Interpol: Terrorist group Al-Qaeda could have links with the Central American gangs

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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.

La Hora  (Guatemala City, Guatemala)  4/8/09

“Risk of links between gangs and Al-Qaeda is confirmed” full translation-

Ronald Noble, Interpol Secretary General, said that the terrorist group Al-Qaeda could have links with the Central American gangs, also known as “maras”.

The official supported his hypothesis after analyzing a data base with names and data belonging to the international security organization. Noble confirmed the risk of the relation between the two groups during the recent Interpol Americas’ International Conference which took place in the city of Vina del Mar, on Chile’s central coast.

According to the official, the information – not yet confirmed – reveals that there is contact between the terrorist activists and the gangsters who dedicate themselves to the traffic of drugs and people in the region. Al-Qaeda has defined itself as an Islamic resistance group presumably led by the fundamentalist Osama bin Laden, to whom is attributed the intellectual authorship of the terrorist attack to the World Trade Center in 2001, among others of great magnitude.

(Guatemala’s) Secretary of Government, Salvador Gandara, indicated he is unaware of the information reported by Interpol, nevertheless he acknowledges the way in which the maras operate on Guatemala’s border in conjunction with the “narco-terrorist” groups. The official pointed out that the gangs were initially formed by Central American immigrants residing in the United States, where they would defend the barrios where they belonged. Gandara maintains “Mara 18 was born in the jails and its name came from 18th Street in Los Angeles, it’s a most troubled barrio.” Then came the mass deportations of Central Americans from the United States, and this way also the criminal groups entered the region. “They have also deported criminality”, he maintains.

The Secretary of the Interior did not confirm that there may exist links between the maras and the terrorist group Al-Qaeda, but that they do have them with the drug traffickers “who generate terror wherever they go.” The official confirms that the maras are an executing arm which generates chaos and instability to facilitate drug and other illicit traffic in Central America.

Contrary to what Interpol has revealed, security analyst Sandino Asturias, believes that there is no relationship between the maras which operate in Central America and Al-Qaeda’s terrorists structures from the Middle East. He asserts “Those statements lead to an over-evaluation of the organization and the reach which the maras have” He adds, “This aims to introduce a security agenda to the liking of the United States”. According to Asturias, “Al Qaeda does not represent a potential threat for Central America and Latin America, given that their objectives are different from those it has found in the world powers”

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Prensa Libre  (Guatemala City, Guatemala)  4/8/09

*   Beginning April 9th no passengers are allowed on motorcycles or motorbikes in Guatemala. Further, the driver must now wear a helmet and jacket bearing the motorcycle’s license number in vertical and horizontal lines and in fluorescent yellow, visible from at least five meters’ distance. This is “due to the constant assaults committed by criminals who use motorcycles and to the murders of passenger bus drivers who are executed by killers who travel on motorcycles.”

*   A World Bank Institute study ranked 209 nations of the world according to security and placed Guatemala in the 156th place, while Costa Rica was ranked 47th, the best in Central America. Other area countries: Panama (104), El Salvador (118), Nicaragua (135) and Honduras (145). 78% of nations ranked better than Guatemala.

*   Two flights arrived from the U.S. on Tuesday. They brought the number of Guatemalan deportees this year to 7,187.

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Diario Xalapa (Xalapa, Veracruz)  4/8/09

Five Somalis and three Nepalese were originally detained in Guatemala in February hiding in a Nicaraguan license plate truck while en route to the United States. They then applied for refugee status but have now disappeared and are unaccounted for.

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Economista (Mexico City) 4/8/09

“A bloody dawn in Chihuahua” “Two of the executions took place in Ciudad Juarez, bordering on El Paso, Texas, four in the Chihuahua mountains and one more in Camargo, as reported by the state’s Department of Justice.”

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El Debate  (Culiacan, Sinaloa)  4/8/09

A spokesman for the Culiacan area “Initiative” (task force) reported a large seizure of items “because of indications, anonymous reports and the use of molecular detector GT-200”. Four different searches of houses and apartments in the Culiacan area yielded $3,072,677 dollars, 66,250 pesos; five “long barrel” firearms, 25 handguns , 55 clips and 2,081 rounds of ammo; some cocaine and weed; 179 “luxury” watches, 35 “luxurious” pieces of jewelry, six vehicles and 2 strong boxes.

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El Sur (Acapulco, Guerrero)  4/8/09

On Tuesday before dawn in Acapulco Hipolita Corcuera got a phone call from someone who said “here’s your little present.” Out of fear, she didn’t open her front door until 7 a.m. Outside her door, in an ice chest, was her brother’s head. He had been carried off last Saturday. The rest of him has not been found.

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Frontera (Tijuana, Baja Calif.)  4/8/09

A series of events in the area of Tecate, Baja Calif. (some 25 mi. e. of Tijuana) led to the arrest of 21 men believed to be thugs responsible for a number of homicides, including beheadings, which have taken place this year and in 2008. Five thousand rounds of ammo and 60 clips were seized at one of the locales involved, in the Las Torres section of Tecate.

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La Cronica  (Mexicali, Baja Calif.)  4/8/09

The U.S. Border Patrol found a trans-border tunnel running from Agua Prieta, Sonora some 20 meters (22 yds.) into Douglas, AZ;; The tunnel was actually an old drainage tube, variously reported as 23” or 31 ½” in diameter; it has now been plugged with concrete.

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Excelsior  (Mexico City)  4/8/09

The bodies of two men and one woman were found in Guadalupe, a satellite city of Monterrey, Nuevo Leon. All three had been “taped”, tortured and shot.

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El Heraldo  (Tegucigalpa, Honduras)  4/8/09

Seven Honduran Government prosecuting attorneys are having to be given personal protection because organized crime groups are seeking to assassinate them. Their names and locations were not disclosed for reasons of security.

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La Hora (Guatemala City, Guatemala)  4/8/09

“Constitution is detrimental to our migrants” –full transl.-

The website of the Spanish newspaper El Pais points out that the children of Ecuadorean and Chilean migrants will not be able to obtain original Spanish citizenship because of the changes included in the constitutions of the two countries. A press release states that a directive from the National Bureau of Registries and Notaries specifies that the applications filed for that purpose “will not be decided favorably”.

The justification given by the Spanish office points out that the magna cartas of Chile and Ecuador acknowledge the citizenship of the citizens’ children merely by that fact, even in the cases where they have been born in a foreign country. Previously, the children of Ecuadoreans born in Spain could be registered as Spaniards. This, based on the Convention of the Rights of Children. Basically, the Spanish Civil Code acknowledges that Spaniards by birth are those “born in Spain of foreign parents, if both lack citizenship or if the legislation of neither of them bestows a citizenship to the child” because it understands that in this case the child could be in a stateless condition.

Jacks Ramirez, an expert on migratory issues with the Latin American Institute of Social Sciences, asserted that the Spanish measure has a background because the Ecuadorean policy is not new and has been valid since 1990, when it approved dual citizenship.

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