Murder of Sinaloa activist Sandra Luz Hernandez

For a week now, the Mexican press has been reporting on the death of Sandra Luz Hernandez in Culiacan. The LATimes has the story today. I noted the number of missing and disappeared has been raised to 30,000, though the low figure of 70,000 dead continues.  As best I can tell from the official SNSP data that is posted every month, at least 50 people continue to be killed DAILY in Mexico.

So, it makes no sense to keep using a figure for the murder victims that has not increased since 2011. And it is unclear whether this data includes the dozens of people killed in ongoing confrontations with military forces in Tamaulipas, Michocan, Sinaloa and other places now experiencing hyperviolence.

Here is a compilation of articles in Spanish. molly

Two murders, bodies dismembered in Juarez; 4 more killed in Tamaulipas

The body of a woman was found dismembered this morning, wrapped in a blanket and thrown into a garbage barrel. The remains were found at the intersection of Lazaro Cardenas and Malaysia in the Infonavit Oasis neighborhood. The body was found by garbage workers. As of the time the story below was posted the body had not been identified.

In another incident, a man was assassinated, dismembered and his remains were placed in 5 plastic bags. The head, wrapped in tape was placed at the side and all were left in the colonia Division del Norte. There have been no statements from authorities in these cases.

Below, 4 more people are reported killed in continuing confrontations in Tamaulipas.

Click on the links below to read the stories in spanish.

Hallan Mujer Desmembrada En Bote De La Basura (El Diario Digital)

Lo Matan, Descuartizan Y Dejan En Bolsas En La Vía Pública (El Diario Digital)

Suman 4 Muertos Por Tiroteos En Tamaulipas (El Universal)

Arsene Van Nierop Book Presentation at NMSU, Wed May 7

Arsene Van Nierop will speak and present her book at the Nason House at NMSU, Wednesday, May 7th, 4:00 – 6:00 p.m. The Nason House (Center for Border & Latin American Studies) is on University Avenue, just across from Kinkos. 

For more information, please contact Prof. Cynthia Bejarano, Criminal Justice Department, NMSU, cbejaran@nmsu.edu

Un grito de socorro desde Juarez by Arsène van Nierop

Arsène van Nierop

On September 19th, 1998, Hester Van Nierop was murdered in Ciudad Juárez. Arsène discovered that the murder of her daughter was not an isolated case: between 1992 and 1998 at least 400 women were murdered in Juárez.

Ingrid Therese de Vries

Since 2012, Ingrid is involved in the Hester Foundation, and is the translator of Arsène’s book.

*In early 2014, Hestor’s murderer was apprehended in the U.S.

Wednesday, May 7th at the Nason House 

4:00 – 6:00 p.m. 

Arsène van Nierop

Hester van Nierop

FNS: One Woman’s Fight against Femicide Crosses Borders

In terms of this statement from the article below, I would point out that it is true that the murders of women increased greatly in 2008… They increased from about 25 in 2007 to 98 in 2008. At the same time, the murders of men increased even more–from 291 in 2007 to 1,525 in 2008. Interestingly, as the killings in Juarez exploded in 2008, the PERCENTAGE of the total homicide victims who were women DECREASED, from almost 8 percent in 2007 to 6 percent in 2008. In the same years (and for many years) the percentage of murder victims in the United States each year who are women was between 20 and 25 percent.
Overall, from 1993-2013, women are about 9.2 percent of total homicide victims in Ciudad Juarez. molly
                   Total homicides          Males                        Females
2007 316 291 25 7.91%
2008 1623 1525 98 6.04%
A sharp increase in women’s murders and disappearances coincided with the introduction of large groups of armed men, both from government security forces and organized criminal groups, after narco-violence exploded in 2008, the women’s advocate said.
“There is a correlation between the armed masculine presence and the murders of women,” Aragon added. “According to the statistics, this increased the vulnerability of women.”
FNS: One Woman’s Fight against Femicide Crosses Borders

April 23, 2014

Women’s/Human Rights News

One Woman’s Fight against Femicide Crosses Borders

Laura Aragon Castro has broad perspectives on the struggle for gender justice. Inside and outside of government and across multiple borders, Aragon has waged a long fight from different trenches for women’s access to justice and a life free of violence.

Growing up in the state of Chihuahua in the 1990s, the young Mexican woman became aware of the serial murders of women in the state’s big border city of Ciudad Juarez. Later, while studying in France, she learned about similar killings in her hometown of Chihuahua City.


To read more, click here

3 Murders In Juarez | 3 Asesinatos En Juárez…El Diario

At least 3 people were killed April 20 in Ciudad Juarez. Below are the links to the stories.

