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) 8/6/10
A clear and present danger
Last April the FBI warned of the risks that criminal organizations operating along the US-Mexico border could be used by terrorist groups to provide the means for transporting weapons of mass destruction into the US. The report presented to the US Congress in April by FBI Director Robert S. Mueller establishes that the potential for terrorist related activities associated with criminal gangs and organizations goes along with the increase of human and drug trafficking over the southwest border. This is a continuing and always present preoccupation that the criminal organizations could facilitate the smuggling of chemical, biological, radiological or nuclear weapons and their materials. The report points out that “globalization makes it easier to gain access to weapons of mass destruction and the transfer of materials.” This reduces the margin of security.
Narco-blockades disrupting travel in Monterrey
More than 20 foreign and domestic flights were suspended for two hours Friday morning in Monterrey, Nuevo Leon, due to blockages by narco gangs on the major route to the airport. Criminal groups used large tractor-trailer trucks parked across the highway to block traffic. Because of the blockades, airport officials suspended all flights between 0600 and 0800 hours. [No arrests were reported or reasons for the disrupting activity.]
Cartel terrorist tactics worry US
Washington (from El Universal correspondent) – The US State Department expressed its preoccupation regarding the increasing use of “terrorist tactics” by drug cartels in Mexico, which represent an additional challenge to Mexican law enforcement and a threat to the security of the US. “The cartels, in an increasing way, are using a military terrorist style to attack the (Mexican) security forces,” indicated an annual report from the US State Department issued Thursday. In the section of the report dedicated to Mexico, the US government considers that, despite that organized crime and the cartels have no connections with organized international terrorists like Al Qaeda, the escalation of violence by narcotraffickers has created “potential vulnerabilities” that terrorist organizations wishing to penetrate into the US might be able to exploit.
Narco seeking to destabilize Tamaulipas state
The governor of the US-Mexico border state of Tamaulipas, Eugenio Hernandez Flores, affirmed that criminal groups are trying to destabilize his state, referring to a car-bomb that exploded inside the Public Security complex in Ciudad Victoria, the state capital. The governor noted that, because of violent attacks that have occurred in various cities in the state, he alerted public security offices to maintain high levels of alert and coordination of forces.
Cuarto Poder (Chiapas state) 8/6/10
Commentary on potential terrorist threat
[Columnist Mario Ruiz Redondo in Chiapas, one of Mexico’s southern border states, writes in part: ]
Porous southern border, ideal for terrorists. Here we have published it repeatedly: The national security of Mexico remains at permanent risk on the southern border with Central America due to there not existing even minimum control of foreigners of diverse nationalities, especially those as distant as the Arab countries, mainly Iraq, who enter Chiapas undocumented. In fact, they have become an excellent business for those who engage in the trafficking of illegals in conspiracy with immigration authorities, federal, state and municipal police. Despite the easy detection by their physical appearance and language, they cross without major problems en route to the US. This not so new problem is closely observed by North American agents of the CIA and FBI, infiltrated into the region without authorization by the Mexican government, a presence that reveals Washington’s preoccupation with the vulnerability of its backyard Mexicans, given the prevailing corruption among government representatives who make viable the transit of potential security risks to the North American territory. The report issued this Thursday, July 5, by the US State Department should concern Felipe Calderon’s administration since it warns that the vulnerability of Mexico’s northern and southern borders could be exploited by terrorists trying to enter the US. [The somewhat laborious commentary continues on this theme at length making the point that porosity on both borders enhances the risks of terrorism.]
El Financiero (Mexico City) 8/6/10
Democrats criticized for “border security first” policy
Washington (Notimex) – Leaders of pro-immigrants criticized Democrats who control the US Congress for backing “border security first” in lieu of an integrated immigration reform. “The Democrats in the Senate choose to ignore reality by approving a project of ‘border security first’ that will not resolve our dysfunctional migratory system,” maintains the president of the National Immigration Forum, Ali Noorani. The Senate approved a bill by Democrats Charles Schumer and Claire McCaskill that assigns 600 million dollars to increase the number of border agents and unmanned aircraft along the border, among other measures. Legislators “continue throwing money at border security” when diverse sources report a reduction of crimes in that area, the reduction of illegal immigration and the fact that violence has not increased, maintained Noorani. He points out that these measures, “without a clear strategy for an integral immigration reform, are no more than political posturing and misspending of federal resources.”
