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.
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Cambio de Michoacán (Morelos, Michoacán) 1/29/10
In various parts of the city of Zamora, Michoacán, at least nine alleged thieves were found walking the streets carrying narco messages announcing that the city was being cleaned up. The messages were signed “La Familia.” The men had been tortured and had injuries to various parts of their bodies. Six of the men had been dropped off at a major traffic circle in the city and had been walking for about 30 minutes before being taken by local authorities for treatment of “serious lesions.” The messages they displayed varied, but were warnings to others to beware and that La Familia was cleaning up the city. [La Familia Michoacáa is the state’s major criminal organization that also takes on a “Robin Hood” role to appeal for public support).
Six decapitated bodies found
Mexican police authorities in Apatzingan, Michoacan, report the discovery of six decapitated bodies in the suburb of Acahuato and dumped on the main street of the town. The bodies and their heads were found scattered about. Each body had a wound in the mark of a “Z” on the chest and each of the heads had the same mark. [This would indicate the handiwork of Los Zetas, the enforcers of the Gulf cartel criminal organization.]
Police alerted by wave of violence
Due to the escalating violence in Michoacan in the past few days, the state government has issued a warning to all police agencies to remain on high alert. Because of the rise in various grisly executions throughout the state in the past 72 hours, the state justice department is overloaded with investigations. A planned meeting of the State Security Council has been called off because of the climate of insecurity.
El Universal (Mexico City) 1/29/10
“The favorite bridge to cross to the US”
Puerto Rico is an “access bridge” for drug shipments to the US. About 30% of the narcotics that enter the US arrive from the island, according to Governor Luis Fortuño. The US anti-drug agency, DEA, estimates that an additional 20% remains in Puerto Rico for local consumption, mainly cocaine from Colombia that arrives by way of Venezuela and the Dominican Republic. The Caribbean drug traffic to the US is dominated by the Colombian cartels and there is no indication of Mexican cartel participation, according to the DEA. Governor Fortuño said that the emphasis by the US on its southern border has left the Caribbean region an “open flank” for drug traffic.
El Financiero (Mexico City) 1/29/10
Immigrant poverty in US
Around 271,000 Mexican immigrants in the US came into a “condition of poverty” in 2009 due to the decline in US economy that affected nearly all sectors of construction and commerce which employ a large number of Mexicans, concluded the BBVA bank. The report by the Spanish international banking group showed that the rise in number of those Mexicans entering poverty status in the US reduced the annual receipt of remittances to Mexico by 15.7% from those received in 2008. Despite the expectations of various analysts, there is no evidence that the economic crisis has resulted in massive repatriations of immigrants to Mexico. The reasons are, in the opinion of BBVA, the roots most Mexicans have established in the US, the increased border vigilance and the fact that their economic situation probably wouldn’t improve if they returned to Mexico. The investigation foresees 2010 “a better year” for the Mexicans that live in the US.
Shootout in Michoacán, four agents presumed dead
Mexican federal agents participating in Joint Operation Michoacán were attacked today on a major highway near Maravatio, Michoacán, apparently resulting in four police deaths and seven seriously wounded. [The report complains that the facts are presumed because the federal agency is not releasing details.] Unofficial sources say the agents were attacked by an armed group with AK-47 assault rifles and fragmentation grenades.
USCG scores big in 2009
The US Coast Guard advised that they seized 175 tons of cocaine and 35 tons of marihuana for a total value of more than $5 billion in 2009. The operations, carried out along with other government agencies also resulted in the arrests of 322 individuals, according to Admiral Thad Allen, commander of the Coast Guard. “I am pleased to announce another successful year for our inter-agency efforts and with international associations to arrest drug traffickers on the seas,” he said. The major part of the Coast Guard’s anti-drug patrols are carried out in the Caribbean Sea and the Pacific Ocean.
Colombia seizure in the Caribbean
Colombian authorities arrested one person and seized 870 kilos of cocaine ready for shipment abroad in an operation near the resort of Cartegena. The drug was in blocks wrapped in plastic and was being guarded by the person arrested. It was destined for Central America en route to the US.
