Over the weekend: Dim view from Guatemala; strategy in Cd. Juarez questioned

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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.
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Saturday 1/16/10

 La Hora (Guatemala) 1/15/10

 View from Guatemala

Columnist Juan Franciso Reyes Lopez, who in past commentary has taken the popular Latin American view that immigration to the north is necessary since the people are simply “seeking a better life for their families and themselves,” bases his arguments today on a statement by Pope Benedict regarding the humane treatment of immigrants.  Reyes Lopez says in part, “Perhaps Guatemala and the Latin Americans who have immigrated to the United States seeking a better opportunity of life — the same as 99% of the ancestors of the present inhabitants of that country — don’t deserve to be respected by the laws of that country and ours and are allowed to be mistreated.  It shouldn’t be otherwise, that independently of the administrative fault they may have committed by entering in an irregular way, that their quality of life as human beings be respected, or is it that human rights are applied in a different way, according to skin color, language spoken, national origin?  What difference is there between a Scotsman who immigrated and a Central American who also did?  Perhaps those who are born in the US deserve different treatment if the surname is Reyes or Lopez instead of McFarland or something else.


 Norte (Ciudad Juarez, Chihuahua) 1/15/10

 Juarez citizens not appeased

Nohemi Barraza, in a column regarding the replacement of the Mexican Army in Cd. Juarez with civilian federal agents, noted that “nothing is served by replacing soldiers with federals if there is no strategy.”  Quoting  Hernan Ortiz, president of a citizen group advocating better public administration in the beleaguered city: “What is needed is an integrated strategy; the presence of armed people is not required.  We already have two years of that and it didn’t resolve anything.  The armed troops are not evidence that they are of service.  The solution is to end the impunity, require compliance with the law and generate development in the city.”


 El Financiero (Mexico City) 1/15/10

 Drug arrests in Nicaragua

The Nicaraguan police reported  the arrests of three Nicaraguans and a Costa Rican for transporting a load of 432 “small” bundles [no weight given] in a car, which was also seized.


 Sunday 1/17/10

 El Universal (Mexico City) 1/16/10

 Nearly 1,000 troops to Tijuana

Starting Saturday, nearly 1,000 Mexican soldiers and marines will be deployed throughout Tijuana, Baja California, to join the civilian authorities in preventing a feared intensification of violence in the city.  Following the capture last week of drug boss Teodoro Garcia Simental, “El Teo,” authorities anticipate a turf war in the area to take advantage of the power vacuum left.  The response of the Mexican military was at the request of the governor of Baja California, Jose Guadalupe Osuna Millan.  The military will man traffic checkpoints and set up units to receive citizens’ reports of criminal activities.


 El Financiero (Mexico City) 1/16/10

 Grenade explosion in San Salvador injures 20

Twenty people, among them at least four minors, were injured by a fragmentation hand grenade in a busy section of downtown San Salvador, the capital city of El Salvador.  The M67 military grenade [see photo] was tossed into a group by “unknowns” from a passing motorcycle.  The explosion, in addition to inflicting severe wounds, also caused major damage to several vehicles.


 El Diario de Juarez (Ciudad Juarez, Chihuahua) 1/16/10

 Marihuana seized at Laredo

US agents at the commercial bridge between Nuevo Laredo, Tamaulipas, and Laredo, Texas, seized “nearly two tons” of marihuana in two separate inspections.  The first was in a load of furniture and clay pots that was sent to secondary for closer inspection during which 212 kilos were discovered thanks to the help of “Eustuka,” an “agent dog.”   The second load was discovered by x-ray of a cargo of pharmaceutical products in which 569 kilos were seized.


 El Imparcial (Hermosillo, Sonora) 1/16/10

 Nogales, a battleground

In breaking news, a gun battle is taking place in Nogales, Sonora, between the Mexican Army and a heavily armed group entrenched in private homes in Colonia Obrera.  The Army is assisted by police elements of Nogales and the area has been cordoned off.  The criminal forces have so far been able to repel attacks by the authorities.  The report mentions a “nervous crisis” among neighbors in the area for fear of being caught in crossfire.  One elderly man sitting in his patio was wounded in the leg by a stray bullet.  [Stay tuned.  With luck this story will be completed later.]


 Frontera (Tijuana, Baja California) 1/16/10

 Smuggling attempt thwarted

Two alien smugglers and 21 aspiring illegal entrants were surprised by authorities in Rosarito Beach, a popular tourist town south of Tijuana.  The group was intercepted in a pickup truck with California license plates 8E95552 towing a Panga type boat with a 600 hp outboard motor.  The boat was equipped with ten 50-liter barrels of gasoline for the trip north.  The two smugglers were arrested and their passengers were detained by federal authorities for further questioning.  All involved appear to be Mexican citizens. [The size of the boat was not mentioned.  This story coincides with a US news report of another boatload of illegal aliens that overturned in heavy seas off La Jolla, CA, with one known fatality.]


 La Jornada (Mexico City) 1/16/10

 Body of journalist found

Municipal police agents of Ahoma, Sinaloa, discovered the remains of a reporter, Jose Luis Romero, who had been abducted last December 30 from the town of Los Mochis.  Following a citizen report, the body was located in a black bag along a highway.


 Norte (Ciudad Juarez, Chihuahua) 1/16/10

 What’s in a name?

The new anti-crime operation in Cd. Juarez, in which civilian federal agents replace the Mexican military, will now be called “Coordinated Operation Chihuahua” rather than “Joint Operation Chihuahua.”  [The periodical La Polaka, also in Cd. Juarez, titled their story, “The same cat …”]


 Monday 1/18/10

 El Financiero (Mexico City) 1/17/10

 US proposes regional debate

Bogota, Colombia – US Undersecretary of State James Steinberg proposed a broad discussion in the region regarding the handling of drug traffic and advised that no one can resolve the problem acting alone.  In an interview published in El Tiempo, he said that “it would be appropriate to discuss how the problems of drugs and security are handled in this hemisphere.”  Steinberg contends that to confront the challenges requires the assistance of all concerned.  Countries like Venezuela, Ecuador and Bolivia rejected the pact between the US and Colombia as a threat to the stability and security of the hemisphere.  Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez went much beyond that and sounded an alert about a US plan to “attack” his country using as an excuse the narcotraffic combat in Colombia.


Cambio de Michoacán (Morelia, Michoacán) 1/17/10

 Insecurity blocking tourism

Businesses catering to the tourist trade in Morelia see the main factor inhibiting tourism in 2010 is insecurity.  International tourists and even those from Mexico are seen to be fearful of being “trapped between two fires,” referring to the violence in the state.


 El Debate (Sinaloa) 1/17/10

 Follow-up on murdered reporter

The body of news reporter Jose Luis Romero, 44, found yesterday, showed signs of torture with hands tied behind his back, two broken legs, indications of blows to his hands and a fractured skull before receiving two shots to the back and two more coup de grace shots to the head.  He was eulogized as a dedicated reporter and “friend of the police.”


 El Imparcial (Hermosillo, Sonora) 1/17/10

 No follow-up

Despite the promise of “more information in a few moments …” at the end of yesterday’s story of a gun battle in progress in Nogales, Sonora, nothing further was reported today.


 -end of report-

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