Mexican Marines 4; Zetas 0
The office of the Mexican Navy reported that its infantry troops [Marines] engaged the militant armed criminal gang, Los Zetas, in a gun battle in Tamaulipas, killing four of the Zetas. The Marines were on routine patrol near the town of San Fernando when they were attacked by gunfire. During the firefight that ensued, four of the attackers, “presumed members of Los Zetas,” were killed. No military losses were recorded. After the attackers were forced into a retreat, the military seized a rocket launcher, 7 assault rifles, 3 grenades, unused ammo and other battle equipment.
Mexican Consuls on abuse alert
San Diego (Notimex) – The five Mexican Consulates in Arizona together launched a program translating to ‘Campaign of Preventive Protection 2010’ to prevent abuses against Mexicans in the state, according to Oscar de la Torre Amezcua, Consul in Douglas. The objective is to prevent violations of migrant rights and provide consular protection in cases when, unfortunately, our countrymen are objects of violation of rights,” he said.
Excelsior (Mexico City) 8/6/10
Racial discrimination in Mexico?
Veracruz – Some 2,500 indigenous Mexicans initiated a second National Indigenous Forum in Veracruz with the objective of unifying the 62 native ethnic groups in Mexico against discrimination, subjection, exploitation and marginalization. In Mexico, with a population of 107 million, there are some 12 million
indigenous people who mainly live in poverty and exclusion. Among Mexico’s 62 native groups, there are 50 to 70 different languages.
El Universal (Mexico City) 8/7/10
Calderon blames US arms for increased violence
Mexican President Felipe Calderon reiterated to the US government the urgency of closing the lengthy common border to the smuggling of arms that are falling into the hands of narcotraffickers in his country. In an interview on the Colombian Radio Caracol network, Calderon reported that the violence in Mexico has “increased enormously” since 2004 when US authorities lifted the prohibition on sales of assault weapons. Calderon said that in his three and a half years in office, Mexico has seized 85,000 weapons, including nearly 50,000 AK-47 and R-15 assault rifles, some 6,000 grenades, and dozens of .50 caliber Barrett rifles, arms he maintains were brought in from the US across the US-Mexican border. “If they want to seal the border, seal it against arms because it is prohibited to export them to countries where their use is prohibited,” he said.
Turning to the immigration issue, Calderon said that walls and barriers on the border “are not resolving the underlying problem and are creating an enormous pressure that leads nowhere.” He said that migration, “obeys economic and social phenomena that cannot be stopped by decree.”
La Jornada (Mexico City) 8/7/10
Federal Police in Cd. Juarez protest corrupt commander
At least 300 armed Federal Police blocked Lopez Mateos Avenue in Tijuana, Baja California, to demand the dismissal of a police commander they identified as “Salomon,” accused of having ties to organized crime. According to the demonstrators, Commander Salomon Alarcon, alias El Chaman, requests money from them and obliges them to do what he says, such as carrying out kidnappings and extortions, under the threat of “planting” drugs on them if they don’t obey. The demonstrators were demanding the presence of the general commissioner of the Federal Police, Facundo Rosas, who arrived at the location to talk with them.
El Financiero (Mexico City) 8/8/10
Mexico seeks to sensitize US about dangers of arms traffic
Mexico’s Minister of Foreign Relations, Patricia Espinosa, said that her government seeks to “sensitize” the US Congress about the danger that arms trafficking represents to the security of both countries. She explains that the dealing of arms “not only affects Mexico, but also the US society,” where in cities like Washington and New Orleans, there are indications of “very dramatic” violence, beyond those of her country. Recognizing the divisiveness of this issue in the US, she is hoping for at least a return to the prohibition of assault rifle sales.
-end of report-