Mexico – The violence and death continue – a record 30 people killed in Chihuahua in one weekend

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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.

Chihuahua: epicenter of violence in Mexico
El Informador  (Guadalajara, Jalisco)  8/21/08
–    (This particular article is reproduced in its entirety to allow an overall picture of the prevailing conditions in the area. Some events described in this article have already been reported)
Organized crime violence left at least 30 dead in the state of Chihuahua, including 14 assassinated during a dance, in the most violent weekend of 2008 in that area bordering the United States.  Saturday night,  the Creel township, a famous tourist zone because of its copper canyons, was the scenario of the killing of 14 persons, among them a one year old child, who were riddled by gunfire as they were leaving a dance hall.
On Sunday at dawn the Creel city police, in the Tarahumara Sierra, reported that “Some twenty persons were leaving the town’s dance hall and were victims of gunfire volleys from armed men who rode in at least three vehicles and who carried large caliber firearms.”
Considering that Creel had been known for remaining separate from the drug cartels’ settling of accounts, and that only one violent death had taken place all year, the weapons used by the attackers were AK-47 rifles, habitually used by narcotraffic hit men
Officials have not yet been able to find a motive for this attack and the victims were families who had gone to the dance hall in an event sponsored by health authorities in a campaign promoting weight loss.
The Creel township was practically closed up Sunday night due to a police operation to locate the attackers of whom no trace was to be found by Monday morning.
On the night from Saturday to Sunday, the wave of violence left seven more dead, five of them in Ciudad Juarez, one in the capital, Chihuahua and one more in the town of Guadalupe.
This Monday, Ciudad Juarez police reported that violence linked to organized crime caused nine dead, among them three double executions.
On Wednesday an armed commando burst into a religious ceremony that was taking place in a rehab center for drug addicts on whom they opened fire with a result of nine dead including the pastor who was saying Mass.
Ciudad Juarez, bordering on El Paso, is considered Chihuahua’s most violent locality due to the war between the local cartel with that of Sinaloa and which has produced more than 800 dead so far in 2008.
According to a faculty member of the University of Texas at El Paso, some 3 thousand families have moved from Ciudad Juarez between January and June of 2008 to escape the violence.
Violence linked to organized crime in Mexico, especially to narcotraffic, has already caused two thousand 712 deaths so far in 2008, including the 30 from last week.
The state of Chihuahua, bordering the United States, is the most violent one, with a total of one thousand twenty-six executions, that is to say 38.2% of the country’s total, besides the fact that in only 20 days, from July 15 to August 15, there were 326 executions recorded in that locality. (End of article)
–     The cadaver of an “AFI” agent (Mexico’s Fed. Inv. Agency) was found dumped on a side road in Cuescomatitlan, Jalisco. He had been forcibly carried off  Tuesday morning. The body showed “severe signs of torture and asphyxia.”
–     Two investigators with the Jalisco state AG’s office were ambushed and “executed” in a car-to-car assault in San Julian, Jalisco. Their vehicle showed “at least” a hundred bullet impacts from AK-47 rifles.
–    Three other individuals fell victim to gunfire in Jalisco, one in Guadalajara, another in Arenal and the third in Tlaquepaque.
El Pulso  (San Luis Potosi, S.L.P.)  8/21/08
(This article’s headline: ” “Polleros” (sic) deadly for national security.”  A related item was reported yesterday, but there’s a later twist)
Mexico’s Dep’t. of Government Sub-Secretary for Population, Migration and Religious Affairs said that the issue of migration requires an integral focus but also “must not be seen as a threat nor to be dealt with exclusively from the perspective of national security.”
However, today “policy adjustments” in that sub-agency were published in Mexico’s “Official Daily” and the rationale for those adjustments is, precisely, national security: “The international environment has changed in the last years and consequently, the appropriate control of the entry, departure, reentry and stay of aliens in our country, as well as that of our borders, seaports and airports, for which reason it is necessary to issue a policy statement to improve and update the authority previously delegated to the Sub-Secretary of Population, Migration and Religious Affairs as well as to the Commissioner of the “INM” (Mexico’s Immigration agency)
La Jornada  (Mexico City)  8/21/08
–    In Nezahualcoyotl, state of Mexico, a police “Commander” died when he was riddled by gunfire by two hit men in front of his house.
–    In Michoacan, on the side of a coastal highway between Lazaro Cardenas and Playa Azul: a nude cadaver with signs of torture and various bullet wounds including a coup de grace. And with a slashed throat. And in Morelia, Michoacan’s capital, army personnel seized 16 firearms. 15 grenades, over a thousand rounds, 40 clips, uniforms and other gear.
–    Another dead and tortured body was found in the outskirts of Acapulco, Guerrero. His head was in a plastic bag.
–    Twelve new assassinations took place in Ciudad Juarez, Chihuahua, bringing that city’s total to 903 for the year. Red Cross first responders were threatened not to go and assist a group of four newly shot and piled up victims. Those death threats were made on the rescue workers’ own radio frequency. Four others were murdered elsewhere in the state of Chihuahua. ( “Norte”, another Juarez paper, today reports 155 homicides in Juarez so far this month, a new record, and a daily average of seven)
El Porvenir  (Monterrey, Nuevo Leon)  8/21/08
Three federal agents were murdered by gunfire Wednesday evening as they exited a restaurant and were boarding their vehicle near Ocoyoacac, state of mexico.
La Prensa  (Mexico City; member of large national chain)  8/21/08
Manuel Zelaya, president of Honduras, visited in Mexico City yesterday with President Calderon. Zelaya advocated the defense of human rights of both legal and illegal emigrants because they are citizens of the world who seek a solution in their lives due to work and other expectations offered by other countries. He said “To emigrate is a right, not a crime.”
Excelsior  (Mexico City)  8/21/08
–     A 30-yr. veteran police “commander” died this morning at Pabellon de Arteaga, state of Aguascalientes, the victim of another car-to-car gunfire assault , this one believed to be from at least thirty AK 47 rifle shots.
–     Two other police officers were hospitalized and in surgery after being ambushed and shot outside Villa Hermosa, Tabasco. Again, a car-to-car assault.
– end of report –

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