Over the weekend: Mexican health insurance news; Narco violence continues to rise

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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 9/12/09

 La Cronica de Hoy 9/4/09

 Mexican migrants in US to be offered health insurance by Mexico

(Though a week old, this story has now gained new currency).   Mexican immigrants in the US will be able to enroll themselves and their families in Mexico in the health insurance of their own country through their consulates in the United States.  This is a new measure of the Mexican government to insure the 2.3 million Mexicans who still lack access to health care, according to Mexico’s Secretary of Health.  Dr. Jose Angel Cordoba Villalobos pointed out that the new plan will enable Mexican workers in the US who support their families in Mexico to offer their relatives at home the benefits of medical care and also benefit themselves when they return.  “We know that many migrants come to the US because they have no work.  And on many occasions, have not had the time or the knowledge of the existence of public insurance,” said Villalobos.  “What this is about is that there exists a guarantee of attention.”

 Public insurance in Mexico began in 2003 for those who were self employed and for the unemployed who lacked access to the health system.  Villalobos said that of the 12.5 million Mexicans  presently eligible for the insurance, 10 million use it.  Those migrants who enroll in the Mexican public insurance from consulates in the US can only receive medical attention in Mexico.

 Additionally, the Mexican government is working on the creation of a private insurance to be offered in the US for medical attention to immigrants.  The pilot program will be tried with some 3,500 temporary workers in the Yakima Valley in Washington State.  “We are coming to negotiate and to see in what way we can support them,” Villalobos said of the trial insurance plan.  


 El Universal (Mexico City) 9/11/09

 Another shipment of US cash intercepted

A shipment of money destined to Colombia was seized in the Mexican seaport city of Manzanillo, Colima.  The US currency in 20 and 50 dollar bills in cubic packages was hidden in sacks of ammonium sulfate and “at the moment” total $5.4 million US.  This is similar to method of shipment reported yesterday [M3 Report 9/11/09] that was intercepted upon arrival in at a Colombian port.  Mexican authorities credit the seizures to intelligence cooperation between the US, Mexico and Colombia. [Photo of attempted shipment relates.]

 Narco-war again crosses into US cities

The violence and insecurity generated by the drug war in Ciudad Juarez, Chihuahua, has crossed into the US, according to Jesse Tovar, spokesman for the El Paso County Sheriffs Department.  He cites the abduction of a man at gunpoint by three men from his home in Horizon City, Texas, on September 3, who was found five days later executed by strangulation in Cd. Juarez.


Narco violence exceeds 5,000 murders so far

Violence in Mexico broke a new record on reaching 5,018 execution murders so far this year. This past Thursday, with the murder of four people, the number passed the 5,000 mark for murders by narco violence.  This brings the present total during President Calderon’s term to 13,599. [He took office December 1, 2006.]


 La Jornada (Mexico City) 9/11/09

 Guatemalan arrests in high profile case

Guatemalan authorities arrested six police officers and a soldier for the murder of Rodrigo Rosenberg, a  lawyer who left a video in which he predicted his murder on orders of President Alvaro Colom.  [M3 Report 5/18/09]  Rosenberg’s murder and video touched off the worst political crisis in the recent history of Guatemala.


 El Financiero (Mexico City) 9/11/09

 Drug lab in Nicaragua destroyed

Nicaraguan anti-drug agents captured two Mexican citizens and three Nicaraguans in an operation that dismantled a drug laboratory in the department [state] of Leon.  Some 250 tablets and 23 kilos of amphetamine in powder form were destroyed.  The drug was destined for the US.  Authorities feel this was a major blow to organized crime intentions to establish bases in Nicaragua.


 El Debate (Sinaloa) 9/11/09

 Armed group abducts 11 people

Late today, authorities reported that 11 people were abducted from a ranch near Mazatlan, Sinaloa.  Witnesses said four vehicles with heavily armed men abducted the 11 and left.  Nor further details were reported at this time.


