Two Mexican generals detained for alleged drug gang ties–Reuters; more…

Note this from the Mexican article that is not included in the Reuters
piece:
___________
Information from investigations carried out by DEA inside the US revealed
that some Mexican army and marines have been collaborating with the Zetas
and the Gulf, Sinaloa and Juarez cartels. The US officer, who asked that
his name and agency not be revealed because he was not authorized to make
statements to the press, said that the premise had always been maintained
that military officers were innocent until proven guilty and in some cases,
they will be seeking extradition to the United States so that they can
collaborate with justice in the US.
Information from the US anti-drug agency indicates that, after a year and a
half of operations in US territory, arrests have been made that have led to
the capture of members of the Zetas, as well as those of La Familia
Michoacana, and the Gulf and Sinaloa cartels inside US territory.

New Proceso article on General Acosta Chaparro’s role during Mexico’s dirty war

In case you need more evidence of the character of the Mexican General murdered Friday in Mexico City, see this excerpt from an article now appearing in Proceso. I hear a lot of rhetoric about the “incredible brutality” of the drug cartels and a lot of other superlative language… But there is seldom any questioning among US policy-makers and even among most journalists of Calderon’s claims that the Army are the incorruptible good guys fighting the drug traffickers. For many decades, the Mexican Army has been the major power in the country torturing and killing social activists and also enriching themselves and their civilian partners through drug trafficking. Here is a short example of some activities of General Acosta Chaparro in Guerrero during the “dirty war

The general who killed by the sword, a name associated with torture

In Guerrero he will be remembered as one of the most abominable actors in the dirty war of the Mexican state against dissidents. Since then his name, Mario Arturo Acosta Chaparro Escapite-continues to evoke the sensation of burning pain among social activists there, who consider him responsible for the detention and torture of hundreds of political opponents of the PRI regime, as well as the person behind many forced disappearances.

Four days after the Guerrero Congress installed the Truth Commission to investigate the crimes of the dirty war, General Mario Arturo Acosta Chaparro Escapite was executed in Mexico City on Friday, April 20, 2012. His name was inevitably linked to torture, enforced disappearance of hundreds of social activists and to many of the as yet unexplained deaths in the dirty war.

His actions in Guerrero during the administrations of Ruben Figueroa Figueroa (1975-1981) and his son, Ruben Figueroa Alcocer (1993-1999), marked him indelibly. In the Fox administration he was one of the soldiers under investigation by the Special Prosecutor for Social and Political Movements of the Past (FEMOSPP), which incorporated a preliminary investigation against him, General Humberto Quiros Hermosillo and then Captain Francisco Javier Barquin for their participation in the torture and murder of 143 people.

The case was referred to military courts, and during the hearings at least 10 soldiers were summoned to testify as witnesses, including Tarin Gustavo Chavez, who said that between 1975 and 1979 he worked as an aide to Acosta Chaparro.

During this period 1,500 arrests were made at checkpoints set up by the army on Guerrero roads and highways. Some of these detainees were transferred to the Military Air Base “Pie de la Cuesta.” According to witnesses, Barquin was responsible for registering their names in a book of people who would be disappeared [libro de pastas negras].

According to some versions, as part of that process, General Quiros Hermosillo and Acosta picked out detainees and posed them on a chair to take “the souvenir photo.” They then shot them in the neck with a .380 caliber pistol which Quiros named “the avenging sword.” The bodies were put into canvas bags, loaded onto an Arava airplane of what was then known as Squadron 301 and the dead would be to thrown into the sea during unauthorized flights.

According to Tarin Chavez, Acosta Chaparro personally executed some 200 people, “all of this with the permission of General Quiros Hermosillo” (Proceso 1356). Despite the incriminating evidence, he and Quiros Hermosillo were exonerated.
(Excerpt from an article appearing this week in the magazine Proceso 1851, now on the newsstands.)

http://www.proceso.com.mx/?p=305089

massacre in bar in Chihuahua City; General assassinated in Mexico City

At least 15 people were massacred in an attack on the Bar Colorado in Chihuahua City last night. A followup report says that 2 of the victims were journalists. One used to have a radio program in the city and now was working for the municipal government. Another had a website for reporting news. The actual death toll is now at least 15….

Retired General Mario Arturo Acosta Chaparro was assassinated at a car repair garage in DF. In 2000 he was linked to the Juarez Cartel and tried and sentenced to 16 years. Neither the PGR (Federal Attorney General) nor the Military Attorney General could make the charges stick and so eventually he was exonerated.

“Para 2007 ni la PGR ni la Procuraduría de Justicia Militar pudieron acreditar los nexos de Acosta Chaparro con el narcotráfico, por lo que tuvo que ser exonerado.”
He had also been charged with crimes against humanity from the “dirty war”
in the 1970s.  AND he was decorated by Calderon in 2008 as a hero…molly

Retired Mexican general shot dead in Mexico City

 

 

Mexico’s Plan to Create a Paramilitary Force–Stratfor

Based on what I know about Mexico and other Latin American countries that
have used paramilitary forces, if this plan gets enacted, we will see even
more extra-judicial killings and the level of impunity will increase (if
that is possible?)… A paramilitary force will have carte blanche to carry
out social cleansing and will be even less accountable than the current
federal police and military forces, in my opinion.  It is interesting to
see this proposal from the PRI candidate since what most people seem to
think he will do is reestablish arreglos (arrangements) with criminal
organizations as a way to lessen the levels of violence.  It is hard to
imagine that these new forces would not be even more easily corruptible.
The term fascist also comes to mind.  molly


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

 

In Mexico, a Kidnapping Ignored as Crime Worsens–NYTimes

Note the information here on the levels of impunity… the 2% figure
is often quoted and actually, it is worse. Two percent is generally
cited as the percentage of crimes that go to some kind of judicial
process—it does not imply that anyone is convicted or sentenced for
the crime… in the case of kidnappings, the figure is even worse
since almost none of the crimes are even reported… m.

In Mexico, a Kidnapping Ignored as Crime Worsens

 

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

Rights Abuses by Mexico Military in Spotlight–Wall Street Journal

MEXICO CITY—Throughout Mexico’s drug war, the country’s military has shrugged off allegations that soldiers have occasionally tortured or even executed suspected members of drug cartels, saying that the majority of the charges were made up by zealous activists or the cartels themselves.

But three high-profile cases this month that are being investigated outside the military’s own secret courts have prompted the army’s top commander to say the military may have committed serious human-rights abuses.

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