The El Diario report posted late Saturday (Feb 28) reported 29 homicides in Juarez in February. But late Saturday night, a young man was shot to death by a police officer bringing the total to 30. Channel 44 reported 31. These discrepancies have been fairly common over time. El Diario reported 37 homicides in January; Channel 44 reported 36.
At least 7 people have been killed in violent incidents in Juarez so far this weekend. On Saturday a municipal policeman was shot but survived the attack and injured the shooter. The policeman was taken to the hospital. Later on Saturday, near midnight, 5 people were killed and at least 4 others were injured when an “armed comando” attacked a house party in the Colonia Felipe Angeles. The report says at least 30 people were at the party–a birthday celebration–and included women and children. The attackers also set fire to several vehicles on the property. The owner of the house ran a tortilleria.
In another area of the city known as Granjero, a couple were attacked and the man was killed. The woman apparently survived. People in the area indicated that in the past several days there have been several execution-style murders and the residents are fearful.
Early Sunday morning, a man was executed at the Tequila Bar in the Pronaf zone near the Plaza de las Americas mall (this is a traditional tourist zone near the UACJ and the Las Americas bridge to central El Paso). -Molly
Thanks to Jim Creechan for these links to updates on the killings and disappearances of the 43 students. -Molly
Reports in La Jornada and a report from CENCOS:
Academic Investigators have refuted the claim that the normalistas were incinerated at the Cocula garbage dump. They provided a detailed analysis of why this was physically impossible. Some independent (academic) investigators have suggested that the students might have been incinerated in army crematoria or in other private crematoria. The investigators have called for the army to allow inspectors onto the base to check. The army rejects both the “possibility” that this could have happened and “access to inspect”. In fact, a letter in today’s La Jornada from a general argues that the army does NOT HAVE incinerators capable of burning bodies. Sanjuana Martínez interviewed an academic at the centre of these claims (on Sunday) and he suggested that there had been threats made against those who opposed the “official version”. On Monday, an opinion column in La Jornada warned about the growing signs of “suppression” and threats against those who oppose the official version.
Both the Mexican press and the intellectual class of Mexico continue to be worried that the ultimate government response to the missing students and the public protests will be another DIRTY WAR. And I’m guessing that these fears are even greater today after the announcement the death of one of the iconic voices of free speech [ Julio Scherer Garcia (Proceso publisher)died early this morning–http://www.washingtonpost.com/world/the_americas/julio-scherer-garcia-journalist-and-irritant-of-politicians-dies-at-88/2015/01/07/a50ebb82-96a0-11e4-8005-1924ede3e54a_story.html ].
There were 30 homicides–an average of 1 per day in November in Ciudad Juarez. A total of 401 people have been murdered in Juarez so far in 2014:
Total 1993-2007 = 3,538 (0.7 per day)
2007 = 320
2008 = 1,623 (4.4 per day)
2009 = 2,754 (7.5 per day)
2010 = 3,622 (9.9 per day) **
2011 = 2,086 (5.7 per day)
2012 = 797 (2 per day)
2013 = 497 (1.36 per day)
2014 = 401 (as of 30 Nov 1.2 per day)
Total killed since 2008 = 11,780
Total killed since 2007 = 12,100
Average of 4.6 people per day since Jan 2008
* Figures compiled from data reported by the State Attorney General (Fiscalia) for Chihuahua and reported in El Diario de Juárez
**original media tally for 2010=3,111; March 2011 Fiscalia report = 3,951; Fiscalia spokesman gave new figure of 3,622 to Reuters reporter in October 2011. Mica Rosenberg and Julian Cardona, Special Report: Federal Forces sully Mexico’s war on drugs, Reuters, December 27, 2011.
Thanks to Jim for sending these links and analysis. – Molly
Comments from Jim:
Padre Alejandro Solalinde is proving to be a one-man wrecking crew undermining the Peña Nieto government attempt to push the Ayotzinapa massacre into the background.
He was the first one to report that the students had been executed and burned with diesel fuel (three weeks? before the Murillo Karam press conference).
And yesterday he addressed a group of students in Guadalajara and reported that the arrest of ex-Alcalde Abarca was a staged event for political reasons and an attempt to control the agenda.
