Archive for September 7th, 2009

Over the weekend: Gun battles abound; political candidate and his family assassinated

September 7, 2009

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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.

 Saturday 9/5/09

 El Financiero (Mexico City) 9/4/09

 Mexican shoot-out closes Texas university

The University of Texas branch in the border city of Brownsville was evacuated and closed this afternoon after a gunfight on the Mexican side came close enough to cause panic among students and teachers. The report of a gun battle on the other side of the river and several stray gunshots hitting buildings and an automobile were enough reason to abandon the area.  [The city of Matamoros, Tamaulipas, is just across the Rio Grande River from Brownsville, Texas.]
Gun battle in Durango

Mexican federal police in Gomez Palacio, Durango, spotted four armed men in a Ford Lobo and before the agents could approach to question them, the four opened fire, engaging them in a gun battle.  Two of the gunmen were killed and the other two were wounded.  Six of the federal police received non-life threatening injuries  The feds also seized four AR-15 rifles, three “short rifles,” two fragmentation grenades and the vehicle.
Colombian cocaine seized

Colombian Navy personnel unearthed and seized a load of cocaine weighing some 1,900 kilos valued at $60 million US.  The stash of 86 sacks of 23 kilos each was buried near an inlet on the Gulf of Morrasquillo on the Caribbean coast.
Protests against Chavez begin

Referring to Hugo Chavez, President of Venezuela, the promoter of “No more Chavez” protests, Alejandro Gutierrez, said that marches have started in about 100 cities around the world, 30 of them in Colombia.  He said that in several European cities, protests have developed “with success,” especially in Madrid, Paris and Berlin.  “We think many people from all points will come out to demonstrate against Chavez,” the organizer said.  “The world is tired of his meddling and it is time to make that known.”


 El Universal (Mexico City) 9/4/09

 Police Chief assassinated

Th Chief of Police of Ahoma, Sinaloa, was assassinated this morning in front of his home in Los Mochis.  The fatal attack was carried out by at least two men.  Two weeks ago, the chief had participated in the arrest of three presumed hit men after a gun fight in Los Mochis.


 Cambio de Michoacan (Morelia, Michoacan) 9/4/09

 Mayor taken into custody

The mayor of Mugica, [Nueva Italia] Michoacan, was arrested by agents of the Mexican federal justice department (PGR) on suspicion of links to the drug cartel La Familia Michoacana.  The mayor, Armando Medina Torres, is also the president of  the association of PRI [political party] mayors.  He was arrested this afternoon while in his office and will be transported to a federal prison for detention in the state of Jalisco.  This is the latest in arrests of public officials for links to organized crime in the state of Michoacan.


 Cuarto Poder (Chiapas) 9/4/09

Zetas caught off guard

A 24-hour search operation by combined enforcement agencies in Comitan, Chiapas, surprised 11 members of Los Zetas, the armed branch 
of the Gulf drug cartel, and they were arrested without incident.  
Authorities also seized several “luxury vehicles.”  The Zetas were transported under heavy security to the state capital, Tuxtla Gutierrez, for processing.


 Sunday 9/6/09

 La Jornada (Mexico City) 9/5/09

 Lucrative auction

Properties seized from organized crime were auctioned off by the Mexican government for a record 105.3 million pesos [$7.9 million US].  Items indicating the luxurious lifestyle of narcotraffickers, including luxury cars, motorcycles, yachts, jet skis, aircraft, railroad coaches, abundant jewelry and electronics, were disposed of in  the treasury department’s auction.  In a separate sale, the government also auctioned two sugar refineries for 354.3 million pesos [$26.5 million US].  The photo is one of the aircraft sold.


 El Universal (Mexico City) 9/5/09

 Suspect arrested in Juarez mass murder

Mexican Army units in Nuevo Casas Grandes, Chihuahua, arrested one of the leaders of a criminal gang known as “La Linea,” Jose Rodolfo Escajeda, “El Rikin,” as a suspect in the massacre of 17 youths at a drug rehabilitation center in Juarez last Tuesday.  The suspect is considered the third in command of “La Linea,” a band linked to the Juarez drug cartel.  He is suspected of being one of those “possibly responsible” for ordering the mass murders.


 El Porvenir (Monterrey, Nuevo Leon) 9/5/09

 Gun battle between Mexican Army and Los Zetas

Mexican Army units, responding to a report of armed men in Santiago, Nuevo Leon, were met with gunfire which wounded two soldiers.  In the ensuing 40-minute  gun battle five members of the criminal gang Los Zetas were killed and one was wounded.  A civilian caught in the crossfire was also killed.  In the aftermath of the pitched battle in which most of the vehicles received damage, troops seized firearms, marihuana, “instruments of torture” and radio equipment.  Troops also rescued a person who had been kidnapped a month ago and was being held for 1 million pesos ransom.  [Photo of a part of the arms seizure relates.]
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 Frontera (Tijuana, Baja California) 9/5/09

 Marihuana seizure near Tecate

Mexican Army units seized 81 packages of marihuana weighing a total of 438 kilos and arrested four men on a ranch near Tecate, Baja California.  In addition to the marihuana, troops also found a 9mm pistol and a Nissan vehicle with California license plates. [No number given.]


 Monday 9/7/09

 El Universal (Mexico City) 9/6/09

 Political violence in Tabasco

A PRI political party candidate for the representative from Villahermosa, the state capital of Tabasco, was gunned down along with his wife and two minor children in his home Saturday morning.  The murders of Jose Francisco Fuentes Esperon and his family suspended the party’s campaigns for the October 18 elections and has caused the other two leading political parties, PRD and PAN, to suspend their campaigns as well in a show of solidarity and mourning.  Although the state of Tabasco has registered three murders of complete families this year, this is the first involving a political candidate in recent history.  No official word has yet been released regarding the investigation.


Journalistic opinion

Columnist Sara Sefchovich begins: 

 “The Spanish daily El Pais ran an article on the violence in Mexico and quoted President Calderon as saying that ‘the enormous chaos and insecurity that some outside the country believe, and others insist on proclaiming, does not exist.’  And he adds, ‘To speak poorly of the country is an everyday occupation for many.’ ”

 The columnist dedicates a number of paragraphs examining the power of words in shaping truth and to other official statements that downplayed reports of violence.  She then concludes:

 “The question then is very simple: it doesn’t have to do with discourse but rather with reality; the subject is not the words they say, but the reality that we are living and that everyone knows we are living and facing which, because of our values, interests and objectives, we feel anger and demand response from those we have placed in the positions of duty to give it.  And, say what they will in the government, this is how it is.”


 El Imparcial (Hermosillo, Sonora) 9/6/09

 Anti-drug official abducted

An armed group of about a dozen gunmen kidnapped an anti-drug official at a nighttime center in downtown Monterrey, Nuevo Leon, in front of some 2,000 witnesses.  The gun-wielding group in ski masks and bullet proof vests arrived in three luxury vehicles, fired threatening shots and abducted the official, Jorge Jogar Hobbs Flores.  Moments after they left, the military arrived but were unable to trap the kidnappers.


 -end of report-

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