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.
El Universal (Mexico City) 6/30/10
Mexico in crisis [Portions of the main editorial]
Three events come together to place the nation in one of the worst circumstances of its recent history: a severe national security moment brought about by organized crime; a (political) opposition that rejects the presidential call to build a united front; and a State that will not be capable of facing up to the situation if the different political forces don’t come together. There’s no other way of labeling this situation: Mexico is facing a State crisis.
The assassination of the “PRI” candidate for governor of (the state of) Tamaulipas, Rodolfo Torre Cantu, is a symptom of the spiral of violence being lived by our society. Due to that unfortunate event, President Calderon finally accepted what was obvious from the first day of his administration: that the struggle against insecurity ought to be a battle of the Mexican State and not only that of the “PAN” party administration. (Note: “PRI” is the acronym for the political party that ruled Mexico for more than seventy years, until the opposition “PAN” party took over, with Vicente Fox; Pres. Calderon is also with the “PAN” party.)
The call for help aimed at the opposition parties, mainly the “PRI,” came late and crashed against the wall of indolence of the old party. Its peers reacted by slamming the door shut. Beatriz Paredes, national president of the Institutional Revolutionary Party (PRI,) declared yesterday that the list of offenses of the federal government is long, and therefore, her party no longer trusts the Chief Executive. Worse yet, she considers the call as opportunistic. That party calls itself a victim, not only of organized crime, which murdered one of its most outstanding local leaders, but of presidential policy as well.
The alarming point of the matter is that, granted that Felipe Calderon will continue to be the head of the Mexican State during the next thirty months, his party is in the minority, and therefore its capacity is insufficient to redirect the convulsed national politics.
How is a grave State crisis resolved, in the context of a divided government, when the main opposition answers the Chief Executive, justifiably or not, with a resounding no? On the other side of the political scenario, the only thing left for the ordinary Mexican citizens is to deal with the uncertainty and anguish individually. Today, we cannot count on our government leaders.
“Cubans.” But they can’t speak Spanish……
El Colombiano (Medellin, Colombia) 6/29/10
This detailed column describes some of the travails of African and Asian individuals who travel without documents and who are “clients” of people smugglers. In the extreme northwest corner of Colombia, near Uraba, adjacent to Panama, officials recently set up a highway traffic checkpoint. There, on a bus heading to Uraba, they found 3 Asians and 4 Africans, all illegally in Colombia. One of the Asians pretended to be mute – because he didn’t know Spanish – while the Africans presented Cuban passports with Colombian admission stamps. But the holder of one of those Cuban passports was unable to pronounce his own name, allegedly Luis Alberto Pedroso, because he couldn’t speak Spanish. An official tested the Africans by saying “hamburger?” but got no response whatever.
These are people who have been travelling sometimes for many months. They understand that, to pay off their debt, they will have to do so with their own labor upon arrival, sometimes for years. The migrants come from Nepal, Somalia, Ethiopia, and Eritrea. Colombian officials at Uraba, next to Panama, have detected 119 of them this year. An official with the Colombian “DAS” agency (equiv. to FBI) said that 16 illegal aliens from Africa and Asia were detected in 2006, but the figure rose to 469 in 2008.
One of their current routes is now from Ecuador, a country that eliminated visas for “tourists” beginning in June of 2008. People smuggling is the third most profitable source of income for criminal groups, after drugs and weapons. Most immigrants are fleeing internal conflicts in their native countries and seek employment and education in the United States.
Cuarto Poder (Tuxtla, Chiapas) 6/30/10
A stake truck carrying 45 “undocumented Guatemalans rolled when the driver lost control because of poor road conditions in the state of Chiapas, the southernmost in Mexico. One of the aliens being smuggled died and four others were injured. The rest fled and disappeared, along with their smugglers.
Critica (Panama City, Panama) 6/29/10
Smugglers caught resting…
Information about a reported theft attempt led Panamanian officials to Sona, a location on Cebaco Island, off Panama’s Pacific Ocean shores. There, they surprised 4 Colombians resting. Nearby, in their 32’ boat, equipped with two 250 hp outboards, the officials found 726 kgs. of cocaine and 40 packages of marihuana.
El Universo (Guayaquil, Ecuador) 6/30/10
Eighty Ecuadorans being deported. Tons more to go.
