Crime and violence cause 80% drop in tourism in Tijuana

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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.

Saturday 9/27/08

El Universal (Mexico City) 9/27/08
The governor of the state of Michoacán expressed confidence that three men arrested last Monday in Apatzingán are the ones responsible for the September 15 bombing in Morelia.  Two video interviews with the accused seem to support his confidence.  In separate tapings of two of those arrested, both Zeta hit men, they describe tossing the grenades into the crowd gathered to celebrate the anniversary of Mexico’s independence.
El Debate (Sinaloa) 9/27/08
Police in Mazatlán, Sinaloa engaged in a gun battle with an armed group of at least ten, holed up in a brushy beach area north of the city.  A call for backup brought in an additional 200 law enforcement and military, including two helicopters.  The helicopters dropped tear gas grenades on the gunmen’s stronghold.  At press time, the battle was continuing with one police wounded and another held hostage by the gunmen.
Frontera (Tijuana, Baja California)  9/27/08
A new cultural center is being developed for Tijuana, “The Tunnel House.”  Once used to hide a narco tunnel to the US, it will now be used for the community, the leader of the project, artist Luis Ituarte explains.  He said that the house has extraordinary value not just by converting a house with a bad reputation to one of culture, but it will also be a place for remembering the past.  The new cultural center will be open on weekends.
Milenio (Mexico City) 9/27/08
This morning, the security police in Zamora, Michoacán received an anonymous phone call advising of an explosive device at a specific location in the city.  The Army was called to the location and, after clearing a ten-block area, discovered a “grapefruit size” device with what appeared to be an electronic detonator attached.  The device, believed to be a plastic explosive known as C4, was placed in a steel container and transferred to a safe place for disposal.  At press time there had been no detonation.  [Note: It was safely detonated the following day.]
Sunday 9/28/08
La Prensa Grafica (San Salvador, El Salvador)  9/28/08
Two police officers from the State of Oaxaca Investigation Agency were arrested in Tehuantepec, Oaxaca, Mexico, when they were found to be transporting five hidden Salvadorans who had entered Mexico without documents. The Salvadorans had paid 500 dollars and were being transported to the port city of Salina Cruz where they intended to take a northbound bus to the United States.
According to Mexico’s National Commission of Human Rights, the majority of the 500,000 aliens who annually try to go across Mexico to enter the United States do so through Mexico’s southern border.
Prensa Libre  (Guatemala City, Guatemala)  9/28/08
An article detailing the murder of eleven persons in and around Guatemala City yesterday (Sat.) was superseded by yet another one describing the assassination of a “riddled” man, thus one was a victim of an assault rifle car-to-car attack.
El Universal (Mexico City) 9/28/08
–  Guatamalan troops are to be sent to Mexico’s southern border in January as a measure to stop the smuggling of drugs and people into Mexico.  The Guatemalan Minister of Defense, Marco Tulio García, told news reporters that the plan to strengthen security in the border area foresees sending some 2,400 soldiers beginning the first of the year.  The National Police (PNC) will also be involved in the operation.  The Gutemala/Mexican border is 594 mies long, mostly jungle.
–  The gun battle north of Mazatlán reported yesterday ended that evening with the arrest of eight suspected members of the criminal gang of hit men known as Los Zetas.  Three government men were wounded during the confrontation.  Following the arrests, the military carried out a search of a house in Mazatlán and seized explosives, arms and a vehicle.
–  The US Embassy in Mexico will create a data base or black list of Mexican military and police that violate human rights in the country.  Meanwhile, the National Secretary of Defense (Sedena) will receive $141.5 million in assistance from the US to combat narcotraffic.  The embassy will count on a budget of $500,000 for the creation of a data base with which to prevent assistance to military or security forces involved in violations of human rights, according to official documents.  A section of the Mérida Initiative known as the “Leahy Law” establishes limitations to any military or civil security unit of a country when the US Secretary of State has evidence of violations of human rights.
–  Mexican authorities located and destroyed 88 metric tons of marihuana discovered by an air patrol over the town of Nacori Chico, Sonora [some 100 miles south of Douglas, AZ ].  The marihuana was growing in a 13-acre field.
El Financiero (Mexico City) 9/28/08
The state Attorney General of Puebla reported the apprehension of a group of 70 undocumented Guatemalans, Salvadorans and Ecuadorians along  with their presumed smugglers.  The group was discovered during an official traffic inspection of a large truck.  They had reportedly been charged $4,000 to smuggle them to Los Angeles and Houston.
Frontera (Tijuana, Baja California) 9/28/08
Tijuana is suffering the lowest rate of tourism in history, according to Andrés Méndez, director of the Mexican Tourism Committee.  “Of each 100 tourists we had three years ago, we now have only 20,” he said.  The poor image of Tijuana due to crime and violence is the major factor in the 80% drop in the tourist business.
Monday 9/29/08
El Universal (Mexico City) 9/29/08
One of the three men arrested in the September 15 bombing in Morelia, Michoacán said that the attack was to intimidate and provoke the government.  He said the grenades were not directed at anyone in particular and told how he escaped in the presence of more than 500 police guarding the Independence Day festivities.  In addition to the three already in custody, there are four others whose names are being withheld by the Attorney General’s office.  The investigation points to two other conspirators as well as to local police identified as accomplices.  The attacks left 8 dead and 132 injured.
El Imparcial (Hermosillo, Sonora); Milenio (Mexico City); Frontera (Tijuana, Baja California) 9/29/08
A total of 18 bodies were found this morning in three different locations in Tijuana, Baja California.  Twelve of them had been laid out to the side of a primary school.  Most had their hands tied and with coup de grace shots to the head.  One group had a poster board with the message, “This happens to people who work with the engineer,” referring to the leader of a local cartel.  Photo relates.

Milenio (Mexico City) 9/29/08
An encounter between federal forces and presumed narcos in China, Nuevo León left two dead and an official wounded.  The military and federal police also seized fragmentation grenades, arms and ammo and arrested two men.
Excelsior (Mexico City) 9/29/08
A police commander was killed in the city of Chihuahua, Chihuahua by two gunmen who chased him on foot through city streets before felling him with gunshots.  In a separate incident, a traffic policeman was arrested with two other men in a vehicle in which was found a rifle, a pistol and about five kilos of marihuana.  The weekend tally of violence in the state of Chihuahua was four execution murders and the discovery of the body of a female missing since September 20.
La Crónica de Hoy (Mexico City) 9/29/08
A General of the Army said that uniforms often used by criminals when committing crimes are usually stolen from soldiers or sold by deserters.  Carrying out criminal activities while disguised as federal officials or soldiers is a common tactic used by criminal gangs.  He cited the Martí kidnapping and the Morelia bombing as examples.
Diario de Yucatán (Yucatán) 9/29/08
Mexican authorities detained 14 Cubans traveling in a bus en route to Progreso, Yucatán.  According to first reports, the group had traveled by small watercraft to there it wrecked offshore near the town of Dzilam de Bravo on the north coast of Yucatán.  The group, including women and children, made it to the beach and began walking along the coast highway until catching the bus.  Locals reported the group to the police.
-end of report-

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