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 Porvenir (Monterrey, Nuevo Leon) 3/13/09
High level Mexican military and government sources revealed that a special DEA group has been allowed into Mexico to seek clandestine contact with drug bosses for the purpose of negotiating their voluntary surrender to US authorities. The government of Felipe Calderón authorized 62 US anti-narcotics agents to operate in some states without oversight by Mexican authorities. The permission provides that agents will not be required to issue a report to Mexico on their work in the country. Mexican sources said they have no knowledge of which drug cartels or drug bosses the group will try to meet with because that information “is reserved and the government of the president of the US, Barack Obama, considers it of national security.”
The operation concerns the use of a unilateral strategy in Mexico that the DEA used in Colombia a decade ago and which has, from the year 2000 to the present, involved the voluntary surrender of at least 50 important drug bosses, financial operators and leaders of militant killer units of criminal organizations that still operate in that country. The criminals who have agreed to negotiate with the DEA submit to a plan of collaboration that requires the drug bosses to share information about the activities and whereabouts of their colleagues. They also reveal the location of the principal routes of transport of narcotics to the US. The information provided is in exchange for the obligation of authorities to reduce the penalty charges once the subjects are incarcerated in the US.
Regarding the operation in Mexico, one official emphasized, “This is a unilateral effort of the US government; the Mexican government is totally out of it.”
El Financiero (Mexico City) 3/13/09
The Mexican Secretary of Federal Public Security, Genaro Garcia Luna, maintained that it would be “unthinkable” for the government to bargain with organized crime because “to negotiate or make agreements with them is to assume that we are partners or equals.” In a press conference, he explained that it is very different to have the cooperation of criminals who turn themselves in in order to reduce penalties, but no way has there been any negotiation with someone who has violated the law. Garcia Luna also assured that accepting military assistance from the US to combat crime has not been considered because combating crime relies on solid, strong institutions. Regarding the US offer of military aid, he said, “Mexico will battle organized crime with resolve using its police, its public strength and authority and that is not up for discussion.” He explained that the federal government is not closed to the mechanisms of cooperation and collaboration with other countries, but “every country with its own authorities in its own territory.”
Taking a lighter look at Forbes Magazine listing of drug lord Joaquin “El Chapo” Guzman as one of the world’s richest:
El Universal (Mexico City) 3/13/09
El Universal’s editorial, The inefficacy of the conspiracy theory.
Given the form in which criticisms of the insecurity in Mexico have been cast about, it’s more feasible to assume pure chaos in the words of the US public than a conspiracy on the part of its government. We have failed to make our neighbor understand that it is more likely to receive a bullet in one of their schools than to be assassinated by a Mexican cartel in a swimming pool in Cancun. George J. Trent, ex-director of the CIA, asked his son via private e-mail to cancel his spring break trip to Acapulco. Meanwhile, the Forbes magazine published that the narcotrafficker, Joaquin El Chapo Guzman, is among the richest in the world; nothing new since before, it did the same with the Colombian boss, Pablo Escobar.
What ought to rule the Mexican government’s protests are the facts more than shrewd politicians through certain means of communication. The reduction of 150 million dollars from the 450 originally destined to the Merida Initiative, without protest of Barack Obama — as George W, Bush would have in his time — did deserve strong words from the President, since it reflects a consensus in that country, between the Executive and Legislative, that grants to Mexico for its struggle against drugs is money lost.
The US leader and the Vice President, Joe Biden, stated in recent days that the violence is linked to the addiction of their country and that it is more important than ever that they rely on a more complex and coordinated strategy with Mexico. Why not take them at their word rather than giving them verbal blows as was done with Carlos Slim or the PRI governments. If the theory of “conspiracy” didn’t work in the past, much less now that a kind of conspiracy is attributed to the US.
Equanimity in times of crisis is a political virtue.
