NATIONAL ASSOCIATION OF FORMER BORDER PATROL OFFICERS
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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) 8/3,4,5/08
[Note: this story was previously overlooked because it appeared to be “just another kidnapping.” We were mistaken and it seems to be taking on a cause célèbre by the press for good reason: kidnapping for ransom has become big business and police corruption is notably widespread. This case promises to couple both together and has the potential for effecting change. We’ll see.]
August 3. According to sources, the family of businessman Alejandro Martí paid a ransom of 6 million dollars to rescue his 14-year-old son, Fernando Martí, kidnapped 60 days ago. Nevertheless, the minor was assassinated and his body found last Friday in the trunk of a car accompanied by a sign that read, “For not paying. Yours truly, The Family.” [Authorities feel the message is a red herring to divert suspicion to another notorious gang.] The line of investigation points to a group called La Banda de la Flor [the flower band] that perpetrated the crime in June, killing both the youth’s driver and escort and leaving their trademark, a yellow chrysanthemum.
August 4. An agent of the capital police, already in custody, was part of La Banda de la Flor, the group that presumably kidnapped Fernando Martí, 14. A second member of the band is also in custody and the Attorney General of the Federal District is attempting to confirm if he is a an active member of the Federal Agency of Investigation (AFI).
August 5. Today, a third arrest was made in the kidnapping and murder of a 14-year-old boy, Fernando Martí in Mexico DF. The suspect is a judicial police officer in Mexico City.
El Universal’s editorial today:
If a minute of silence for the kidnapping and murder of Fernando Martí, 14 years old, may be enough to silence the consciences of the bureaucrats incapable of giving security, it isn’t enough to alleviate the deep pain of a family irrationally torn apart nor the cholera of a society ever more at the mercy of unpunished crime.
In no country of the world can authority avoid crime, but it is certainly obligated to bring to justice and punish the criminal. Here, the crime wave advances through the fragility we call democracy, political inefficiency and corruption.
The kidnapping and murder of the young Martí, so sad, painful and infuriating like many others, stands out through its excess of all imaginable aggravations: kidnapping, paying the ransom of millions of dollars demanded and murder. The offense knows no limits.
The hollow official reactions lack meaning. The case is “of highest interest” for the chief of government of the Federal District, Marcelo Ebrard; the kidnappers “deserve the death penalty,” according to the PRI deputy, Emilio Gamboa Patrón; the Permanent Commission “keeps a minute of silence.”
What doesn’t keep quiet is the public. Mexico United against Crime, a civilian association formed more than a decade ago by the mother of another murdered kidnap victim, accuses the authorities of complicity with the kidnappers by not carrying out their duties. Its even worse: in this case, as in many others, there are police among the involved.
Each year, nearly 600 people are kidnapped in Mexico. Nearly half of them do not report it. But when in 2004 a multitude dressed in white marched to protest violence, the then chief of DF, Andrés Manuel López Obrador called them conspirators.
It doesn’t have to do with a complaint of a group but with a public demand for politicians and elected representatives — municipal, state and federal — for those to whom the idea of public security seems beyond their capabilities and political and personal interests .
El Porvenir (Monterrey, Nuevo León) 8/5/08
– Mexican Navy personnel destroyed more than 44 metric tons of marihuana during the eradication of five fields in the state of Michoacán.
– Former president William Clinton, speaking in Mexico City, told the audience that the US should do its part to reduce the demand for drugs. He also said his country might pass reforms that would favor more temporary work permits, although he wasn’t specific.
El Imparcial (Hermosillo, Sonora) 8/5/08
The president of the Public Security Commission of the Chamber of Deputies [House of Rep.] Juan Francisco Bedoya described as “sensitive and serious” that Mexico had agreed with the US to a restructuring of justice departments upon implementing the Mérida Initiative. He said he hoped to see “quick results” and, if not, President Calderón will have to bear the political cost for lack of solutions.
Cambio de Michoacán (Morelia, Michoacán) 8/5/08
The Mexican Army engaged in a gun battle with elements of organized crime in the mountainous area near the village of Tumbiscatío, Michoacán [near Zitácuaro] wounding two of the aggressors and arresting two others. One fled during the shooting and escaped capture. The Army also seized 3 AK-47s, 3 AR-15s, a “long rifle” and a shotgun.
Excelsior (Mexico City) 8/5/08
Although US news, Excelsior noted that the US Treasury Department added 14 Mexican companies and 17 people to their “black list” for association with imprisoned drug trafficker Roberto Gaxiola Medina. According to the document, Gaxiola functions as a “vital component” of the Sinaloa Cartel and its reputed leader, Joaquín “El Chapo” Guzmán, Mexico’s most wanted fugitive.
-end of report-