 Sunday 9/13/09

 El Debate (Sinaloa) 9/12/09

 Rare good news from Sinaloa

The 11 people reported abducted yesterday near Mazatlan, Sinaloa, were released by their captors after questioning revealed they were not the ones the abductors were seeking.


 El Universal (Mexico City) 9/12/09

 Changes in Calderon’s cabinet

Since assuming office in 2006, Mexican President Felipe Calderon has made 18 changes in diverse areas of his working team.  The latest changes are:

 — Attorney General of the Republic (PGR) Eduardo Medina Mora resigned, leaving his deputy, Jose Miguel Alcantar Soria, in charge.  The congressional confirmation of Calderon’s nominee for AG, Arturo Chavez Chavez, is pending. 

 — The director of Mexican Petroleum (Pemex) Jesus Reyes Heroles resigned.  Calderon appointed Juan Jose Suarez Coppel to replace him.

 — The Secretary of Agriculture (Segarpa) Alberto Cardenas Jimenez resigned, leaving Francisco Javier Mayorga Castaneda in charge.

 Regarding the changes, Calderon’s PRD party opponent in the presidential election, Andres Manuel Lopez Obregon, said the changes are “pure circus,” stating that the replacements amount to “the same people,” since each was a subordinate to the one leaving.


The ease of hijacking

Josmar Flores Pereyra, the Bolivian pastor who hijacked a Mexican airliner September 9, appeared before the court and explained how he devised the fake bomb.  He said he used cans, tape and his socks to fashion what appeared to be a bomb.  He related how he passed the unassembled parts separately through security to avoid the metal detector.  Once in the waiting area, he assembled the pieces where there was no surveillance, but in view of other waiting passengers without anyone saying anything or appearing afraid.


 El Financiero (Mexico City) 9/12/09

 US citizen arrested in Cancun

Mexican federal police arrested Matthew Davis James [sic], a US citizen, in Cancun, Quintana Roo, on a request for extradition by US authorities.  Davis, wanted on drug charges, escaped capture from US agents in 2004 and settled in Cancun where  he worked as a tourist guide.  US authorities have 60 days to formalize their petition for extradition.


Encounter between military and criminals

An armed clash between the Mexican military and a gang of thugs in the state of Zacatecas left two of the criminals dead and one in custody.  The encounter took place in the town of Miguel Auza, near the Durango state line, when the military intercepted a convoy of five SUVs with armed men.  After the smoke cleared, the military also seized the vehicles, 21 rifles including AR-15s and AK-47s, 6 hand grenades, 70 cartridge clips and about 4,270 rounds of ammo.


 La Jornada (Mexico City) 9/12/09

 The bodies of five men were found this morning in the village of El Pelillo, near Acapulco, Guerrero.  The victims were tied and had been shot multiple times.  There was a narco-message signed “Chief of Chiefs” that said,”So that you(all) learn and respect.”


El Informador (Guadalajara, Jalisco) 9/12/09

 Seven abducted at airport

An armed group in four vehicles intercepted an airport taxi at the Guadalajara International Airport and abducted seven passengers who had just arrived from Monterrey, Nuevo Leon.  The four vehicles then fled the scene with their prisoners.


 Monday 9/14/09

 El Financiero (Mexico City) 9/13/09

 Colombian mercenaries being sought to defend Honduran enterprises

Honduran businessmen are apparently interested in contracting Colombian ex-military to protect their properties from the violence following the coup that deposed Jose Manuel Zelaya, June 28, 2009.  The Colombian newspaper El Tiempo reported that the offer to hire the ex-soldiers was made three weeks ago in a region where many of them are concentrated.  The periodical reported that “close to 40” men responded to the Honduran businessmen who claim that they need combat soldiers to protect their large agricultural holdings in Honduras.  The Honduran ambassador to Colombia said he was unaware of such recruitment.


 Frontera (Tijuana, Baja California) 9/13/09

 Drug seizures for August

During the month of August, the Mexican Army operations in the state of Baja California seized 223 tons of drugs in a number of separate loads.  The operations also netted 279 people and located 1,950 rifles and 5 million dollars US.

 -end of report-

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