“Zetas” Smuggling and Extorting Cubans

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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.

Milenio – Mexico, D.F. – 09/15/09

Undocumented Cubans held hostages by Los Zetas in Quintana Roo

Sunday afternoon, a special Military Intelligence group, supported by elements of the 64th Infantry Battalion broke into a house in Cancun to free fifteen Cubans and detain two others.  Two armed Zetas who were guarding the place managed to escape, according to an official report.  The agents detained the man in charge of the house, who said he did not know the bosses who arrived with the “hooded ones” in a Cadillac Escalade with Florida plates.  Later, a Cuban to whom the house was rented was also arrested.

The Cubans rescued from the safe house reported to the Department of Justice (PGR) that Zetas, associated with drug traffickers, had them sequestered since September 01, and were savagely tortured to exact $10,000 from each of them to take them to Florida.  Desperate, due to the torturing to which they were subjected by their captors; and being made to write messages to their families to pay the $10,000, the Cubans begged for help from the neighbors.

 In a statement to the federal attorney, they said that after ten days of brutal beatings and torture, they decided to ask for help and wrote four messages; the first one read, “Help.  Here. Call the federales, not the police.  Help, fast.  Fast, please!  13-09-2009. Not the police!”  The messages, written on pieces of sheet and paper, were thrown to neighboring houses to ask for someone to call the feds, knowing that the local police supported their captors.

The rescued Cubans also said that four women who came in the same boat had disappeared.  The “hooded ones”, who beat them all to unconsciousness every night, also tore an ear off of two of them in order to pressure family members residing in the U.S. to deposit the payment in their accounts.

The Cubans said they left Cuba in an improvised boat and once in Mexican waters, a speedboat took them to Puerto Juarez, where strangers put them in a van and took them to the safe house.  When the Zetas asked for the money and they could not come up with it, they were tortured to get telephone numbers of family members in the U.S.  Upon arrival in Puerto Juarez, the girls who left Cuba with them were loaded into a different vehicle and no more was seen of them.

The Mexican Immigration Service (INM) admitted that the trafficking of illegal Cubans operated by the Miami mafia has resurged in this area to the point that it will be a subject at the next security meeting, referring to the rescue of the fifteen Cubans by the Military Intelligence personnel.

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 Cuarto Poder – Tuxtla Gutierrez, Chis. – 09/15/09

 Kidnapping brings in millions of dollars

Accusation:  Gangs extort more than $25,000,000 annually for kidnapping of migrants in the south-southeast.

 According to the Guatemalan Embassy in Mexico City, the states of Chiapas, Tabasco, Yucatan, Oaxaca and Veracruz present the most serious problem.  Even though considerable progress has been made by the Mexican Government in eliminating migrant smuggling, there are still abuses by authorities.

 The immigration theme represents a priority in the bilateral agenda; three of every five Central Americans detained and deported by Mexican authorities are Guatemalans.

 The passage of Central American migrants through Mexico en route to the U.S. has been complicated because of the constant violations by organized crime; principally assault, robbery, kidnapping, rape and murder.  Therefore, federal and southern state authorities have urged that the public give more attention to programs that assist the most vulnerable.   

The Justice Department (PGR) reiterated its pledge to fight federal crime in Chiapas and gave a toll free number to call to report illegal activity.

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 Frontera – Tijuana, B.C. – 09/15/09

Six bodies found burned inside an auto at Playas de Tijuana

 The Tijuana fire department received a report of a vehicle on fire at 10:00 p.m. Upon extinguishing the fire, the bodies were found; two in the trunk and four inside the late model Nissan Sentra.  Agents of the State Judicial Police will investigate the case.  A week ago in the same area an off-duty policeman and his wife were shot.  Two weeks ago three bodies were found in the area.

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 El Debate – Culiacan, Sinaloa – 09/15/09

Narco-greenhouse with marijuana is found in Sinaloa

 Elements of the Army on routine patrol arrested two men in a 5,000 square meter greenhouse with more than 20,000 marijuana plants.  The illicit activity was detected using a “GT-200” molecular detector device.

 The greenhouse was equipped with modern, highly sophisticated refrigeration, heating and lighting devices.  Seized also were a sedan, a pickup truck, AK-47 rifles, a .38 super pistol, ammunition and clips.

 In a nearby warehouse were found hoses, plastic bags, fertilizer, fumigation pumps, 300 grams of marijuana seed and a rifle.

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 El Universal – Mexico, D.F. – 09/15/09

 Morelos records its most violent week

 The dispute over territory between the Sinaloa and Beltran Leyva Cartels left eight dead between Friday and Sunday, the largest toll this year.

 Sunday night, a shootout between competing cartels near the Department of Public Security offices left three dead and one wounded.  Earlier a body was found on the Mexico-Cuernavaca highway.

 Last Friday, four bodies were found burned inside an abandoned station wagon along the Mexico-Oaxaca highway, the result of a shootout.  These killings were minimized by Gaston Menchaca, head of the Department of Public Safety, who said that the 33 municipalities were completely tranquil and invited the populace to come and celebrate the patriotic holidays!

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 Police authorities reported that 15 homicides related to organized crime took place in Ciudad Juarez, Chihuahua.  In two cases of multiple homicides, five men were killed Saturday and five Sunday.  A woman was dispatched with at least five shots.

 In Sinaloa, the increasing violence left seven dead; among them a couple, seventeen years of age.

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 El Financiero – Mexico, D.F. – 09/15/09

Part of an international white slavery ring falls in Mexico

 The women were kidnapped in Tlaxcala and transported to Atlanta, Georgia, where they were forced into prostitution.  After a series of exchanges of information between Mexican and U.S. authorities, three men were arrested in Mexico for the abovementioned crimes.

 The operation was initiated after some of the victims reported in statements that they had been kidnapped and forced to prostitute themselves in Tenancingo, Tlaxcala and in the U.S.

 Based upon the women’s complaints, search warrants were issued for three locales, in one of which evidence was found to corroborate the accusations.  The women were controlled by a man and his mate in Tenancingo and then later taken to other states in Mexico.  Some of them were later smuggled into the U.S. and taken to Atlanta, Georgia.

 The modus operandi of the gang was to have men go to poor rural areas in Puebla, Tlaxcala, Veracruz, Morelos and  Tabasco and recruit young women.  They would show up in luxury vehicles, court the girls and take them to their residences as their “wife”; and then force them into prostitution.  Some of the women were pregnant and when the child was born the man would take the baby and threaten to harm it if the woman did not comply with orders.

 The gang members arrested in Tlaxcala were presented to the federal court for prosecution.

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 End of report

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