La Prensa (El Salvador) 1/30/10
Activists protest raids
In a protest apparently held in the US, [the article didn’t specify], about 200 activists against the immigration policy of President Barack Obama, shouted “We are not leaving here and if they remove us, we will return.” The article begins, “A year after taking office, the leader [Obama] continues without pushing an [immigration] reform project despite that it was one of the main promises of his campaign to the Latino community that supported him in the elections.” Gustavo Torres, president of Casa de Maryland, a pro-immigrant organization, said, “We are here to protest a year of unfulfilled promises.” He rejected that the recent election result in Massachusetts harms the possibility of an immigration reform. “We never thought the immigration reform would pass only with democrat votes. We always said that for it to work it had to be bipartisan,” he affirmed. Torres complains that the DHS has begun new programs aimed at criminal aliens and has continued raids in workplaces. William Reyes, a Salvadoran immigrant, said, “We are illegals (undocumented) but the president is also our president and we remind him that he made a promise, the immigration reform that we are still awaiting.”
La Voz de la Frontera (Mexicali, Baja California) 1/30/10
Guatemala thanks Mexico
In a border security meeting of representatives of Guatemala and Mexico, Guatemalan officials extended their gratitude to Mexico for de-penalizing the transit of Guatemalans into Mexico. Mexico removed the criminal penalties in April 2008, which reduced the exploiting of transients through the southern states. Guatemalan officials recognized the change in Mexican immigration law as a gesture of goodwill inasmuch as Mexico and Guatemala “share the characteristic of a strong migratory tradition” since most of the migrants cross the border with intentions of traveling to the US.
El Diario (Ciudad Juarez, Chihuahua) 1/30/10
Weekend off to a strong start
A total of 12 assassinations linked to criminal gangs kicked off the weekend in Cd. Juarez. Two of the murders happened in the early hours of Friday evening, followed by 10 more into the night. The crimes were scattered about town. La Polaka, another Cd. Juarez newspaper takes a rather cavalier attitude toward the continuing violence with headlines of the night’s events such as “Four-pack in Central Park.” referring to four killed in a shootout in a city park; “Midnight massacre,” regarding three gunned down; and “Chased to death,” about two shot after a high-speed chase.
El Universal (Mexico City) 1/31/10
Students massacred in Cd. Juarez
An armed group interrupted a party attended by 60 youths early Sunday morning in Ciudad Juarez, Chihuahua, killing at least 13. Most of those in attendance were students 15 to 20 years of age. According to unofficial reports, the armed group of about 15 arrived in seven vehicles and burst into the building shooting at those present. In addition to those killed, 16 were wounded, some gravely. Among the dead were 11 adolescents and 2 adults. According to unofficial information, one of the youths killed had recently been a witness to a multiple homicide. El Universal noted that this isn’t the first attack targeting groups of youths in Cd. Juarez. In September, 2009, an armed gang killed 18 at a drug rehab center and in 2008, 8 were killed at another rehab center.
Five killed in attack near Navolato
Five people were killed and another wounded in an attack by an armed group near Navolato, Sinaloa. Preliminary investigations indicate that one of the victims was a state police agent. According to a female wounded in the attack, several men chased them on a highway, under a “rain of bullets” to the village of Cinco Hermanos for reasons unknown. It appears that four women and two men were traveling together when they were intercepted, then chased, by armed men who eventually killed the four females and one of the men in a hail of gunfire.
El Diario de Ciudad Juarez (Cd. Juarez, Chihuahua) 1/31/10
Late update on student massacre
The mayor of Cd. Juarez, Jose Reyes Ferrez, announced a reward of 1 million pesos for information leading to the capture of those responsible for the massacre that occurred Sunday morning. In a press conference, he also confirmed that 14 were killed and 14 wounded. In information released by authorities at 5 p.m., those carrying out the killing used at least four types of firearms. About 90 shell casings were recovered at the crime scene. Meanwhile, 12 of the 14 victims were identified. Their ages ranged from 13 to 42.
-end of report-