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.
(Mexico City) 8/23/08
Anti-crime pact signed by all levels of government
An important summit meeting called by the Federal Security Council was held in Mexico City August 21 in which all levels of government committed themselves to an “institutional and legal revolution” in response to the public concern over the “spiral of violence” in the country. In this unprecedented agreement, they defined crime as “a matter of national security.” The meeting included representatives of the three branches of federal government, the 31 state governments, the chief of the capital (DF) government, unions, church, businesses, civil organizations and news media. The representatives signed an anti-crime pact of 75 commitments that have definite time limits for completion. President Felipe Calderón was present for the signing of the pact and assured that the document meant business and “not a letter of good intentions.”
The 75 commitments of the agreement were published and require action by signatories at all levels of government for reforms through purging of corruption and improving training in enforcement agencies and diligent management of the justice system, directing enforcement efforts to crimes of most concern to the public, coordinating enforcement and related intelligence efforts and and the continuing oversight and evaluation as the reforms are carried out. The language of the commitments emphasizes recovering public trust.
[Note: The editorial cartoon in our report of 8/22/08 graphically shows the crime problem facing Mexico. Gaining control over crime will be difficult because of the entrenched culture of corruption and neglect . However, the potential benefit of this unprecedented accord, in which all major political parties participated, is encouraging and will bear watching, as it could have positive effects on US border security as well.]
El Universal 8/23/08
– A police officer was killed and two wounded in an attack by an organized crime group on the Villahermosa-Buenavista highway in the state of Tabasco. This is the second such attack in the same area in three days. (see our report of 8/21/08)
– The federal Secretary of Public Security (SSP) reported that from 2001 to the present, kidnapping gangs have included public officials. The report shows that of 897 kidnappers arrested in eight years, 56 have been in positions of public trust. Active military as well as deserters. police agents from various departments and even private security guards are listed.
El Universal (Mexico City) 8/24/08
– The US deported Jesús Rubén Moncada Angulo, “El Güero Loco,” to Mexico. He is allegedly a member of the Arellano Félix crime organization and is accused of the homicides of 19 people, among them 5 minors. The murders were committed in Ensenada, Baja California on 17 September 1988 and Moncada fled to the US. The article made significant note of the cooperation of US officials in returning Moncada for prosecution.
– There was another attack on a police post in the same area of the Villahermosa-Buenavista highway in Tabasco reported yesterday. This one left another officer dead. The body count also continues in other parts of the country with 13 within the “past few hours.”
El Porvenir (Monterrey, Nuevo León) 8/24/08
A tractor-trailer truck overturned on the Mexico-Cuauhtémoc highway in the state of Chiapas with 37 undocumented Guatemalans inside. Two were injured and all were turned over to federal police. The Guatemalans had been confined to a hidden compartment in the trailer under planks covered with sand, described as “subhuman conditions.”
Prensa Libre (Guatemala City, Guatemala) 8/24/08
The main editorial reflects on the generalized violence which has now become the main concern of Guatemalan citizens. The issue involves not only those persons who have experienced it first hand but the citizenry in general because of the very high economic cost to the nation. Crime now costs Guatemala some 17 billion quetzals (the Guatemalan currency unit; 7.41 quetzals = 1 U.S. dollar), the equivalent of more than 40% of Guatemala’s national budget.
El Universal (Mexico City) 8/25/08
– Mexican Army generals, experts in national defense, are suggesting professionalizing national police through military disciplines so that the military can be withdrawn from the streets. A comprehensive plan was presented to the Secretary of National Defense and will be sent to the President. Under the proposed program, they also suggested that the death penalty be imposed for those members of the police force who establish ties with organized crime.
– Today’s editorial made the point that the strategy of attacking money laundering will hit organized crime where it hurts most. The editorial lauded Mexican banks for their plans to initiate close watch over clients’ transfers of funds and travelers checks.
El Porvenir (Monterrey, Nuevo León) 8/25/08
A band of kidnappers was arrested along with their female leader, an active agent of the AFI (US equiv: FBI). Sonia Virginia Bastida Morales, “La Comandante,” is an AFI agent assigned to the state of Nuevo León. Arrested with her were two accomplices who had held two men captive for 3 million pesos ransom. (nearly $300,000 US) “La Comandante” presumably selected the victims and directed operations of the gang. Photo relates
Cambio de Michoacán (Morelia Michoacán) 8/25/08
In a story headlined “Today any Michoacán city can be the target of organized crime,” the ex-director of the state business association said that “someone is not doing their job in the state.” He blames corruption and institutional impunity, noting that the solution implies a long process and “we don’t have a magic wand.”
Novidades de Quintana Roo (Cancún, Quintana Roo) 8/25/08
At least 120 of the 200 taxi drivers in the tourist city of Chetumal, QR have been threatened with harm to their families by narcotraffickers if they refuse to distribute drugs to the organization’s local clients. The information comes from an anonymous source and the police will do nothing because the crimes have never been officially reported.
-end of report-