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 Espectador (Bogota, Colombia) 5/1/09
At dawn today Colombian authorities intercepted another vessel transporting 21 illegal aliens near San Andres Is., on the Caribbean. The Colombian flag “Antonita” was headed toward Nicaraguan shores and aboard were eight Somalis, six Eritreans, one Ethiopian and six Bangladeshis. Their two Colombian smugglers were also arrested.
This is the third time within the last two weeks that Colombian officials have intercepted vessels transporting illegal aliens in the Caribbean; the total for these two weeks has now reached 89. Officials said that in each instance the vessel’s destination was Nicaragua’s coast as a stopover to continue toward the United States.
El Universal (Mexico City) 5/1/09
An article headed, “El Chapo, a media narco,” points out that the leader of the Sinaloa cartel has replaced the crime bosses of yesteryear and now mingles with billionaires and influential people of the world. His name alone is news. Despite the media coverage of the fall of the principal drug bosses in Mexico in the government’s fight against organized crime, Joaquin “El Chapo” Guzman Loera continues to be the Achilles heel of the anti-narcotic battle. Even from his hiding place, the leader of the most powerful drug cartel has become a near mythic figure in the narcoculture of Mexico. He is recognized not only for his illegal activities, but also defended by some for his influence and economic power. Now the popular magazine Time included him in its list of the 100 most influential people in the world. He was also listed in Forbes magazine’s list of billionaires. Such recognition does not please the Mexican federal government. Today, new generations have forgotten the bosses of the past who introduced drug traffic to Mexico. Their names are all but erased from the collective imagination by this native Sinaloan, merely 61 inches in height, who makes himself present by his absence.
During the past 12 months, 14 journalists have been assassinated on the American continent, six of them in Mexico, according to an International Press Society (SIP) message to commemorate Free Press Day on May 3. Another two newsmen were killed in Guatemala, two in Venezuela and one each in Colombia, Ecuador, Honduras and Paraguay. During the past year, the SIP has criticized the lack of justice in the murders of journalists and the impunity in which the crimes are committed.
El Debate (Sinaloa) 5/1/09
The violence between narcotraffickers continues to claim victims in the border city of Juarez, Chihuahua. In the last few hours, seven people, including a woman, were murdered mob-style. In the murder of the woman, an armed group killed her from a vehicle with multiple gunshots that also wounded a child five years of age.
Prensa Libre (Guatemala City, Guatemala) 5/2/09
The five Somalis who arrived in a truck from Nicaragua to Guatemala and who were later granted “legal refuge” status in Guatemala have now abandoned that country and are in Tapachula, Chiapas, Mexico, presumably en route to the United States. [Another 50 illegal aliens from Africa were reported to have been detained by Nicaraguan officials back in late February. See our M3 Report of March 2, 2009. Other recent indications of African emigration through Central and South America can be found in M3 Reports of April 21 and 22.]
Cuarto Poder (Chiapas) 5/2/09
The southern border of Mexico is open; traffic from Guatemala and south is not checked and the Mexican immigration service (INM) has all but dismantled its operations. The immigration checkpoint at Mazapa de Madero near the Guatemalan border, one of the most important “filters” through the mountains of Chiapas, is abandoned. From time to time, one or two immigration agents arrive to sit for a few hours and then leave, according to local residents. Every day, dozens of undocumented travelers from countries to the south are seen passing through Chiapas state.
El Universal (Mexico City) 5/2/09
Five mutilated bodies, gagged and wrapped in bed sheets were found in a house near Aguascalientes, the capital city of Aguascalientes state. Four of the victims were female. Municipal Police, answering an anonymous call, observed three presumed hit men. When the three attempted to flee, police chased them to a nearby building and not only arrested them, but discovered the bodies inside. One of the men arrested turned out to be a veteran Municipal Police officer.
El Informador (Guadalajara, Jalisco) 5/2/09
Two Municipal Police were ambushed and killed while on vehicle patrol near Tototlan, Jalisco. One of the officers was supervisory level and the other a line officer. Nothing is known of the attackers.
In Guadalajara, a confrontation between federal and state police left one man gravely inured and four arrested. The trouble started when federal agents were carrying out an anti-narcotics operation in a restaurant. State police arrived and attempted to arrest the feds, who did not identify themselves as federal agents. A chase ensued leading to the federal branch office where the two agencies clashed. At press time, the official report of what actually happened had not yet been untangled from several conflicting versions.
Cuarto Poder (Chiapas) 5/3/09
[Following is a published report based on information from the Center of Investigation of Economic and Community Political Action (CIEPAC), based in San Cristobal de las Casas, Chiapas.]
Every day, at least 165 people in the state of Chiapas lose hope and leave for the United States. Fifteen years ago such emigration was unnoticeable, but now it has turned this southernmost Mexican state into one that most exemplifies this trend. The main reasons that people leave are lack of employment and natural disasters such as the hurricane of 2005 that affected 41 cities in this region.
The history of Mexican migration to the US began in the 1880s when Southern Pacific and Santa Fe railway companies began to “import” cheap labor, the majority of which was indigenous Mexicans. Up to 1910, they recruited 20,000 Mexicans annually. During the First World War, our countrymen played an important role in the economic development of the US, receiving in return from that government a wave of violence and persecution; war veterans physically attacked workers labeled as “aliens,” burned down their houses and stole their belongings. No one stopped them. But neither the hunters nor the fences have halted the emigration toward the so called “first world country.” As an example, of those from Chiapas who migrate to the US, 79% never return. Our countrymen have advanced significantly in their type of work, from agricultural workers to construction, manufacturing and services.
In the city of Frontera Comalapa, a popular travel agency popularly known as “tijuaneras” [alluding to trips to Tijuana] has changed to focus its business on one purpose: every week, 40 buses leave from this area with at least 40 people from Chiapas headed for Tijuana, Baja California, with the intention to “cross the line.”
Frontera (Tijuana, Baja California) 5/3/09
The Mexican Army arrested a man at the Tijuana airport in possession of five kilograms of a synthetic drug known as “crystal” and one kilogram of cocaine concealed in the frames of three decorative pictures. Gabriel Cruz Cordero, 20, had arrived from Morelia, Michoacan, and a routine x-ray inspection of his luggage revealed the drugs in packets inside the frames.
El Sol de Mexico (Mexico City) 5/3/09
Police located the bodies of five men and two women that had been tossed from a bridge on the Acapulco/Mexico City highway in the state of Guerrero. The bridge over the Mezcala River is more than 100 meters high. The bodies were located on the banks of the river wrapped in black plastic bags, “destroyed” by the impact. The actual cause of death had not been determined. An anonymous telephone call led to the discovery. Guerrero has been one of the more active states in the narco violence.
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