Asesinan A Dos En Bar De La Vicente Guerrero

Staff
El Diario | 08:29

Un hombre y una mujer fueron asesinados a tiros esta madrugada en un bar ubicado en la colonia El Barreal.

Aunque no fueron proporcionadas sus identidades, en el lugar trascendió que las víctimas eran el encargado y una cajera del establecimiento, denominado Werever, que se ubica en la calle Vicente Guerrero esquina con Colombia.

De acuerdo con testigos, alrededor de la 1:30 de la mañana arribó un auto compacto color blanco, del que descendió una persona que ingresó al negocio y se dirigió a la barra para de inmediato disparar contra sus objetivos.

Tras lograr su cometido el atacante se dio a la fuga.

Al lugar llegaron autoridades municipales quienes acordonaron la zona e implementaron un operativo para dar con el o los sospechosos, pero hasta el momento no se han dado a conocer resultados.

Posteriormente, personal de la Fiscalía acudió a recoger los cadáveres y realizar los peritajes necesarios para esclarecer el doble homicidio.

Matan A Un Hombre En La Colonia Plutarco Elías Calles

Un hombre fue victimado a balazos esta madrugada mientras caminaba por la colonia Plutarco Elías Calles.

La víctima era una persona de aproximadamente 19 años, cuyo cuerpo quedó tirado en plena vía pública en el cruce de Almoloya e Isla Curazao del sector antes mencionado.

Debido a que las autoridades acordonaron casi 50 metros a la redonda del lugar del homicidio y al hermetismo de los mismos agentes, no fue posible conocer mayores características del asesinado.

Vecinos del lugar dijeron no conocerlo y descartaron que se trate de algún residente de esa calle.

 

Murders rebound…17 victims in first 4 days of September; 4 bodies found today in tractor-trailer

In the first 4 days of September, there were 17 murders–the Diario story says this rebound in murders has caused alarm amongst federal public security commanders, who met yesterday at the military garrison… These 17 deaths equal nearly half of all the murders that occurred in August (38).  Also, 4 bodies were discovered in a tractor-trailer on the road between Juarez and Chihuahua. The trailer is reported to have originated in Juarez and it was hijacked at some point Tuesday night at Km 95 on the highway.  This morning it was found abandoned with the bodies of 3 men and a woman in the vehicle.

Juarez Murders: Mexico’s Secretary Of State To Unveil Memorial For Slain Women

If there were any doubts about the erasing of the dead and disinformation about Juarez, try this sentence:

Since 1993, the small border town of Juarez has been overcome by waves of murders, most of which have been attacks against women. Human rights activists estimate the number of slain women is in the thousands.

First, Juarez is not a “small border town” but a city of at least 1.2-1.3 million people. About twice as large as its US neighbor, El Paso. Since 1993, using official numbers from the state Attorney General and media reports, the number of PEOPLE killed in Juarez is more than 14,500 and of that total, about 1,250 were women. This does not include the people who have gone missing.  But by ANY count or estimate, we can say with certainty that at least 10 times as many of the murder victims in the city of Juarez for all of these years from 1993–present have been men or boys. A less misleading article from the El Paso Times neglects to mention the actual HUMAN death toll. Notably, in 2012, as we have gratefully seen the homicide toll decrease, the percentage of victims who are women has increased. This is probably due to the fact that as the murders related to gang violence and narco-violence have declined in Juarez, the number of domestic violence murders where the victims are usually women becomes a larger percentage of the total…in 2012, it is about 12.5 %.  Still, the actual NUMBERS of women killed were much higher in 2010-2011 because the numbers of PEOPLE killed were so high overall. The quote from Irma Casas of Casa Amiga is absolutely true and applies to ALL of the victims, not only the women: “Murders are rarely investigated and only 1 percent are even decided upon,” Irma Casas, director of women’s rights group Casa Amiga Esther Chavez Cano, told FOX News Latino.

molly molloy

Murders of women

1993-2007………………427 (3,538) – 12%

2008 ……………………….87   (1,623) – 5.3%

2009……………………….164 (2,754)—5.9%

2010 ………………………304 (3,622) – 8.3%

2011 …………………….. 196  (2,086) – 9.3%

2012 (as of July 31) ………73 (584) – 12.5%

Women…………1,251 ( 14,527 total victims) – 8.6%

Women = 8.6 percent

of total murder victims over the past 18 years

Statistics from El Diario based on official data from the Chihuahua State Attorney General

Human rights and the Mexican military…Council on Foreign Relations

For those who care to look back at the record, the reports of severe human rights abuses in the current Mexican context first came to light just a few DAYS after the Mexican Army troops came to Juarez in March 2008. Municipal police walked out in protest; citizens protested home invasions and abductions, notably in the Valle de Juarez. One of the most vocal protesters was Josefina Reyes–she was later murdered by the Mexican Army… Here are her words from early summer, 2008:
“Now you see all these big billboards, ‘We [the army] have come to help you’ — but it isn’t true. They have come to pillage us, to ransack our homes. They take the food in the refrigerator, jewelry, anything . . . and they destroy property. It is not a secret who they are.”
There are many Mexicans who have documented the abuses carried out by the Mexican military against the Mexican people.  It is about time that the international community take note…  molly