Mexican Army units discovered a narco-lab with the capacity of producing up to a ton of methamphetamine a month. The lab is located in the town of Ixtlahuacan del Rio, Jalisco, some 25 miles north of Guadalajara. This is the largest lab discovered so far this year. No arrests were reported, but troops seized over a ton and a half of meth and a few firearms. The lab, located on a 25-acre farm, had aroused suspicions among the residents of the area, who reported it to authorities.
El Nuevo Diario (Managua, Nicaragua) 3/14/09
Nicaragua’s President Daniel Ortega has signed a decree eliminating the need for a visa to enter Nicaragua for citizens of all countries of the world.
[Commentary from the paper]: “The risk is major for our own country and for the rest of the hemisphere, since now terrorists, drug traffickers, “mara” gangsters, all kinds of illegal aliens and even members of dangerous mafias who operate in various areas would be able to get in.”
Ortega outlined the new relations with the Russia Federation, whose citizens now will only have to pay a fee upon arrival in the country. He pointed out the same possibility for citizens of the Peoples’ Republic of China and for African countries. “It is precisely from China and from African countries where hundreds of people leave daily seeking to reach the United States.”
El Heraldo (Tegucigalpa, Honduras) 3/14/09
Females among Honduran deportees from the U.S. now account for 12% of the current year’s total and have reached 631. Yesterday’s arrival of 171 brings the running total of Honduran deportees to 5,186. Last year’s total figure was 30,082.
Prensa Libre (Guatemala City, Guatemala) 3/14/09
A committee of the InterAmerican Press Society (“SIP”) reported that 332 journalists were assassinated between 1987 and 2008. Of these, 72 cases, mainly in Brazil, Colombia and Mexico, have never been solved. The past president of “SIP” said that “in Mexico, for instance, narcotraffic attacks journalists purposely and kills them. There are no subtleties or consideration.”
El Diario en Linea (Chihuahua) 3/14/09
Since last Friday afternoon, at least six bodies have been unearthed so far in a sandy area southeast of Cd. Juarez, Chihuahua state. In the same area, a police badge was also found that is presently considered evidence, either of police victims or their involvement. Unofficial reports are that the discoveries were made as a result of an anonymous telephone tip. The zone has been used in other occasions as a clandestine burial ground by presumed narcotraffickers.
Cambio de Michoacan (Morelia, Michoacan) 3/14/09
The US government granted the deportation of a presumed murderer wanted by the Michoacan state justice system and who had fled to the US to avoid arrest in Mexico. Rafael Ramirez Aviña, 48, was wanted for the ambush murder of a man in 1997.
El Diario de Hoy (San Salvador, El Salvador) 3/15/09
Mauricio Funes proclaimed himself winner of El Salvador’s presidential election that took place today. The leftist FMLN party candidate made the announcement at a press conference held this evening. He insisted that his government will encourage national unity and asked that confrontation and revenge be put aside. In this sense, he saluted his opponent, Rogelio Avila of the ARENA party, and vowed to respect the rules of the Constitution. It is estimated that Funes won by a margin of three percentage points.
Siglo Veintiuno (Guatemala City, Guatemala) 3/15/09
Last Friday, the bodies of three youths, two males 17 and 18, and a female, 14, were found in a canal near Guatemala City. They had died of gunshots to the head. Investigators believe they had witnessed a crime committed by the local “Mara 18” gang and were murdered. Today, two of them, cousins, were buried. Funeral music was provided by the National Youth Symphony Orchestra as a token of respect to one of the victims who had been a member. The father of one of them lamented, “We are living in total barbarism in Guatemala. There are no values, every day there are people who kill and kill with impunity.”
Frontera (Tijuana, Baja California) 3/15/09
The risk for journalists in Mexico has grown. In the last five months, four have been assassinated and there were at least eight serious attacks against professionals and communications media, according to a periodic report of the Inter-America Press Society (SIP).
Continued excavation of the clandestine narco-cemetary near Cd. Juarez [reported yesterday, above] has now revealed at least 10 bodies, two of them appearing to be female and one, a municipal policeman. Early reports indicate that the bodies have been buried at least two months. Four of them had throats cut and hands tied behind their backs.
-end of report-