agreement among the US, Mexico and Canada, and the risks migrants face when crossing the border.

“First thing I realized was that in the city there were external forces and transnational forces that were playing a role in the everyday life,” said Cardona.

As a photographer for El Diario de Juarez, he witnessed first hand the effects of foreign markets in Mexico, noting the privatization of the public enterprise and market de-regularization.

To read more, visit El Nuevo Sol

For more on the violence in Mexico, click here

The Deadliest Place In Mexico Who’s killing the people of the Juarez Valley?–Melissa del Bosque in the Texas Observer

To reach the deadliest place in Mexico you take Carretera Federal 2, a well-paved stretch of highway that begins at the outskirts of Juarez, east for 50 miles along the Rio Grande, passing through cotton and alfalfa fields until you reach the rural Juarez Valley, said to have the highest murder rate in the country, if not the world.

The Juarez Valley is a narrow corridor of green farmland carved from the Chihuahuan desert along the Rio Grande. Farmers proudly say it was once known for its cotton, which rivaled Egypt’s. But that was before the booming growth of Juarez’s factories in the 1990s left farmers downstream with nothing but foul-smelling sludge to irrigate their fields. After that, the only industry that thrived was drug smuggling. Because of the valley’s sparse population and location along the Rio Grande’s dried up riverbed, a person can easily drive or walk into Texas loaded down with marijuana and cocaine.

For decades, this lucrative smuggling corridor, or “plaza,” was controlled by the Juarez cartel. In 2008, Mexico’s largest, most powerful syndicate—the Sinaloa cartel, run by Joaquin “El Chapo” Guzman—declared war on the Juarez cartel and moved in to take over the territory. The federal government sent in the military to quell the violence. Instead the murder rate in the state of Chihuahua exploded. The bloodshed in the city of Juarez made international news. It was dubbed the “deadliest city in the world.”

Click here to read more