Mexican officials extort money from Mexicans returning home for the holidays

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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) 1/6/09

During the Christmas season, the Mexican Chamber of Deputies [House] received 26 complaints of extortion by officials in all three levels of government. The charges were made by Mexicans returning home for the holidays. The number of complaints were through a program encouraging contact with representatives and are considered to be only a small indication of the “hundreds of other such cases” that went unreported because of fear of reprisal. Reports are expected to increase after the victims return to the US. A federal legislator from the state of Zacatecas said that the complaints were against Mexican officers from Customs, immigration and police at federal, state and municipal levels. “Our countrymen affirmed that they paid — between tips, extortions or for refreshments for the authorities — an average of 500 dollars per vehicle, between crossing the border until reaching their hometowns in Mexico,” said one of the legislators. In the next few days, the legislators are to refer the cases to federal authorities in order to bring charges against the public servants named in the complaints.
“Like a phenomenon of criminal migration,” Mexican narcos are replacing Colombian traffickers in Panama. The Sinaloa cartel has the largest presence in that country as its numbers in Panama increased 56% in 2008, indicating a displacement of Colombians in the country’s illegal drug traffic operations. These estimates are from Jose Abel Almengor, Panama’s anti-drug prosecutor and are based on drug seizures and arrests for 2008.
A new “narco-chief” has been named by the Colombian guerrilla rebel group, FARC. Elmer Mata, a.k.a. Albeiro Cordoba, is the son of one of the founders of FARC and whom authorities had believed dead in 2005. The newspaper, El Tiempo in Bogota, published the report, citing military sources as confirming that “Cordoba” has control of all operations concerning the trafficking of coca leaf paste, the basic ingredient in the production of cocaine. He fills a position left vacant when his predecessor was killed in a battle with the military in 2007. The operation “Cordoba” takes over is said to be in “much disorder.”
In the past five days of 2009, the number of deaths in Mexico linked to organized crime, particularly drug trafficking, has risen to 63. At least 12 crimes per day have occurred and in the past few hours, 24 assassinations have been reported throughout the country.
In a list of “extraditables” to be turned over to the US when they are captured are some responsible for the major wave of violence that Mexico is suffering. These are the ones who will be placed on the “fast track” to extradition, evading the cumbersome extradition process that has caused many delays in the past. In order to make the expedited extraditions, it was necessary to have the Mexican Supreme Court eliminate one of the principal obstacles that dealt with the type of punishment the defendant might receive.
Mexico’s National Commission of Human Rights (CNDH) has accused the The Mexican immigration service (INM) of 23 violations, including two deaths, against migrants from May, 2004, to December 2008. Although the INM says it has heeded each complaint registered by the CNDH, the department cannot specify how many employees or officials have been penalized for the violations documented by the CNDH. The complaints concerned living conditions; treatment, or lack thereof, of detainees; physical abuse; and death through negligence.

El Imparcial (Hermosillo, Sonora) 1/6/09

A police officer, on routine patrol in his assigned vehicle this morning in Tijuana, Baja California, was ambushed and killed by unknown assailants. [Such incidents have become so common throughout the country that they often go unnoticed. Photo relates]

-end of report-

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