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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El Universal and El Financiero (Mexico City) 4/2/10
Mexicans up in (fire) arms
A Mexican citizen’s organization, National Confederation of Popular Organizations (CNOP), advised that in 2009, Mexican authorities seized 29,000 firearms, 95 percent of which were made and sold in the US. In an interview, Edmundo Ramirez, Secretary of International and Migratory Affairs of the CNOP, complained that these arms have entered Mexico illegally by land, many through border ports of entry. Ramirez pointed out that not even countries at war in any period of time had received 770 arms per day, legally or illegally, as Mexico has received in the past 14 months. He said that an analysis reveals that the sale of arms in the US in the first months of 2010 and all of 2009 increased 18 percent because of the demand on major arsenals on the part of bands of Mexican narcotraffickers and criminals. According to the Mexican security agencies, they were only able to intercept 10 percent of the total arms and ammo that entered illegally. Ramirez said that according to data from the US Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) in Phoenix, AZ, sales of high caliber handguns have increased 50 percent within the past 14 months. He indicated that part of the firearms traffic into Mexico is carried out by individuals who buy the arms for organized crime and then smuggle them in their autos to deliver them to the criminals. (Ed. note: It has already been shown that the 95% figure that continues to be bandied about by both governments is based only on the 18% of weapons’ serial numbers provided by the Mexican authorities to the US ATF. That would indicate that over 82% of the weapons Mexico seizes come from elsewhere, which include grenades, RPGs and high explosives not legally available in the US. Their figures routinely ignore Mexico’s virtually unguarded southern border with Guatemala and its equally porous Pacific seaports.
Mexico offers 5 million pesos for murderers
Last December 16, the Mexican Naval Special Forces carried out a well-coordinated operation in Cuernavaca, Morelos that brought down drug kingpin Arturo Beltran Leyva, “the boss of bosses.” The operation resulted in the deaths of Beltran and six of his henchmen, but also cost the life of one of the Marines, Melquisedec Angulo Cordova. Following Angulo’s military funeral, a group of hired assassins were dispatched to the home of Angulo’s mother in Paraiso, Tabasco, and killed her and three other family members, apparently in retaliation for the blow struck to the criminal organization by the Marine operation. The killers have remained at large since the December 22 atrocity. Today, the Mexican federal Department of Justice (PGR) is offering a 5 million peso [$405,000] reward for information leading to the arrest of the assassins.
Battle in Reynosa leaves five dead
The governor of Tamaulipas reported the deaths of five people following a gunfight between elements of the Mexican Army and criminals in the border city of Reynosa, Tamaulipas, across the river from McAllen, Texas. The battle took place early Friday morning.
US students ordered home
The University of Texas in Austin ordered those students in an exchange program with the Technical Institution (TEC) in Monterrey, Nuevo Leon, to immediately return home because of increasing violence in the past few days. Authorities at the U of T said the order does not affect students enrolled in other programs in Mexico.
El Universal (Mexico City) 4/3/10
More violence in Tamaulipas
Another message via internet to Mexican news media by the governor of Tamaulipas reports that at least seven people were killed in Tampico in a clash between rival criminal groups. Among the dead were two women. Another three people were killed in a gunfight between prison guards and gunmen who assaulted the jail in Reynosa. The report did not include details about the victims. In another report from the information center, armed men in 10 vehicles burst into the offices of the penitentiary in Reynosa unleashing a firefight with the guards. As a result, three inmates were killed and order has been restored at the facility. This story concludes with a note that may explain the recent rise in criminal activity in the northeast of Mexico: In the states of Tamaulipas and Nuevo Leon, the Gulf cartel, allied with other groups, is carrying on a war with its former militant guard, Los Zetas, which began two months ago due to internal conflicts. (Note: there has been virtually nothing to report regarding crime from the Tamaulipas news media for quite some time. There are hints from other sources that such reporting is simply too risky. This may explain why news is now issued from the governor’s office.)
El Universal 4/4/10
Update on Reynosa prison attack
Thirteen prisoners escaped after a group of armed men broke into the Reynosa, Tamaulipas, prison and killed three inmates [as reported yesterday ]. This additional information regarding the escapes comes from the Mexican federal justice department (PGR). This is the second collective attempt of prison escape in less than two months in the state of Tamaulipas. The governor had reported the death of three prisoners yesterday, but did not mention that 13 others had escaped. An agent of the PGR said that 31 prison guards are being interrogated in Reynosa, “a city across the border from the cities of Hidalgo and Pharr, Texas.” Last week, 40 members of the Gulf cartel were liberated from the prison in Matamoros, Tamaulipas.
Fear thins population in Juárez Valley
The violence of the past few years in Ciudad Juárez, Chihuahua, and surrounding areas has caused hundreds of residents to relocate in the US and central Mexico. The towns of Guadalupe and Praxedis G. Guerrero in the Juárez Valley and the counties of Hudspeth and El Paso in Texas have been affected by this rise in organized crime. In the Juárez Valley, 80 people have been victims of mob killings so far in 2010. In Guadalupe, with a population of 4,700 residents, criminal elements have burned down 30 homes in less than a month. Many of those awaiting bus transportation along the Juárez -Porvenir highway say they abandoned their homes and are carrying their essential belongings on their backs because what is important now is saving their lives. “Look, there is my house that my husband and I built 30 years ago,” said a woman, seeing her home in flames set by the criminal gangs. For many, their option is to escape to Hudspeth County, Texas, just across the river. Not only are they fleeing the criminal violence, but also the operations of federal forces that have arrived by thousands to combat the cartels. The people feel disillusioned because the authorities “have practically abandoned them.”
La Jornada (Mexico City) 4/4/10
Six killed, one gravely wounded in Torreon, Coahuila
An armed group in several vehicles gunned down six men gathered in front of a house Saturday evening in Torreon, Coahuila, according to police reports. One other man was gravely wounded. in the attack. Coahuila is another of Mexico’s northern states bordering the US.
Frontera (Tijuana, Baja California) 4/4/10
War against narco is lost: “El Mayo”
According to drug boss Ismael Zambada, “El Mayo,” one of the leaders of the Sinaloa cartel, the war begun by the government against narcotraffic “is lost” because” narco is in the society, ingrained like corruption.” In a meeting with veteran Mexican news reporter Julio Scherer, Zambada said, “The narco problem involves millions” and the replacement of bosses come from that fact. The Mexican government has offered a reward of 2.3 million dollars [US] for the capture of El Mayo who is a close friend of “El Chapo” Guzman, leader of the cartel.
-end of report-