Ecuador’s “Senami” (Natn’l. Migrants’ Dep’t.) reported that 80 Ecuadorans being deported from the United States are scheduled to arrive by air this Friday afternoon, 7/2/10, at Guayaquil’s airport. “Senami” indicated that these individuals not only were in the United States without proper documentation but that some of them also “committed crimes against the laws of the North American country.”
El Nuevo Diario (Managua, Nicaragua) 6/30/10
Mexican “narcos” challenge politicians
Drug cartels have Mexico up against the ropes. The assassination of the “PRI” candidate for governor of Tamaulipas, and the kidnapping, 48 days ago, of Diego Fernandez de Ceballos, one of the most powerful politicians of the country, dramatically manifests the power of organized crime and the weakness of Felipe Calderon’s government, alone in a war that has already caused more than 22,000 deaths.
Two days after the candidate Rodolfo Torre Cantu and eight of his collaborators were murdered in broad daylight in Ciudad Victoria, officials still don’t know how, who or what is the motive for a political crime that reflects a quantum jump in the drug cartels’ violence. The elections for governor, to be held Sunday in twelve states of Mexico, are marked by blood and fear.
The message is quite clear: no one is safe in Mexico now. The drug bosses are not only at war for territory, but they also fight to place their own candidates at the peak of political power. “With silver, or with lead,” Calderon himself acknowledged the other day. Tamaulipas is an example. For decades now, according to local media, elections in this northern state have been supervised – if not hosted – by the Gulf Cartel.
However, the criminal organization broke up early in the year and went into dispute against the Zetas, their enforcement arm up until then. The supervised peace turned into open warfare. It’s said that the two vehicles loaded with the thugs who ambushed and killed Dr. Torre Cantu had a “z” painted on their tinted windows.
The way in which the assault was carried out shows just how far the State is overwhelmed by organized crime. The “PRI” candidate’s caravan was attacked at 10:30 a.m. on Monday, when it was headed for the airport. The killers not only knew that, but also that the armored vehicles available to the candidate had been sent hours before to Matamoros – theoretically a more dangerous area – to protect his campaign tour schedule for later that afternoon.
Prensa Libre (Guatemala City, Guatemala) 6/30/10
Another “drop house” found in Phoenix
Fifty-one Guatemalans, including 7 women and at least 6 minors under 12 years of age, all illegally in the United States, were found in a “drop house” in Phoenix, AZ. Two other individuals were being questioned.
Rotativo de Queretaro (Queretaro, Qro.) 6/30/10
Mexico criticizes Arizona for linking narco with migrants
Patricia Espinosa, Mexico’s Chancellor (Sec. of State), criticized Jan Brewer, the Governor of Arizona, who linked the “Mexican migratory phenomenon with organized crime and drug traffic.” Espinosa answered that,”There are efforts that aim to criminalize migrants and they do not acknowledge their contributions to United States society.” She also said that there is an aim to distort the migratory phenomenon linked with organized crime.
Julio Ventura, Under Secretary for North America, lamented and rejected the statements made a few days ago by the Governor of Arizona, since it really ignores the contributions that Mexicans make to the economy, culture, and society of the United States.
Both officials were present at the 77th information session of the Institute of Mexicans Abroad. For his part, Jose Angel Cordoba Villalobos reported that there are 12 million migrants in the United States, of which seven million are Mexicans who reside there illegally, and that, of these, 2 million have no medical insurance and also no access to health services.
El Diario (Ciudad Juarez, Chihuahua) 6/30/10
Gunfire from Juarez hit El Paso
At least seven shots fired from Ciudad Juarez reached across the Rio Grande River yesterday afternoon (Tues.) and impacted the west wall and a window of El Paso’s City Hall building. There were no injuries and the case is under investigation. Some of the projectiles were said to be from AK-47 assault rifle. On the Mexican side of the river, a federal police agent was shot and killed at the same time.
Frontera (Tijuana, Baja Calif.) 6/30/10
“Executions continue night and dawn”
Four persons were murdered in less than 12 hours in Tijuana. Part of one victim’s body was found dumped in a trash bin. Tijuana’s homicide tally has now reached 415 for the year, and 49 for this month.
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