> El gobierno “ha estado administrando esta información para aprovechar tiempos políticos. No es cierto que le interese la tragedia; lo que le interesa es sacar provecho electoral
> Se trata de un control de daños políticos, un control de daños partidistas. Han estado manipulando toda la información para beneficio del PRI-gobierno.–
According to Padre Solalinde, Abarca and his wife were captured in Vera Cruz. If you remember, I had previously sent out an email indicating that Abarca was arrested in Vera Cruz and I had based my information on an internet item that was briefly reported by ejecentral.com and at least one other daily. But those reports did not lead to any national coverage or follow-up of this report.
According to Padre Solalinde, the arrest of Abarca and his wife was staged in Itztapalapa in D.F. in hopes of gaining a political advantage. Basically, the argument is that the PRD was targeted by the PRI (…in spite of PRD cooperation in most for the Enrique Peña Nieto political agenda in the first 18 months). Itztapalapa is a PRD stronghold (based on demographics – it’s poor, and it has voted PRD consistently). Arresting Abarca in this “urban zone” would make it look like he had PRD help in hiding. He and his wife were supposedly hiding in a house owned by a family that has benefitted from PRD contracts (towing contracts). The circumstances of the arrest are strange – there was pre-arranged press-coverage, and Abarca emerged wearing a perfectly pressed suit from a hovel.
Unfortunately for the PRI, Padre Solalinde keeps bringing forward accusations that are backed up by evidence. And even more unfortunately, Enrique Peña Nieto has his own Marie Antoinette (La Gaviota) living in his own personal Versaille and doing much more than eating cake. -James (Jim) Creechan
Below are Jim’s comments on the pieces attached. Also below is Alma Guillermoprieto’s article in the NYRB, published before the latest announcement from the Mexican AG on the confessions as to the murders and the burning of the bodies of the students. I would also like to point out that in early October, just a few days after the students disappeared, Borderland Beat reported on OCTOBER 5 in a translation of an article from La Jornada that the normalistas had been killed and their bodies burned with diesel fuel. I posted this piece to Frontera List on October 7. This is essentially what the AG reported to the world yesterday. News that has been known for more than a month… molly
- First, there are several pieces covering a news conference headed by Jesus Murillo Karam where the PGR presented a statement that the missing students were taken to an area between Iguana and Cocula and executed and incinerated for up to 15 hours before remains were thrown into a river. Murillo reports that the capture of 3 narcos (Guerrero Unidos) led to confessions pointing to this spot, and in the absence of forensic evidence the PGR has accepted this testimony as sufficient proof. The evidence presented (video confessions, pictures) supports this version (narrative) of the days beginning September 26 through the 28th. It points a finger squarely at “narcos” and lays most of the blame there.
- Murillo Karan also uttered a phrase “Soy cansado” which has been appropriated by protestors and used as the latest hashtag to point out how the government is doing its best to avoid responsibility for any of the events in Guerrero – #YaSoyCansado and #YaEstamosCansado have become the latest protest phrase pointing to disgust with the government.
- International groups, especially Amnesty International and Human Rights Watch have quickly pointed out that “the government of Peña Nieto” has not admitted that it played an active role- and continues to look for a line of explanation that points to narcos.
- The parents of the Normalistas have flatly rejected the evidence presented by Murillo Karam. A couple of reports describe their reaction (and I also included the Alma Guillermoprieto essay from NY Review of Books). These parents will not allow the PGR and the government to walk away from this mess untouched. Their persistence is amazing, and it is the “glue” holding together the diverse protest movements together. One of the strongest arguments that the parents have made is that Enrique Peña Nieto has put together a hasty narrative so that he can hop in his new presidential airplane and go off to a trade mission in China and Australia.
- I did not include a specific article from Padre Solalinde, but he has also called out the Catholic Hierarchy and said that they need to do more than pray.
- One of the articles I included is a column from Raymundo Riva Palacio pointing out that the criminal charges brought against ex-mayor Abarca and his wife are likely to fail. He makes an interesting point that the PGR is following the same strategy (and making the same mistakes) as they did in the Ruiz Massieu – Raul Salinas case from 2 decades ago.
- Some of the reports in this attachment include “online comments” and observations. The social media world has literally exploded with comments and observations – most of them angry. The anger is literally white-hot. I encourage everyone to go online and pay attention to this anger. It’s also clear that there is an organized attempt to “reconstruct” the narrative in cyberspace: there are comments (repetitive) and signed with strangely patriotic names arguing that the State cannot be blamed and that these killings and disappearances are simply the acts of evil men and narcos. Those “apologias” are always dismissed and shouted down (…especially on Twitter).
