Over the weekend: Calderón rejects foreign intervention; Vigilante law emerges in Chiapas

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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 11/14/09

 El Universal (Mexico City) 11/13/09

 UN idea rejected

A number of business organizations in Ciudad Juarez, Chihuahua, have called for a United Nations peace force to come to their city to quell the violence of narco-traffic and other organized crime activities, but President Calderón today rejected that possibility or any other involving foreign intervention.  In his statement, Calderón said, “Clearly, it is not a case that requires it.  Mexico would not accept the presence or any foreign intervention in the country, for these are matters of internal security.”


Another tunnel found in Baja California

An anonymous tip to Baja California state police led to the discovery of a narco-tunnel in Mexicali, the state capital bordering Calexico, California.  The five-meter tunnel under construction contained sophisticated pneumatic equipment, valued at over 75,000 dollars, for excavation and removal of soil.  Three people were arrested in connection with the construction.


Arrests of 51 for narco-traffic in Chiapas

Federal agents carried out 17 search operations in the state of Chiapas, netting 51 arrests for narco-activities.  The operation also resulted in the seizures of drugs, ammo and vehicles.


Good morning, Uruapan

Presumed rival gangs of thugs shot it out in Uruapan, Michoacán, early this morning, gaining the attention of the police who joined in.  The battle involved AK-47 assault rifles and at least one fragmentation grenade.  No deaths and only one injury, a police agent, resulted from the firefight.  The gangs fled, dispersing into the streets with the police in pursuit.  No arrests were reported.


Big bucks seized

The Mexican Army in Tijuana, Baja California, seized over two million dollars stashed in a home in the Playas de Tijuana section of the city.  The discovery was made due to a citizen report.  The Army also seized five firearms.  The National Secretary of Defense qualified the seizure as “a forcible blow to the economic base of narco-traffic and organized crime.”


More Sinaloa violence

Authorities in Culiacan, Sinaloa, discovered the incinerated bodies of four people in a taxi.  Two of the bodies were inside the auto and the other two were in the trunk.  This discovery brings the execution style murders in the state to over 1,000 so far this year.


Novel idea from Mexico

The El Universal editorial, “Reduce it, already,” opens with the following paragraph:

Alianza Civica, one of the civil organizations with major purpose and prestige in Mexico, in the past few days launched a campaign as attractive as it is simple: reduce the budget of the political parties. Reduce it already! is the title, an idea that — perhaps like none other — can unite the great majority of citizens around the same cause.


 Cambio de Michoacan (Morelia, Michoacan) 11/13/09

 Mexican profiling

Added to constant citizen reports against the Mexican federal police in the state of Michoacán for abuse of power and other misbehavior, now they are accused of extortion against Mexican citizens returning from travels to the US.  At the Morelia Airport, various cases have been detected in which federal agents detain arriving travelers on the pretext of inspecting them, but in reality, are seeking minor irregularities as grounds for demanding up to 1,500 pesos [$115] to prevent them from going to jail.  The agents zero in on flights arriving from Chicago, Los Angeles and San Jose to check people for any suspected infraction with which to “obtain some benefit.”


 Cuarto Poder (Chiapas) 11/13/09

 Community takes law in own hands

Due to the increase in crime and the incapacity of the municipal police to combat it, a community on the north side of the city of San Cristobal de las Casas, Chiapas, has organized to arrest criminals and carry out their own form of justice.  This decision was reached in a meeting of the community’s board of directors and the residents.  Neighborhood watches were formed with four watchmen assigned to each street and avenue.  Residents will use alarms and whistles to alert others of crimes in progress or other emergencies.   A representative of the colony said that when a thief is caught in possession of the stolen articles, he will be detained by the inhabitants “to give him a strong lesson in order to educate him and then he will be turned over to the municipal police.”


 El Diario de Juarez (Ciudad Juarez, Chihuahua) 11/13/09

 US needs to join the fight against crime: Governor of Chihuahua

The governor of Chihuahua, Jose Reyes Baeza, said that before thinking about United Nations participation in the fight against crime in his state, the US should help.  He said that the problem of violence is Mexico’s responsibility, but that the US should commit to preventing arms traffic into Mexico, since it puts Mexico in danger.  


 El Porvenir (Monterrey, Nuevo Leon) 11/13/09

 Unemployment figures greater this year in Mexico

In the third trimester of this year, 2.9 million people in Mexico are unemployed, with the rate at 6.2%.  Last year at this period, the unemployment rate was 4.2%.


