Mexico : World’s 6th place in largest organized crime presence

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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.

Diario de Yucatan  (Merida, Yucatan) – notimex agency, Reforma (Mexico City) , El Informador (Guadalajara, Jalisco) – also o.e.m. national chain; 6/26/08
At a “PGR” (Mex. Dep’t. of Justice) Citizens’ Participation Council meeting, UN consultant Edgardo Buscaglia said that up to 60% of Mexico’s cities are under the control of organized crime and that narcotraffickers and organized crime have infiltrated the local governments by financing the mayors’ political campaigns or by bribing their officials. This, he added, is one of the first steps in “feudalization” (appropriation) which organized crime does in the political sphere. Mexico is in sixth place worldwide regarding the largest presence of organized crime after Afghanistan, Iraq, Pakistan, Nigeria and Equatorial Guinea.
Buscaglia also said that sending troops, having more police and detaining drug cartel bosses is not enough,  that their financial webs must be broken up but above all their links with political power (must also be broken.) Further, that there is an 87% error rate in the files concerning investigations or processing of criminal cases.
Also from Diario de Yucatan  and the o.e.m. chain :
–   Mexico’s Human Rights Commission reported that domestic and international bands of “polleros” (people smugglers) vie for control of smuggling operations of around 500,000 Central and South Americans and Caribbeans. It indicated that the traffickers usually charge from 4,000 up to 15,000 dollars to take them to the “Tortilla Wall” of the United States, which represents a business  of from 2 to 7.5 billion dollars. The agency points out that “the profits from people traffic are only comparable to those from weapons, the sex trade and narcotraffic.” The Commission said that to break the vicious circle of corruption and impunity Mexico’s legislators and federal government must adopt certain basic legal changes and procedures allowing the “INM” (Mex. Immigr.) to present charges and strengthening and making uniform procedures as to witness protection.
–   Tepehuanes, Durango, has now been with only two police officers for three weeks after seven of them resigned due to fear and an equal number of them were fired.
El Debate  (Culiacan, Sinaloa) 6/26/08
Triggermen executed four persons with AK47 gunfire at El Pozo, Imala, Sinaloa last night (Wed.). They also set fire to two houses and forcibly took two persons with them.
El Diario , Norte  (both Ciudad Juarez, Chihuahua)  6/26/08
–   Juarez businesswoman Erika Posselt, sister-in-law of U.S. Congressman Silvestre Reyes, was freed two days after having been kidnapped in Ciudad Juarez after her family paid 32,000 dollars in ransom, according to a document of ICE Border & Customs Protection.
The woman was liberated together with another person whose relatives delivered 56 thousand dollars. The report which indicates it to be a delicate matter of law enforcement was addressed to Under Secretary Myers and is dated June 23, 2008. It narrates the “rescue of the kidnapped relative of federal congressman Silvestre Reyes in Ciudad Juarez, Mexico, due to which it should not be made known outside of ICE.” Reyes requested both the FBI and ICE to intervene in the liberation of his relative.
–   The mayor of Juarez said that organized crime confrontations have generated an impact on tourism, investment commerce and service providers, especially in the areas of restaurants and liquor sales. He added that the city and state governments are reviewing the situation to change strategies and return to normal activities as soon as possible. (Note: the attachment to this report is a cartoon from the editorial page of El Diario; it shows a very large tomb headstone labeled “Juarez #1”, dwarfing two others labeled “Iraq” and “Beirut”)  


