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) 1/17/09
Government leaders reach a new stage in the narco-war. The leaders of Mexico, Guatemala, Colombia and Panama agreed to create a united front against narcotraffic. In a four-hour summit meeting, the presidents of those countries stressed that organized crime represents a danger to social stability and democratic government. They resolved to compile the existing bilateral and multilateral agreements for combating organized crime and, in the near future, to shape them into a unified legal instrument open for signing onto by other countries in the region.
Responding to this story, one reader ventured the opinion that it was lamentable that those countries feel the need to organize against narco bands which already have a higher level of organization than the affected countries. He asserted that the real risk to those countries is the internal corruption of each.
Venezuelan leader Hugo Chavez asserted today that, as an active president, Barak Obama will be “a failure for his people and for the world,” describing him as a “miasma,” which the article defined as, “emanation from stagnant water and decomposing substances.” [The article continues with further statements by Chavez in the same vein, articulating his disapproval of the US.]
Frontera (Tijuana, Baja California) 1/17/09
While a wake for a victim of a gang assassination was being held at a funeral chapel in Ciudad Juarez, Chihuahua, a force of 100 Mexican soldiers interrupted to carry out a search. Entering the chapel, they rounded up 42 males and lined them up, hands behind their heads, facing a wall along a busy street where they remained for two hours while individual interrogations were carried out. In the end, eight presumed members of a gang called Aztecs were arrested and the other men were freed to continue the wake.
La Prensa Grafica (San Salvador, El Salvador) 1/17/09
Sixteen persons were assassinated by gunfire within the last 24 hours throughout the country. [El Salvador is slightly smaller in area than Massachusetts with a population about a million greater.]
Frontera (Tijuana, Baja California) 1/18/09
In its last report, the US Department of Justice disclosed that 17.2 billion dollars in cash entered Mexico in only the past two years as a result of money laundering operations in their country. The report advised that Mexico and Colombia are the principal destinations of narco resources that operate in the US and that “the laundering of drug money is a global industry” with transnational organizations present in various countries. Barry McCaffrey, ex-US anti-drug czar, urged a halt to the “hundreds of millions of dollars” smuggled into Mexico since, with those resources, the drug cartels acquire more force and power. He warned that Mexico is in a national emergency. The report, drawn up by the National Drug Intelligence Center (NDIC), said that smuggling cash is a method used by traffickers to move profits from drug sales from the US market to the foreign supplier, mainly Mexico and Colombia. It is estimated that those two drug countries launder between 18 and 39 billion dollars annually. “a large part is smuggled in bulk from the US over the southwest border,” the report said.
El Porvenir (Monterrey, Nuevo Leon) 1/18/09
The Mexican Army declared an alert in the state of Chihuahua due to the suspected formation of a new criminal group calling themselves “Juarez Citizens’ Commando” (CCJ) that threatens to assassinate one presumed criminal every 24 hours, according to federal authorities. The Army considers that such a group would likely operate similar to “Nueva Gente” and “La Familia,” criminal vigilante bands affiliated with one cartel to carry out warfare against another, but under the guise of performing a public service. The CCJ, in e-mails to the news media in Cd. Juarez, said “citizens tired of years of the impunity that exists in this city have founded the CCJ, which as a first priority, will try to do away with the criminals who have provoked terror on the residents of this border.”
El Debate (Sinaloa) 1/18/09
Federal Police seized “a little more than” two metric tons of marihuana from a building in Mazatlan, Sinaloa. There were no arrests and it appears that people may have fled as the police were arriving.
El Universal (Mexico City) 1/19/09
An armed group made away with ten vehicles, nine of them armored that were under safeguards of the federal justice department (PGR) in a storage facility some 20 miles south of Culiacan, Sinaloa. Area police responding to an alert about an assault on the installation found the watchman tied up in a room shouting for help. Unconfirmed reports say that the facility is used for the storage of 483 vehicles seized in the past eight months by the Army and has been under PGR control for several months.
In an interview with El Universal, Richard Douglas of the US Department of Defense assured that the use of the US military in the fight against narcotraffic is advisable because sometimes the civil authorities lack sufficient resources to hold out against a well-armed threat and each country must decide how to use suitable force. He indicated that, facing the increase of violence on the border by the Mexican cartels, the US will protect their side with the National Guard at the request of the Border States.
El Financiero (Mexico City) 1/19/09
Mexican federal agents arrested 34 undocumented Central Americans hidden in a truck passing through the state of Veracruz. The 21 Salvadorans, 3 Hondurans and 10 Guatemalans were being transported in a “subhuman way” in a hidden compartment in the trucks cargo area. This zone is a route of travel for “hundreds of thousands” of illegal Central and South American immigrants that pass through annually in route to the US.
El Imparcial (Hermosillo, Sonora) 1/19/09
Sunday was a violent day in Sonora State with the murders of seven people. One of those killed was a city policeman in Sonoyta [across from Lukeville, AZ] who died of gunshots. In Agua Prieta [across from Douglas, AZ] two watchmen at a gasoline station were gunned down by thieves who stole the cash box. Another victim was shot to death in Nogales, Sonora. The other three were killed in different places in the interior of the state.
Frontera (Tijuana, Baja California) 1/19/09
Federal authorities confirmed that 21 police officers arrested in November for links with organized crime in Tijuana have been sent to prison in the state of Nayarit.
-End of report-