 Frontera (Tijuana, Baja California) 11/13/09

 “Crystal” seized

Two men in possession of six kilos of “crystal” [a form of methamphetamine], two 9mm pistols, 7,000 dollars and 8,000 pesos were arrested by the Mexican Army in Tijuana.  Also seized was a Ford sedan with California plates.  [No number given]


 Sunday 11/15/09

 El Universal (Mexico City) 11/14/09

 Mexican Army dismantles narco-lab

Specialists and chemists certified that the amount of synthetic drugs in a clandestine laboratory dismantled by the Army in Sinaloa comes to at least 718 kilos with a market value of over 687 million pesos [$52.5 million US].   The lab was discovered near the village of Los Duarte in the ongoing Operation Culiacan-Navolato.  The end product of the lab was methamphetamine in the form of “crystal”.


 Cambio de Michoacan (Morelia, Michoacan) 11/14/09

 Crime a good gamble in Mexico

According to a report from a publication of canalsonora.com [reliability unknown], after three years of Mexican federal combat against organized crime, 75% of those arrested for narco related offenses were later released.  From January 2007 to September 2009, there are records of 226,677 people arrested by the Department of justice (PGR). The publication notes the state of Michoacán as one of the three where the presence of the military is prevalent to combat criminal groups.  Nevertheless, only 3,153 arrests have been made and one of every two of those arrested have been absolved of crime.  In addition, the authorities pronounced judgment on only 862 people in 36 months.  The states that lead in the capture of most presumed narco criminals are Jalisco, with 43,153; Baja California, 32,895; Guanajuato, 28,003; and the Federal District, 27,366.  These three states and the Federal District represent 57.9% of the total arrests in the country.


 Monday 11/16/09

 El Universal (Mexico City) 11/15/09

 Comment from the editorial staff

An editorial comment from El Universal states: In order to play, you have to pay.  Simple.  A group of security experts urged the government to change their anti-narcotic strategy and focus their artillery on attacking the financial structure of the cartels.  The argument is lineal: if it is with money that they buy arms, corrupt police and authorities, and seduce hundreds of youths who find, in dealing out violence, a way to survive and carry home money, then the source of financing must be dealt a blow in order to cut the head off the serpent.  Otherwise, the only thing that will increase is the number of victims.  This is what the experts say.


Marihuana seized near Reynosa

Mexican federal agents discovered more than three tons of marihuana and some firearms in the community of Arguellas, near the border city of Reynosa, Tamaulipas.  Also seized were three vehicles.  One, a Chevrolet pickup, had Texas plates SNV-T53.


 El Financiero (Mexico City) 11/15/09

 Mexican police statistics in brief

Mexico has 2,090 police departments within the three levels of government, federal, state and local, which total 409,536 agents, according to the federal Secretary of Security.  In all, 68.3% have a primary education, a quarter of them have completed high school and 4.5% have higher education.  Half of the departments have 20 or fewer officers, making rotation of superiors difficult and the lack of permanence of officers facilitates corruption.


 La Jornada (Mexico City) 11/15/09

 Mexican arsenal seized in Nicaragua

Managua. During an operation of the National Police and Army, an arsenal presumably belonging to the Mexican Sinaloa cartel was seized.  The arms consisted of 53 AK [sic} rifles, 19,000 rounds of ammo, an M-79 grenade launcher, 10 M-19 grenades, 10 200-gram bags of TNT and another 10 of 400-gram dynamite.  The arms were believed to have been in transport to Mexico when intercepted.  After a brief exchange of gunfire, those transporting it fled and there were no injuries or arrests.


 El Imparcial (Hermosillo, Sonora) 11/15/09

 Gun battles in Nogales

Two gun battles in Nogales, Sonora, left three dead this morning.  At the site of one gunfight, shells from AK-47 rifles were found along with a revolver handgun.


Another gunfight, poorly reported

A gunfight near Ciudad Obregon, Sonora, resulted in the deaths of four people, injuries to three others and four arrested. [This was the essence of the report.  A reader comment follows.]  Between who was the gun battle?  Police and bad guys?  The other ones who died and others who were wounded? Or were the victims innocents?  Did they capture all the participants of the fight or were the four only part of the total?


 -end of report-

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