El Imparcial  (Hermosillo, Sonora)  6/26/08
In Nogales, Sonora, witnesses reported to the police that two groups of thugs engaged in a shootout Tuesday night in Colonia Orizaba. “300 to 400” shots were fired, and “hundreds” of .223 and 7.62X39 shell casings were later picked up. The only damage reported was to some buildings at the scene but nothing was said about casualties. There were also three kidnappings, one of them of a man known as “La Pantera” (The Panther). Hours before, the body of a man was found at “El Porvenir Ranch”; he had been strangled with a wire. Three other persons were executed at week’s end, two of them in the Las Torres area and one other who was killed by stoning.
La Cronica  (Mexicali, Baja Calif.)  6/26/08
The smuggler who ran over and killed a U.S. Border Patrol Agent was freed by order of a 12th Judicial District judge who found no evidence against him. Jesus Albino Navarro Montes, 23, was detained 145 days and was freed on June 18 when the judge ordered he be liberated “for lack of elements to process him.”
La Cronica confirmed he was under process for violation of the General Law of Population for people smuggling, but not for the death of Border Patrol Agent Luis Aguilar, 32. The patrol officer died Saturday, January 19, when he was hit by a Hummer truck driven by Navarro Montes when the latter was trying to escape from the United States towards the Mexicali Valley, which he was able to do finally. The burned and abandoned truck was later found in Colonia Ahumadita, to the southwest of town, while Navarro Montes was captured in Ciudad Obregon, Sonora, five days later.
La Cronica de Hoy  (Mexico City)  6/26/08
–   Twelve persons were executed in yesterday’s violent episodes in Sinaloa, Michoacan, Sonora and Chihuahua; and in the area of Naucalpan, Mexico City metro area, the decapitated body of a man was found in a vehicle. His head, also in the vehicle, was wrapped with a tag board with a message which said: “For all those who came into the state without permission that’s the way they’ll finish up.” There was also a bloody 30 centimeter long (12″) kitchen knife. 
–   38 undocumented Central Americans were found in a double bottom truck in Puebla; four others on a freight train in Hidalgo. All were aiming to reach the United States.
Cambio de Michoacan  (Morelia, Michoacan)  6/26/08    – Full transl. –
(An op/column by Carlos Enrique Tapia titled “Local laws and anti-immigrant hatred”  follows)
During recessive socio-historic periods and moments, the American public perception about undocumented immigration arouses a great deal of passion. The current proliferation of anti-immigrant groups and local laws feeds upon the political vacuum left by the failure of a comprehensive immigration reform. The construction of the border fence, the greater controls backed by the immigration policy, the roundups, the deportations, are the equivalent of the mass expulsions of Mexicans following the end of the Bracero Program, the mistreatment and the growth of racial hatred which seeks justification for the perverse effects of the capitalist cycle.
The excessive federal immigration control which locally is perceived as slight, converting a national problem into a local issue, has fed the public opinion of many Americans whose fear and terror for “the other one” and that which they perceive as foreign is taking them to a racist and xenophobic crusade in many localities.
The candidates for the Presidency of the United States, despite their declarations and speeches, have allowed the local forces to make decisions about an issue which the Bush administration failed to resolve. Local and state laws and ordinances prevent the undocumented from working, renting housing and using public services. The transfer of federal responsibilities places the application of immigration law upon mayors, county executives, city councilors, police chiefs, sheriffs, state and prosecuting officials, hospital administrators, housing inspectors, emergency medical workers and ESL (English as a Second Language) coordinators.
In 2007, legislatures of 50 states introduced more than a thousand immigration related measures; more than 150 were approved. Many laws cover various topics, although several states concentrated on education, employment, driver’s licenses and ID’s, observance of the law, legal services, public programs, people trafficking and voting.
Various 2007 laws promoted local employment initiatives and observance of the law, but those about people trafficking and family laws were the most successful. 306 measures expand the right of immigrants, while 286 restrict them. Texas, New York and Tennessee introduced the majority of state statutes.
Oklahoma’s HB 1804 Law became notorious last week when one of its sections which was to go into effect on July 1st was suspended by a female federal judge. The Chamber of Commerce of the United States, the Chambers of Commerce of the State of Oklahoma, the cities of Oklahoma City and Tulsa and the hotel and restaurant state associations demanded its suspensions because it imposes irrational demands upon businesses.
The Federal Court suspended a section of law which obligates companies to verify the immigration status of their new employees because it could interfere with a federal law (E-Verify), but it refused to eliminate it completely as was demanded. The suspension does not prevent employers from carrying out the federal requirement.
The political vacuum is practically causing legislators, anti-immigrant leaders, judges and local police  to change the local and state scene about immigration issues.. Neither of the candidates, Democrat and Republican, have a reform proposal in their agendas, though they have expressed public speeches on certain topics.
The construction of the fence, the roundups, the deportations, the local and state ordinances, the xenophobia and the racial hatred are becoming official policy. The application of immigration laws has in many localities and states of the United States today the reforms which the Congress refused to adopt.
El Universal  (Mexico City)  6/26/08
“The xenophobia of the Mayor of Ixtepec is criticized”     – Full transl. of news item –
Ciudad Ixtepec, Oaxaca> Feelings are mixed at the Brothers of the Road Migrant House. There’s fear, uncertainty, indignation and ire. “Why do they attack us with lies?” some Central Americans ask.
Guatemalan Martha Castaneda Lopez, just arrived by train on her route to Nebraska, United States, considers “unjust” that because of some Mara gangsters “they label all of us Central Americans as criminals.”
Unfortunately, adds the parish priest Alejandro Solalinde, “at the meeting we had Tuesday with city officials and residents I found not an iota of mercy among them.” Last Tuesday, a group of locals asked the mayor to close the Migrant House because on June 21 a Nicaraguan, Jose Francisco Alvarado Lopez, detained by the police, violated a six year old girl.
Father Solalinde, coordinator of the pastoral of Human Mobility of the Mexican Episcopal Conference, laments and denounces the xenophobic attitude of the city officials in front of some 100 migrants who arrived Tuesday afternoon,.
“For (municipal) president Gabino Guzman Palomec, this shelter is the root of all the ills of Ciudad Ixtepec. He showed an attitude of intolerance, xenophobia, racist and discriminatory” says the priest.
On Tuesday afternoon, the bishop of the Tehuantepec diocese, Felipe Padilla, was very concise with the mayor during a telephone conversation: The Migrant House will not close its doors”, he told him.
The priest adds “Here, besides a refuge for the migrants, diocesan offices of the pastoral of Human Mobility will be built. And what we ask is that the mayor respect the state of law, that he not attack it”.
Solalinde Guerra says that is to be lamented that even the city ombudsman, Victor Fernandez Gonzalez, has added his voice to the demand for the closure of the shelter. “That man has lost all authority”, he indicates.
During the meeting with the officials, Solalinde Guerra recalls that the city councilman Erasmo Carrasco came up with the idea that they will request the Mexican army to pursue the Central Americans. “And he not only asked that. He also said that they will ask the Tehuantepec Isthmus Railroad company to change its route. I’m consternated by those expressions of xenophobia”, he points out.
– end of report –




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