Nominee for U.S. Ambassador to Mexico advises there will be major violence and more casualties in the fight against organized crime in the near future

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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)  7/9/09

Mexican Army to assume customs duties.  The Mexican Congress approved a proposal by Senator Tomas Torres Mercado that the Executive Office deploy armed forces personnel to customs duties in border areas, seaports, airports, and customs offices in order to halt the traffic of arms and other smuggling into the country.  The proposal is aimed at correcting the inefficiency that persists in the customs offices.  Senator Torres Mercado made the point that without the incessant flow of arms over Mexico’s borders, the present crisis of security unleashed by the drug cartels and other criminal organizations could not be sustained.  He said the present arms traffic is made possible “thanks to the corruption that afflicts many of our institutions.”
US Ambassador nominee speaks.  Carlos Pascual, the nominee for US Ambassador to Mexico advised that success in the fight against narcotraffic and organized crime will involve major violence and more deaths in the near future.  He indicated that successes against the criminal organizations have elevated their tactics to kidnapping and extortion in order for them to make up for the loss of revenue from drug trafficking.  Pascual, an expert in analysis of regional conflicts and “failed states,” recognized that the issue of security encounters “a very complex situation” inasmuch as “the tentacles of organized crime have reached the US from the largest cities to the smallest.”  He said the problem is not only on the border between Mexico and the US, but also extends farther south into Guatemala where there is more traffic, more criminal activity and more poverty.  He added that the trafficking in drugs is a hemispheric calamity that is rapidly becoming global.
LeBaron assassins possibly identified.  Two possible subjects involved in the kidnapping and murders of two men in the Mormon community of Galeana, Chihuahua, [reported yesterday] were caught on camera at a check cashing station on a highway in that area.  Police are asking local residents to set aside their fears and report any information that could lead to the capture of the killers.  [Relating video interviews may be viewed at] 
El Diario en Linea (Chihuahua) 7/9/09

Terrorism in Galeana.
  A news story that reads more as an editorial says that besides qualifying as terrorism, the homicides of a leader of the Mormon community of Galeana, Chihuahua, the crime offers evidence that the Mexican Army’s Joint Operation Chihuahua is a failure and that the criminals are defeating the authorities.  It goes on at length chastising the government for its failure to bring about security in the state and ends with the point that “Benjamin LeBaron was a person that did not allow criminals to intimidate him.  He did what all of us should do.”  [There were variations of these thoughts in other publications indicating that this case could become a cause celebre.]
El Imparcial (Hermosillo, Sonora) 7/9/09

  Regarding the LeBaron case, a popular nationally published columnist, Sergio Sarmiento who writes under the name “Jaque mate” writes in part:  “Report crime the authorities tell us.  If we don’t report it, it won’t be possible to combat crime.  And report it was what Benjamin LeBaron did.  He reported the kidnapping of his brother, Eric, 17, after refusing to pay ransom.  He reported it again in a public protest this past July 1 in Chihuahua City about the kidnappings that his Mormon community had suffered.  The reporting did not serve to put an end to the violence, but rather, on the morning of July 7, an armed group of some twenty thugs violently tore into his home in Galeana.  LeBaron was tortured in front of his family.  The attackers tried to violate his wife.  On hearing the ruckus, a brother-in-law, Luis Widman , came to her assistance and managed at least to prevent the violation, but paid with his life in the effort.  The thugs abducted LeBaron and Widman.  A couple of hours later their executed bodies were found.  What did it serve for the authorities to ask us to report crime?  What did it serve to tell us that the government is stronger than any criminal organization?  What did it serve to assure us that the Mexican State is not a failed one?  The experience of LeBaron underlines the consequences of reporting organized crime in Mexico.”
-end of report-


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