LEGITIMATE HOMICIDE…

As I was driving home today and listening to the news about Todd Akin and “legitimate rape“…

I thought, well, what we have been seeing in Mexico for (at least) the last 6 years is a government that says there is homicide and then, there is “legitimate homicide.” And government mouth-pieces ranging from mayors and police chiefs of Juarez, to governors of Chihuahua and on up to Secretaries of Gobernacion, Defense, and Public Security and on up to President Calderon himself have consistently said that “90 percent of the dead are criminals being killed by other criminals.” [legitimate homicide…] The recent Washington Post article quotes numerous government spokespersons in Juarez reinforcing this idea that all of the killing happened between criminals — “legitimate homicides”– and government forces are now bringing calm to the city… All this at the very moment when the Mexican government is being forced to admit that it cannot legitimately classify homicides at all since it lacks the capability to investigate more than one or two percent of the crimes and now the national statistical agency says that despite all the claims of “winning the drug war,” there were more homicides (by far) in 2011 than in any other year since Calderon took office (or any year prior to that since the Mexican Revolution (1910-1920)… Here is the REFORMA article from today on the new INEGI numbers.  I’ll post something more comparative tomorrow…a GOOGLE translation of the REFORMA piece is below…and a little chart I am working on comparing the INEGI releases from 2011 and today. According to my first look at this new data, with estimates of what will happen for the remaining months of Calderon’s term, we are looking 116,869 homicides during the sexenio. And these are all connected to real government data and real body counts. NOT including estimates of disappeared people or bodies yet to be uncovered from clandestine graves… [feel free to check my arithmetic]  Molly Molloy
GOOGLE TRANSLATION: 
27,199 murders recorded in 2011
Chihuahua, according to INEGI, is the state with the highest number of violent deaths with an average of 131 murders per 100,000 inhabitants
By REFORM / Writing
Mexico City (August 20, 2012). – In 2011 there were 27,199 intentional homicides in Mexico, the highest in the six-year period, according to data released by the National Institute of Statistics and Geography (INEGI). The figures are derived from the information provided by the administrative records of the Registry Offices 723 4000
Civil Registry and 96 thousand prosecutor agencies that provide monthly data on deaths accidental and violent, precise INEGI in a statement. The Institute notes that the company with the highest number of deaths was Chihuahua, which occurred in
average of 131 murders per 100,000 inhabitants, and the lowest rate was Yucatan, with three cases. “To facilitate comparison of data from homicides per 100,000 inhabitants, was an exercise by the INEGI, for population estimates for each of the years of the series to be present, consistent with the results of the Census of Population and Housing 2010, “says the Institute. “So these calculations will not match other data generated from official projections current population are based on the Second Population and Housing 2005 and conciliation
population of 2005. ” According to the annual breakdown presented by the Institute, in 2006 there were 10,452 deaths, while in 2007, 2008, 2009 and 2010 occurred 8,867, 14 006, 19,803 and 25,757, respectively. However, last year, according to the cut last July, have not finished it processes generation of statistics, the figure reached 27,199 deaths.
Copyright © Grupo Reforma Information Service
And here is a comment on the earlier post by my colleague at Cal State Northridge on the news media complicity in this continuing falsifying of the record:
_______________________
Amazing (but not surprising) to think this is not a big story in the U.S. Plus, a great example of how government agencies shape and manipulate reality. The Mexican government definition of drug-related crime is as bogus as the definition of gang-related crime in the U.S. The purpose, of course, is different, but the effect has been catastrophic for poor people in both instances.
The result of this, as pointed out by Molly, is that news media organizations have been reporting Mexico’s government figures without challenging the government, which means a reduction of the size of the impact on Mexican society. Instead of 50 or 60,000 drug-related killings, we should be talking about 100,000+. Think of Vietnam: 50,000 U.S. soldiers killed (and the impact on American society). Now, imagine double that size with a population half the size of the U.S. during Vietnam. Nobody in Mexico has remained untouched by this. And this is not the end yet… From Jose Luis Benavides
LINKS TO SOURCES FOR NUMBERS ARE BELOW:
  INEGI total homicides reported Aug 2012* INEGI total homicides reported July 2011+ SNSP
2005 9,921 9,921  
2006 10,452 10,452  
2007 8,867 8,867  
2008 14,006 14,006  
2009 19,803 19,803  
2010 25,757 24,374  
2011 27,199  
2012 (Jan-June estimate from SNSP)# 10,617    
July-Dec est. @ 1770 per month 10,620    
TOTAL 2007-2012 Calderon’s term 116,869   104,977 (estimate SNSP as per Reforma, Aug 15 2012 + July-Dec 2012 est.)&

Mexican government admits it doesn’t know how many homicides are related to drug war…

Yesterday, REFORMA reported that a spokesman for the federal government in Mexico stated that this administration will not release a new number of “homicides related to organized crime” before the end of Calderon’s sexenio.  The main focus of the article is that this will not be done because the government cannot accurately determine the causes of the homicides. This is exactly what I have been saying consistently on this list and elsewhere for several years.

