Smuggling Operation of Cubans Estimated to Earn $80 Million Annually

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Foreign News Report

The National Association of Former Border Patrol Officers (NAFBPO) extracts and condenses the material that follows from Mexican and Central and South American on-line media sources on a daily basis. You are free to disseminate this information, but we request that you credit NAFBPO as being the provider.

El Universal (Mexico City) 6/18/08


–  A criminal group, The Miami Mafia, is reported to have an increasingly active presence in southeast Mexico.  They have bases of operation in five cities in four states, according to information from the office of the Federal Attorney General (PGR).  Reports indicate that Cancún and Isla Mujeres, Quintana Roo; Mérida, Yucatan; Tenosique, Tabasco (sic) and Tapachula, Chiapas are the locations where the network of smuggling operations of mostly undocumented Cubans has been established.  The operation is estimated to earn 80 million dollars annually.  Sources in the PGR affirm that people-smuggling operations contend with other organized crime, principally the Gulf Cartel, for control of routes of travel.  This would explain the increase in violence in states like Qintana Roo.  A related story notes that the smuggling of Cubans has caught the attention of U.S. and Mexican authorities as apparently the work of organized traffickers.


–  The Mexican Secretary of Government (no U.S. equivalent) today officially published the constitutional reform signed yesterday by President Calderón regarding penal justice.  The mandate was described as “the most relevant reform achieved in the penal system that we Mexicans have had in a long time.”


–  In a followup from yesterday’s story, a recount of the 112 undocumented Central Americans arrested in Puebla was published.  The corrected number of Guatemalans was 14.  Also, the number of women in the group was 43.  The 10 arrested smugglers had charged each one  up to $4,000 to bring them into Mexico on their truncated trip to the American dream. (Their words)



El Porvenir (Monterrey, Nuevo León) 6/18/08


–  A judicial tribunal in Quintana Roo confirmed the 45-year prison sentence of two “Zetas”, gunmen for the Gulf Cartel.  They were arrested in April, 2007 after a gunfight with Federal Police.


–  Reacting to the tomato salmonella warnings in the U.S., Mexican Secretary of Health (SSA) José Angel Córdova Villalobos contends there is no scientific evidence that Mexican tomatoes are contaminated.  The restriction is commercial, he said.



El Financiero (Mexico City) 6/18/08


–  Also noting the tomato restrictions, El Financiero writes, “As happened with tuna and avocados, U.S. agriculture producers now have vetoed Mexican tomatoes by condemning them as contaminated with salmonella when what is behind this is they have lost their competitive edge with the Mexican tomatoes. 


–  At least 48 innocent minors have died so far this year in incidents related to the wave of violence that exists in Mexico.


–  Although U.S. news, it is noteworthy that the sentencing of ex-Border Patrol Agent Arturo Arzate, Jr. to 70 years for smuggling received full coverage in this newspaper as well.  It was also noted that Mexican authorities had arrested Arzate and deported him after he fled to Torreón, Coahuila.



A.M. (Guanajuato) 6/18/08


The Mexican Federal Secretary of Public Security (SSP) is counting on infrastructure and technology to achieve major impact against organized crime.  The coordinator for the Federal Police pointed out that proof of this is the Federal Police Command Center located on 158 acres in the Iztapalapa sector of the Federal District, the function of which is to generate investigations and intelligence to dismantle crime organizations.  The center receives more than 3,000 reports daily from throughout the country and responds to requests from state and municipal police agencies.



Tamaulipas en Linea (Tamaulipas) 6/18/08


–  Military personnel stopped a bus entering at Nuevo Laredo, Tamaulipas from Houston, Texas and discovered a 9mm UZI mini-machine gun in one of the suitcases.  No one would claim the luggage so all 46 passengers were detained and questioned separately all day yesterday.  Finally, all were released.


–  A wave of violence in Mexico has left 27 people executed in the past few hours, three of them police, one a female official and another, a minor.  Execution type murders were reported in the states of Aguascalientes, Chihuahua, Zacatecas, Sinaloa, Guerrero, Michoacan, Durango and Jalisco.  The attached photo relates.





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