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 Universal (Mexico City) 10/20/09
Violence crosses into the U.S. without a visa
Jose Daniel Gonzalez Galeana was murdered with eight .45 caliber shots the night of Friday, May 15, in a residence to the northeast of El Paso, Texas. The 37 year old man was the presumed leader of the Juarez cartel and a DEA informant. The killer was identified by police as Michael Jackson Apodaca, 18 years old, a member of the 111th Air Artillery Defense Brigade of the United States Army. Apodaca was asked to kill him. A rival organization, known as La Compania [The Company] contracted him and two other subjects to square away a debt.
Four months later, the night of Thursday, September 3rd, another supposed drug trafficker was taken out of his domicile violently, in a suburb of that same city. They took him to the other side of the border to assassinate him. According to testimony obtained by the Sheriff’s office, the kidnapping was carried out by three armed men. The body of the victim, who was identified as Sergio Saucedo, 30 years old, turned up five days later, mutilated, in a Ciudad Juarez empty lot.
Saucedo’s was the first case of a trans-border kidnapping officially recognized as such by this country’s officials. Nevertheless, Howard Campbell, a University of Texas at El Paso professor and investigator, says that the drug trafficker groups have used the services of hired killers to operate on this side of the border. He affirms, “There are kidnappings that are not documented anywhere, and later they kill those people in Ciudad Juarez.”
According to the state of Chihuahua department of justice, between January and September of this year, 30 United States citizens residing in El Paso were killed in Mexican territory for some drug debt. No U.S. or Mexican official has established whether some of them were kidnapped in the way mentioned by Campbell, but at the end of last year the Houston Chronicle published that 25 El Paso residents were kidnapped from 2003 to 2008.
El Paso is not the only city with incidents at that level. According to the FBI office in San Diego, the kidnapping incidents increased 53 percent from 2007 to 2008 when they went from 15 to 23 such events.
According to the March 2009 report of the Anti-Drug National Intelligence Center, the real number of kidnappings could be higher, given that the victims’ families are not disposed to denounce the crime for fear that it might be discovered that their relatives have some connection with drug smuggling. The report warns that kidnappings are a lucrative means for drug smugglers and underscores that “They are an important source of revenue for criminal organizations such as the Arellano Felix brothers.”
Jessy Navarro (sic), spokesman for the San Diego District Attorney’s office, acknowledges that “Violence is coming across. Although, lately, events have taken place which worry us because of the degree of violence in the commission of crimes.” And the thing is that in Chula Vista and areas near the border there has been a growing number of homicides related to drugs “surprisingly similar to those carried out by Mexican drug trafficking organizations which operate in Tijuana.” Last August, that office brought charges against Jorge Rojas-Lopez, a 29 year old of Hispanic origin, who led the criminal group Los Palillos, dedicated to kidnapping and drug trafficking from Tijuana to San Diego. He is accused of nine murders. The bodies of seven of the victims were found in safe houses located in Chula Vista, San Diego and Bonita. The other two bodies were dissolved in acid in U.S. territory.
A report of the Investigations Service of the United States Congress, issued in 2007 and called “The Mexican drug cartels” (sic), points out that more than 60 United States citizens have been kidnapped in Nuevo Laredo.
Kidnappings related to drug and people trafficking are more and more frequent in Phoenix, Arizona. Statistics from the sheriff and local police indicate that there’s an average of one kidnapping per day in the area. There were 357 in 2007 and 358 the following year.
For Rusty Fleming, an investigator and author of the book and documentary Drug War, Silver or Lead, “the situation along our common border is very grave for both nations. I am horrified to the point of shame to see that my country’s politicians keep denying that we have a shared problem. They gloss over and minimize the situation in their speeches which revolve around the theme that we Americans are in some way safe from what is going on with our northern (sic) neighbor.”
The specialist, who has covered both countries’ border to document the social and criminal problems generated by narco traffic, points out the he is bothered by some American political and social leaders’ opinions for whom “what happens in Mexico stays in Mexico!”
Fleming avers:”Those characters in my country act with hypocrisy, because they only focus on the economic causes of the situation. They call the border communities ‘sister cities’, while they allow the drug terrorists to kidnap and kill their families.”
“Narco” buys ex-military in the U.S.
Sub-headline: The mayor of Laredo Texas, Raul Salinas, says, “Nobody wants to work at a McDonald’s.” He agrees that drug trafficking is the option for many unemployed.
Laredo, Texas.- The drug cartels that operate in the United States count on an army made up of ex-police officers, ex-military, youths between 13 and 19 years of age, as well as on women.
Their missions are well defined. The more experienced ones deal with buying informants. The women seduce and bribe agents. The youths watch loads, transport drugs and sell them.
The soldiers of American drug traffic, as defined by Antonio Castaneda, Chief of Police at Eagle Pass, Texas, “have acquired power and structure.” He explains, “18 or 19 year old kids with 60 thousand dollar SUV’s. And they don’t work!…All that doesn’t figure.”
In Laredo, Mayor Raul Salinas acknowledges that, for young people, becoming part of organized crime organizations to transport drugs is more attractive than going into a McDonald’s. “Nobody wants to work there.”
Webb County Agent Angel Lopez explains the function that the younger ones carry out as watchmen and distributors. “They use their Nextel to guide the short trips of the cars loaded with drugs or to sell it to addicts. Texas laws do not allow the jailing of those under 16 years, so that’s why they choose them. They’re all just kids between 13 and 15 years. They pay them around 300 or 400 dollars each week.”
The mayor of Laredo acknowledges that there are corrupt agents, “without a doubt”, but, he makes clear, there are no broken agencies. Likewise, Castaneda admits that bribery also takes place in the United States.
Antonio Payan, an investigator with the University of Texas at El Paso, affirms that the operations of drug trafficking organizations in the United States “are immense” but this will never be acknowledged.
One example of the cartels’ expansion is Laredo, which has become a narco warehouse. This city is the border port with the largest commercial activity with Mexico. Joe Baeza, spokesman for the local police, comments that drugs, weapons and money are hidden in thousands of warehouses, truck trailer boxes and private vehicles. The intense commercial activity has given rise to enormous warehouse complexes among railroad tracks and secondary highways. Which, Baeza says, are used now by drug traffickers to conceal drugs. The police spokesman says, “It’s as if they would hide a leaf in a forest.” Most of the drug that arrives from Mexico is taken to that area, adds agent Lopez. And tens of agents, in plain clothes and in uniform, roam around to try to stop the phenomenon. They are the great U.S. defense against drugs.
El Universal (10/21/09)
Calexico, a forgotten area
This border crossing point finds itself forgotten and lagging technologically in order to carry out its functions, a situation which organized crime takes advantage of to bring drugs over among the legal merchandise that crosses through here. The local Chief of Police, James Lee Neujahr, acknowledges that the daily war against drug cartels has little success. With a 40-man police force, he can only stop 5% of the drug loads. He points out:”This is an uncared for area. Our budget is not very large.” An investigation by the Anti-Narcotics Legal Office (sic) reveals that only one of 40 remittances is stopped by border inspectors.
The bloody war among drug cartels for territorial control has now caused 6,018 executions in Mexico this year. And each additional one thousand dead is taking less and less time. There have now been one thousand victims of organized crime just in the last forty days. The daily incidence since Aug, 1st is 24 a day, one per hour.
The cartoon below: the man with the firearm says, “You’re execution number two thousand, congratulations!”
– end of report –