Proceso has been one of the leading sources and most detailed in its coverage, and its journalists are regular tweeters. Carmen Aristegui has also been a good source of information.
LINKS below to recent op-ed articles by John Ackerman in Mexico. -molly
Links embedded in titles. Each article is a stand alone, separately crafted piece.
“A call for authentic democracy in Mexico”, Los Angeles Times, October 30th, 2014
“Massacred democracy in Mexico”, Huffington Post, October 7th, 2014
“Le soutien aveugle de la France au président mexicain”, Libération, October 16th, 2014
“Gefahrliche Komplizenschaft”, Suddeutsche Zeitung, October 23rd, 2014.
“Fin al narcogobierno”, La Jornada, October 13, 2014.
During the day that US Ambassador Anthony Wayne visited Ciudad Juarez, two heads were found in garbage bags near a maquiladora on Avenida Talamas Camandari in the city. IT is the 4th finding of mutilated bodies/body parts in the city so far this month. Also yesterday in the southern part of Chihuahua state, the bodies of 5 students from Parral were found near the Chihuahua/Durango border. The report says that the students were from the city of Parral, Chihuahua and according to witnesses they had been abducted by an armed comando unit last Saturday in the area of San Miguel de Badiraguato, Sinaloa and disappeared without a trace. When their bodies were found yesterday, they had been shot dead and showed signs of torture. The report says the bodies were found by the military in a rural area near the border of Chihuahua and Durango. The family is said to be from Parral with links to residents of Chihuahua towns Balleza, Atascaderos and Guadalupe y Calvo.
Victims identified are: Rita Cristina Gutiérrez Escobedo, 25, student at the Tecnológico de Parral, Karina Estefanía Gutiérrez Escobedo, 19, student of the Escuela Normal de Parral, Teresa Escobedo Martínez, Marco Alberto López Martínez and Esteban Ponce Escobedo, whose ages were not given but they are said to be very young.
Information was released that in the investigation of this multiple homicide, two soldiers were shot to death in a confrontation in Guadalupe y Calvo, but they have not been identified. The bodies of the 5 victims were taken to a funeral home in Parral while the destination of the soldiers’ bodies is unknown.
There were 29 homicides in Juarez in June, the lowest monthly toll so far in 2014, according to El Diario. The tally for the year is 229: Jan 32; Feb 41; March 40; April 35; May 52; June 29…these are the statistics provided by the Fiscalia. The victims in June include an unidentified woman found on June 28 whose body had been cut up. In another case, a woman who suffered from severe depression murdered her two children and then killed herself. A transit policeman was also a victim in June. Two men were killed on Sunday at a horse race in San Isidro in the Valle de Juarez.
This morning, the first homicide of July took place with the murder of a bus driver.
In terms of national homicide statistics, the SNSP reports a total of 1,423 homicidios dolosos (intentional homicides) in May (latest available). This is up slightly from April’s numbers.
Cierra Junio Con 29 Homicidios http://diario.mx/Local/2014-06-30_badc3397/cierra-junio-con-29-homicidios/
Ejecutan A Hermanos Al Salir de Una Carrera de Caballos en San Isidro http://diario.mx/Local/2014-06-29_2d597764/ejecutan-a-hermanos-al-salir-de-una-carrera-de-caballos-en-san-isidro/
Hallan Mujer Descuartizada en Colonia Francisco I. Madero http://diario.mx/Local/2014-06-28_3a3bc53d/hallan-mujer-descuartizada-en-colonia-francisco-i-madero/
Ejecutan A Chofer de Transporte de Personal http://diario.mx/Local/2014-07-01_993dc39c/ejecutan-a-chofer-de-transporte-de-personal/
May was the most violent month so far in 2014, ending with 52 homicides. Seven of the victims were women. Five children were killed including 3 apparently strangled by their father who also killed their mother, and yesterday an apparent murder-suicide in which a woman killed her 5-month old baby and herself (story also posted below) Victims also included a municipal policeman, two well-known attorneys and 4 members of the gay community.
The total homicides for 2014 now stand at 200–an average of 1.3 people per day.
Murders in Ciudad Juarez 2007-May 2014
2014 200 (Jan-May)