 The government will release the complete tally of homicidios dolosos or intentional homicides as tallied by SNSP.  The numbers I’ve report most often use INEGI data for the earlier years of the sexenio and SNSP for 2011 forward.  I think that these numbers are somewhat higher because INEGI data does not separate the homicidios dolosos from other homicides that are what would be classified as negligent or accidental in the US… The differences are not huge. The REFORMA article gives a total of 94,357 through June 2012; INSIGHT CRIME says the SNSP figure for Jan-June 2012 is 10,617. If the average homicides per month (1,770) is extrapolated through the end of November 2012 (when Calderon’s term ends) the total will be 19,464. Added to the previous SNSP number, we would have a total of about 103,204.  I think the eventual number will be higher than that and considering the government’s political motives, I’m comfortable with my current estimate of 110,000. As some of the national figures (including Javier Sicilia) quoted in the article say, these numbers do not include the numbers of missing and disappeared people, nor the bodies that are still being found buried in clandestine graves in many places in the country.
The content of the government spokesman’s statement is almost exactly what I have been saying for years–that the criteria used to determine what is or is not an “organized crime related homicide” is bogus:
__________
He further explained: “They set the criteria and said, ‘well, let’s see…if they used weapons of heavy caliber, if they moved the body, if the body is bound, if there are signs of torture…if two or more of these (characteristics) are present then the homicide could be attributed to organized crime ‘. They had some methodological support for what was published but it was only an approximation, as if they are just saying, ‘yes, this could be organized crime,’ ” he said.

__________

I will look around for more statistics to see if a better estimate is possible. It is interesting that this admission by the government is first published by REFORMA. REFORMA’s oft-cited “Ejecumetro” has for years used the same or similar criteria to determine which killings are related to organized crime and these much lower numbers have been frequently reported in the Mexican national media. The REFORMA data are also used by the Transborder Institute (TBI) in their monthly publications on the drug war. It will be interesting to see how this policy change–admission–backtracking (what else could we call it?) by the Calderon administration will be treated in the international media–if it is noticed at all.
Borderland Beat has a better translation of the Reforma article. Also take a look at the comments.
Here is one of them:
Does anyone know why all that is going in Mexico hardly makes it on the evening news here in the US?
It’s like the domestic dispute next door that everyone is aware of but we all want to pretend its not happening. It really is strange.
More Mexican government officials report that the new database for compiling homicide and missing persons data nationally is extremely behind and indefinitely delayed. A Google translation is below:
GOOGLE TRANSLATION

New national database for homicides delayed

Prado Henia

Agency Reform | 08.17.2012 | 22:24

Federal District-The new database that will store the numbers of intentional homicide and missing persons, which was negotiated by state attorneys and the Attorney General, has not been able to start walking.

The reasons for the delay of this new registration agreement over a year ago is that there is partial information, wrong or delay in delivering it.

An early start date for this database, set for May 12 was postponed and finally determined that as of June 15 would begin to flow data to concentrate on this record.

“The National Conference reaffirms its commitment to fulfill the mandate of the CNSP to establish databases nationally, for registration of intentional homicide and missing persons.

“For this, the law enforcement agencies are committed to providing complete records of these databases later than June 15 this year, expand, update and validate the respective information permanently,” said May 24 the entitled the PGR, Marisela Morales.

Federal District connection, Jaime Lopez-Aranda, head of the National Information Center of the Executive Secretariat of the National Public Security System (SESNSP), said that while the collection of information is substantial homicide, shall be at least one other months to complete the count. “The database of voluntary manslaughter is compiling the PGR will allow us to have more accurate data of victimology, for example, and not only the preliminary investigation, it secretes the victim’s age, sex of victim, location.

“We are really behind. Promised for June 15, I hope it comes out in September and October, because many entities provided information as we had to be delivered, then you should return it, “he said.

This new database and updated monthly to the SESNSP on its website will be the only references that citizens have about the violent murders occurred in the country.

Neither breaks down the number of executed by organized crime. (Agency Reform)

*************************************************************************************************************

Molly Molloy