Archive for March 5th, 2010

“Beautiful, dear and shot to pieces Mexico”

March 5, 2010

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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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Friday, 3/5/10

El Nuevo Diario (Managua, Nicaragua) 3/4/10

“Beautiful, dear and shot to pieces Mexico”

(Portion of an op/col. by Martha Guadalupe Romero, titled as above]

One of the most fascinating countries of the planet, not only for its pre-Hispanic and colonial history, but for its geographic beauty, architecture, food, music and especially the warmth and happiness of its people, seems to be on the edge of collapse due to the status of insecurity and violence in which its residents live.

For many years now, but never as in recent ones, the drug cartels have been forcing the country into a generalized climate of violence. Corrupt officials, lack of timely attention and wrong measures are some of the reasons which have brought the country to this point. The use of the army in civilian security activities, and the granting of status to the military as the main role players in this battle, by means of the approval of a national security law, is probably the Mexican government’s most questionable measure. The mayor of Ciudad Juarez admitted two large errors: underestimating narcotics traffickers’ capabilities and not cleansing the police forces’ corruption in a timely manner.

On the borders to the south of Mexico, Guatemala, El Salvador and Honduras face similar events everyday: institutional corruption, the advance of narcotraffic and inattention to the needs of the young, who today make up the majority of the population in Latin America. El Salvador and Honduras, countries highly impacted by the maras (read: gangs,) have applied harsh policies that have not only been ineffective but have added to the violence. Although the problems mentioned are not as large in Nicaragua, we have to take preventive measures to enable our youth to survive the horror of narcotraffic.

It is quite evident that the solutions to these problems lie elsewhere, such as fostering education, generating decent employment and investing massively in opportunities for youth, which sees itself forced to take wrong pathways or to escape the hell of its neighborhoods, turned into drug paradises or battlefields, where the use of every type of weapon has replaced books, work and civic values.

Mexico must win the battle of Juarez with different weapons than those used by the government. Education, employment and opportunities are more efficient and farther reaching. We must listen to the shout from Juarez.


La Prensa Grafica (San Salvador, El Salvador) 3/4/10

El Salvador bleeding

Police statistics show that there have been 29 homicides in El Salvador during the first three days of this month, an average of 10 every 24 hours. The year’s tally of victims has now reached 759.


Cuarto Poder (Tuxtla, Chiapas) 3/4/10

Ammo into Mexico from the south

Comitan, state of Chiapas, is close to the border with Guatemala. On a nearby dirt road, Chiapas state police stopped a pickup truck and found that the vehicle had been outfitted with a double bottom. The following was hidden inside:

  • 10, 600 rounds of ammo for AK47 rifle; an M1 rifle with telescopic sight
  • 260 rounds for M16; 100 rounds of .38 cal.; and 700 rounds for 9 mm.

The driver and his passenger, both Mexican, were arrested. “It was learned that the cartridges had been acquired at a point of the border between Mexico and Guatemala, and were destined to the center of the country.”


El Diario (Ciudad Juarez, Chihuahua) 3/4/10

Cop and criminal gang leader

Mario Rivera Anchondo, a Chihuahua state police officer assigned to “CIPOL” (Police Intelligence Center,) in Chihuahua City, was arrested while on duty after he and some accomplices had robbed and beaten a woman “in an exclusive area of the state capital.” Rivera has been a state police officer for eight months and had passed all the “trustworthiness” tests he had taken. He had become the leader of a gang of hold-up men and criminals which included his own brother.

And in Juarez…

Wednesday closed in Ciudad Juarez with 11 homicides. And shortly after midnight today (Thurs.,) a group of six men in a vehicle opened fire on a man in another vehicle. The gunfire killed the man’s wife, and wounded another passenger, the man’s six-month old baby daughter riding inside. The thugs were captured later; they are all in their early 20’s, except for a seventeen year old.


And in Tijuana….

Frontera (Tijuana, Baja Calif.) 3/4/10

Police arrested

The 8th Taekwondo World Championship is being held in Tijuana. On March 2nd , Kim Chum Ku, a Korean, president of the World Youth Association of Taekwondo, was riding in a taxi in Tijuana. The taxi was stopped by local police and Kim’s wallet was taken by them to examine his documents. But they also took 500 dollars, 300 euros, and 100 Canadian dollars out of the wallet. The victim apparently triggered an investigation and now four local police were detained today at dawn after being identified as responsible for the theft.


El Universo (Guayaquil, Ecuador) 3/4/10


[Portion of an op/col. describing daily insecurity in Ecuador; by Manuel Ignacio Gomez Lecaro, titled as above]

I had ignored it so many times. But now, while I press the door bell, I laugh at the irony: the electric doorbell is protected behind iron bars and by a padlock. Protected against thefts of spite: if I can’t get into the house to steal, at least I’ll take the doorbell, thinks the thief.  We live imprisoned. Electric fences, bars, gates, guards, pistols, solid perimeter walls, padlocks, alarms, cameras and security devices are part of our daily panorama. We see it all so often that they become invisible. They don’t call our attention any more. We have all had something stolen from us. They have taken us for a ride during an express kidnapping. Or, at least, we know someone quite well to whom this has happened.

Seeing armed private guards in any commercial establishment, at any corner, no longer surprises us. The armed and violent robberies take place on top of the daily thefts. The kind that we don’t even consider: the official who only approves a loan or a contract if he gets a cut of the commission in return. The businessman who bribes in order to obtain that contract. The employee who takes pens, pencils and staplers from the office for his son in school. The servant who smuggles food, detergent and some forgotten item of clothing from the bosses’ closet. The pirate of cable signals. The person who “borrows” from his neighbor’s electric power line. The person who buys stolen items, thus causing more thefts.

Theft becomes an almost natural and daily thing without need of an earthquake. Although many may no longer be conscious of them, the grills on our windows, the control gate into our neighborhood, the armed guard in the store, or the ridiculous cage that protects the doorbell, must remind us that we live locked up, and they become part of our lives. They’ve told us that insecurity is an invention of the press, that it’s just a perception, that it has diminished, that everything’s better now. But reality is more valid than that image they want to put over on us.


– end of report – 

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